Lenovo Yoga 920 review

In a yr by which we’ve seen numerous exceptional 2-in-1 laptops, Lenovo has saved probably one of the best till final with the Yoga 920, its follow-up to the incredible Yoga 910.

The Lenovo Yoga 920 options USB-C ports, an improved webcam location, a greater keyboard and boosted battery life, whereas retaining the 360-degree hinge that's a trademark of the Yoga vary.

However, 2017 has been an exemplary yr for convertible laptops, with units such because the recently-released Microsoft Surface Book 2 actually pushing the boundaries of what we should always count on from the shape issue. 

That means the Yoga 920 has its work minimize out if it's to actually stand out from the group. Can it succeed? Read on to search out out.

Price and availability

As with different 2-in-1 units, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is available in completely different configurations, although fortunately Lenovo hasn't gone overboard by providing a complicated array of choices.

The base mannequin comes with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, a 13.9-inch 1080p touchscreen and an Active Pen stylus, and prices $1,199.99 / £1,199.99. This mannequin is offered within the US and UK.

A second mannequin comes with the identical spec as above, however incorporates a quicker Intel Core i7-855OU processor and bigger 512GB SDD. This prices $1,549.99 / £1,349.99 and once more is offered within the UK and the US. From these costs you’ll be able to see that within the UK, the higher-specced Yoga 920 affords a lot better worth for cash.

Finally, there’s a model that options an Intel Core i7-855OU processor, 16GB RAM, as much as 1TB of storage and a UHD (3840 x 2160) display screen. This mannequin is just accessible within the US and Australia, and prices $1,999.99 / AU$1,999.

Australian readers could also be a bit miffed about lacking out on the lower-specced variations, however no less than the value conversion in comparison with US$ works out very effectively. Meanwhile, in the event you’re within the UK you gained’t have the choice of that 4K display screen.

While these are fairly hefty sums to be parting with, they’re across the value we usually see high-end and premium laptops and ultrabooks promote for, and so they're nonetheless a good bit cheaper than the Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch), the smaller model of Microsoft’s 2-in-1, which is similar to the Yoga 910 by way of measurement and energy. 

Prices for that gadget begin at $1,499 (£1,499, round AU$2,600) for which you get a Seventh-generation Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB RAM, 256GB and an built-in GPU. The costs then rise to a fairly steep $2,999 (£2,999, round AU$5,200) for the top-of-the-range mannequin, which comes with an Eighth-gen Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and a GTX 1050 graphics card. 

That’s fairly a distinction in value, although it’s value noting that not one of the Lenovo 920 configurations include a devoted graphics card. Instead they arrive with much less highly effective built-in playing cards which may deal with most duties completely effective, however will endure relating to gaming and video-editing.

Overall, although, we really feel the costs are fairly good for the assorted Yoga 920 configurations, and whereas they're actually not low-cost, these aren't ludicrous asking costs for the standard of gadget you’re getting.

Design

When you’re paying a premium value you need a gadget that appears – and feels – premium as effectively, and Lenovo has accomplished a wonderful job of that with the Yoga 920. It has a skinny but sturdy really feel to it, weighing three.zero kilos (1.37kg) and measuring simply 12.7 x eight.eight x zero.5 inches (323 x 223.5 x 13.95mm).

This means it has a pleasant heft, with out feeling heavy or cumbersome. It additionally has a metallic end which provides to the premium really feel, though after just a few hours of use the metallic grew to become a veritable haven for fingerprints, so you might wish to hold a small fabric helpful to maintain it smudge-free.

It’s a small value to pay, nonetheless, for such a handsome 2-in-1. The hinges alongside the again of the Yoga 920 are additionally eye-catching – we’ve fluctuated between considering they're fashionable and discovering them a bit gaudy. There’s no doubting the power and construct high quality of the hinge although, which is crucial for a convertible laptop computer as that hinge is prone to see loads of motion as you flip the display screen orientation, so that you don’t need it to be some extent of failure.

Like the hinge on the Surface Book 2, it’s sturdy sufficient to angle the display screen with out the physique tipping up, whereas the display screen stays held in place. Unlike the Surface Book 2, nonetheless, the design of this hinge doesn’t stick out fairly as a lot, and, after all, it will possibly flip the display screen a full 180 levels.

