Lenovo Yoga C930

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by raqball, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. raqball, Oct 24, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018

    raqball macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    #1
    Lenovo Yoga C930 Impressions:

    Configuration Details

    ● 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8550U Processor
    ● Windows 10 Home 64 - Upgraded to Pro
    ● 14" FHD (1920 x 1080) with Dolby Vision
    ● 12GB DDR4 2400MHz
    ● Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620
    ● Iron Gray
    ● Fingerprint Reader
    ● Rotating Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos Speaker System
    ● 256GB Solid State Drive, PCIe-NVME M.2

    Since this is a replacement for the Yoga 920 I’ll use it in my comparison. I did have a Yoga 920 for several months..

    The 12GB of RAM is an odd configuration but it is a nice in-between 8 and 16. I wish more manufacturers would offer this. I ordered from Best Buy and I paid $1299 for it. Ordering the exact same configuration direct from Lenovo would have been $1625. Not sure the reason for the massive price difference...

    I got the Iron Gray this time but I usually opt for silver (mica for the C930). It does attract fingerprints and smudges but for some reason it’s not as bad as I remember the Lenovo black being. I didn;t dig the light colored KB kets on the mica color so that was my main reason for going with the Iron Gray this time.

    So quick impressions:

    Screen

    Wow! For a 1080p screen this thing is fabulous. Brightness is improved over what i remember my 920 having but it still is not extremely bright.

    Speed

    It’s fast and snappy. I see no issues whatsoever and it’s on par with similarly equipped machines, as expected. The SSD is pretty fast. See screenshot in photos section.

    Sound

    Another wow! The sound bar is incredible. Dare I say this is hands down the best sounding computer I have ever used. It’s loud, crisp and clear.

    Ports

    There are 2 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 support, 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2 port, and a headphone jack. The pen docks into a rear slot that also charges it. Missing is a SD card reader which is a slight bummer..

    Battery

    Only had it a day and a half, hard to tell. I’ll repost back later after extended use.

    Fan

    I have not really pushed the machine yet but it did heat up and the fans did kick in during Windows updates. The heat was not bad and the fan, while you can hear it, was not jet engine loud..

    Keyboard

    Typical Lenovo KB and it’s fantastic. Not as good as say the X1C but a very nice keyboard. Backlighting is there as well and it’s activated in traditional Lenovo style. The keys are a bit on the clicky side sound wise but nowhere near the MacBook sound.

    TrackPad

    The trackpad is responsive and accurate. I’ve not experienced any abnormal behaviour from it and it’s been smooth and accurate.

    Other

    The camera has a privacy shutter so you can block the camera. No more sticky notes or tape for those concerned with camera privacy. It has a fingerprint reader and so far no issues with it. It comes with the pen but I doubt I will use it much. The pen docks in the rear of the machine and charges when it’s docked.

    Photos

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  2. macjunk(ie) macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    #2
    That is a nice looking machine. Is it upgradable or soldered?
     
  3. raqball thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Sep 11, 2016
    #3
    I'll pop the back off later and take a look. I assume RAM is soldered but maybe the SSD is upgradable...
     
  4. hajime macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #4
    How is your expeirence with the laptop so far? For basic office productivity and web surfing and some video watching, how is the battery life? Most importantly, how is the fan noise especially when you watch 4K youtube videos on the laptop alone or when connected to a 4k external display?
     
  5. raqball thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    #5
    It's fine for home use like web browsing and office tasks.. Battery life is okay, 10 hours or so thus far. I've not heard the fan yet at all. It did get warm during the 1st round of updates but no heat or fan issues since.. I have not connected to a 4K display so I can't comment on that.

    My one gripe is the low nits on screen brightness... It's rated a 300 and outdoors, in some situations, is troublesome...
     
  6. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #6
    Warning: long. This is not just a Yoga C930 post, but also Mac to Windows one.

    I have the 4K version, maxed to 16/1 TB, serving as replacement for my many 2018 Macbook Pros with their many broken keyboards. Price comparison – MBP i5/16/1TB 2989 euros, Yoga C930 i7/4K/16/1TB 1999 euros. Which gave me 990 euro to spend on various apps that I needed to buy again. (By the way, this i7 and Mac's i5 are almost exactly the same speeds, but iGPU in Yoga is slower.)

    General: one thing I read in reviews is that it's impossible to open this without using two hands. Perhaps the reviewer had a faulty unit or perhaps I have one, but no such problems. Dem bezels are microscopic except the massive bar under the screen. This laptop runs much cooler than MBP.

