There are many excellent touchscreen laptops out there right now, but Lenovo might be at the top of the heap using the Lenovo Yoga 920 -- the long awaited follow up to the Lenovo Yoga 910.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 keeps the 360-degree hinge of its own predecessor, but expands on it using Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, a reasonably placed webcam and prolonged battery life.
The industry is packed with a number of the finest 2-in-1 laptops we have ever used, such as the wonderful Surface Book 2. Thus, does the Lenovo Yoga 920 stand out of the bunch, even in the face of its successor the Lenovo Yoga C930 ? In summary: yes, but keep reading and we're going to explain the reason why the Lenovo Yoga 920 is a laptop to conquer 2019.
Price and availability
Much like other 2-in-1 devices, the Lenovo Yoga 920 comes in different configurations, even though thankfully Lenovo has not gone overboard with offering a confusing array of options.
Fortunately, because the Lenovo Yoga 920 has been succeeded by the Lenovo Yoga C930, we ought to start seeing prices fall, particularly for refurbished models -- that is great, since the Yoga 920 has aged especially well throughout the previous year.
The base model includes an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, a 13.9-inch 1080p touchscreen and an Active Pen stylus, also prices $1,199 / £1,199. This model is available in the United States and UK.
There is a second model that's comparable to the preceding one, but it rips the CPU into a Intel Core i7 and you get 512GB of SSD space. This setup will set you back $1,549 / £1,349 and is available in the United States and UK. From these costs you may see that in the United Kingdom, the greater specced Yoga 920 offers better value for the money.
Ultimately, there's a version that features an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, 16GB RAMup to 1TB of storage plus a UHD (3840 x 2160) screen. This model is only available in the United States and Australia, also prices $1,999 / AU$2,999. Bear in mind that the Australian model is presently capped at 512GB of storage.
Regrettably, Australian readers will probably be missing out on the lower-specced options, but the cost conversion compared to USD is fairly fair. Likewise in the United Kingdom, you are going to have to live without the 4K screen.
Though the Lenovo Yoga 920 is not a inexpensive device, the cost is similar to what you'd see with comparable high-end laptops, also a bit less costly than the Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch).
If you are looking to select the Surface Book 2 upwards, it will set you back $1,499 / £1,499 (about AU$2,600) to start, to get a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and also an integrated GPU. But, prices top out at $2,999 / £2,999 (about AU$5,2000) for the top-end version, coming with an 8th-gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, a 1TB SSD plus a GTX 1050 GPU.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 comes in a broad assortment of configurations, and of course costs, but not one of these options feature committed graphics. Rather, the Lenovo Yoga 920 uses an integrated graphics solution, that needs to have the ability to handle most everyday tasks, such as photo editing. But don't expect to get way with heavy gaming or video editing.
When you are paying a premium price you would like a device that looks -- and feels premium too, also Lenovo has done an excellent job of that with the Yoga 920. It's a slender yet durable texture to it, weighing 3.0 lbs (1.37kg) and measuring only 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.5 inches (323 x 223.5 x 13.95mm).
This usually means the Lenovo Yoga 920 includes a wonderful heft to it, without feeling too thick. Additionally, it has a nice metallic finish that leads to the superior texture, although after just a couple of hours of use, the metallic end becomes a fingerprint connector, which means you will want to maintain a microfiber cloth handy to keep it looking pristine.
It is a small cost to pay, but for this a good-looking 2-in-1. The hinges across the rear of the Yoga 920 will also be eye-catching -- we have fluctuated between believing they're trendy and finding them somewhat gaudy. There's no denying the power and build quality of the hinge however, which is vital for a convertible laptop as that hinge is very likely to see a great deal of activity since you flip the screen orientation, and therefore you don't need it to be a point of collapse.
The hinge around the Lenovo Yoga 920, like the Surface Book 2, is powerful enough to angle the screen without the entire body tipping up, whereas the display remains held in place. But, unlike Microsoft's 2-in-1, the design of the Yoga 920's hinge does not stand out as much, and, of course, it could flip the screen a full 180 degrees.
