An ultra-thin convertible with a special hinge and plenty of power.
With a 13.9in Full HD screen, Dolby Atmos sound, an eighth-generation Intel Core chip and looks to kill, Lenovo’s Yoga 920 is a premium convertible with plenty of attractions – not to mention a special edition with a 4K screen. The $1,899 version of the Yoga 920 include a Core i5-8250U processor and 256GB, but an extra $600 buys you a Core i7-8550U and 16GB of RAM as tested here. Whichever you choose, there’s no way to upgrade the RAM later. The 4k screen and 512GB SSD model goes for $2,999.
Pick up the Yoga 920 and it feels like a premium laptop. Despite shaving 1mm from the design of its predecessor, the Lenovo Yoga 910, the all-aluminium unibody chassis is rock-solid. It’s tastefully slim at 14mm and weighs a rucksack-friendly 1.37kg.
The 360-degree watchband hinge – a staple of Lenovo Yogas in recent years – makes another appearance with the Yoga 920. Rather than just look fancy, it serves its purpose well: it holds the screen stiffly in place, no matter the angle.
For communicating with the outside world there’s dual-band 2x2 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-C ports for charging and connecting to external monitors, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. And, in a feat of technical wizardry, Lenovo squeezes in a full-size USB 3 port on the right-hand edge, sitting just next to the power button.
The keys are well spaced for accuracy and the amount of 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 clicks and multitouch gestures equally well.
Lenovo bundles its Active Pen 2 stylus at no extra cost. Given you’re expected to fork out an extra $140 for Microsoft’s equivalent, it’s a welcome inclusion. The Active Pen 2 supports up to 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and it’s simply a joy to use.
The one mis-step is the screen, because the Yoga 920’s 13.9in Full HD IPS display is outclassed by its main rivals. For starters, display brightness is on the dim side, only capable of reaching 289cd/m2. That looks dull next to the Surface Book 2, say. 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 ideal), and an sRGB colour gamut coverage of only 84%.
Where it strikes back is speed. In our application benchmarks, the Core i7-powered Yoga 920 managed an exceptional image-editing score of 122, which is on a par with a good desktop system. It also performed well in the video-encoding test, scoring 91, and a score of 80 in the multitasking benchmark gave it an overall tally of 91.
It can even play games. I got a smooth 48fps out of Dirt Showdown running at 720p with High settings, and bumping the resolution up to 1080p produced a playable 30fps.
Battery life is excellent too. The Yoga achieved a time of 12hrs 29mins in our continuous video-playback test with the screen set to 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.
It adds up to a stunning machine. Lenovo has tough competition from the Surface Pro in particular, but even at $1,899 the Yoga 920 offers better value than this rival – the screen holds it back from a five-star rating, but this laptop comes warmly recommended.