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

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Display13.3" QHD+ 3200x1800
10-point touchscreen
SoftwareWindows 10
Processor6th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7
Storage256GB and 512GB SSD
MemoryUp to 16GB LPDDR3 memory
Weight1.29kg (2.8 lbs.)
ColorsClementine Orange
Champagne Gold
Platinum Silver
PriceStarts 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.

Lenovo Yoga 900

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.

Lenovo Yoga 900

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).

Lenovo Yoga 900

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.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been here covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics and ran the projectors at movie theaters, which has done absolutely nothing for his career.

  • sexy. omg lenovo - you done too good work 
  • I like all of it but that hinge. It looks weird/flimsly.
  • I have a Yoga 2 pro with a similar looking hinge.  It is not flimsy at all.  It's a solid device, I'm very happy with it.
  • Nope yoga 2 pro doesnt have watchband hinge.
  • its ugly looks like a cheap made in china ONDA  
  • Iphones are made in China!!!!
  • When it hits the table, you can hear how flimsy it probably is.
  • This is indeed a gorgeous laptop but that stupid Yoga logo...who's idea was that? a logo that big and ugly. They should have just left the Lenovo logo. That hinge itself is a Yoga signature; there's no other laptop like it.  I think I will buy this instead of the Surface Book. Bigger bang for the buck. 
  • Is the screen improved all around? The tech behind it was one of its biggest downfalls.
  • Spyware is free! No extra charge! lol
  • it is not improved at all. I have yoga 900 for about 6 months. The screen just cracked on its own. Reading post reviews the samme problems were with all previous models....
  • You can really see how the USB port itself is becoming a limiting factor in hardware design these days. Hopefully USB-C connectors will become the norm ASAP so that manufacturers can move past them for ultrabooks and tablets. Short of that, manufacturers should just bundle a few USB to USB-C adapters. In terms of Lenovo, my thoughts on them still stand, so this will just be something semi-nice to look at machine (not a fan of the multi-look hinge).
  • Until a different type of connector comes along and replaces usbc
  • Are we talking for thickness sake? I think that premium laptops are thin enough. Much like phones I wish people would stop making them thinner and just shove more battery in there.
  • Yes! Or, make them flexible so I can fit the 5"+ phones in my front pocket even when wearing jeans without risk of ripping my pants.
  • They should really make a phone that folds in half. Oh wait....   Uh oh... just like Bell Bottom pants, flip phones and clamshells will come back in style. I give it 5 years or less. :)
  • while yes they do state that the only limiting constratin around the size is that the USB port is at fault...im not sure if i would want a thinner tablet or even phone. Grip becomes a problem and even thin devices may causes stress
  • It looks realy nice especially the gold Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Dang...no Windows Hello :(
  • and at this price point it should have it.
  • Lenovo was right refusing surface. They have made great laptops. Full marks except the hinge.
  • And windows hello
  • And no discrete gpu?
  • the hinge is ugly to my eyes - to the point of being a deal breaker. Looks too tacky for my tastes - not sure what Lenovo tried to achieve by having a two tone, glossy / matte combo. May look good in a 90s watch, not in a modern laptop. Otherwise a good device.
  • And the thinnest form factor?
  • No discrete GPU is definitely a downside, but the integrated ones from Intel are getting awfully good. Unless you're doing real cutting edge gaming, they're good enough. (Even for older games that were considered demanding a few years ago, Intel's integrated GPU is usually good enough).
  • Can I play DOTA 2 on this Intel GPU at 1080p?
  • @Salman Shah, by looking at http://www.dota-utilities.com/2011/09/dota-2-system-requirements.html?m=1, I would guess yes. Looks like that game is designed for low-end hardware. I see in benchmarking that the Intel integrated Iris Pro Graphcis will even run Skyrim at 50 fps at 1920x1080, and I suspect that's quite a bit more demanding. That's not great, but it's playable and beats even discrete mobile graphics chipsets like the GeForce GT 650M or 740M and the AMD HD7670M.
