Yoga 920 Review: A beautiful and fluent Windows 2-in-1
Following in the footsteps of Microsoft’s Surface lineup, Lenovo has always been great with Windows 2-in-1s. We’ve previously reviewed the Yoga X1, the Miix 720, and the Flex 5 15, and found them all to be excellent Windows 10 devices. This time, though, with the Yoga 920, Lenovo has taken things further. Combining a premium design, a unique display, great specs, the Yoga 920 a beautiful and fluent Windows 2-in-1.
Specs above the rest but at a cheaper price:
We received a unit with the 8th generation Intel Core i7 CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz and a total of 16 GB of DDR4 RAM. One of the top of the line units, our specific model is available at BestBuy for $1,599.99. Other notable specs on our unit are listed below.
- Samsung 512GB SSD
- Intel UHD Graphics 620
- 14 Inch IPS Touch display at 3840 (x) 2160 resolution
- Windows 10 Home
- 2 (X) USB C Thunderbolt 3 Ports
- USB 3.0 Port
- 720p webcam
- Fingerprint reader built into keyboard
- Bluetooth 4.2
- Dual JBL Speakers with Dobly Atmos Audio
- Lenovo Active Pen included
- Four-cell 70WHr battery
These specs are great, especially since all models of the device comes with the latest 8th generation Intel Processors, putting the Yoga 920 ahead of the competition and offering potential buyers more bang for the buck. With the difference in the generation processor aside, a similarly configured Core i7 Surface Laptop or Surface Pro with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD would cost a total of $2,199. This means that the Yoga 920 nets potential buyers about a $600 savings.
Beautiful bold build and design:
The minute I took the Yoga 920 out of the box I was dazzled by its daring greatness. Unlike the design of previous Yoga devices, Lenovo ditched the plastic carbon fiber polycarbonate material for a reimagined all-aluminum chassis. Coming in three colors: platinum, bronze, or copper, our unit boasts the platinum color.
Although it’s a relatively standard color, the aluminum finish still shines throughout the device. Oddly reminiscent of a Surface Book, the aluminum finish is cool to the touch, especially on the top lid of the Yoga 920. There’s also a neat looking smooth metallic finish along the sides of the device, which are glossy but shine through when you’re picking up the laptop from its side.
The device itself comes in at 3.02 pounds in weight and measures 12.7″ x 8.8″ x 0.5.” Despite how hefty the aluminum design may look, it is still very well balanced, making the Yoga 920 perfect for throwing into a bag. Of course, the other highlight of the device is Lenovo’s signature watchband hinges. Visually standing out from the rest of the device, the hinges are the driving force behind switching the Yoga 360 degrees into its three modes: laptop, tablet, stand, and tent. It’s also very sturdy, allowing you to hold open the Yoga with only one hand.
A display that blows other 2-in-1s out of the water:
A standard 1920 (x) 1080 option is available, but our unit came with a 14-inch 4K display at 3,840 (x) 2,160 resolution, blowing all other 2-in-1s out of the water. Lenovo kept things classy and packed the screen into an ultra-thin edge to edge glass panel with 5mm bezels. Although the top gets a bit thick to allow for the webcam, bezels are barely noticeable and are even thinner than the Surface Book.
Out of the box, Lenovo scales the display to 300% by default, but for the best experience, I set it up to 175%. Turning this setting down allows the 4K beauty to come out on display for quick and easy multitasking. At this level, I was able to open two instances of Edge side by side, and the text was bright, and images popped right out of the screen. I later changed the default desktop background to a mountainside view, and everytime the laptop booted up I couldn’t resist but to drop my jaw in awe.
Windows 10 also looked terrific in 4K, especially the touches of Fluent design on the Start Menu and Action Center. Plus, given that this is IPS display, the viewing angles are extremely wide, up to 90 degrees from both the left and the right. It also gets very bright, and for the best 4K experience, I recommend keeping the brightness at medium and high settings.
At the end of the day, having a 4K display on a laptop is an added plus. Not only do text, images, and graphics look great, but there is the added benefit of having more screen real estate to work with while the laptop is in use. In fact, I was so convinced of the power of the Yoga 920’s 4K display that I went ahead and purchased a 4K monitor for my set up in my home office.
I preferred keeping the Yoga 920 in the standard laptop mode (seen above) for productivity, but the other methods of use (Tent, Stand, Tablet) were especially useful for movie watching, drawing, or showing off a presentation. On a rainy Sunday, I used the Yoga in Tent Mode 920 to watch a NASCAR Race, and it was one of the most beautiful experiences ever. Sponsor logos on the cars were bright and vivid, NBC’s graphics were very crisp, and it felt as though I was sitting at my local NASCAR Track.
The other mode is tablet mode, especially great for using drawing apps with the included Lenovo Active Pen. This method of use puts the beautiful 4K display front and center, closing it down to the back of the laptop. I crafted up the image seen below while in tablet mode and found the display to be very responsive. Colors were vivid, and it was like I was painting on a canvas. The touchscreen accurately tracked the moves of my fingers and the Lenovo Active Pen, and there was also no visible wobbling on the display, unlike on Lenovo Flex 5 15.
