Lenovo Yoga 720 13" review: The Yoga 7-series gets an overhaul

New sizes, new hardware, and a great price bring Lenovo's Yoga 7-series into the convertible spotlight.

Lenovo's convertible Yoga 7-series, including the original 700 and the 710, has traditionally been available in two sizes: 11 inches and 14 inches. The Yoga 720 is the most recent device in this line, and with it is a switch in sizes to 13-inch and 15-inch options.

With the size change is a display with a smaller bezel, a fingerprint reader for Windows Hello, and more configuration options with 7th-generation Intel processors. Is the Yoga 720 worth your time and hard-earned dollars? Let's take a look.

About this review

Lenovo supplied Windows Central with a review unit of the 13-inch Yoga 720. The configuration has a 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. This specific configuration starts at about $779.

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Lenovo Yoga 720 hardware and specifications

The 13-inch Yoga 720 comes in a few configuration options, and there's still a 4K model somewhere on the horizon. These are the specs you can currently get.

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CategoryXX
ProcessorIntel Core i5-7200U (up to 2.70GHz)
Intel Core i7-7500U (up to 3.50GHz
Dual-core
StorageUp to 512GB PCIe SSD
RAM8GB or 16GB DDR4-2133MHz
Display13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, AntiGlare
GraphicsIntel HD Graphics 620
PortsOne USB-C
One Thunderbolt 3
One USB 3.0
3.5mm jack
SpeakersTwo JBL speakers with Dolby Audio Premium
WirelessQualcomm Atheros
Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac
CameraFront-facing 720p
BiometricsFingerprint reader
Windows Hello capable
Battery4-cell 48WHr
Up to 8 hours
Weight2.9lbs (1.3kg)
Dimensions12.2 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
310 x 213 x 14.3mm
PriceStarting at $779.99 (opens in new tab)

If you top out the specs on this laptop, say with the Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, expect to pay about $1,100 (opens in new tab). Not bad at all.

A slim design expected from a convertible

When using a laptop that is meant to convert into a few different forms, you don't want something that's thick or heavy. The Yoga 720's aluminum chassis is just 0.6 inches thick, allowing it to sit nicely in your hands when in tablet mode.

It's balanced nicely when in stand and notebook mode, letting you have the screen pushed quite far back without losing any stability. You cannot, however, open the lid with one hand, something that is definitely taken for granted once you've used a laptop that has this feature.

The Platinum Silver finish seems to hide fingerprints and dirt quite well on the outside and gives the device a smooth feel. The aluminum finish continues on the inside, wrapping the keyboard and touchpad. The only concern here is that the palm rests with this sort of finish usually begin to stain after a lot of use.

The whole thing weighs in at about 2.9 pounds (1.3kg), and it feels solid when you pick it up. There's very little flex in the chassis, which is a good thing on a convertible laptop; you don't want parts being pinched when converting to tent, stand, or tablet mode.

When converting, the hinges are tight but not enough to make you struggle. Shaking the laptop around in notebook mode, there isn't much play in the display as far as it closing on its own; at least not enough that you'd notice it in regular use. There are no creaking parts, and everything is smooth and machined well. Along the inside edges of the lid and bottom chassis is a chrome accent that sets things off in a subtle way.

There is a certain sponginess to the hinges, something that is common in these dual-hinge setups that you don't find as often on, say, the Yoga 910 with its watchband hinge. You can sort of move the lid of the laptop without actually seeing the hinges move. It's more of a flex that retakes its shape when you stop applying pressure. Nothing serious here and nothing that will affect daily use, but it's worth mentioning.

A backlit power button is located on the right edge of the laptop next to the USB 3.0 port, and a fingerprint reader is embedded just below the keyboard on the right side of the laptop. Yes, it is compatible with Windows Hello, and it works as it should.

For vents, there is a long row along the back edge of the chassis, in between the two hinges. There is another larger row of vents on the bottom of the laptop.

Touch FHD display with not a lot of bezel

One major upgrade from the Yoga 710 is how much bezel around the top and sides of the display was cut down. You're looking at only about a quarter-inch on the Yoga 720, and it makes a huge difference. There's still enough room at the top for a 720p camera that takes decent photos. It has to be noted that there still a large bezel along the bottom of the screen; about 1.2 inches, to be exact.

The 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display is glossy, but Lenovo has done their best to cut down on glare. It isn't that distracting when not near sunlight, and at that point, the brightness becomes more of an issue anyway. Maxing out the screen's brightness (supposedly at about 300 nits) is not enough to work outdoors, and I often found I'd already maxed it out while working indoors during the day. Needless to say, it excels in the dark and won't cause eye strain when using it late at night.

