Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 Review: The Best Entertainment Tablet?
In this Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 review you learn if this large 13-inch tablet is the best entertainment device you can get.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is one of the most interesting tablets of this year. At least on paper, it’s the perfect entertainment tablet. We get a large 13-inch screen, four speakers, a large battery, a built-in kickstand, and a high-end processor. Another unique feature is that it has an HDMI port and acts as an external monitor. So, should you get it? That’s what you’ll learn in this Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 review.
Design Built Quality
Let’s start with one of its highlights which is the design. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 looks very unique because, on one side, it has a thick grip that houses two of the four speakers, as well as a kickstand. That kickstand is metal and can be folded out at any angle you want. You can even use it to hang it somewhere. So, without needing any accessories at all, you can put it on your coffee table or hang it in your bathroom so you can watch a movie while taking a bath.
While the kickstand is made of metal, the rest of the body is plastic. On the back, there’s also a soft fabric-like material which makes it look and feel a bit higher-end. Sure, a full aluminum body would have been nicer, but I’m sure Lenovo choose plastic to reduce the weight. Because of its big screen, large battery, and kickstand, it weighs 803g.
On the front, we get an 8-megapixel webcam which certainly is good enough for video chats. There’s no camera on the back. But we do get a Time Of Flight sensor next to that front camera which you can use to unlock the tablet using facial recognition. That works well.
There’s no headphone jack and no microSD card slot but we do get a USB C 3.1 Gen 1 port. That means you can connect external monitors too.
Micro HDMI Port: A Very Unique Feature
On the other side, we get a Micro-HDMI port which is a very unique feature. No other tablet I can think of has this. It’s not meant to output a signal, that’s what the USB C port is for. Instead, it’s meant to input a signal. Yes, exactly, it means you can connect the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 to a computer and use the tablet as an external monitor for your PC.
I connected the tablet to my Windows laptop and the experience is fantastic. It’s a super interesting option if you need a tablet and want a 13-inch external monitor at the same time. And remember, this monitor has a battery built-in. I love this feature.
You can connect the Yoga Tab 13 to other devices that output a video signal too. I used it as a monitor for my Sony A7 III camera and that worked great. This really is a unique selling point.
Another highlight is the large 13-inch display. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 has a standard LCD that supports 60Hz, is fully laminated, and has a resolution of 2160 x 1350 pixels. While I think that resolution is good enough, it’s certainly less sharp than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Lenovo’s resolution sounds high but on 13 inches, you can see some pixelation when looking at text at a close distance.
Other aspects of the screen are good but not outstanding. With 400 nits it’s bright enough for most environments but not as bright as an iPad Pro. Viewing angles are wide, colors look good, and I think it’s great for watching movies. It has a Widevine Level von 1, so you can watch Netflix with HD resolution, and HDR is supported as well.
So, I like the screen, but it’s not as good as other premium devices like Apple’s tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. Blacks don’t look as black as with those two and both competitors have 120Hz screens which the Lenovo does not.
I noticed one issue with the Yoga Tab 13. When holding it in portrait orientation and scrolling, I can see a kind of jelly effect or rolling shutter effect. Samsung’s 60Hz AMOLED screens have the same problem. This is an LCD but I guess that the screen is not drawn fast enough here because it’s so big.
Still, I think it’s a good entertainment tablet because of its large screen and its four speakers. While the sound is not as loud as from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it’s almost on the same level and is very pleasing. It certainly sounds better than the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB internal storage. There’s no LTE or 5G option.
You can see in my benchmark comparison that the performance is on a similar level as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7. So, the Yoga Tab 13 certainly is a higher-end premium tablet that can compete very well in Geekbench 5, 3D Mark, and other benchmarks.
My gaming test confirms this. All games I tried run great with the highest graphics. You can play Fortnite with graphics set to epic and the 3D resolution to 100% and it runs very well and is similar as on the Galaxy Tab S7. Sometimes you might see some stutters but that’s the case with the competition too.
PUBG Mobile can be played with graphics set to UltraHD and it looks and plays fantastic. Another game I tried is Genshin Impact. Here I set the graphics to their highest and it’s playable as well. So, regarding gaming, the Yoga Tab 13 is a great entertainment tablet too.
Lenovo Precision Pen 2
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 does support an active stylus which is called Lenovo Precision Pen 2. That pen works with the Yoga Tab 11 and Lenovo Tab P11 series as well.
I like the feel of the stylus because it’s made of metal and is comfortable to hold. You charge it using a USB C port which is on the back. On the side, it has two buttons and the tip supports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. So, it’s on a similar level as competing pens are.
Well, at least technically. While the stylus certainly works on the Yoga Tab 13, I always feel like the pen is not as precise as the Samsung S Pen or Apple Pencil is. And it’s not just a feeling. When writing with all those pens and their supported tablets, handwriting with the Lenovo does not look as precise.
On the Galaxy Tab S7 and iPad Pro, it looks like the pens react instant because of their 120Hz screens. But since we’ve got a 60Hz screen here, it sometimes looks like writing or drawing lags behind the pen a bit. Especially when drawing fast.
There also is not a lot of software support for the pen. Sure, you can install all those note-taking and drawing apps from the Google Play Store like Nebo, Noteshelf, and Squid. And they do work fine. But I think Samsung Notes is a much better note-taking app. And features like Apple’s Scribble or the S Pen Commands are missing too.
When using the pen, the design of the tablet can be a downside. Because of this grip, it can never lie flat on a table.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the Yoga Tab 13 does support an active stylus and the Precision Pen 2 does work fine. But it’s not amazing and the competition is better.