    The screen is INCREDIBLE (but also incredibly glossy, like I have a new mirror at home glossy). I thought I'd be super disappointed after the MBP. Not at all. This thing is SHARP. I can fold it into tablet mode and finally read PDFs (music magazines I buy are delivered as PDFs and reading a whole page on a 10-inch 16:9 aspect ratio tablet is basically self-flagellation). The pen isn't something I'm going to use a lot, but I appreciate it since it means I don't have to touch the screen, I HATE fingerprints. Speaking of which, the fingerprint reader is lovely, well-placed, but sometimes it refuses to read my fingerprint and it just won't and I don't know why. I end up typing in the password, which isn't lots of work, but I wish I knew why it's happening...

    Back to the screen. When I connected my Macbook to a 2560x1440 display, I needed to use scaling, causing everything to become blurry if usable. Windows just allows me to scale the interface, but not resolution, which is how I found out this external display is actually razor sharp. Trade-off? If I shut the lid the laptop goes to sleep and I fail to figure out how to not have this problem. And yes, I googled. So I connect it to the USB-C display with its USB-A hub, to my USB-C HDD bay, the internal screen switches off and I continue to use the laptop as keyboard instead of my beloved Microsoft Sculpt.

    Fans: mine kept running loud enough for me to notice them all the time. I found out via lots of Googling that 1) I needed to switch the BIOS profile to "quiet", 2) that I needed to lower the maximum CPU frequency from 100% to 98% (this is when the screen stopped cooperating, because I forgot to re-disable that option in regedit), 3) then I found out that 98% permanently halves the CPU speed and instead changed the max from 4.00 to 3.99 GHz. Now fans still work all the time, just very quietly. On one hand, I don't really mind, on the other...the MBPs didn't do that. Most of the time unless I was doing something intensive they were 100% quiet, I think it was @mbflynn that I once shocked by telling him my fan speed was 0 a lot of the time. Trust me, on the C930 it is NOT zero unless it's off. It provides some background white noise I don't mind, I wouldn't have noticed it if I weren't used to completely silent machines. And I don't know why the fans work at all when maximum temp read is 43 degrees on the CPU. I think Lenovo went slightly over the top trying to protect this machine from overheating.

    Keyboard: the Macs broke me! I truly loved the feel of the butterfly keyboard, and the third generation felt SO GOOD. You know, except for the fact none of the keyboards lasted two weeks without malfunctioning. So now this keyboard feels super hard, like I have to really smash the keys. As a result, I get typos again, but this time not because of the laptop :D The butterfly keyboard 1st gen became my favourite keyboard ever within 30 seconds. The 3rd gen drove me towards Windows. This one... I guess I'll get used to slamming keys again – in comparison with gently typing on the Macbooks. This one feels like a keyboard I can trust. 3rd gen butterfly doesn't. I will take a less comfortable, reliable keyboard over "I love hoow thisfels thaank you JnyIvee".

    Backlight sucks. I mean, it's adequate, I suppose. But again, I became spoiled by the butterfly keyboards.

    There are no media keys at all and that breaks my heart. But there's an app called AutoHotKey which I already used to create myself a Polish-English-Icelandic-Swedish-Dutch layout as long as I remember that Win+left Alt+O is ø and without Alt it's ö. I super miss long-pressing and getting all the options on the Mac. Maybe I will figure out how and what to remap to media keys.

    Also, judge me all you want, I miss the touch bar.

    Trackpad: OMG I HATE THIS THING. Now I understand exactly why people praise the Mac trackpads to heavens and back. In particular, the right-click part in the bottom right corner is way too large and I haven't found a way to "shrink" it. I keep on accidentally right-clicking because I'm convinced I'm safely away from the corner ;) "Hate" is exaggerating, of course. All the gestures and everything work perfectly and it's actually more reasonable size than the terrifying slab of the MBP. But I miss looking up words with Force Touch and not needing to remind myself "no, this is still the right-click, move your finger into a less comfortable spot first".

    By the way, Magic Mouse can be used with the Yoga, but if I want to have scrolling and all other multitouch options I have to fork 16 dollars a year for an app just for that. Er. No. Thanks but no thanks. (If anybody knows a free or one-off payment replacement for Magic Utilities, please let me know.)

    Speakers: eat sheep and die, Macbooks, sorry to say that. That sound bar sounds GREAT. And unlike MBP I don't cover the speakers with my hands as I type.

    Webcam: exists. I love the little paranoia slider, oops, I meant to say camera cover. It's not worse than rMB's, but then hardly anything else is.

