Laptops come in many shapes and sizes. Many are relatively plain, ordinary devices, but it doesn’t have to be so! Hardware can be interesting, flashy even. The Lenovo YOGA 900 is a perfect example of exciting design on top of capable hardware. This Lenovo YOGA 900 review will delve into just how well a laptop with exceptional form can function.
What’s in the Box
- YOGA 900 laptop
- Power adapter and cord
- User manuals
Boring laptops, begone! The YOGA 900 proves that a windows laptop can truly look good. From the thin, brushed metal chassis to the watch hinge design, this is definitely a sharp looking laptop. Before you open the lid, you’ll notice the metal construction of the case. Though the metal is not textured in any way, there is a good grip to the case and you shouldn’t have any issues with the YOGA 900 slipping out of your hand.
You’ll also notice Lenovo’s watch hinge, an element that it’s included on several recent laptop designs. The watch hinge honestly looks fantastic. It provides a strong hinge action while also allowing for added flexibility. As with the other entries in the Lenovo YOGA series, the YOGA 900 is more than just a laptop, with the hinge rotating to allow use as a tablet, or tented design.
The sides of the laptop have all of your ports, including power input, USB 3.0, SD card reader, mic/headphone input, power button, even USB type C with video out capabilities. For such a thin laptop, the YOGA 900 has nearly all of the ports you could possibly want. The speakers are on the underside of the laptop, but we’ll talk about those in greater detail later.
Once you open the lid, you’ll be greeted by the YOGA’s 13.3” QHD+ (3200 x 1800) IPS display. There is a decent sized bezel around the outside of the display, though this is necessary for the 900’s Tablet mode. On the other half of the inside you’ll find the keyboard and trackpad. The keyboard is a compact chiclet-style keyboard similar to the keyboard found on other Lenovo laptop offerings. The keys provide decent travel and respond well to typing. The keyboard has 3 levels of backlighting, bright, dim, and off. The trackpad is located in its usual spot below the spacebar, and includes your scroll/swipe area in addition to a split “click” area at the bottom of the trackpad. The scroll area can act be used to click in some instances, though not all for some reason.
From top to bottom this is a well designed laptop. My only minor complaint about the design is that the lovely metal exterior is a fingerprint magnet.
As mentioned earlier, the YOGA 900 sports a 13.3” QHD+ IPS display. With a resolution of 3200 x 1800 and 300 nits of brightness this is a display that is easy on the eyes. The high resolution makes the 13.3” display seem larger than it really is. Text is very clear and readable, and video looks fantastic.
Running Windows 10, you’ll have a pretty familiar experience in front of you. The hardware runs Windows 10 smoothly and you’ll have access to all of the usual goodies that a Windows machine has to offer. The Windows Store continues to mature, with a wide selection of apps, games, music, and movies to offer. You will, of course, still have access to any software that you can download as well.
Lenovo has included some of their own software on this laptop, though they’ve honestly kept their footprint fairly light. Included software is: Lenovo OneKey Recovery, Lenovo Companion 3.0, Lenovo Photo Master, Lenovo SHAREit, Lenovo REACHit, and McAfee LiveSafe.
With processor option available including up to a 6th generation Intel Core i7, and up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, the YOGA 900 really flies. For a laptop with such a thin profile, all available interior space is clearly packed to the gills with beefy hardware. The one glaring exception, though not any sort of surprise, is the integrated graphics. You won’t be doing any hardcore gaming on the YOGA 900 — though simple and even some intermediate games will run without issue — but you’ll be able to do nearly anything else you can possibly think of on this machine. I’m a Chrome user, and a tab fiend, both of which cause issues on some devices, though the YOGA 900 has held up admirably under harsh conditions. It has easily handled 15-20 Chrome tabs open along with GOG Galaxy, and other programs such as Paint.net without breaking a sweat.
I was actually very impressed with the speakers on the YOGA 900. With a thin, light laptop like this you might figure that one of the first things to hit the chopping block would be decent sounding speakers. In this instance you’d be wrong. Lenovo has worked with JBL on several laptops and tablets and that partnership has truly paid off. Considering the two small speakers mounted on the bottom corners of the device, the YOGA 900 can pump out some decent sound. You will always have a better experience by plugging in a good set of headphones to allow the Dolby DS 1.0 tuning to truly shine, but this is one of the few laptops I’ve used where I can easily recommend using the internal speakers for a good overall listening experience.
The YOGA 900 includes a 1MP 720p webcam for video chats. The camera works well for this purpose. It isn’t anything terribly special, but in the grand scheme of things, this is an area where skimping just a little bit isn’t a very big deal. The camera will provide a clear image for the folks at the other end of your video chat, and doesn’t do much of anything that it doesn’t really have to do.
Lenovo claims that the YOGA 900 will get up to nine hours of battery life, though those claims are based on turning display brightness down, leaving WiFi off, and several other limiting factors. The good news though, is that I still managed to get close to that battery life completely ignoring any limiting use cases. With regular use, including web browsing, writing, and some light photo editing I was easily able to get around 8 to 8 ½ hours on a charge. Your results may vary with different apps, games, etc. but it is definitely possible to get a full day’s use out of the YOGA 900 without keeping yourself tethered to an outlet.
Starting at $1,199 the Lenovo YOGA 900 is not cheap. Though for the price you’re getting a very thin, light, beautiful laptop that is packed full of impressive hardware. You’ll honestly probably want to spend the extra money (up to $1,399) to get the package with 16GB of RAM though, the extra memory really makes this laptop scream.
There are definitely times you’ll see a flashy looking piece of hardware and just assume that it couldn’t possibly perform. This is not an issue of form over function, or style with no substance, the Lenovo YOGA 900 has it all.