Software: Android 11
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is running Android 11 out of the box. In the past, Lenovo hasn’t been as amazing with updates as Samsung has been. But I’m guessing it’ll get at least one major software update. For the Yoga Tab 11, Lenovo did state already that it’ll get Android 12 for sure. But the Yoga Tab 13 is not mentioned yet.
Lenovo did customize the interface a bit but it’s not a heavy UI. For the most part, it’s standard Android with some pre-installed apps from Microsoft, as well as Netflix and Amazon Music. In addition to that, there are tons of Google apps that ship with the tablet. than usual and that includes Google Kids Space which is a kids mode.
Another feature is the Google Entertainment Space. From here you can quickly select movies, games, and books from many services like Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Kindle Books, and so on. It might be interesting for some but I never thought it’s useful for me. In the home screen settings, you can deactivate it.
In my battery test, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 got a runtime of 8.75 hours. While it’s not on the top of the list with this result, it certainly lasts much longer than other large tablets like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Galaxy Tab S7, and S7 FE. For this test, I’m always looping an HD video at maximum brightness on YouTube.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 Review: Final Verdict
So, is the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 a tablet you should get? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for, of course. I love this design with the built-in kickstand and that Micro-HDMI port certainly is very unique and can be super useful for some. At the same time, we get a very fast processor that’s great for gaming. The 13-inch screen looks nice for watching movies and that’s supported by four fantastic speakers.
If you want this design and are looking for an entertainment tablet or have a great use case for that HDMI port, yes, I think the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is a great choice. But it’s not perfect and I think it’s not a great generic tablet for everybody.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is a bit cheaper than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 but not by that much. And compared to those, it’s lacking a high-contrast screen, does not support 120Hz, there’s no official keyboard cover, and the pen is not as amazing. In the past, both Apple and Samsung have been better with software updates too which I think you should consider when getting an expensive tablet. And they certainly do offer more software features.
Let’s check out some of those alternatives in more detail.
If you’re looking for an Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 is the best competitor to the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13. While its 12.4-inch screen is a bit smaller, it’s a higher-end AMOLED display that supports 120Hz. The S Pen is included here and works better. I also love all the software features like Samsung Notes and Samsung DeX and you can get an official keyboard cover. The performance is about the same but it’s lacking the unique Yoga design and there’s no HDMI input either.
The 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro is much pricier and does not have that unique design or an HDMI input either. However, its XDR screen is better, the Apple Pencil is better, and the performance of its Apple M1 processor is much faster than any Android tablet out there. So, if you’re looking for the best of the best, that’s the one to get.
In case you love this Yoga design but just don’t want to spend that much money on it, you can check out the Lenovo Yoga Tab 11. This tablet is smaller at 11-inches but has many similar features except for that HDMI port. Its performance is weaker but I think it’s a nice and much more affordable entertainment tablet.
Lenovo Yoga 6 with Ryzen 7 Review: Flaunt-able, Flexible, Reliable
The laptop market in India has become quite competitive especially from the past few months given the entire work-from-home situation. Brands have significantly improved their offerings across price brackets and most manufacturers offer the latest generation of processors from Intel or AMD along with some features/characteristics that are unique to the brand. Lenovo. for example, has chosen to wrap the top cover of its new Yoga 6 13ARE05 laptop with a denim-like fabric that stands out from the crowd of the usual plastic/metallic chassis on most laptops.
While there is no real functional advantage that the fabric provides, it surely looks unique and when closed, can be confused for a hard-bound notebook or a diary. Is it just about the top of your laptop matching your pants for the day or is there more to what the Lenovo Yoga 6 13ARE05 packs for it to be a worthy option if you are looking to buy a laptop for around Rs. 80,000? We used Yoga 6 for the past two weeks to perform various tasks right from writing Word documents to some light video editing, and here is our experience with the machine.
Lenovo Yoga 6 Review: Yoga in a pair of jeans?
Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Not for this machine from Lenovo though. The Yoga 6 pulls it off beautifully by covering the entire top lid of the laptop in a fabric that has a texture just like a pair of Levi’s jeans. Lenovo says that this fabric is stain resistant but that’s a claim you would not want to test unless you can live with a laptop that has ketchup on its lid in case it doesn’t wipe off.
A metallic badge houses the Lenovo logo at the bottom left while the Yoga branding is embossed into the fabric. The material feels great to touch and in a world of generic-looking laptops that either has plain aluminum or disco-like RGB all over, a denim top is something we would take any day since it both feels good and also adds to the overall appeal of the device. As mentioned earlier, the Lenovo Yoga 6 resembles a hard-bound notebook which means it also fits well into a classroom environment if you are a student.
The way Lenovo has managed to integrate the fabric right alongside the frame of the laptop till it meets the display bezel is impressive. There is no loose threading or imperfections throughout the top lid and along the side as well. The remainder of the laptop body is constructed out of plastic that has a matte texture and feels soft to the touch. The Yoga 6 indeed seems to be pretty good at yoga as it maintains a slim and lightweight profile.
What the Yoga branding essentially means is that you can completely fold the display on the laptop by 360 degrees to convert it into a tablet. You can also put into tent mode if you watch a lot of content or if you’re giving a presentation. The hinge is sturdy and there is absolutely no flex when the display is wiggled around. A compromise that you have to make with such a tight hinge that enables 360-degree rotation is that you cannot open the laptop using a single hand.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Let us start with the trackpad first since the one on the Lenovo Yoga 6 is surprisingly good when compared to some other laptops in the Windows space. While we are not sure if the trackpad is made of plastic or glass, it feels smooth to scroll and all the gestures work as they should. The clicking mechanism provides great feedback and feels tactile. The size feels adequate too for a 13-inch machine and overall, the trackpad on the Lenovo Yoga 6 is among the better ones out there at this price segment and you can certainly rely on it for most tasks instead of plugging in an external mouse.