    Upgradeability: SSD (I got the 1 TB anyway since the price difference between 512 and 1TB was 100 euro, unlike what you'd have to pay with Some Other Fruity Companies), Wifi-BT card (might be handy if I get to Hackintoshing it). The rest is soldered. Oh, and the battery should be replaceable, but for obvious reasons, I didn't try that yet. ;)

    Battery: no clue, I use my laptops connected most of the time. The one thing I miss is USB-C on the other side as well. I didn't know how useful it was for charging until I returned the MBP and had to return to one side fits all. Fortunately, the cable that comes with the laptop is LONG.

    Overall, I love that it weighs the same as MBP but has a 13.9" screen and is a convertible. This is going to make retouching photos much easier with the pen. The laptop feels premium, doesn't heat up in most situations – perhaps because the fans go all the time :p The branding is subtle, which is good. It looks exactly the same as OP's, so no need for photos.

    I just can't shake the feeling that it's strange that in 2018 laptops evolved or devolved into the stage where it's up to me what I am going to suffer through until I get used to it or it breaks, both with Macs and now this. All I want is to spend enough money on a laptop that will last years. None of Apple portables feel like they're going to survive even three months. This one feels like a tank for some reason. MBP felt in my hands like a delicate gem of a machine. This one is less Ive-like, but it feels...safer. It's a very subjective thing I suppose, but it works for me.

    Now I am mostly curious how long it will take me to get back to my usual 95 WPM with 98% accuracy ratio, because I am definitely not there yet. And I really hope I'll get used to this trackpad, because right now every five minutes I feel the temptation to return this and get the new Air (which would cost almost the same with a Core 2 Duo processor) just for the trackpad.
     
  7. hajime macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #7
    Thanks for the analysis. I am also interested in this laptop. Do you like the Atmos soundbar?

    Are you able to test if there is a noisy fan issue when playing 4k youtube videos in full screen on an external 4K display?

    When it is in tablet mode, do you find the sticking out keys annoying when you hold the tablet? I am considering this and X1Y3.
     
  8. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #8
    I assume that you have run all of the updates including through the Lenovo Vantage app? From what I understand there was a firmware update in late October (v1.29) that was supposed to address the issue with slow/unresponsive fingerprint reader with the C930. This firmware solves the fingerprint LED not bright and fingerprint cannot work after S4 wake up
     
  9. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #9
    Absolutely. Both sounds and looks great :) The various settings available aren't really necessary for me, as the dynamic setting seems to work best.

    I played a 4K video from YouTube for 15 minutes on the internal 4K and the fans got SLIGHTLY louder, as in from barely audible at all to slightly audible. But I would not call that noisy at all. What I've done with limiting frequency to 3.99 GHz and switching on quiet mode seems to have fixed the problem. The laptop didn't get warm either.

    At some point soon I will be making a trailer for my novel and I want to do it on the laptop just to see how fast (and noisy) it will be compared to my Hackintosh and whether it's even useful for something more complicated than a PSD file with 15 layers and 20 tabs in Chrome. But this laptop has Intel UHD 620 and my Hack GeForce GTX 960, so there's a chance the laptop will cry and beg for mercy. ;)

    Not really. Mind, this is heavy for a tablet, of course. I sit in such a way as to rest the keyboard side on my leg and use the pen to scroll, for me the main part of usefulness for a tablet is PDFs. I played a bit with drawing in Photoshop but I can't draw really, so... ;)

    Yes, latest version. I wouldn't call it unresponsive or slow, it's just that there are times when it won't work even after I try five times. It seems random. And after the next sleep when I open the lid without rebooting the fingerprint reader works perfectly well again.

    The only thing I dislike so far is the keyboard not feeling like the MBP one. :D Slowly getting used to it though.
     
  10. raqball thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Sep 11, 2016
    #10
    Mine is getting handed off to my niece later today as she is getting ready to start college next semester...

    I have not used it much but have still yet to hear the fan. The KB is good, not XIC good but it's fine...

    Not sure why you are having print reader failing but mine has worked on the 1st try, every time I've used it..

    I'll check in with her from time to time and see how she is getting along with the 930C..
     
  11. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #11
    You could go into Device Manager and delete it too and then scan for hardware changes allowing the machine to re-find it. But I don't know if that will help if it is just asking flaky. With the X1E, it worked every time with no problem. As a matter of fact, I think it worked better than the Apple one. Faster to respond and it allowed for more fingerprints. I always like to do several from each hand, in case I end up with the right in a cast or something hahaha.

