Lenovo has made a name for itself when it comes to foldable two-in-one PCs that can be used in various scenarios. For those that didn't know, the Lenovo Yoga brand of laptops and tablet hybrids are known for their flexibility in assuming multiple form factors thanks to their hinge design.
Lenovo's new Yoga 900 is no exception. This device features the fresh looking watchband hinge design that Lenovo is known for, and it can be used in a variety of form factors (as a laptop, as a tablet when you fold the screen all the way back, in tent mode, or in stand mode).
However, one of the biggest improvements to the Lenovo Yoga 900 is the beefed up specs, fixing probably one of the big complaints consumers had with the previous generation Yoga 3 Pro.
The watchband hinge not only looks cool, but it does what its supposed to do -- it allows you to fold the display all the way back, turning the device into a tablet. You can adjust the angle of the screen to your best use case, but I found myself using the traditional laptop mode by default. Unlike the plastic Dynamic Fulcrum hinge on the Surface Book, this hinge is made out of metal.
The Yoga 900 has specially designed vents right where the hinge connects to the base, which helps keep the device cool and quiet. Similar to the Yoga 3 Pro, the Yoga 900 has an internal fan, and it can get a tad bit loud if you push the device to its limits.
Opening and closing the laptop is a breeze and doesn't take much effort, thanks to the design of the hinge. Unlike the Surface Book, which takes a bit of an effort to open, the Yoga 900 opens and shuts the way it should, and there are no ugly gaps between the keyboard base and the display.
The design quality of the device is superb. The Yoga 900 has that premium vibe to it, unlike the Thinkpad line which has a more plastic look and feel. As you can see in the images above and below, the base of the device features a leather texture, offering a premium quality to the laptop and comfort to your palms. The outer portion of the device features a silver-colored metal body. Overall, the Lenovo Yoga 900 is lightweight at just 2.8 pounds, so you can carry it around in your backpack or bag without hurting your back.
The keyboard features specially crafted curved keys, which allow for comfort and easy key travel. Lenovo has added a top row of dedicated function keys, which is a neat addition to the Yoga 900, for those who care to have quick access to various Windows and device features. The keyboard is also backlit, which is a fantastic touch. The trackpad can be unresponsive to clicks at times, but it works -- it's nothing fancy.
The Lenovo Yoga 900 features a 6th generation Intel Core i7 Skylake processor, which is much faster than the previous generation Yoga 3 Pro's Core M processor. This device screams performance -- not once did I experience any moments where I wanted to yell at my laptop for being sluggish. That's a big win in my book.
The device features integrated Intel HD Graphics 520, up to 16GB of DDR3 memory, up to 512GB SSD, a 13.3-inch QHD+ IPS display with a resolution of 3200 x 1800, and up to nine hours of battery life. There are two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 3.0 Type-C port, one DC-in with USB 2.0 function, a four-in-one card reader, and an audio jack.
The QHD+ display received a bit of an upgrade compared to the previous Yoga generation. The display does allow for vivid colors, and while media content does look great from different angles, the screen has a lot of glare. This is obviously just my opinion, but I hate being able to see myself in the display when I am watching a video on YouTube or watching a movie on Netflix. Adjusting the screen brightness didn't help.
Because the screen is 13.3-inches in size and the aspect ratio is 16:9, there is a one-inch bezel at the bottom of the screen (see image below). I wished Lenovo had extended the display down a bit more to increase real estate. It just looks funny to me. The Lenovo Yoga 900 makes me appreciate the Surface Book's 3:2 aspect ratio and larger screen real-estate.
There is a physical start button (Windows flag) at the bottom-center of the display, similar to the older Surface Pro tablets, but it does not feature haptic feedback when you press on it in case you were wondering. And unlike the Surface Book, you can't detach the screen.
The Yoga 900 runs 64-bit Windows 10 Home, but I wished Lenovo had installed Windows 10 Pro considering this laptop is tailored towards power users. Either way, using Windows 10 was a fantastic experience, especially with the touchscreen display. Since the Lenovo Yoga 900 lacks a RealSense camera or fingerprint reader, you can't use the cool new Windows Hello authentication feature in Windows 10, which is a bit of a letdown.
Lenovo has a few preinstalled apps on the Yoga 900, but nothing you can't remove on your own. In fact, you may like some of the bloatware -- especially the program that lets you see your battery life on your taskbar with a large colorful icon. Clicking it will show you your battery status, and how you can conserve battery life. Really neat.
Battery life on the Yoga 900 was above-average. Lenovo promises up to nine hours with WiFi off and medium display brightness, but I was able to get close to eight hours on one full charge with moderate usage (WiFi enabled, web surfing, watching a few videos on YouTube, and writing/editing this review). Your mileage will vary, of course, but so far, the battery life on the Yoga 900 is what you would want on a laptop with beefed up specs.
The device starts at $1,199.00 and comes in various color options like Clementine Orange, Champagne Gold, or Platinum Silver. The $1199 price is for the model with 256GB of storage while the 512GB storage model will cost you $1,249.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga 900 is a fantastic laptop, which happens to fold into a tablet, or into tent/stand modes for presentations or watching a movie. It has a premium feel and it has powerful specs, and the price is alright, but nothing worth celebrating over. There are a plethora of laptop options out there but if you are in the market for a solid laptop and don't mind spending over a thousand dollars, I definitely recommend the Yoga 900.