Lenovo was a little late with the update of their premium 2-in-1 Yoga notebook, but there’s finally a successor for the Yoga 910 as of early September 2017, the Yoga 920, scheduled however to ship from Q4 2017.
While we’re waiting for our own sample for the standard review, the guys at Lab501.ro already have a full review of an early sample (available here, in Romanian though) and we’ll take a short dive to check what’s new and what to expect from this new premium convertible from Lenovo.
The Yoga 920 has some big shoes to fill up, as the 910 is even today, many months after its launch, one of the better devices in its niche, as you can find from our in-depth review available over here. It can improve on some of its lacks though, especially the performance loss caused by overheating, the limited connectivity and the lack of digitizer and active pen support.
So let’s see what’s changed, what’s improved and what’s still lacking.
Specs as Review
Design and look first
First of all, Yoga 920 is slightly slimmer than its predecessor, although I seriously doubt that it is a must on anyone's list. The previous version was very thin for the ultrabook convertible, but the new model managed to shave slightly and only 13.95 millimeters thick (from 14.3 mm on the previous model). There is no significant weight loss, and at 3.00 lbs Yoga 920 is still slightly heavier than devices like Asus Zenbook UX370 or HP Specter x360, but do not forget also get bigger screen and bigger battery like good.
The second change seen is in the color palette available for this model. While Yoga 910 is available in Black, Silver of Gold, the new Yoga 920 will be available in Copper, Bronze and Platinum. The pure black version looks professional but shows stains very easily, and I hope the new colors become a bit more forgiving and easier to keep clean.
Not much has changed in terms of design and design lines, and that's good, because 910 is at the top of the tier in this department. Yoga 920 gets the case of a unibody aluminum alloy that is finished on a CNC machine, but the design lines are slightly different, with edges that look very similar to the existing metal edges on the smartphone these days. Unfortunately the review does not say anything about the build quality, but based on some of the video previews available out there, it is still top-notch.
Yoga 920 is still 2-in-1 and uses the same watch hinges as we have seen since Yoga 3 Pro (a better version that has no toys like the one done by the initial iteration). Flexible, strong and quiet, this hinge allows to switch between laptop, tent and tablet mode with ease. A small but welcome change is the small folds carved on the front lip, which makes the basic process of opening the screen more comfortable. The older design on the 910 is quite pronounced on the fingertips, with a very sharp tip.
I noticed the design of the screen frame has not changed much. While the upper and lateral bezels are very thin, the area below the screen is still pretty and gives the odd layout laptop on Tablet Mode and ineffective positions in Tent Mode. Lenovo at least managed to put the camera on the screen this time though.
One other aspect that needs to be mentioned here is OI. Yoga 920 gets one Type-A USB port, two Type-C USB ports and a headphone jack, but this time both Type-C ports support Thunderbolt 3, which earlier versions did not. The review did not say if they have a PCIe 4x slot, but I think, given the same implementation is available lately on some other Lenovo laptops.
Keyboard and touchpad
The people at Lab501 also did not jump into this particular area, just noted a nice touchpad texture and generous keyboard layout spacing.
In a closer look, we see that the keyboard layout is similar to what Lenovo used in Yoga 720. While Yoga 910 gets a smaller Shift Right button and full-size arrow keys, the new Yoga 920 gets a large right Shift key, Maybe good choice for some heavy typists out there, but Up and Down arrow keys are half the size now and narrow together in a single standard key.
Personally, I liked the previous layout better, and I'll also note that my typing experience with Yoga 720 is not as good as Yoga 910. Given the layout, there's a good chance Yoga 920 gets the same feedback. . We will see later.
Screen Laptop Lenovo Yoga 920
Just like the previous generation, the Yoga 920 sports a 13.9-inch screen with IPS Full HD or UHD panels. The reviewers got the Full HD option, with an AU Optronics B139HAN03_0 panel, a change from the LG Philips UHD panel we had on the Yoga 910, but its quality seems to be equally great.
The reviewers measure a maximum brightness of 323 cd / m2, approximately equal to Yoga 910, a better black level with a brightness of 0.251 cd / m2 so that 1284: 1 contrast is increased. Color accuracy is also quite solid, with minimum color deviation (DeltaE 2.69, measured by xRite i1 Pro, from what I can tell).
A much-awaited update is the inclusion of the active screen digitizer. Yoga 910 lacks one, while most other options available by 2017 put it in. Yoga 920 is compatible with the newer Lenovo Active Pen 2 that supports 4096 pressure sensitivity levels. It will be included with the final retail version, but the review unit comes without it.