    As far as the keyboard not feeling like the MBP one, I would call that it's number 1 selling point. But I am definitely not a fan of the butterfly keyboard in terms of feel or reliability :)
     
  12. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #12
    Ha, I'm going to add the same fingerprint again, as I do with all the readers. Don't know why I haven't done it yet, probably because my subconscious keeps protesting against Windows. But after a few days, I see Windows isn't that bad (even though somehow my default font in Chrome changed to Helvetica Neue Light Condensed and it drives me BONKERS). And my typing speed is back at 95 wpm with 0 typos, so the keyboard clearly didn't take too long to get used to either :)

    Please don't end up with your hand in a cast! :D
     
  13. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #13
    Apple has a 5 finger print limit I believe? I don’t know if Lenovo has any similar constraints, but if it does it is at least 10. I figure it is easy enough to put in one of each or double up on some at different angles.

    Windows Hello seems to learn a bit the more you use it the “improve facial recognition” feature. I am not sure if it is storing multiple pictures or improving the image it has by adding layers or what. But it does seem to improve.

    Windows gives you enough ways to log in between Windows Hello, Fingerprint, PIN, Password and Picture Password. I have never tried the latter.

    Luckily I haven’t had a cast on my hand since High School, but between the winter ice and motorcycling, it’s always a risk :)
     
  14. hajime macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #14
    How is this new laptop compared with X1 Yoga Gen3? Do you think getting a FHD and/or lower end cpu is better I. Terms of avoiding noisy fans? I wonder how compatibility this laptop is in terms of Linux and eGPU?

    With these colors, can you see fingerprints and palm marks in the area around the keyboard?
     
  15. hajime, Nov 12, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2018

    hajime macrumors 603

    Joined:
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    #15
    @raqball Can your FHD version of C930 detect and play HDR contents? Some reviewers said yes and some said otherwise.

    --- Post Merged, Nov 12, 2018 ---
    @navaira and @raqball Could you please check the manufacturer of your SSD? From some reviews, it looks like lower capacity ones are made by Hynix which have lower performance than that of Samsung's. Not sure if all SSD for C930 are made by Hynix. If so, can I buy the lowest capacity one and upgrade to Samsung 970 EVO 1TB myself?

    Also, is the new hindge stiff enough that it does not wrobble while being used in public transportations? From review videos, it seems to wrobble a lot like the SB series's LCD. The hindge on the X1Y3 and Yoga 920 seem to be stiffer. Certainly, the screen of X1E 4K is stiff. Even I used the touch screen, it did not wrobble.
     
  16. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #16
    MUCH less than with the MBP. Sweat marks always build up for me in those areas when I am using a laptop in a metal chassis, but for some reason Yoga is much less "sweaty". I suspect it's because the fan keeps it cool all the time. I don't really touch the area around the keyboard, but there are no marks on any part of the laptop right now except the top part of the chassis which gathers exactly as many stains and fingerprints as the MBP did.

    Again, I don't touch the screen, because I hate fingerprints on my screens (and I don't need to anyway). I use the included stylus and I think I'd have to poke the screen very hard to make it wobble.

    I have no comparison, but my model is 4K/i7/16/1TB. After I fiddled with it a bit it's very quiet. Right now I have Chrome with nine tabs, System Information, and Notepad open. The fan is on, like always, but you can really hear it when you put your ear to the keyboard. In the same conditions my MBP fan would have been on 0, and pre-tinkering c930 would be audible – not loud, but audible.

    Edit: I just ran full UserBenchmark – results: https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/12087931
    The fan became audible, but under no circumstances would I call it noisy. A few minutes later it's back to the "is it working?" level.

    I was *SHOOK* to discover that you can't register the same fingerprint twice, because Hello KNOWS I'm doing it! This model has no IR camera for Hello, but I also prefer logging in by doing something on purpose instead of risking that I sit in front of the laptop, it logs me in, and suddenly my nature-related films current work-in-progress pops up. In the last two days, my fingerprint was always recognised without any problems, but I added another one just in case.

    Samsung MZVLB1T0HALR-000L2 which seems to be this: https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/413203/PM981-NVMe-Samsung-1024GB

    I bought the 1TB because difference between 512GB and 1TB was 100 euro. (This is not Apple.) But you can upgrade it without problems, same as the wifi card.

    This is a bit controversial I guess. The first few times I opened the laptop I was upset with how super stiff the hinge was. I needed two hands to open it *and* to get the screen to the angle I wanted it at. Now, after a week, it feels much better and I can open it with one hand – but it did become very slightly wobbly. Not to the degree where it would cause me problems, but if I lift the laptop and shake it a bit the screen does move a bit more. (I don't do that very often.)