2-in-1 convertibles that flip their screens to become a tablet-like device battle to provide as good a tablet experience as 2-in-1s where the screen detaches from the keyboard, since you are left with a somewhat bulky device using a back that feels just like a keyboard (because it's one).
Lenovo has managed to tackle a minimum of one of these points as a result of the thinness of the design -- despite the screen flipped all the way this remains a lean device, although not quite as slender as ordinary tablets. That keyboard rear remains, and while it does not feel that fine (compared to the smooth, flat back of a typical tablet), it is at least smart enough to switch off the buttons, so they do not interfere when in tablet mode.
That is the reason it's easy to advocate the Lenovo Yoga 920 as a laptop that can sometimes become a tablet, rather than vice versa. In case you're looking for something that you will use chiefly as a tablet, but need it to become a laptop sometimes for typing, we would recommend something similar to the Surface Book 2, or possibly a tablet that accompanies a physical Bluetooth keyboard.
The Lenovo Yoga 920's display bezel is very sparse, and the webcam is currently back at the top of the screen where it goes. About the Yoga 910, the webcam has been housed at the base bezel, which resulted in some unflattering shots, and generally people were not too happy with that placement. Together with the camera returning into the top of the screen, videos look a lot more natural when using VoIP software and thankfully, placing the webcam back there has not required producing the top bezel any bigger.
Because of just how lean the laptop is, it is probably no surprise that there are not a slew of ports out there. On the left hand side there's a mix headphone/mic jack and 2 USB-C ports (one of which can also be used as the electricity supply), and on the right is a full sized USB-A 3.0 port. This is not a great deal of ports, however it is more generous than the MacBook using its USB-C port.
In all honesty, we did not locate the amount of ports restrictive, and it is a sensible trade-off for the design. In case you've got a variety of USB devices that you would like to attach you will need an adapter, even although the Yoga 920 additionally has built-in Bluetooth support.
The fact that it nevertheless features one full-size USB port means there's some flexibility for utilizing legacy devices, in addition to memory sticks.
Stylus pros and cons
One of the biggest problems with the Surface Book 2 is that despite its high cost, the Surface Pen was not contained, necessitating an excess buy on top of the original, already pricey, outlay.
Fortunately, Lenovo dollars this trend, also comprises the Active Pen stylus as a portion of the Lenovo Yoga 920's bundle. This battery-powered stylus includes a pleasing design as well as the Yoga 920 reacts nicely to it thanks for the screen being in a position to discover 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. Light presses and tough drives are registered right in the artwork apps we attempted, along with the laptop kept up with the most frenzied scribbles.
But you are going to need to hold down one (of two) buttons on the stylus to participate the hiding mode -- like the Surface Pen, that includes a nifty feature where you could use the other end of the stylus as a eraser. In general, however, we are happy with the Lenovo Active Pen, and we love the fact that Lenovo features it right out of the box.
But, it is not all good news. Lenovo had to get a way to quickly store the stylus in such a slender design. Microsoft's solution together with the Surface Pen and its Surface devices would be to magnetically attach the stylus into the entire body of the main device; it is a wonderful feature that's convenient, although not entirely protected, and it is helpful to provide those devices a superior feel.
But for the Yoga 920 Lenovo has determined on a plastic holder that matches to the full-size USB port and holds the stylus there. This ends up feeling a bit tacky and cheap, and in addition, it means you are losing access into a USB port as you're utilizing it. It is a shame, so many other elements of the Yoga 920's design feel superior, and that just feels like a fudge.
Throughout our period employing the Yoga 920 -- chiefly as a laptop, but occasionally as a tablet computer -- we're quite impressed with its performance. The device we used was the version using a Core i7 processor, 8GB of RAM along with a 1080p display.