The keyboard too on the Yoga 6 does a fairly good job in the sense that the size of the keys makes it comfortable to type. However, the key travel is slightly on the lower side so you will need some getting used to if you type a lot and your primary use case of the laptop is going to be typing long documents. The keyboard is backlit which is a necessity in our opinion and the keyboard deck has little to no flex even when typing at high speeds. The palm rest houses a fingerprint scanner that is fast and works 9 out of 10 times to enable Windows Hello.
Ports and I/O
The keyboard is flanked on either side by top-firing Dolby Atmos powered speakers which given the size and price point of the laptop is something we appreciate. The speaker gets quite loud given that it fires audio upwards unlike most conventional laptops that have downward-firing speakers. However, we observed slight distortion in audio at 100% volume so if you are going to be watching movies or shows on the speaker, we suggest you set the volume to about 80% for the best experience.
If you decide to rest the laptop with the keyboard surface as the base while viewing content, which is surely a use case given that this is a Yoga laptop. the speakers can get blocked off easily in which case we recommend using a pair of earphones that are either wireless or connect via the 3.5mm audio jack.
While we are speaking about the combo jack, let’s go over the ports present on the Lenovo Yoga 6 and tell you if they are sufficient for daily use or not. At a time when laptops are ditching most conventional ports in favor of USB-C in pursuit of a thin form factor, the Yoga 6 retains two USB-A ports along with two USB-C ports, one on either side for added convenience. However, what’s weird is that only the USB-C port on the left supports charging while the one on the right is for data transfer. The two USB-A ports will let you plug in your existing pen drives and accessories.
Lenovo has gained a few extra brownie points here for opting to go with a USB-C port to charge the laptop instead of proprietary or a generic DC-in barrel connector. We hope more manufacturers adopt this approach so that we have a single universal connector across all devices which just makes a lot more sense in the grand scheme of things. The power button on the Yoga 6 is located on the right-hand side which is slightly unconventional, but the placement is apt given that the button is easy to reach when the laptop is in tablet mode.
The Lenovo Yoga 6 has a webcam on the top bezel and the video output is satisfactory for online meetings and classes. Lenovo has given attention to privacy and just like some of its higher-end laptops, the Lenovo Yoga 6 also gets a privacy shutter that can be activated via a mechanical slider to cover the webcam entirely when not in use.
A Display that is a Treat to Look at and Use
The Lenovo Yoga 6 is a small and compact notebook that houses a 13.3-inch Full HD display that covers 72% of the NTSC color gamut and can achieve a brightness of up to 300 nits. Leaving the numbers aside, the experience of using the display on the Lenovo Yoga 6 has been excellent. Video content looks great on this display and so do photos. If you are going to edit photos or videos, however, this is not the most color-accurate panel so keep that in mind.
The display is also extremely reflective so if you are going to be working in outdoor environments a lot, you might prefer a laptop that has an anti-glare display. Given that this is a laptop that also doubles up as a tablet, the display has touch functionality and also supports pen input. If you want to take notes during class or while in a meeting, the pen does come in handy. It can also be used to make precise selections and edits while editing photos. We noticed a slight latency or an input lag while using the pen but it won’t matter to you unless you are doing something serious like professional artwork, but then you are not buying this machine if that is the kind of work you actually want to do. An iPad with an Apple Pencil is probably the way to go in that case.
The colors on the display look adequately saturated and for the size, a 1920 x 1080 panel spread across a 16:9 aspect ratio is plenty sharp. The bezels around the display are also quite thin which provides an immersive experience especially while using the Yoga 6 in the tablet mode. Most people are going to enjoy the display on the Lenovo Yoga 6 and we can surely recommend it to anyone looking for a laptop primarily for media consumption.
Good Performance let down by Average Thermals
The Lenovo Yoga 6 comes in multiple CPU configs and the one sent to us for review has the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U coupled with the integrated Radeon GPU for graphics. The Ryzen 4700U is an excellent mobile chip and translates to reliable real-world performance for the most part. We have seen laptops with this same exact CPU pulling off a great performance in some other laptops, but the situation is not exactly the same on the Lenovo Yoga 6.
The reason we think so is the poor thermal management on this laptop either due to inefficient engineering or plainly because this is a small laptop and it can get rather hard to effectively cool a hot CPU inside this chassis. Don’t get us wrong, for normal day-to-day usage consisting of web browsing, media consumption, MS Office, lightweight photo editing, and online meetings, it performs without any hiccups or stutters. Only when you fire up something intensive like a game or Adobe Premiere Pro to edit videos, the fans go berserk in trying to keep the CPU cool but don’t really do a good job at it.
The sustained performance on heavy load is good for a short while but as soon as the CPU touches the threshold temperature, it starts to throttle which results in dropped frames or lags in whatever you are doing. Given that the Yoga 6 is not meant to be a powerhouse, this can be deemed acceptable especially since the performance is good for the most part. Even then, the fans on the laptop stay on for longer than I would want them to during smaller workloads as well. Lenovo could have done a better job at managing the thermals on the Yoga 6 which would have made it a winner in terms of performance as well. Our unit has 16GB of RAM that helps with the snappy performance along with 512GB of SSD storage.
