Lenovo Yoga 920 review: Full, in-depth review

Lenovo Yoga 920 (2018)
  • Lenovo Yoga 920 (2018)
  • Lenovo Yoga 920 (2018)
  • Lenovo Yoga 920 (2018)
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • No SD Card

Cons

  • Poor battery life

Bottom Line

The Yoga 920 isn’t the end-all, be-all best notebook out there. But if you’re after “one of those” kinds of PCs, it’s hard to look past it.

Would you buy this?

The Pitch

Relative to the material design dabblings of HP and the by-the-numbers iteration offered by Acer, Lenovo sometimes feels like one of the only OEMs out there that isn’t making it all up as they go along.

I mean, sure, none of the vendors are guilty of making these things up on the fly. Obviously, they’re all working to achieve their own respective long-term goals. But there’s a difference between working from a plan and feeling overly formulaic. There’s no ambitious sense of direction beyond the inertia of the market and the technology involved. 

At times, it often feels like each product in the portfolio exists - and is what it is - because that’s what some market analyst somewhere decided. They decreed this is what the market wants. This year’s notebook will be this thin - because that's what the market wants. It’ll have this processor - because the market wants it. It’ll have this much SSD storage - because of the market. While that does make sense as a business strategy, it's sometimes a little too procedural. And when you look at enough PCs that subscribe to this formula, they all begin to blur together.

Still, in my opinion, Lenovo’s Yoga range has done a great job of resisting this particular trap. At least, so far. It feels like they have a plan that goes beyond market logic. And the Yoga 920 is - arguably - the company’s best embodiment of the reasons why to date.

The refreshed Yoga 920 is light on major innovations, but it’s versatile enough that it can stand tall on its own merits.

Specs

The specs for our Lenovo Yoga 920 laptop were as follows:

Processor:  8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor

Graphics:  Intel UHD 620

RAM:  Up to 16GB

Storage: 512GB SSD

Display: 13.9-inch FHD (1920x1080), IPS display, 300 nits

Ports: USB 3.0, 2 x USB 3.1 Type-C, Combo audio/microphone jack

Weight: 1.37 kg

Dimensions: 323 mm x 223.5 mm x 13.95 mm

Connectivity: Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1

Webcam: 720p HD, 1.0MP resolution, fixed focus

Price: Starts at $1899

Design - Look, Feel and Features

Shaking out as almost an entire millimeter thinner than its predecessor, the Lenovo Yoga 910, the Yoga 920 is a savvy-looking rectangle of cool, casual bronze. If you’re looking for something less enterprise and more creative, it’ll likely scratch that itch.

A matching set of JBL-branded speakers adorn the left and right undersides of the laptop. Meanwhile, Lenovo’s usual watch-inspired hinge knits together the two halves of the device. If you weren’t a fan of this convertible form-factor in the past, the Yoga 920 probably won’t change your mind. However, in my opinion, this still holds up as one of the more robust hinge solutions out there. The usual possibilities apply here. You can set the Yoga 920 up like a traditional clamshell, in tent mode for viewing media content or use it as a tablet.

In addition to the touch-friendly display, the convertible comes bundled with Lenovo’s own Active Pen 2. This accessory offers 4096-levels of sensitivity - which puts in line with most other bundled styluses you’ll find in competing products. Your mileage here will vary whether or not the inclusion actively impacts your experience with the Yoga 920. I’m not really much of a drawer, so it wasn’t a massive inclusion for me - but you might not be in the same boat. It is neat that stylus' are becoming considered a baseline pack-in for the PC experience nowadays though.

If anything, the one drawback here is the limited number of ports. Specifically the lack of an SD card slot. This detail feels like it really hurts the experience for creative users. And the lack of proper HDMI-output is another stinging blow. You’ll have to invest in a dongle of some sort if you want to hook the Yoga up to a bigger display.

Performance - Specs, Software and Battery Life

By contrast, there’s not a whole lot to complain about when it comes to the performance offered by the Yoga 920. For the most part, Windows 10 ran perfectly well on the Yoga 920. There was a little bit of bloatware involved - but not an overly egregious amount, and some of it’s more the fault of Microsoft than it is Lenovo.

When it came to PCMark’s Work benchmark, the Yoga 920 delivered pretty much what you’d expect. It’s results here came within spitting distance of Acer’s Spin 5, HP’s Envy x360 and the Zenbook Flip S. However, as you might expect, it lagged behind portable powerhouses like the Surface Book 2 and ASUS Zenbook 15 Pro.

When it came to Geekbench’s suite of tests, the Lenovo Yoga 920 proved similarly middle-of-the-pack. It occasionally reared ahead of the HP Envy x360 and Fujitsu’s U937 here but consistently lagged behind heavy hitters like the Zenbook Pro 15 and Dell XPS 13.

When subjected to the Battery Eater testing tool, the Yoga 920  took 1 hour and 10 minutes to dissipate its entire charge.

This test is designed to burn the battery down as fast as possible and show off the minimum amount of battery life you can expect. Since everyone’s ordinary usage patterns - and the impact that those patterns will have on your battery life - are going to naturally vary, this is generally a good way to gauge how the battery on one notebook compares to another.

In context, the Yoga 920 lagged behind a lot of the other portable PCs we’ve looked at here. Obviously, just how much usage you’ll be able to get out of the Yoga 920’s battery is gonna vary depending on what you’re doing with it. However, all the same, the above result above puts the Yoga 920 behind even some gaming laptops for battery life - which is a bit hard to look past.

The Bottom Line

Though not without room for improvement, the Lenovo Yoga 920 provides a mostly-solid mix of specs and design-work. Yes, there’s a bunch of fronts where it falls short of the competition. However, taken as a whole, it still hits the mark frequently enough that’s it’s hard to discount or talk down the things it does get right.

Arguably by design, versatility means not being the best at any one particular thing. A jack of all trades is a master of none. And like its predecessors, the Lenovo Yoga 920 is the trendy-looking convertible that’s versatile enough to make it a tempting enough option for basically any modern creative out there.

The Yoga 920 isn’t the end-all, be-all best notebook out there. But if you’re after “one of those” kinds of PCs, it’s hard to look past it.

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Read more on these topics: Lenovo, Yoga, Yoga 920
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