Lenovo’s newest flagship convertible, the Yoga 910, is meant to be a stunner from the second you look at it. The company went all out in the design and specs of this laptop-hybrid, taking what it has already learned about making good convertibles and styling it up a bit with sleeker touches and high-end internals. Although it comes in a 1080p version, the Yoga 910 is Lenovo’s premiere 4K hybrid, and it has paired that touchscreen with the newest Intel Kaby Lake processor.
Thanks to those features and other improvements Lenovo has supposedly made, the Yoga 910 is a credible challenger to HP’s new Spectre x360, Dell’s XPS 13, and other flagship laptops. We spent some time with the Yoga 910 and found that many of its improvements are useful, but in some cases it falls short of its competitors.
Look and feel
Lenovo put the best features of its Yoga 900 into the 910, but the company updated the aesthetics. The Yoga 910 is an all-silver hybrid with brushed-metal accents that have a satin finish on the lid and keyboard deck, plus a shiny finish along all its edges. The hybrid tapers slightly from back to front when closed and only measures about 15mm thick at its widest point, keeping its profile thin and understated. Most noticeable in the design is Lenovo’s signature “watchband” hinge that it uses on its Yoga family, which gives the 2-in-1 a professional yet unique look. When closed, the watchband hinge doesn’t lie flat; instead it curls to a C-shape made of four grouped metal tubes. It has a smooth feel to it both when the lid is upright and closed, and the hinge also supports the display quite well. There’s none of that occasional wobbliness experienced with the Lenovo ThinkPad X1, and it easily converts from open laptop to fold-over tablet with one swift movement.
|Specs at a glance: Lenovo Yoga 910 (as reviewed)|
|Screen||13.9-inch 3840 x 2160 IPS touchscreen|
|OS||Windows 10 Home (64 bit)|
|CPU||Dual-core 2.7-GHz Intel Core i7 7500U|
|RAM||16GB DDR4 2133 MHz|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics 620|
|HDD||512GB PCIe SSD (upgradeable up to 1TB)|
|Networking||Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1|
|Ports||USB 3.0 Type-C (video-out), USB 2.0 Type-C (charging), USB 3.0 (always-on charging), audio combo jack|
|Size||12.72″ x 8.84″ x 0.56″ (323 x 224.5 x 14.3mm)|
|Weight||3.04 pounds (48.6 ounces)|
|Price as reviewed||$1,599.99|
|Other perks||720p webcam, backlit keyboard, fingerprint sensor|
While the Yoga 910 has a size and weight similar to other 13-inch laptops, Lenovo shrank the bezels to 5mm so the 4K IPS display actually measures 13.9-inches (you can also get the display in an FHD version, too). It’s easy to notice the extra sharpness of the 4K display as well as its bold colors, although its brightness is only OK. Even at 100 percent (268 nits), it doesn’t feel as bright as other systems I’ve used, though this doesn’t keep the display from being lovely to use.
The 4K model also comes standard with 16GB of RAM (instead of the base 8GB) and 512GB of PCIe SSD storage (up from the base 256GB), and all of these features add $400 to the price of the machine. In this case, the price jump is justified because you’re not just paying for the UHD display—but still, only power users or creative professionals will actually need those pumped up specs.
The only real blemish on the Yoga 910 is the large chin underneath the display that measures nearly 1.25 inches. Having a big chin like this is common, especially since Lenovo wouldn’t have had the space for a 720p webcam if it didn’t leave some kind of bezel. However putting the webcam on the bottom bezel is a little awkward—hopefully your friends and family don’t mind seeing up your nose when you Skype with them. That webcam will only be useful for chats like that, since the Yoga 910 settles for only a fingerprint sensor and forgoes a Windows Hello IR camera.
Close to the watchband hinge on each side of the Yoga 910 are a handful of ports. The right side holds a USB 3.0 port, an audio jack combo port, and the device power button. On the left, there are two USB Type-C ports (one for charging and one for video-out), but neither supports Thunderbolt 3. This is disappointing, especially considering the new HP Spectre x360’s port setup is nearly identical to that of the Yoga 910, but its two Type-C ports both support Thunderbolt 3.
Keyboard and trackpad
Lenovo put a spacious and generally comfortable keyboard on the Yoga 910. Key travel is easy to adjust to, typing is clicky and satisfying, and you can turn on the backlight to keep the keys illuminated in dark situations. There’s just one issue I have with the keyboard: the right Shift key has been shrunk to fit the up-arrow key next to it. As a right-handed person who spends most of her day typing, this really got in my way on a regular basis. Every time I went to capitalize something, I ended up with my next sentence in the line above it. I tried to give up and use the full-sized left Shift key, but it just didn’t suit my typing style. Begrudgingly, I kept using the tiny Shift key, and after typing a few hundred words, I started to get used to it.
Near the less-than-full-size Shift key and below the keyboard is the fingerprint sensor, which you can use with Windows Hello to keep the Yoga 910 more private. As far as the trackpad goes, it’s pretty basic: it’s quick and responsive, and gestures like pinch-to-zoom work well. You have the option of lightly tapping to click (in which case, a two-finger tap would result in a left-click), or actually pressing the lower portions of the trackpad.
The Yoga 910 runs Windows 10 Home edition and supports biometric privacy features using its fingerprint sensor. When enabled, you can use your fingerprint to unlock the device rather than putting in a password. If you always forget your longwinded passwords, this will be a welcome feature that will speed up the process of getting into your system.
This is another area where the Yoga 910 falls somewhat short of HP’s Spectre x360, however. HP’s convertible uses facial recognition with Windows Hello, allowing you to simply open the lid and have the webcam recognize your face to unlock the device. I would have liked to have the fingerprint and the webcam unlock options, but the placement of the Yoga 910’s webcam at the bottom of the screen renders it useless for this.
Lenovo doesn’t bog down the Yoga 910 with a lot of bloatware, but it did include three of its own apps: Account Portal, Companion, and Settings. Account Portal uses your Lenovo ID to log you in to various Lenovo services, including forums, apps, and its store website. Unless you are a diehard Lenovo fan, you may not use this app that often. Companion and Settings, on the other hand, could come in handy more frequently. Companion teaches you tricks to using the Yoga 910 and gives you ways to optimize performance with the help of system checkups and hardware scanners.
Settings is mostly a Lenovo-ified version of the regular Windows settings menu, allowing you to check battery status, change location awareness, and check connected peripherals like keyboards and mice. Also in Settings, you can adjust the two JBL speakers for specific tasks by activating different modes, including movie, music, gaming, and voice. If you’re an audio stickler, you will be able to tell the differences between the modes. Mine was on music mode by default, and that seemingly elevates the volume for both voice and instrumentals. Movie mode makes sounds and instruments a bit subdued while emphasizing and projecting spoken word. Gaming is much like music mode in the sense that all audio was a bit louder, and sound effects were a bit more pronounced. Voice mode is the softest of all the modes and is probably only best for video chats.
Listing image by Valentina Palladino