If you are still going to play competitive titles like CS:GO, you can expect a frame rate of about 50fps at high settings which is not bad at all. You can lower the graphic settings for a higher frame rate and a better overall experience. While editing 1080p videos, the timeline on Premiere Pro is smooth and rendering times are decent. However, editing 4K footage is slightly strenuous on the CPU and the timeline starts to get slightly choppy with more layers. There certainly are better-performing laptops in this category and price segment, but they may not provide the same level of portability and/or flexibility (quite literally) as the Lenovo Yoga 6.
Lenovo Yoga 6: Battery Life
The Lenovo Yoga 6 lasted about 7-8 hours of moderate usage that mainly included web browsing, writing documents on MS Word, a video call for an hour, and watching videos on YouTube. We regard this to be good battery life and if you are going to be away from your charger for a while, you won’t have battery anxiety with this machine. Also, since the Yoga 6 charges via a USB-C port, you can even use a smartphone charger to either top it up or just keep it running for a few minutes in case of an emergency. Most smartphones nowadays come with fast chargers that use USB-C which should be good enough to keep the laptop powered on until you get hold of the laptop charger.
Lenovo Yoga 6 Review: Should you buy the Lenovo Yoga 6?
For a price of around Rs. 80,000, the Lenovo Yoga 6 scores high in terms of aesthetics, build quality, display, trackpad, battery life, and the fact that it is a 2-in-1 means you are getting a laptop that can get some serious work done and when required, can just fold into a tablet to watch your favorite show on Netflix or just for some doodling using the included pen. All this in a form factor that is portable and lightweight and can easily fit into most backpacks and blend in with your notebooks.
Apart from the novelty of having a fabric-coated top, the Lenovo Yoga 6 is a versatile machine to get things done on the move and can be a good option for you if raw power is not what you are looking for. For all you cricket enthusiasts out there, the Lenovo Yoga 6 is a little like Rajat Bhatia – no express pace, no audacious slogging, but can still manage to get a wicket or two and hit the winning runs when required.
- Funky design
- Good display
- Pen input
- Reliable battery life
- Average thermals,
- Sustained performance isn’t great,
- Only one USB-C port can be used to charge
Lenovo Yoga 720 15-inch – first impressions and initial review (vs the Dell XPS 15 9560)
The 15-inch Lenovo Yoga 720 started turning heads as soon as its specs were released: a quad-core CPU with a Nvidia GTX 1050 in a 14.33 x 9.5 x 0.74-inch package? An aluminum chassis? No stupid colors or gaming design elements? No giant bezels? Convertible? Thunderbolt 3?
Is the 15-inch Lenovo Yoga 720 too good to be true?
As perhaps one of the first people to receive the 720, I’ve had a couple of days with it and I’d like to share my impressions. I know a lot of people are interested in the Yoga 720 as an alternative to the Dell XPS 15, and that’s just the way I’ve been assessing it for myself.
Without further ado, let’s get into my first impressions and benchmarks of the device.
|Lenovo Yoga 720-15|
|Screen||15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 px (optional upgrade to 3840 x 2160 px), IPS matte|
|CPU||up to Intel 7th-gen Core i7-7700HQ|
|GPU||NVIDIA GTX 1050 (2GB DDR5)|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 on-board (supports up to 16GB)|
|Storage||256GB (supports up to 1TB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Ports||1x USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, 2x USB-A 3.0, 3.5mm headphone/mic combo, Fingerprint reader|
|Size||14.33 x 9.5 x 0.74 inches (364 x 242 x 19mm)|
|Weight||4.4 lbs (2.0 kg)|
Lenovo also offers a more portable version of this laptop, with a 13-inch screen and Core U hardware, which we reviewed here in case you’re interested in it.
As of 2018, there’s an updated version of this laptop, the Lenovo Yoga 730-15, with 8th gen Core U hardware, GTX 1050 graphics, a smaller 52 Wh battery, as well as a significantly more affordable price. You’ll find all about it from our detailed review.
Exterior and design
The first impressions you’ll get of the Lenovo Yoga 720 is that it’s a little heavy, and the aluminum finish is very smooth, like worn Onyx. It’s only 4.4lbs according to Lenovo, but—perhaps because you’re expected to flip it around in your hands and use it as a tablet occasionally—it seems a bit more than that.
The overall finish is smooth and comfortable in the hand, while the beveled edges around the trackpad and fingerprint are nice accent touches. It feels solidly constructed and not at all fragile (as you would hope a 15-inch convertible that costs north of US1200 for the base model would be). It is slightly (but noticeably) larger than the XPS 15, yet it also doesn’t feel quite as premium and well put-together. Stacking them on top of each other, you can see the Lenovo is a few millimeters bigger in each dimension.
It doesn’t seem to pick up fingerprints anywhere near as much as its contemporary, however.
Where the XPS 15’s design is sharp and angular in parts due to its layered aluminum/carbon fiber/aluminum sandwich construction, the Yoga 720 feels distinctly more round and smoother in the hand. Whether this is a plus or not is up to your taste, but for me I preferred the more solid look and feel of the XPS 15.
Keyboard and touchpad
The keyboard is one area where the Yoga 720 is clearly head and shoulders above the XPS 15. The keys are more solid, have no wobble, and travel slightly deeper than the XPS 15’s. I don’t have an exact measurement, but I would guess 1.4-1.5mm compared to the XPS’s 1.3mm.
The other clear area of superiority here is the design of the fingerprint scanner. Unlike the XPS’s implementation, this one seems well designed into the chassis and is always easy to see and find with your finger in dim lighting.
Some other notes for keyboard aficionados: Lenovo has swapped the Fn and Ctrl keys to a “standard” arrangement (generally these are reversed on Lenovo laptops in comparison to most others). There is a function key toggle setting in the sparse BIOS, but not much else (there is an option to disable the dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050, however). All in all, the keyboard is very much a strong-point of this machine when comparing to the XPS.
