Hands-on with the gorgeous Lenovo Yoga 900
Lenovo has just announced the new Yoga 900 this afternoon. This change is an important branding shift as Lenovo steps up the Yoga line for their unique two-in-one Windows PC laptops including ditching of the Lenovo name on the device itself for the Yoga one. In terms of heredity, this new laptop is the updated Yoga 3 Pro announced nearly one year ago.
The Yoga 900 fixes the biggest complaint about the Yoga 3 Pro, which was the anemic Intel Core M processor. That change up last year was an odd choice due to the decreased performance, although it did allow Lenovo to claim their device as one of the thinnest and lightest in the world.
Bye-bye Core-M, hello Skylake Core i5 and i7
This year, the company is backing away from that ultra-thin and light angle, and while the Yoga 900 is still slim, it has grown a bit. However, that is welcomed since the device now ships with 6th gen Intel Skylake Core i5 and Core i7 processors with up to 16 GB of LPDDR3 memory. In my opinion, this rightly returns the Yoga 900 to the premium, performance-expectant PC that consumers demand.
Lenovo Yoga 900 Specs
|Display||13.3" QHD+ 3200x1800|
|Processor||6th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7|
|Storage||256GB and 512GB SSD|
|Memory||Up to 16GB LPDDR3 memory|
|Weight||1.29kg (2.8 lbs.)|
|Price||Starts at $1,199|
In terms of other specs, you are still getting the somewhat overkill – but brilliant - 3200x1800 QHD+ touch display, up to 512 GB SSD (unfortunately non-PCI-e, for now), and – drum roll please – the return of the sixth keyboard row for dedicated function keys.
What I like about the Yoga 900 is it shows how attentive Lenovo is to customer demands. Sure, the Yoga 3 Pro broke new ground and tried a few new things included a minimalist keyboard, but in the end some experiments simply don't work.
From my limited time with the Yoga 900 is looks like the best of the Yoga 3 Pro with the power of the Yoga 2 Pro all in a great looking device. Ditching Lenovo on the front for YOGA is also a nice differentiator that says "Hey, I'm not your ordinary business laptop". I think it's a smart decision by the company too as the Lenovo brand has many different meanings, but premium consumer devices are not likely one of them.
Other perks of the two-in-one are the typically great Lenovo keyboard and an excellent trackpad though I'd like to review it before giving it a total thumbs up. For what it's worth, my X1 Carbon has the best touchpad I have used on a modern PC, and I'm hoping that carried over to this laptop.
Lenovo also says the hinge is improved with a stiffer and more consistent feel when rotating. The hinge is still that crazy watch-hinge with 813 unique parts, and it did feel – and look – premium. You're also getting a USB Type-C and USB 3.0 ports on here, which is great for those looking for some future-proofing.
What about battery life? I dinged the Yoga 3 Pro for falling way short of their initial 11 hours claim and Lenovo is once again responding to those criticisms. Lenovo tells me they have increased the battery from 44 Wh to a beefier 66 Wh one with a real-world usage of 9 hours. We'll have to test those numbers but with a larger battery and more efficient Skylake Core i5 process that is likely attainable.
One downside, of course, is the lack of any Windows Hello biometric authentication system. There is no RealSense camera or fingerprint scanner, which is a bit of a letdown. Other than that, however, I think Lenovo did all the right things to make a good course correction for the Yoga 'Pro' line (now just 900-series).
Look for the Yoga 900 to hit store shelves in the coming weeks at Lenovo.com and Best Buy locations. Starting price is $1,199 for the Core i5 version with 256 GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. No word if Microsoft Stores will carry them too. However, Microsoft has carried the Yoga line in the past.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.