When not dealing with the brightness issues, using the screen is, for the most part, a pleasure. Colors are full and deep, the 16:9 aspect ratio is familiar, and it has a wide viewing angle.

The Yoga 720 does have pen support with Lenovo's Active Pen, but one was not included with this review unit to allow for testing.

Smooth and comfy keyboard

Lenovo keyboards are, for the most part, a treat to type on, and the one found here on the Yoga 720 is no different. Unlike the ThinkPad line that prefers keys with a dipped middle and slightly raised edges, the chicklet-style keys here are flat.

Typing is virtually silent, and the keys have a bit of spring to them. This means you might have to push a tiny bit harder than on other keyboards, but it's also incredibly comfortable if you happen to type a lot...like, all day.

The keys are backlit with three stages of brightness (off, low, and high). Volume and screen brightness controls find a home at the top of the keyboard with the function keys.

Overall, this keyboard is simple to pick up and start using, and it is about as comfortable as they come. Fans of a full-size right Shift key will be happy to know it's made a reappearance here after negative feedback from some owners of the Yoga 710.

A Precision touchpad

Yes, the Yoga 720 takes advantage of Microsoft Precision technology to deliver all of the three-finger gestures associated with Windows 10, and that's a good thing. Around the touchpad is a slim, chrome accent that separates the chassis. It's a nice little accent that does its job almost without you noticing it. Another thing I really like is that Lenovo chose to set the fingerprint reader elsewhere than with the touchpad.

The actual touchpad hardware is smooth and tracks well. Clicking is solid, and there is no rattle that you sometimes find on other touchpads. The right- and left-click button at the bottom of the touchpad are separated by a painted-on line to help differentiate between the two. The only gripe I have, and one that you'll find with most of these touchpads because of their hinge design, is that it's often difficult or downright impossible to click when you get closer to the top.

The speakers could be better

There are two JBL-branded speakers on either side of the bottom of the laptop that fire downwards. Tablet mode doesn't muffle the sound, nor is it muffled when sitting in notebook mode on a table, but in your lap, you can expect the sound to not be as clear.

Listening to music at full volume was nice and loud, but there isn't much bass. Messing around with the Dolby Atmos presets didn't really make much of a difference either, and overall the sound can be described as hollow.

Lenovo Yoga 720 ports

Here you're getting a USB-C port that also handles charging, as well as a Thunderbolt 3 port on the left edge of the laptop. Next to the Thunderbolt 3 port is a standard 3.5mm jack for headsets.

On the right edge of the device, next to the power button, is a USB 3.0 port. The only thing missing, and one that is sort of a big deal in tablet mode, is a physical volume rocker.

Heat and fan noise

One of the first things I noticed when I first booted this laptop is the fan noise. Even when under a very small workload it sometimes kicks up to high gear, and when it does, it's quite loud. It seems to come at random times. However, when operating at what I'd call a normal pace, the fan is pretty much silent.

The Yoga 720 seems to dissipate heat quite well, even under heavy load (that fan is doing something). The bottom stays relatively cool, but you'll probably notice a bit of heat under your palms. Nothing extreme; just your normal output from working hard.

Decent performance from a slim laptop

The hardware being tested here is a dual-core, 7th-generation "Kaby Lake" Intel Core i5-7200U processor with a clock speed up to 2.70GHz, 8GB of DDR4-2133MHz RAM, and a 256GB PCIe solid-state drive.

Geekbench 4.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)

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DeviceSingle coreMulti core
Lenovo Yoga 7203,8817,509
Lenovo X1 Carbon Core i54,1398,311
HP EliteBook x360 G24,4968,435
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext4,3168,320
Dell Latitude 54804,62515,401
Dell Precision 5520 (Xeon E3)4,79915,055
Dell XPS 15 (9560) Core i74,50313,587
Dell Latitude 72804,3817,935
Dell XPS 13 (9360) Core i74,1207,829
HP Spectre 13 Core i74,1007,469
Surface Book Core i73,9487,415

When considering traditional computing — your everyday tasks — the Yoga 720 appears to fall behind a lot of other laptops we've tested, but you have to keep in mind that most of them were sporting i7 processors. Not quite a fair comparison.

The Yoga 720 can hold its own; while using it for things like web browsing, word processing, and video watching, it was snappy and responsive with minimal lag when switching apps. Throw some meatier tasks at it and it might not fare as well.

Geekbench 4.0 Graphics OpenCL (Higher is better)

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DeviceCompute score
Lenovo Yoga 72018,185
Lenovo X1 Carbon20,932
Dell Latitude 548021,616
Dell Precision 552048,724
Dell XPS 13 (9360)19,410
Surface Book HD52018,197
Dell Latitude 7280