The touchpad, however, is a different story. Although it uses Microsoft Precision touchpad drivers, it is an all-around bad experience. I’m not sure if my unit was defective, but nearly every other gesture was not recognized, and the cursor would fail to respond frequently (I tried turning off the palm-check to no avail). The touchpad also has a very floaty feeling, making the mouse feel imprecise even when it does function. Hopefully Lenovo will get their act together and fix up the show-stopping experience that is the trackpad.
The unit I received had the FHD (1080p) screen. Although there is a 4k option, I feel that the Smart money is on the FHD due to the relatively limited 72WHr battery. The XPS 15 gets about 7-8 hours of battery life with a 96WHr battery and the UHD screen, so it’s reasonable to expect the Yoga 720’s battery life will be roughly 25% less. By my calculations, that will give most users between 4-5 hours of battery life with the 4k display—but we should wait and see what the real world numbers end up being.
Back to the FHD screen, it is underwhelming. There is a fair amount of backlight bleed, but worse than that, I had a stuck (lit) pixel in the upper left corner.
Quality control issues aside, the display seems quite average. It doesn’t get anywhere near as bright as the UHD or FHD screens on my XPS 15s, and has some color wash-out when viewed from off angles. The contrast and color gamut, although not quantified with a colorimeter, are subjectively inferior to both the UHD and FHD displays on the XPS 15. Combined with the glare from the highly reflective Gorilla Glass, it is a definite weak point and contributes to the whole machine feeling less premium as a result.
Since some people complain of IPS ghosting on the XPS 15 displays, I also ran some tests with testufo. If you’re sensitive to response times, I can tell you that the Yoga needed a pixel spacing of 42 for the trail of the moving blocks not to touch, while my FHD and UHD XPS 15s needed about 58 and 56, respectively.
I was able to run enough tests and benchmarks on the Yoga 720 to get an idea of its performance and thermals, as well as determine if there is any throttling of the CPU or GPU.
My first test was Geekbench 4.0’s “Compute” benchmark. I set the power plan to “High Performance”, but it seems that the Yoga didn’t feel like going above 3.0GHz for most of the time. As a result, the score was significantly lower than the XPS 15 (which scores around 4600 and 13,500 on single-core and multi-core, respectively). I updated the BIOS and all other available drivers before running the benchmarks, so I’m not sure if this is a bug or an intentional reduction in performance.
Next, I ran the Unigine Heaven benchmark on “basic” preset, for a solid score of 2695. As can be seen in the graphs below, the GPU keeps its clocks very well, despite a toasty temperature above 80C. The CPU, however, still seemed intent on not turbo-boosting much.
I saw no indications of GPU throttling after running the Unigine Heaven benchmark on a loop for 30 minutes, though both the CPU and GPU got rather hot. These temperatures should be improvable with an undervolt and a repaste, however.
The Yoga 720 did not fare so well on the Fire Strike benchmark when compared to the XPS 9560. Both the CPU and GPU scores are roughly 1000 points below where the XPS typically scores, leading to an overall score about 500 points below the average.
As you can see in the graphs below, the CPU is not operating as fast as it should. The PL1 limit, visible in the window on the right, appears to have been limited to 30W. This indicates some level of VRM throttling on the CPU. I would expect an undervolt to solve this, however, as an undervolted i7-7700HQ will almost never hit 30W even under maximum load.
Finally, I took a look at the Thunderbolt 3 port. I know a major reason many people are interested in the 15-inch Yoga 720 over the XPS 15 is because the XPS 15’s Thunderbolt 3 port is not connected on all four lanes. Regrettably, it seems that the same is true for the Yoga 720.
Pricing and availability
The Lenovo Yoga 720 is currently “temporarily unavailable”, according to Lenovo’s website. I’m not sure if this is due to the issues I mentioned here, or if it’s just a supply issue. According to previous announcements from Lenovo, it is expected to hit brick and mortar stores in early April for around US1250 and up. Given the current unavailable status of the Yoga 720, this may be subject to change.
I expected a lot from the 15-inch Yoga 720, but I came away a bit disappointed. Defects aside, perhaps I expected too much for a machine significantly cheaper than a similarly configured XPS 15.
The build quality I would describe as “good enough”, but is still a notch below the XPS. The screen is something that I could live with as someone who is not working in digital or print imaging, but it may be a deal breaker for others. The two-lane PCIe for the Thunderbolt 3 is a big disappointment, however, and I think that will turn away a lot of people who were looking at it as an alternative to the XPS 15. The floaty and frustrating trackpad was something that also made the machine difficult for me to imagine using as a daily driver: it is something immediately noticeable and consistently jarring for the duration of its use.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a convertible XPS 15-style device, I would recommend holding off on buying this for a few months and see if firmware updates and improved production can solve the issues I experienced.
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Article by: Douglas Black Douglas Black. Editor. I’m an IT consultant, educator, DJ, and music producer based in Florida, USA.
Lenovo Yoga 900 Review
With the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, a new high-end, ultra-thin Industrial design was introduced. There were a lot of things that we liked, but it was ultimately an “executive” kind of laptop, with too little horsepower and battery capacity, which we mentioned.
When Lenovo introduced the Yoga 900 weeks ago, we felt like it took the 3 Pro design and made it just right. Now, we’ve had the opportunity to use the Lenovo Yoga 900 in the real world for a couple of months, so this review will go over that experience, along with some data-based analysis of the configuration and options you have.
