Is the E Ink display reason enough to buy a Lenovo Yoga Book C930?

Is the E Ink display reason enough to buy a Lenovo Yoga Book C930?

Best answer: The E Ink display in the Lenovo Yoga Book C930 is a great addition for anyone who likes to use their laptop primarily for inking, but you shouldn't base your purchase solely around it. For a convertible laptop better suited to handling a day's productivity, the similarly-named Yoga C930 is a better choice.Lenovo: Yoga C930 ($1,245+)Lenovo: Yoga Book C930 ($1,050+)

Why is the E Ink display on the Yoga Book C930 so special?

What sets the Yoga Book C930 apart from other convertible laptops is the inclusion of two touch displays. The main display is sized at 10.8 inches, it comes with a 2,560x1,600 resolution for a great picture, and it supports Wacom AES inking with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. An active pen is included with all models, and it's not limited to the main screen.

Instead of a physical keyboard, the Yoga Book C930 has a secondary E Ink display that's also compatible with the active pen. It has a 1,920x1,080 (FHD) resolution and it looks a lot like what a Kindle or Nook e-reader offers. You can display four different keyboards on the screen for a digital typing experience, reading documents will cause less eye strain, and you can use it to jot down notes while not interfering with the main screen.

It's not as responsive as a normal touch display, but Lenovo has done a good job of creating a typing experience that won't drive you nuts during short bursts, as well as something that undeniably looks cool while you're using it. Some people will find everyday use here, but the Yoga Book C930 definitely isn't for everyone.

Who is the Yoga Book C930 for?

The Yoga Book C930 definitely isn't a laptop created for a massive audience. From Executive Editor Daniel Rubino's hands-on article:

So who should buy it? The Yoga Book C930 is entirely a concept-device brought to market for early adopters and boundary pushers. There are compromises, it costs a lot, and most people will not see a need for it. Inherently, the idea here is to put inking first and typing second.

Rubino doesn't deny that the Book C930 is an interesting device, and its size and hardware allow it to be used as a portable, fully-realized Windows 10 PC. However, if you're in need of a laptop that isn't hindered by a cutting-edge design, there is a similar option that can serve you better.

Why is the Yoga C930 a better option for most people?

The Yoga C930 (notice the "Book" is missing) is another premium Ultrabook from Lenovo that sticks with a more conventional design. You can choose between a 13.9-inch FHD or 4K touch display, and there are a physical keyboard and touchpad much better suited to productivity tasks and long bouts of typing. It's not quite as compact as the Book C930, but at about three pounds, it's still small enough to be easily carried around with you.

The Yoga C930 also has the hardware to handle more intensive tasks. Instead of the 7th Gen Y-series Intel processors (CPU) in the Book C930, you get 8th Gen Intel U-series CPUs as well as up to 16 GB of RAM (compared to 4 GB) and up to a 1 TB solid-state drive (compared to 256 GB). The addition of two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the Yoga C930 also makes it more future-proof compared to the standard USB-C ports on the Book C930.

Battery life is much better with the Yoga C930, hitting about nine hours while going about standard tasks compared to the Book C930's average five-hour life. Finally, if you're interested in inking, know that the standard C930 does have a built-in active pen with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. You don't get two screens to write on, but one is enough for most people.

The Yoga C930 is a laptop better suited to more people

While the Yoga Book C930 is an undeniably cool device with an E Ink display alongside the regular touch display, it's likely not going to fill the role most people need from a laptop. A digital keyboard doesn't stand up to the comfort of a physical keyboard for long bouts of typing, battery life in the Book C930 doesn't last a full workday, and the hardware inside isn't as powerful as most would like from a daily driver.

Unless you're absolutely sold on the idea of dual displays and inking and need a secondary PC for portable purposes, you're better off spending your money on something more conventional, like the impressive Yoga C930.

Cale Hunt

Cale Hunt brings to Windows Central more than eight years of experience writing about laptops, PCs, accessories, games, and beyond.