Windows 10 ran smoothly without any problems, also thankfully Lenovo has retained bloatware (like in undesirable pre-installed applications) to a minimal. Day-to-day tasks were processed quickly, but we did note that it required our setup of the Yoga 920 a long while to extract a large compressed .zip file, which also caused its fans to kick .
The majority of the time the Lenovo Yoga 920's fans remained quiet, but for more demanding tasks they did turn , which makes this laptop more silent compared to the fanless design of the Surface Book 2 13.5-inch.
We used the Yoga 920 to get a whole lot of web browsing, with multiple tabs open, and it performed nicely. The keyboard was big enough to type on, despite the keys fairly shallow they had gratifying travel.
The touchscreen was fast and responsive, when utilizing either fingers or the stylus, although we analyzed the 1080p version, rather than the UHD version, the screen still looked fantastic, with crisp and bright visuals. In reality, we would state a 4K screen on a 13-inch screen such as this is overkill, particularly given the dimensions of the screen.
Picture quality was fantastic on the screen, using bright and vibrant pictures and heavy blacks offering a fun viewing experience when watching films. The sound quality, powered by Dolby Audio Premium, is also quite impressive. Despite its small dimensions, the Yoga 920 does a fantastic job of pumping out sounds in a nice quantity -- along with the audio quality does not suffer from sounding feeble or tinny.
That may be a hassle on smaller devices, however, the Yoga 920 actually did impress us. Combined with such a beautiful screen, the sound quality makes the Yoga 920 an excellent device for watching media on.
As you can see from our standard scores, the integrated graphics of the Lenovo Yoga 920 do not have enough power to drive modern graphically-demanding games, but it could still handle old games -- and pretty much any name on the list of the very best games for laptops. For almost any graphically-strenuous tasks, however, you might not wish to settle to the Yoga 920.
Lenovo maintains a battery life of 12 hours to the Yoga 920, and while it did not quite achieve that target in our testing it did not fall much short. In our film evaluation (where we played with a looped 1080p movie using the screen at maximum brightness) the Yoga 920 hit 9 hours and 23 minutes until it had a fee. That's extremely impressive, and so you may easily use the Yoga 920 to watch films on a very long trip; and using a tweak to the brightness settings, of course, the device could last somewhat longer.
Of course, playing films (and by a hard drive, not streamed) is not a particularly demanding task, therefore there's not quite as much effect on battery life. But, we also conducted the PCMark 8 Battery Life benchmark, which simulates moderate to high use, like surfing the internet, generating word documents and making video calls.
Here, the Lenovo Yoga 920's battery life fell to just over four hours. That's almost two hours than the Surface Book 2 13.5 inch -- even although the Surface Book 2 is both more expensive, and really contains two batteries (one from the entire body, the other in the tablet segment )
While heavy work can drain the battery quite fast, the good thing is that charging the Yoga 920 through USB-C can be quite fast -- we reached 92% in about one hour and a half. Another wonderful touch is that the other USB ports are always on, so together with the Yoga 920 plugged you can close down the laptop but nevertheless use its own spare USB ports to charge your other devices.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is another successful 2-in-1 design at a year that's seen the kind factor go from strength to strength. It features a beautiful premium design, it is light and thin, and it performs day to day tasks nicely.
The integrated graphics do imply that it falls short in graphically intensive tasks such as video editing and gaming, but it is a price you will need to pay for a device that this slim.
And, we are not completely sold on the keyboard on the trunk once the screen is flipped into tablet mode -- 2-in-1 machines using detachable keyboards nevertheless feel a good deal better, although they include their very own compromises. Additionally, the plastic holder for the stylus feels somewhat cheap.
However, this helps to maintain the cost (comparatively ) low. This is not a budget laptop, by any means, but it offers really good value for the price tag, as it comes at a whole lot less costly than a number of its high-end rivals.
We really enjoyed our time together with the Yoga 920. In case you're looking for a slim, light and competent laptop that can sometimes change into a tablet, it is definitely worth considering.