2-in-1 convertibles that flip their screens to show right into a tablet-like gadget battle to supply fairly nearly as good a pill expertise as 2-in-1s on which the display screen detaches from the keyboard, as you’re nonetheless left with a barely cumbersome gadget with a again that looks like a keyboard (as a result of it’s one).

Lenovo has managed to handle no less than one in every of these factors due to the thinness of the design – even with the display screen flipped all the way in which again that is nonetheless a skinny gadget, although not fairly as slim as customary tablets. That keyboard again stays, and whereas it doesn’t really feel that good (in comparison with the sleek, flat again of a standard pill), it's no less than intelligent sufficient to show off the buttons, so that they don’t intrude when in pill mode.

Because of this we’d suggest the Yoga 920 as a laptop computer that may sometimes flip right into a pill, quite than vice versa. If you’re searching for one thing that you just’ll use principally as a pill, however need it to additionally flip right into a laptop-like gadget for typing on, we’d suggest one thing just like the Surface Book 2, or maybe a pill that comes with a bodily Bluetooth keyboard.

The bezel across the display screen is impressively skinny, and the webcam is now again on the prime of the display screen, in a central location. On the Yoga 910 the webcam was housed within the backside bezel, which led to some unflattering photographs, and basically folks weren’t too pleased with that placement. With the digital camera returning to the highest of the display screen movies look rather more pure when utilizing VoIP software program – and fortunately, placing the webcam again there hasn't required making the highest bezel any bigger.

Given the thinness of the design, it’s most likely no shock that ports-wise there aren't an enormous variety of connectivity choices. On the left-hand aspect there’s a headphone/mic jack and two USB-C ports (one in every of which can also be used as the facility provide), and on the appropriate is a full-size USB three.zero port. This isn’t probably the most beneficiant providing, but it surely’s greater than the MacBook’s single USB-C port.

To be sincere, we didn't discover the variety of ports restrictive, and it’s an inexpensive trade-off for the svelte design. If you could have numerous USB units that you just wish to connect you’ll want an adapter, although the Yoga 920 additionally has built-in Bluetooth assist.

The incontrovertible fact that it nonetheless options one full-size USB port means there’s some flexibility right here for utilizing legacy units, in addition to reminiscence sticks.

Stylus professionals and cons

One factor we complained about with the Surface Book 2 units was that regardless of their excessive costs the Surface Pen stylus wasn't included, necessitating an additional outlay on prime of an already costly buy.

Thankfully Lenovo hasn't adopted go well with, and has included its Active Pen stylus as a part of the bundle. This battery-powered stylus has a pleasant design, and the Yoga 920 responds effectively to it due to its display screen with the ability to detect four,096 ranges of strain. Light presses and onerous presses have been registered precisely within the artwork apps we tried, and the 920 saved up with even probably the most frantic scribbles.

Unlike the Surface Pen, which has a nifty function the place you should use the opposite finish of the stylus as an eraser, that you must maintain down one (of two) buttons on the stylus to interact erase mode. Overall, although, we have been happy with the Active Pen, and we’re very happy that Lenovo noticed match to incorporate it with the Yoga 920 as customary.

However, it's not all excellent news. Lenovo needed to discover a technique to simply retailer the stylus inside such a slim design. Microsoft’s resolution with the Surface Pen and its Surface units is to magnetically connect the stylus to the physique of the principle gadget; it's a pleasant function that’s helpful, although not utterly safe, and it helps to present these units a premium really feel.

However, for the Yoga 920 Lenovo has selected a plastic holder that slots into the full-size USB port and holds the stylus there. This finally ends up feeling a bit low-cost and cheesy, and it additionally means you’re dropping entry to a USB port when you're utilizing it. It’s a disgrace, as so many different components of the Yoga 920's design really feel premium, and this simply looks like a fudge.

During our time utilizing the Yoga 920 – primarily as a laptop computer, but additionally sometimes as a pill – we have been very impressed with its efficiency. The unit we used was the model with a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 1080p show.

Windows 10 ran easily with no points, and fortunately Lenovo has saved bloatware (as in undesirable pre-installed purposes) to a minimal. Day-to-day duties have been often processed rapidly, though we did discover that it took our configuration of the Yoga 920 fairly a very long time to extract a big compressed .zip file, which additionally triggered its followers to kick in. 

Most of the time these followers stayed silent, however for extra demanding duties they did kick in, making the 920 louder than the fanless design of the Surface Book 2 13.5-inch.