As you have noticed, the Yoga Y900 uses the design language of the Yoga 3 Pro, and that’s a great thing to do. As such, it has the same build quality and uses a 360-degree hinge system that makes it possible to use the laptop as a tablet, or make it stand in various ways so that it can adapt itself to the current circumstances.
Although a little bit thicker and heavier than the Yoga 3 Pro, the Yoga 900 remains smaller and lighter than the MacBook Air, the HP Spectre x360 and the Microsoft Surface Book.
For example, I found that the tablet mode was great to read documents or browse web page in a plane. Being able to have it rest in a non-traditional laptop position also makes it possible to obtain the proper view angle on a tray and in spots where depth is limited. On a 13-hr flight to Seoul, this is priceless. Of course, in the classic laptop mode is the best for productivity. Ports
There are four USB ports on this laptop, which is very nice when compared to many models that only have 2 (if not one…). One is a USB 2.0 and also serves as the power connector. There are two full-size USB 3.0 ports to connect most devices, including high-speed drives, etc. Finally, there’s a USB 3.0 Type-C port that can also serve as “video output” if you have the right adapter (not in the box).
On the right side, the volume controls have gone away, but the power control and mute button are still there. The power control is a little easier to find because it protrudes just a bit more.
The Lenovo Yoga 900 keyboard has changed for the best: there is now a dedicated row of Function keys, which were previously missing from the Yoga Pro 3. Although their absence did make the design “cleaner”, it could potentially damage the productivity of people who rely on these particular keys, like programmers.
Lenovo has also slightly changed the travel key depth (not as deep) and removed the white contour of the keys. The change in depth didn’t bother me at all, and in fact, I realized that was the case only when I was taking side by side photos of the two laptops.
The trackpad is 90×60 millimeters big and allows a comfortable use. It’s not the biggest one out there, but unless you use a lot of uncommon gestures (circular, four fingers), this shouldn’t be an issue at all. Although there are arguably larger/better trackpads in high-end laptops, this is one of the best one available in this price range, and it is certainly good enough that most people wouldn’t pay attention to it.
As it was the case with the Yoga 3 Pro, the “click” is a bit stiff, but this is a relatively new laptop, so it may age to be a little softer. Also, I’m the kind of user that doesn’t like to “tap”, but to “click” — depending on which camp you’re in, this may or may not be important to you.
Finally, it may be a software thing, or Windows 10, but I found the scrolling to be smoother (than on the Yoga 3 Pro) when I scroll with the trackpad in apps and browsers.
In this new Yoga incarnation, the display remains stellar. With a resolution of 3200×1800 and an IPS LCD panel, the image quality is stunning. The black levels are superb and the colors “pop”. As you can expect from this kind of resolution, icons and text are extremely crisp, and it’s a pleasure to read and work on this screen.
That’s particularly true since my work entails reading and typing a lot of text/code, so that makes a huge difference.
Since it has a shiny glass treatment, the display has better color rendering when indoors, but it is more prone to reflections when used outdoors or with strong lighting indoors. It’s the case for all shiny displays, but it’s something to consider before making a final decision.
Internal hardware (powerful)
I have the Lenovo Yoga 900 model 80MK, 900-13ISK which came with an Intel Core i7-6500U @ 2.50GHz (turbo 2.59GHz), 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
Note: for performance/price ratio, I’ll use the 8GB/256GB model price as a reference since the extra RAM and larger SSD size doesn’t impact synthetic benchmarks.
All Lenovo Yoga 900 models will feature the same Core i7-6500U processor but there are 8GB and 256GB SSD options for which I expect the benchmark performances to be similar to the laptop I have on hand.
The main highlight of the Yoga 900 is the new Core i7 Gen 6, which is much (much!) faster than the Intel Core-M featured in the Yoga 3 Pro. While the Yoga 3 Pro could be a bit slow for regular productivity tasks and underperforming for things like video editing, the Yoga 900 and its Core i7 make working much more comfortable, thanks to excellent performance in the 2.8 Lbs category.
Performance (very good)
There are other laptops on the market that use the Gen6 Intel Core i7-6500U. I’ve picked a few competitors within the same range of size and price, which are worthy of competition: The HP Envy 13t and the Dell XPS 13 (9350). I also picked the Yoga 3 Pro to highlight the evolution of the Yoga series, and I picked the Surface Pro 4 as the reference for in “ultralight performance” laptop leader, with some caveats regarding size and ergonomics. They can all be found in the ~1200 range.
As an evolution of the Yoga 3 Pro, the Lenovo Yoga 900 corrects the performance aspect handily. It offers an excellent level of performance and doesn’t feel sluggish.
Since it uses an Intel integrated graphics, it is gaming-capable, but I would not call it a gaming laptop because a discrete GPU from AMD or NVIDIA would be so much better regarding performance, and compatibility.
Performance for the price
What you get for your money is as important as the absolute performance. Based on the 8GB/256GB model and prices, data shows that the Lenovo Yoga 900 is one of the best laptops in terms of performance for the price.
It also ranks well regarding performance for the weight. A computer optimized for the weight/size as the Surface 4 Pro is the most impressive of all, but it does not offer the display real-estate and comfort of the Lenovo Yoga 900. Interestingly, other laptops can lead slightly in specific benchmark despite having very similar hardware.
Performance relative to the weight
The Yoga 900 is very light, but if that’s a priority for you, computers such as the Surface 4 Pro or Lenovo’s own LaVie Z 360 could be sensible choices. They are probably more specialized and I wouldn’t think of them as “do-it-all” laptops, but I want to make you aware of them. Here’s how things are if we look at performance from the prism of weight:
In short, the Lenovo Yoga 900 offers very good performance relative to its size, weight and cost. High-end gaming aside, it’s a computer that we feel comfortable recommending to just about anyone who can afford it.
