– Drag me back a couple of years and I couldn’t imagine I’d still be writing about 2-in-1 laptops in 2017, not least saying good things about them. Other than Microsoft’s impressive Surface lineup, laptop/tablet hybrids used to be a mishmash category of machine that struggled to serve either purpose as well as they should have.
But that’s all changed for the better. In fact, I only recently wrote a best 2-in-1 roundup for this very website, and it was difficult sifting through the long list of excellent devices we’ve seen this year. And Lenovo’s fresh-faced Yoga 920 has all the hallmarks to disturb that hierarchy, and undo all of my hard work.
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Lenovo Yoga 920 review: What you need to know
It might look like a bog-standard iterative upgrade to last year’s Yoga 910, but the Chinese company has gone further than kicking its flagship convertible laptop up a single digit.
With a 13.9in Full HD screen, Dolby Atmos sound, an eighth-generation Intel Core chip and a host of new features, Lenovo’s Yoga 920 is a premium convertible with plenty going for it – not to mention a special Star Wars edition that’s more Yoda that Yoga.
Lenovo Yoga 920 review: Price and competition
The Yoga 920 certainly ain’t cheap. It starts at £1,199 for the basic, entry-level model equipped with an eighth-gen Core i5-8250U processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Upgrade that machine with an i7 processor and 512GB of storage, and you’re looking at £1,349.
While those prices are steep, its ultraportable competition is just as wallet-wilting. A similarly equipped Surface Pro with a Core i5 processor and 256GB of storage will set you back £1,179, and Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 starts at £1,329. Likewise, Google’s Pixelbook – despite running Chrome OS – starts at £999.
Lenovo Yoga 920 review: Design
Pick up the Yoga 920 and it feels like a four-figured-sum of a laptop. Despite shaving 1mm from its design, the all-aluminium unibody chassis feels rock-solid. Tastefully slim, the Yoga 920 measures just 13.9mm thin, and weighs a spine-friendly 1.37kg.
The 360-degree watchband hinge – a staple of Lenovo 2-in-1s in recent years – makes another appearance with the Yoga 920. Rather than just look fancy, it serves its purpose well: it holds the screen stiff in place, no matter the angle.
For communicating with the outside world there’s built-in dual-band 2 x 2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, plus Bluetooth 4.1. There’s plenty in the way of physical connectivity, too: on the left edge you’ll spot two Thunderbolt-powered USB Type-C ports for charging and connecting to external monitors, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. And, in a feat of technical wizardry, Lenovo has managed to squeeze in a full-size USB 3 port on the right-hand edge, sitting just next to the power button.
You can also kit out your Yoga 920 in either a “light side” platinum Rebel Alliance finish, or “dark side” black Galactic Empire one. Less tied to Star Wars is the Yoga 920 Vives model, made in collaboration with the IED school of design in Milan, featuring a special design printed directly onto the laptop’s Gorilla Glass lid. Both are available to preorder.
Lenovo Yoga 920 review: Keyboard, touchpad and stylus
The keys are well spaced for accuracy and the amount of tactile, mechanical feedback is as good as you’ll get from any ultraportable laptop keyboard. The trackpad, too, is excellent. Smooth, adequately sized and responsive, it handles decisive clicks and multi-touch gestures equally well.
Lenovo has bundled in its Active Pen 2 stylus at no extra cost. Given you’re expected to fork out an extra £100 with Microsoft’s equivalent, it’s a welcome little extra. It supports up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, and it’s simply a joy to use. Likewise, palm rejection is spot on.
Lenovo Yoga 920 review: Display
That said, the Yoga 920’s 13.9in Full HD IPS screen is outpaced by its main rivals. For starters, display brightness is on the dim side, and is only capable of reaching a dull 289cd/m2.
Likewise, the Yoga 920 suffers from poor colour accuracy across the palate. Our X-Rite display calibrator recorded an average Delta E of 2.97 (a score lower than 1 is preferred), and an sRGB colour gamut coverage of just 84%. This certainly isn’t a display for any colour-sensitive work, and almost renders its hybrid monicker completely moot.
Lenovo Yoga 920 review: Performance and battery life
Mercifully, the Yoga 920 is more luxury than rip-off when it comes to performance.
In our 4K application benchmarks, the Intel Core i7-8550U-powered Yoga 920 managed an exceptional image test score of 122, which is on par with a good desktop system. It also performed well in the video-encoding test, scoring 91, and came out with 80 in the multitasking benchmark and 91 overall. That’s not bad at all for a quad-core U-series mobile processor.
Buy Lenovo Yoga 920 from Lenovo
With Intel UHD Graphics 620, the Yoga 920 is also a fairly capable gaming machine. I got a smooth 48fps out of Dirt: Showdown running at 720p with High settings, and bumping the resolution up to 1080p still produced a playable 30fps.
Likewise, battery life is excellent. The Yoga 920 achieved a time of 12hrs 29mins in our continuous video-playback test with the screen set to our standard 170cd/m2 brightness. That’s two hours longer than the Surface Pro achieved in the same conditions, and four hours more than the XPS 13 2-in-1. You shouldn’t have any problem getting through a full work day and then some.
Lenovo Yoga 920 review: Verdict
Lenovo has confidently built on this hybrid’s predecessor to make something rich with useful features and fine design choices. The Yoga 920 is a premium convertible, but the Star Wars versions also hint at the company’s ambitions to tackle a more mainstream audience.
The only crux is the Yoga 920’s steep asking price which, at a starting sum of £1,199, is enough to send any potential buyer high-tailing it out of the shop. Especially when there are already some excellent hybrids doing the rounds from more established, better-respected names.
Still, I don’t think that’s enough of a detriment to take from the Yoga 920’s obvious successes. It’s a superbly stunning machine, with excellent performance and a long-lasting battery life, and the included stylus is a neat little extra. I guess it’s time to re-do that 2-in-1 hierarchy again.
|Processor||Quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U|
|Memory slots (free)||1 (0)|
|Dimensions||323 x 223.5 x 13.95mm|
|Sound||Realtek HD Audio (3.5mm headset port)|
|Pointing device||Touchpad, touchscreen|
|Screen resolution||1,920 x 1,080|
|Graphics adaptor||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Graphics outputs||2x USB-C|
|Total storage||512GB SSD|
|Optical drive type||N/A|
|Ports and expansion|
|USB ports||2x USB-C, 1x USB3.0|
|Memory card reader||N/A|
|Operating system||Windwos 10 Home|
|Operating system restore option||Restore partition|
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