Hardware and performance Lenovo Yoga 920
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is going to be available in a few different hardware variants, with Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 CPUs, 8 GB to 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB to 1 TB of NVMe SSD storage. It’s built on the KabyLake-Refresh Core U processors, with four cores, eight threads and a significant performance boost in multi-threaded applications.
The review unit comes with an Intel Core i5-8250U processor, 12 GB RAM and SSH NVMe 256 GB SSD Samsung AM961. CPU and RAM are soldered on the motherboard, so be sure to choose the right configuration for your needs out of the box. M.2 storage, battery and wireless chips can be accessed by removing the rear panel, which is held by some visible and easily removable screws once you release it.
There is one important aspect that needs to be mentioned here: the M.2 slot is under the current motherboard, which makes the process of improvement more complicated than in Yoga 910 which allows easy access to it. In other words, Lenovo is trying to convince you to buy a larger SSD from them, at a reasonable price.
In addition, not much has changed in it. Batteries still need most of the room, although 70 Wh and Yoga 920 batteries have 76 Wh one. Two fans are responsible for cooling the hardware and the speakers have been repositioned sideways.
Lab501 ran some benchmarks on their test unit, and I’ve gathered them below:
- 3DMark: Sky Driver – 4068, Fire Strike – 878;
- 3DMark Graphics: Sky Driver – 6500, Fire Strike – 7062;
- 3DMark Physics: Sky Driver – 3868, Fire Strike – 941;
- Cinebench R15: Multi-Core – 505 cb;
- CPMark 08: Creative Conventional – 3432 points.
Keep in mind this is a pre-production example and not a final retail model, so the result should be improved with better drivers. We look deeper into the Core i5-8250U processor in this particular article, based on the results of some reviews, if you're interested in what to expect, which in a few words is a 10% increase in single core load. and ~ 30-60% improvement for multi-core load through KabyLake dual-core processor. Do not expect more than 5% in-game gaming and benchmark GPUs, as the UHD620 chip is integrated with a KabyLake-R processor similar to the HD 620 on dual-core, quite higher clock (Turbo 1100 MHz on quad-core, 1050 MHz turbine on i7 -7500U, Turbo 1000 MHz on i5-7200U).
If you read the review review of Yoga 910, we talked deeply about the weakness of the i7-7500U on heavy loads. The current review of Yoga 920 mentions that two cores stick to their i5-8250U samples as well, but do not provide further details or images. From one Realtemp pic included, it looks like the processor clock-downs so cores pass 90 degrees, but do not tell me how much or what kind of load, so we can not get a clear conclusion from their test. .
We'll be able to tell you more about this topic in our reviews, but I do not have a time frame for it. Hopefully we will get a review unit by the end of the year.
While the previous Yoga 910 gets a 76 Wh battery, the new Yoga 920 gets a slightly smaller color.
The review mentions several results:
- 11 hours of light use - PowerMark Productivity Test with 50% brightness screen, Power Saving Mode and WiFi On;
- 5 hours of productivity use - PCMark 8 Creativity Test with screen at 100% brightness, High Performance Mode and Active WiFi;
- 3 hours of game - World of Tanks with 100% brightness screen, High Performance Mode and WiFi On.
This test is much different from the standard, but based on our experience with KabyLake-R processor, I hope Yoga 920 offers battery life similar to Yoga 910 in most everyday scenarios, even with a 10% smaller battery. .
On top of all this, despite the reduced battery capacity, Yoga 920 still gets the largest battery in its segment. The HP Spectre x360 is closest, almost 60 Wh, while most other batteries are smaller.
Price and availability
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is scheduled to ship in October 2017 with a starting price of $1329, while the the higher specked models will go up to around 2 grand. We’ll update this section once it will be available in shops.
There are a few things we can conclude on from this single existing review of the Lenovo Yoga 920-13IKB and a few that we still can’t.
Here’s a quick list of what’s changed (not necessarily improved) from the Yoga 910:
- marginally slimmer, pretty much the same weight (~3 lbs);
- different design lines, with elements from the Yoga 720 line, but the same iconic watchband hinge;
- new color schemes: Copper, Bronze and Platinum – no Black version available anymore;
- gets 2x Thunderbolt 3 ports;
- gets a different keyboard layout, similar to the one on the Yoga 720 – the typing experience could be a little worse than on the Yoga 910;
- still a 13.9-inch touchscreen, but with digitizer and support for the Lenovo Active Pen 2;
- small lateral bezels, but the top-bezel is a tiny bit larger and that allows it to accommodate the camera on top of the screen;
- updated hardware, with KabyLake-R quad-core processors – performance in demanding loads might still be an issue;
- the M.2 drive is more difficult to access;
- gets a 70 Wh battery, compared to the 76 Wh battery on the Yoga 910.