  • I'm not a fan of the hinges either (look kind of a bling thing actually) but this could be my next PC. A step up from Yoga pro 3. Allthough what I really want is the Surface book :-)
  • That hinge and keyboard is pretty ugly.  The Surface Book's hinge is definitely a lot more unique and beautiful compared to that.  But, other than that the device does look really good.
  • Why did Surface Book not sport USB-C type? I know they'll produce a sequel net year, but USB-C is the only thing to make the Surface Book the ultimate machine
  • I think this stems from the fact that the Surface Pro and Surface Book are viewed more as enterprise devices, and not necessarily consumer-focused. That being said, most companies will not be adopting USB-C anytime soon (we're looking at 3- 4 years, other than possibly phones). Sure, they could offer adapters like Apple is doing, but enterprise customers hate this more than your traditional consumer does. The other option would be to have both USB-C and USB 3.0, but for enterprise customers, this can be viewed as a "wasted port", because they most likely wont use it any time soon. Sure, their employees might have USB-C devices (i.e. phones), but many companies actually prohibit connected personal devices to work computers.  Yes, you could argue that this would be future-proof, but most Enterprise customers actually lease their PC's, rather than outright buying them. Due to this, they actually swap out non-mission-critical machines (i.e. laptops and phones) every 2 - 4 years. Which is about the time it will take for USB-C to become an enterprise ready standard (meaning accessories, USB drives, phones, etc. are all mostly using USB-C). 
  • The surface book does use some sort USB-C tech or thunderbot for the GPU ot custom one not sure
  • The tablet portion has its own Surface Connector (their proprietary port) which is how it connects to the base. You wont be able to plugin a USB-C or Thunderbolt device into that port.
  • Probably because they have that custom connector that pretty much does what usb-c is purported to do.
  • Might have considered it over surface pro 4, especially because of USB C, but there's no pen, and that's the driving force behind wanting and needing a surface device for me Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • ummm, typo?
  • This, this, this^^^!!!
    Why do they skip the active digitizer? It's the one thing I can't let go of the Surface line for. Ever since I got the original Surface Pro, there's no way I'm gonna spend 1k+ on any type of mobile pc without an active digitizer and pen, no way!!
  • I think this looks terrible, at lest from that one pic. It looks like two plastic laptop pieces glued to a large blingy door hinge. I'll wait to make final judgments in person, but not impressed... Sad I like the last yoga.
  • huh? the last yoga pro used exactly the same style of hinge! it is ugly though.
  • Looks nice, but can we get some pictures that show the laptop from different angles in such a way as to focus attention on the hinge? Maybe even have the video set up so show it shows the hinge when it's not playing?  Oh, and please don't bore us with any photo's from the front showing how it would look if you were sat down with it infront of you and using it like a laptop, you probably can't se the hinge too well in that view.
  • I am sorry, I did not know this site was set up specifically to meet your needs only. 
  • Of course it's not, I should, perhaps, have clearly noted that it was sarcasm around the fact that when these pictures were taken of this undeniably attractive device, there was clearly some hinge love going on.
  • Try this link to see the hinge closer (click the arrow sign to change pictures)
    Lenovo Yoga 900 Laptop (13-inch)
  • Sounds great.
  • Wish they should have just added the windows hello capability.
  • I have to say I'm underwhelmed.  The streamed press conference was pretty weak (maybe it was typical and Microsoft's recent one just raised the bar too much).  It appeared to be streamed from a warehouse.  Lack of Windows Hello is a big-time downer and probably a deal breaker for me.  Nice that it has USB Type C, but it is apparently not the power connector (though the power connector on my Yoga Pro 2 is fine), and there is just the one.  The specs say "USB Type C with Video Out".  I'd like to know what that means.  Is there a docking option for the Yoga 900? They made the right move going back to Core I5/I7 over Core M, but this seems like an extre