    At the same time when you're just using the pen the screen won't budge, it's not that loose. I'd say right now it's a perfect compromise, I just hope it stays like that.

    There are three things I dislike so far:

    1) It's got sharp edges. Like all Macbooks, of course, and I am sort used to it in the Stockholm Syndrome sort of way. Still, I would have preferred it a bit more less wrist-slashing.
    2) This screen is a whole new level of glossy. Like if-I-need-a-mirror-it-will-be-perfect glossy. I can get it really bright (working in sunshine right now) but I see myself from a very unflattering angle anyway ;) But OMG is this screen amazing otherwise. SUPER sharp. Colour representation might not be as good as MBP, but it's good enough for me. And the 13.9" screen with its proportions makes using Scrivener much more pleasant.
    3) No media keys. I don't know if that's normal with Windows machines, but I'll be using AutoHotKey to remap some of the function keys if I figure out how to, especially the camera on/off switch (F8) as it has a little physical cover for the camera anyway. I love having a dedicated button to disable the microphones.

    Pricing comparison in the Netherlands:
    Yoga c930, i7-8550U, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB drive = 1999 euro
    Macbook Pro 2018, 3th gen herpes keyboard, I7-8559U, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB drive = 3349 euro (admittedly I would have preferred four TB slots to two, and this config would be noticeably faster with the crazy fast SSD and a better GPU) Same but with i5 = 2989 euro.
    Macbook Air 2018, 3th gen herpes keyboard, Core 2 Duo Pentium processor, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB drive (no 1 TB available) = 2089 euro, with 1.5 TB = 3089 euro

    Wow, I didn't realise until now how massive the Apple tax has become. For 1000+ euro I am definitely willing to learn to love Windows. After a few days I don't mind it much already – except for the two Control Panels, super blurry apps that are not optimised for retina-style displays, and having to fiddle with regedit to get exactly what I want. By the way, Adobe InDesign (but not others) can't scale properly without having to fiddle with properties and Microsoft scaling instead of defaults.

    As you can probably see I'm very happy with it, happy enough to run benchmarks and system information ;)
     
  17. hajime macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #17
    Any of you changed the
    Thanks for the report. The region on each side of the trackpad is the place that have the most palm marks.

    For X1E, it seems to be that 1TB SSD drives are made by Samsung and lower capacity ones are made by another manufacturer.

    For X1E, I connected it to a 4K TV. Together with the 4K LCD screen, it might me too much for the 1050 GPU and resulted in noisy fans when watch 4K videos. Given that the C930 has only iGPU, I wonder if the fans will also kick in loudly in such situation. Perhaps if I buy the 4K model, I better get an eGPU to drive the external 4K TV?
     
  18. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

    Joined:
    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #18
    Do you have a link to the exact content you're watching? I just went to YouTube and found a random 4K video.
     
  19. SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #19
    Unfortunately, I don't think you are going to find a fingerprint-resistant laptop or an eGPU that you won't be able to hear running on the same table as the laptop. Even the Black Magic one that is marketed for the MBP and is arguably the most silent of the eGPU's on the market can be heard when you are within 3 meters of it and apparently is relatively unimpressive for the price.

    Discussion of noise starting at about 10:32
     
  20. hajime macrumors 603

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    #20
    Any 4K video is fine.
     
  21. hajime macrumors 603

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    #21
    I may need to put the eGPU under the desk.
     
  22. SDColorado, Nov 13, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018

    SDColorado Contributor

    SDColorado

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    #22
    Yeah, you may have to. Because as much as it would be nice to put it further away, I believe there is a limit to how long the cable can be and that may be 1M.

    Edit: I can appreciate why he returned it though. That Black Magic eGPU is a good chunk of change for a lower end GPU that can’t be upgraded. You’re definitely paying for form and wanting to use the 5K display with your MBP
     
  23. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    May 28, 2015
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #23
    Then it stays quiet after 15 minutes of playback :) Well, a bit less quiet, as I mentioned before.

    Right now I've got Chrome, Scrivener, Spotify, Evernote, Sonos, Notepad, File Manager open and I can't hear the laptop at all. The top part over the keyboard is a bit warm. That's all.
     
  24. hajime macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    #24
    Thanks. So it can handle both internal and external 4K screens at the same time while staying quiet. Sounds good.
     
  25. navaira macrumors 68040

    navaira

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    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #25
    Wait wait, no, I only played it on the internal screen. I don't have an external 4K monitor, only 1440p.
     

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