We used the Yoga 920 for lots of net searching, with a number of tabs open, and it carried out effectively. The keyboard was giant sufficient to sort comfortably on, and regardless of the keys being pretty shallow that they had satisfying journey.

The touchscreen was quick and responsive, when utilizing both fingers or the stylus, and though we examined the 1080p model, quite than the UHD model, the display screen nonetheless appeared incredible, with crisp and vibrant visuals. In truth, we’d say a 4K display screen on a 13-inch display screen like that is overkill, particularly given the scale of the display screen. 

Image high quality was additionally incredible on the display screen, with vibrant and vivid photos and deep blacks providing an pleasurable viewing expertise when watching films. The sound high quality, powered by Dolby Audio Premium, can also be very spectacular. Despite its small measurement, the Yoga 920 does an amazing job of pumping out sounds at a good quantity – and the audio high quality doesn’t endure from sounding weak or tinny. 

That will be an annoyance on smaller units, however the Yoga 920 actually did impress us. Combined with such a beautiful display screen, the sound high quality makes the Yoga 920 a wonderful gadget for watching media on.

As you’ll be able to see from our benchmark scores, the built-in graphics of the Lenovo Yoga 920 don’t have sufficient energy to drive trendy graphically-demanding video games, however it will possibly nonetheless deal with older video games – and just about any title on our listing of the best games for laptops. For any graphically-strenuous duties, nonetheless, you might not wish to accept the Yoga 920.

Battery life

Lenovo claims a battery lifetime of 12 hours for the Yoga 920, and whereas it didn't fairly attain that focus on in our testing it didn’t fall far brief. In our film take a look at (the place we performed a looped 1080p film with the display screen at most brightness) the Yoga 920 hit 9 hours and 23 minutes earlier than it wanted a cost. That’s very spectacular, and it means you could possibly simply use the Yoga 920 to observe films on an extended journey; and with a tweak to the brightness settings, after all, the gadget may final a bit longer.

Of course, enjoying films (and from a tough drive, not streamed) isn’t an particularly demanding activity, so there’s not as a lot influence on battery life. However, we additionally ran the PCMark eight Battery Life benchmark, which simulates medium to excessive utilization, akin to searching the web, creating phrase paperwork and making video calls.

Here, battery life dropped to simply over 4 hours. That’s nearly two hours lower than the Surface Book 2 13.5-inch – although the Surface Book 2 is each dearer, and truly incorporates two batteries (one within the physique, the opposite within the removable display screen).

While heavy-duty work could drain the battery fairly quick, the excellent news is that charging the Yoga 920 through USB-C can also be very quick – we reached 92% in round an hour and a half. Another good contact is that the opposite USB ports are all the time on, so with the Yoga 920 plugged in you’ll be able to shut down the laptop computer however nonetheless use its spare USB ports to cost your different units.

We preferred

The Lenovo Yoga 920 is a beautifully-designed 2-in-1 laptop computer that’s skinny, gentle and feels fantastic to carry. The 360-degree hinges really feel stable, and in pill mode the Yoga 920 feels rather a lot slimmer and lighter than lots of its opponents. We’re additionally glad to see the webcam return to the extra conventional spot on the prime of the display screen, whereas films look and sound nice on this gadget.

We didn’t like

We’re nonetheless not completely bought on the keyboard on the again when the display screen is flipped into pill mode – 2-in-1 machines with removable keyboards nonetheless really feel rather a lot higher, although they arrive with their very own compromises. 

The plastic holder for the stylus additionally feels a bit low-cost, and the gadget will get a bit of loud when beneath strain.

Final verdict

The Lenovo Yoga 920 is one other triumphant 2-in-1 design in a yr that’s seen the shape issue go from power to power. It incorporates a beautiful premium design, it’s skinny and light-weight, and it performs day-to-day duties effectively. 

The built-in graphics do imply it’s a bit of weak relating to graphically-intensive duties like video-editing and gaming, but it surely’s a value you’ll should pay for a tool this skinny.

It additionally helps to maintain the value (comparatively) low. This isn’t a funds laptop computer in any approach, but it surely affords excellent worth for the value, and it is available in rather a lot cheaper than a few of its high-end opponents.

Overall, we actually loved our time with the Yoga 920. If you’re searching for a skinny, gentle and succesful laptop computer that may sometimes rework right into a pill, it's undoubtedly value contemplating.

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