Battery life: excellent
In terms of battery capacity, the 66Wh battery capacity of the Yoga 900 gives it an undeniable advantage over competitors. Because everyone’s usage is unique, everyone’s “real” battery life is unique as well. Since most these computers run on the same display resolution, CPU, GPU and chipset, the single largest factor in battery life is the battery’s capacity, so I recommend you to FOCUS on that. Unless the OEM is doing something horrible, that should be the key.
In that respect, the Lenovo Yoga 900 is so much better than its predecessor. Capacity has gone from 44.8 Watt Hours (Wh) to 66 Wh. Of course, the hardware platform (mainly CPU) also consumes more power, but overall the rest of the system is very similar to the Yoga 3 Pro, which is why the battery life is better.
It is also interesting to note that the Lenovo Yoga 900 also provides the best battery capacity for the money, and the best battery capacity relative to its weight as well. This is impressive.
If you seek absolute battery life, computers such as the 3.48lbs Core i5 Microsoft Surface Book can run longer (~35%), but you will lose the thinness of the design, increase weight, pay a steeper price and sacrifice some performance.
Conclusion: a 10/10
With the Lenovo Yoga 900, Lenovo proves that it can react relatively quickly to user demand. After launching the Yoga 3 Pro, acclaimed for its industrial design, the feedback from reviewers (including me) and users made it clear that Lenovo needed to offer a similar chassis with superior performance and battery life. It’s now done, and the Yoga 900 is a perfect do-it-all Windows laptop.
“THE YOGA 900 IS A PERFECT DO-IT-ALL Windows LAPTOP” If you have specific needs (2lbs weight, 12” screen, gaming performance) there may be alternative/specialized options, but you will pay it in size, weight, comfort and productivity.
At the moment, the Lenovo Yoga 900 is the easy 13.3” Windows laptop choice in the 1200 range. It sets the bar higher, not only in terms of absolute features and performance but especially in terms of “quality for the price” which is one of the most important feature of all.
Good looks, an incredible OLED display and decent in many departments, but the 9i is not blessed with great connectivity. and it’s not always affordable
- Fantastic OLED screen
- Good-looking, robust design
- Decent battery life and performance
Think about Lenovo laptops and you’ll probably conjure images of dark, serious business machines, but that’s not true of the bright, breezy Yoga Slim 9i. This rig layers a glossy glass coating over the lid, and you’ll find gleaming curved edges around the chassis – rather than sharp, irritating corners.
It impresses on the inside, too, with one of Intel’s Alder Lake processors and a 2.8K OLED screen with a smooth 90Hz refresh rate. The price of £1,519 exc VAT is tempting, too, although that brings the Lenovo into contact with many strong rivals, like the MSI Prestige 14, HP ZBook Firefly G9 14 and Dell XPS 13 Plus.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i review: Design
The Lenovo is one of the best-looking small laptops around right now. Its curved edges and glass lid look fantastic, and the aluminium enclosure is eye-catching. The Yoga comes in two colours – a darker grey and an off-white shade Lenovo calls Oatmeal – and it’ll hold its own against any competitor.
Lenovo has a hard-won reputation for practicality, too, and that’s not been forgotten. Above the screen is a small lip that holds the webcam and enables users to open the Yoga easily, and the hinge movement is butter-smooth. Build quality is excellent, too: there’s hardly any give in the screen and the base barely flexes. It’s easily the kind of laptop you could toss in a bag without concern for its safety. And, thanks to a chassis thickness of just 16.5mm, it won’t take up much space.
You might notice its heft, though. At 1.38kg with a 321g power brick, the Yoga is a bit heavier than the MSI and Dell notebooks. The margins are tiny and this is no dealbreaker, but bear this in mind if you want to reduce weight.
It’s a hard machine to get inside, too. You’ll need to wade through Torx and Philips screws to remove the base, and once inside you can only access the SSD – everything else notable is soldered down.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i review: Keyboard and trackpad
Lenovo’s practical reputation extends to superb keyboards. And while the Yoga does have a great typing unit, it’s divisive too. Positively, it’s consistent, comfortable and quiet, and the sturdy chassis means the keys bounce back impressively – it’s a unit you could use all day without fatigue. Negatively, though, the keys are shallow, with only a millimetre of travel. That’s great if you’re happy to use a light-touch unit like this, but the MSI and HP units both have more physical movement and feel more substantial.
The layout is also restricted because you don’t get a numberpad and you’ll have to make do with small Function and Cursor keys – but that’s normal on a 14in notebook.
The trackpad, meanwhile, is excellent. It’s huge – 135mm wide – and its glass surface is supremely smooth. Its pair of in-built buttons move with a satisfying clicking motion.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i review: Display
There’s lots to like about the screen, too. The 14in touchscreen uses OLED technology, which means bold imagery and inky depth. Alongside its infinite contrast you get a 16:10 aspect ratio and a high resolution of 2880 x 1800 – so there’s a bit more vertical space and plenty of pixels for sharp imagery. The 90Hz refresh rate makes animation a bit smoother than the average 60Hz display, and the screen supports HDR500.
In SDR mode the peak brightness of 396cd/m2 is high enough for indoor and outdoor use, and its 600cd/m2 HDR luminescence means you get a minor boost in HDR-enabled movies and TV shows. The display’s incredible contrast means colours really pop, and the Yoga’s screen does a tremendous job with all three key gamuts. It renders 100%, 99.2% and 96.8% of the sRGB, DCI-P3 and Adobe RGB colour spaces with volume figures way beyond 100%, so it’ll churn out every shade needed by every task.