Battle of the pens:
Included with our unit was the Lenovo Active Pen 2. Designed without a clip, and including lower buttons for an eraser and right click, this pen is a good option for artists who use digital pens with hard tips. Coming with an attachment that allows for it to slide into the USB 3.0 port on the side of the laptop, the pen might get lost easily. A good option, yes, but it would have been better to see a magnetic attachment.
At the end of the day, the Active Pen 2 gets the job done, but it does feel a bit gimmicky when compared to Microsoft’s Surface Pen. It does support the same 4,096 levels of pressure, but the tip of the pen is made of hard plastic, and not the felt material like on the Surface Pen. This is mainly because the pen works by creating friction on the screen, not depending on the Active Capacitive technology or the digitizing layer from the display panel.
With 16GB of RAM and the latest 8th generation Intel Core i7 chip, the Yoga 920 can keep up with all productivity demands. We were able to use it to browse the internet with 10+ tabs open in Microsoft Edge without troubles. We also were able to do light gaming, and Minecraft looked beautiful in 4K. The processor can keep up with what we threw at it, especially from 4K graphics.
See below for a little more on the Geekbech 4 scoring on the Yoga 920 and how it stands up against some other recently reviewed Lenovo devices. Keep in mind, the higher the score, the better the laptop.
Lenovo Yoga 920 Geekbench 4 Scores: (Intel UHD Graphics 620)
Lenovo T470S Geekbench 4 Scores: (Intel HD Graphics 620)
Lenovo Flex 5 15 Geekbench 4 Scores: (Dedicated Geoforce 940MX Graphics)
Quite naturally, the latest Intel Core i7 8th generation chips help put the Yoga 920 on top of other devices when it comes to the Single Score and Multi-Core Scores. It packs a lot of power, and even for a device without a dedicated graphics card, puts the Yoga 920 ahead of the competition.
Keyboard & Trackpad:
Although the display and the design are huge steps forward for Lenovo’s Windows 2-in-1, Lenovo took a step backward with the keyboard. For one, it will not retract into the chassis of the laptop when switching into alternate modes. And, while it’s backlit, the keys feel a bit too soft and are way too squeaky when typing up a storm. Indeed the layout is very comfortable, but the squeaking sound is a bit of a distracting when attempting to focus. A good, part, though, is that the keyboard has a fingerprint sensor built right to the side. The sensor makes the sign in seamless and comfortable, and also adds an extra level of security to any files stored on board.
The Trackpad is more of the same. It is coated with mylar and is very sensitive and smooth, but it feels a bit hollow and loud when clicking. Since the Yoga 920 is a touchscreen device, I found myself spending less time on the trackpad and more time on the touchscreen.
Ports and Connectivity:
Unlike the previous generation of Microsoft’s Surface devices, Lenovo was very forward thinking with the ports and connectivity on the Yoga 920. There’s plenty of USB C ports, and a standard USB 3.0 port as well, helping make the device both future proof and a pleasure to use with modern accessories. On the left side of the unit are a USB C port for charging, and another USB C port, and a combo headphone and microphone jack. Using USB C for charging is a huge plus, mainly because it’s faster and quicker than the regular AC Adapter.
The story is the same on the right side of the unit. Here there is a USB 3.0 port, the power button, and the reset button. Great to see that Lenovo still includes USB 3.0 ports, as it eliminates the needs to buy a dongle to enjoy using classic USB accessories on the Yoga 920. I do wish that Lenovo threw in a Micro HDMI port, though, as I use my laptops with my monitor, and needed to purchase a USB C to HDMI dongle to enjoy the experience with this unit.
Audio & Microphones:
Coming with two Dual JBL Speakers with Dolby Atmos Audio, the audio experience on the Yoga 920 is very impressive. Although Lenovo chooses to keep the speakers to the bottom of the unit (as it has been on most ThinkPad laptops) sounds coming out from the speakers are still very crisp and clear. I especially enjoyed the speakers when listening to the Game of Thrones theme song on Spotify. The Atmos Audio separated the sounds of instruments to each of the speakers and created almost sort of an orchestral effect.
Unique to the Yoga 920 are Far-Field Microphones, allowing you to shout at Cortana from across the room. This is especially useful in situations where you may be busy doing something else, but just want to summon the digital assistant without getting close to your PC. Personally, I found this feature useful when I was getting dressed in the morning. With the Yoga 920 turned on, standing near my closet (which is on the other side of my room) I was able to yell “Hey Cortana!” and summon the assistant to about the weather in New York.
Coming with a beautiful power hungry 4K display, the battery life on the Yoga 920 is just about average. For standard productivity use, and with the brightness turned to the medium settings we experienced battery life between 5-9 hours. When the device is turned off, the Four-cell 70WHr battery recharges to 90% pretty quickly at 1.5 hours, so it’s safe to say battery life is not an issue with the Yoga 920.
At the end of the day, the Yoga 920 is one of the best Windows 2-in-1 devices you can buy right now. Coming with a bold design and the latest Intel 8th generation processor, the Yoga 920 can keep up with productivity needs in style, even going a step further for some light gaming. The 4K display graphics, USB C ports, and far-field microphones are also a plus, helping create great a great multimedia and productivity experience, but the keyboard and trackpad might be a deal breaker for some. Check out the Yoga 920 product page for more information on availability and pricing in your region.Further reading: Lenovo, Lenovo Yoga, Windows 10 Devices