Reviewing a laptop is a different experience than a smartphone.
I find I forget what I’m doing and just enjoy my time with the laptop — until there’s a problem. And of all the laptops I’ve tried within the last four years, the Lenovo Yoga 920 2-in-1 is definitely one of my favourites. I almost forgot that I was supposed to be reviewing the device because I rarely experienced any problems.
It’s stylish, not too heavy and has great touch latency.
As with with all of Lenovo’s Yoga laptops, the 920 features a convertible laptop-tablet form factor and comes in a variety of configurations.
The specific Lenovo Yoga 920 I’ve been using features an 8th Generation ‘Coffee Lake’ i7-8550U processor, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. Additionally, it features a 13.9-inch IPS display with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution.
It also includes an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU, as well as Bluetooth 4.1, two JBL speakers and a Bluetooth Active Pen.
Watch wristband hinge
At first glance, the Lenovo Yoga 920 could be mistaken as any old silver MacBook. A second look, however, reveals a significant difference between this laptop and any of Apple’s laptops: the device’s hinge.
Lenovo’s Yoga 920’s hinge features a robust watch wristband-style appearance. Other laptops manage to be convertible without the use of a hinge, so it’s easy to understand why some might not be fond of the appearance. I find it charming and feel it helps differentiate the Yoga 920 in the crowded Windows laptop market.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 that reviewed was silver, but the computer also comes in a bronze and a black glass iteration. The model I used was a fingerprint magnet.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is also heavy in comparison to other laptops I’ve used recently like the Asus Zenbook Flip S and the Dell XPS 13. It weighs 1.32kg (3.02lbs). By comparison the 2016 Macbook weighs in at 2.03 lbs. Meanwhile, the 2017 Macbook Pro weighs the exact same as the Yoga 920 at 3.02 lbs. Even at its weight though, the Yoga 920 doesn’t feel heavy and I didn’t feel like it weighed me down when I carried it in my backpack.
The laptop’s dimensions measure in at 323 x 223.5 x 13.95 mm (width, depth, height). To put those dimensions in perspective, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is noticeably larger than the 13-inch Macbook Pro, while its display is 0.6 inches larger than the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s screen.
The Lenovo Yoga 920’s keyboard features a comfortably deep keyboard depth for a laptop, and its trackpad is quite responsive, offering a wide range gestures. It was also large enough to ensure my hand didn’t feel cramped while scrolling. That being said, I prefer even larger trackpads, like the one featured on the HP Spectre x360.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 includes one USB Type-A port, two USB Type-C ports and a standard headphone jack. Unfortunately, the laptop doesn’t feature a memory card slot, which I found annoying in a number of situations, especially when attempting to transfer photos from my camera to my laptop.
Look at that display
The Lenovo Yoga 920 features a 13.9-inch display with 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution that offers what the company calls an ‘Ultra HD’ viewing experience.
The display has a great range of contrast with deep blacks and bright whites. The screen is vibrant, free of dull pixels, and I found the size perfect for how I use my device. The laptop features a bezel that trails around the edge of the display. Although it’s a lot larger than a device like the Dell XPS 13, I found that didn’t take away from my overall experience with the device.
While viewing YouTube videos, playing games and watching movies on Netflix, all content looked properly detailed and vivid. Comparing it against one of Asus’ newest convertible devices, the FlipBook S, I’d definitely say that the Yoga 920’s display is preferable.
The Lenovo Yoga 920’s speakers offer a great range of volume. The laptop’s bass is surprisingly deep for such a thin device, with high treble. Sound was also precise, clear and offered a great listening experience.
Plugging in headphones taps into the Yoga 920’s Dolby Atmos surround sound settings. Dolby Atmos provides surround sound to the earphones which allowed me to hear where different sound cues were coming from when playing games like Gigantic.
Taking a look on the inside
While the outside of the Lenovo Yoga 920 looks nice, what’s on the inside is even better. As mentioned previously, the Lenovo Yoga 920 uses one of Intel’s 8th generation Core i7 processors. The processor runs smoothly and in my experience there were rarely any hiccups. Transitions from one webpage, or one app from the other were nearly always as smooth. I found the only slow downs came when Windows needed to install updates after I had left the laptop on for a few days.
For reference on my usage, throughout the day I often use Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Slack, Netflix and Google Chrome, occasionally streaming YouTube content through my browser. I found no matter what I was doing with any of those apps, the Yoga 920 ran without issue and the experience within each app was snappy and responsive. Starting Photoshop sometimes took a moment longer to boot up in comparison to the other apps on the device, however.
Games run pretty well on the device. I haven’t tried running intensive games like The Witcher 3 or Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, however, games like Smite, League of Legends and Gigantic all felt fluid, even after connecting an Xbox One controller. The game Gigantic ran consistently over 30 frame per second, ocassionally running at 45 fps. Unfortunately, while downloading Gigantic the laptop started to get very hot. And after playing for nearly 45 minutes it became uncomfortably hot.
As for battery, the 920’s power source was largely unimpressive. With normal usage it got me through nearly my whole day after a full charge. I start my days at 9am and I find the the laptop’s battery would lose all of its charge by 4 or 5pm. But when watching films on Netflix I find the amount of time it takes before the battery completely drains drop significantly, lasting only around four hours.
I’ve even experienced an occurrence where my battery died within two hours of being charged. On this occasion, I had finished charging the device for an hour and a half and the device was at full charge. I started to work and listen to music with YouTube on the Google Chrome. Within two hours the Yoga 920’s battery was completely depleted.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 includes long-range voice activated Cortana capabilities. This allows users to say “Hey Cortana” from around four meters away, according to Lenovo. While I didn’t use a measuring stick to verify Lenovo’s claims, I did test out the feature from what I believe was a lot further than four metres, perhaps what could have been eight metres. With a raised voice I was still able to get Cortana to function. Even through walls.
Not only does Cortana work well on the Lenovo Yoga 920, Windows Hello does as well, allowing users to use biometrics to unlock the laptop. In the case of the Lenovo Yoga 920, the device unlocks with a fingerprint sensor. I found the fingerprint sensor to be quick and accurate, rarely ever misreading my finger.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 also features a stylus which works well in the 2-in-1’s mode. Writing with it offers a fluid experience and even typing with the messiest of writing I find the device can predict almost exactly what I am trying to say. However, Lenovo’s solution for a stylus holder is far from ideal, as the plastic detachable holder uses the Yoga 920’s only USB Type-A port.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience with the Lenovo Yoga 920. Even after using other laptops, it was always a pleasure to go back to using the Yoga 920. I did find the battery degraded after a time using the device, though that may not be a shared experience.
The Lenovo Yoga 920 offered a better experience than other 2-in-1s I've used. Apps opened right away, Cortana responded from further away and the fingerprint sensor offered a quick and speedy unlock time. Additionally, being paired with a stylish hinge, a responsive stylus and Dolby Atmos for listening with headphones, the Lenovo Yoga 920 should be enjoyable for anyone who uses the Microsoft's Windows platform.
However, the hefty price tag is a notable downside. The variant I reviewed comes in at $2,339.99 CAD, while the base model costs $1,619. If that's in your price range, though I'd highly recommend the Yoga 920 as a top choice for a thin convertible laptop that offers a speedy and capable experience.
I enjoyed my experience with the Lenovo Yoga 920, even after using other laptops it was always a pleasure to go back to using the Yoga 920.