The display’s Delta E of 3.21 is good rather than great, and the colour temperature of 6,209K is slightly on the warm side. The result? A dazzling, sharp display that’s good enough to handle almost everything – it’s one of the best screens you’ll find in any laptop, and it makes photos, web pages, documents, movies and TV shows look bright, bold and absorbing. The machine also includes a Lenovo Precision Pen for quick sketches and creative tasks.
The Delta E could be a bit better and precludes the Lenovo from being well-suited to tough, colour-sensitive workloads, but the internals can’t handle many of the apps required for those tasks anyway. It’s comfortably better than the HP and MSI panels and is on-par with the best Dell screens. And if you’d like a little more sharpness, the Yoga is also available with a 3,840 x 2,400 screen for an extra £83 exc VAT – although that option drops the refresh rate from 90Hz to 60Hz.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i review: Hardware and performance
Intel’s Core i7-1280P takes centre stage in the Lenovo, and this mid-powered Alder Lake part includes six Hyper-Threaded P-Cores with a peak speed of 4.8GHz alongside eight E-cores. Elsewhere, there’s 16GB of dual-channel DDR5 memory and a 1TB Samsung PM9B1 SSD with moderate read and write speeds of 3,558MB/sec and 2,764MB/sec. There’s no room for discrete graphics.- instead, you get Intel’s Iris Xe integrated core.
In Geekbench’s single- and multi-core benchmarks the Lenovo delivered scores of 1,738 and 10,806, and they’re excellent results.- better than any rival. That means you’ve got enough power to handle everyday tasks and content creation work, like photo- and video-editing.
In our benchmarks the Lenovo returned an image-editing score of 221, a video-encoding figure of 147 and a multi-tasking score of 294 for an overall result of 233. Those results is a little underwhelming: broadly the same as the low-power chip in the HP, and slightly behind the Dell and HP laptops.
Some explanation can be found if you delve into the clock speeds. While the Lenovo’s CPU attained its stated 4.9GHz pace in single-threaded benchmarks, in multi-core tests the CPU hit 3.3GHz but then throttled to around 2.1GHz. We observed that behaviour in the laptop’s Extreme Performance mode and in the default Adaptive option, so it may well be the case that Lenovo isn’t letting the laptop run at unfettered speeds unless the task really demands it.
Nevertheless, those Geekbench results are encouraging and there was never any sign of slowdown or struggle during real-world use. The Yoga is a good thermal performer, too, with modest fan noise and no external heat issues no matter the task.
The i7-1280P is the beefiest processor available for the Yoga. It’s sold with a slower i7-1260P processor without any price discount, so ignore that option. The Core i5-1240P is ideal for everyday office and browser-based tasks, and opting for that chip knocks £116 exc VAT off the Yoga’s price. It’s also possible to switch to a 512GB to save £75 exc VAT.
You don’t get any option to switch away from the 75Wh battery, and it’s middling. Our standard battery test turns the display down to 170cd/m2, engages airplane mode and runs video, and the Lenovo lasted for 11hrs 40mins. That’s enough for a full day of work and it’s better than the Dell and MSI, but the HP lasted for fifteen hours – and plenty of other lightweight laptops perform like that, too.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i review: Ports and features
Lenovo’s laptop is slim and stylish but not laden with ports. Three Thunderbolt 4 ports are installed around the edges, and any of those can charge the laptop. There’s a headphone jack and a siwitch to close the webcam, but that’s it. There are no full-size USB ports, no HDMI output, and no card reader.
It’s possible to add USB 3.2 Gen 1, HDMI and VGA connectivity with a dongle, but that’s not included in the laptop – it’s a £33 exc VAT addition. Dell’s XPS 13 Plus also suffered here, but other rivals are better: the MSI has a full-size USB port and a microSD card reader, while the HP deploys two full-size USB ports, SIM and Smart card slots and an HDMI output. Internally, Lenovo’s laptop has dual-Band Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2, but no wired Ethernet. Its 1080p webcam supports Windows Hello facial recognition, but you don’t get a fingerprint reader. You’ll find that option on the HP and MSI rigs.
Elsewhere, the Yoga deploys loud, punchy speakers that are ideal for media playback and background music. Lenovo also claims that this is a carbon-neutral notebook, which is great if you’d like to improve your environmental impact.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i review: Verdict
Lenovo’s laptop may not have loads of connectivity, but it impresses elsewhere. It’s got one of the best screens you’ll find on any lightweight laptop – the OLED panel is crisp, bright and dazzling. The Core i7-1280P processor offers ample power for multi-tasking and content creation, and the keyboard is fast and satisfying. The robust Lenovo looks great, too.
There are negatives, though. Battery life is fine but could be better, and the processor didn’t always reach its full potential. Some people won’t like the shallow keyboard. The pricing situation is tricky, too: at the time of writing it costs £1,113 exc VAT, which is a great price, but its normal price of £1,519 exc VAT makes it more expensive than any rival.
Still, there’s no denying you’re getting a high-quality unit if you do shell out for this machine, and it’s always going to be worth the cash if you want a good-looking, all-day laptop with an OLED panel.
Lenovo Yoga Slim 9i Specifications
|1.8GHz Intel Core i7-1280P|
|Intel Iris Xe|
|14in 2,880 x 1,800 OLED|
|Windows 11 Home 64-bit|
|Dual-Band 802.11ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2|
|3 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C/Thunderbolt 4/Power, 1 x audio|
|316 x 230 x 16.5mm (WxDxH)|