HP Spectre x360 vs Lenovo Yoga 920: Which 2-in-1 Wins?

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Editors' Note (1/16/2018): This face-off has been updated based on additional, side-by-side testing.

When it comes to picking a fantastic convertible 2-in-1, two of the best options are the Lenovo Yoga 920 and the HP Spectre x360. And it's no easy choice, as both sport speedy 8th-Gen Intel CPUs and weigh about 3 pounds. But there are some pretty significant differences between these two machines.

hpspectrex360_vs_lenovoyoga720_leadTo help you pick the best 13-inch consumer 2-in-1, we've compared the Yoga 920 and HP Spectre x360. Based on our previous testing and hands-on reviews, we evaluated the two systems based on their design, ports, keyboard, display, performance, battery life and value. These convertibles are evenly matched, but one has a slight edge.

Editor's Note (Corrections 12/24): We've changed the screen and battery life sections to show results from both an HP Spectre x360 with standard screen and a model with a Sure View display.

  Lenovo Yoga 920 HP Spectre x360
Starting Price $1,099 $999
Price As Reviewed $1,099 $1,309
CPU 8th-Gen Intel Core i5, i7 8th-Gen Intel Core i5, i7
GPU Intel UHD 620 (Integrated) Intel UHD 620 (Integrated)
Display 13.9-inch, 1920 x 1080 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 / 3840 x 2160
Ports 1 USB 3.0, 2 Thunderbolt, fingerprint reader, headphone jack 1 USB 3.0, 2 Thunderbolt, fingerprint reader, headphone jack, microSD memory reader
Battery Life 12:22 9:45 / 8:26 (Sure View screen)
Size 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches 12 x 8.6 x 0.5 inches
Weight 3.1 pounds 2.9 pounds

Design

The Lenovo Yoga 920 (12.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches, 3.1 pounds) is a bit larger and heavier than the HP Spectre x360 (12 x 8.6 x 0.5 inches, 2.9 pounds), but that's actually an impressive feat for the 13.9-inch Yoga 920, which gives you a larger screen than the 13.3-inch Spectre.

yoga-920-2The Spectre x360 comes in three colors: Natural Silver, Dark Ash Silver with Copper Luxe and Pale Rose Gold. The Yoga 920 also comes in a trio of hues: Bronze, Copper and Platinum.

If you want to use the fingerprint sensor in multiple modes, the Spectre x360 has an advantage, as its reader is embedded in the power button. The fingerprint sensor on the Yoga 920 is on the deck beneath the keyboard. However, not everyone wants to reach around to the side of the system when in laptop mode to use the reader. If you want to log into Windows 10 with facial recognition, note that only the Spectre x360 has the IR camera you need.

The Yoga sports a slick, watchband-style hinge, while the Spectre has a pretty basic — but shiny — pair of hinges. Overall, we prefer the look and feel of the Yoga 920, and the fact that it gives you a slightly larger screen for not much more weight.

Winner: Yoga 920.

Ports

When it comes to ports, the Spectre x360 and Yoga 920 are nearly identical.

hp-spectre-3Both offer dual Thunderbolt 3 ports, a Type-A USB 3 port, a headphone jack and a fingerprint reader. The Spectre x360 sneaks out a win here, though, by offering a microSD memory reader.

Winner: Spectre x360.

Display

Both of these convertibles feature colorful touch screens that come in both 1080p and 4K resolutions. HP also offers a 1080p panel with the company's Sure View technology, which allows you to limit the viewing angles so the person next to you can't see your work. Sure View screens do a great job of preventing visual hacking, but they also use more power, even when in regular mode, and have worse viewing angles than HP's regular 1080p displays.

yoga-920-1

During our reviews, we tested a Yoga 920 with a 1080p panel and an HP Spectre x360 with a 1080p, Sure View display. The Yoga's screen produced 105 percent of the sRGB color gamut, while emitting 284 nits of brightness.

Watching the trailer for The Avengers: Infinity War on the laptops, we saw similar color, with the reds of Spider-Man's armor and the greens of trees looking too close to call either way. The unmistakable difference, though, came from the Yoga 920 emitting truer, inkier blacks and offering an overall higher brightness. In comparison, the Spectre x360's screen showed a dark grey.

The Spectre x360 with a non-Sure View, 1080p screen produced a slightly-higher 114 percent of the sRGB gamut, but emitted a much-dimmer 241 nits. The Sure View, 1080p screen was still behind the Yoga, but managed to hit 261 nits with 109 percent of the gamut.. 

Winner: Yoga 920. 

Keyboard

The Spectre x360's keyboard offers a significantly better typing experience than you'll find on the Yoga 920. While both sets of keys offer a modest 1.3 millimeters of travel (1.5 to 2mm is typical), HP's keyboard offers snappy feedback and a strong 80 grams of required actuation force that prevented us from bottoming out (hitting the base at full force).

Testing the keyboards out on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I found that the HP Spectre x360 offers a slightly more comfortable experience, as I hit a rate of 76 words per minute on the 2-in-1, not too far from my 80 wpm average. Over on the Yoga 920, I click-clacked my way on its shallower keys and my rate dropped to 73 words per minute.

The Yoga 920's keys require a solid 68 grams of actuation force, but that wasn't enough to keep us from bottoming out once in awhile.

Winner: HP Spectre x360.

Performance

Both the Spectre x360 and the Yoga 920 come with quad-core Intel 8th Gen Core Series processors, speedy PCIe SSDs and up to 16GB of RAM. The configurations we tested both had Core i7-8550U CPUs inside, but our Spectre x360 had slightly better specs, sporting 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD versus 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD on our Yoga 920 review unit. Nevertheless, the two systems were neck and neck on performance tests, with each one coming out ahead on different benchmarks.

hp-spectre-2The Spectre x360 notched a strong 13,568 on the Geekbench 4 general performance test, while the Yoga 920) we reviewed was under 2 percent behind, scoring 13,306. 

Higher-capacity SSDs tend to offer better performance so it's no surprise that our Spectre x360's 512GB drive was much quicker than our Yoga 920's 256GB unit. The Spectre x360 notched a 566-MBps speed on our file-copy test, which involves copying 4.97GB of mixed media files. That's nearly twice as fast as the 300 MBps from the Yoga 920.

The Yoga 920 got a win in our OpenOffice macro test, where it matched 20,000 names and addresses in 3 minutes and 17 seconds, which is a modest 6 seconds less than the 3:23 from the Spectre x360.

We also saw mixed scores in graphics tests, though both units have the same Intel, integrated GPU. Both laptops ran the Dirt 3 racing game above our 30-frame- per-second playability threshold, but the Spectre x360 was smoother (56 fps) than the Yoga 920 (35 fps). However, the Yoga 920 earned 86,267 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics benchmark, surpassing the Spectre x360's score of 79,528.

Winner: Draw.

Battery Life

The Yoga 920 offers enough battery life to leave your charger at home, even on longer days. It lasted 12 hours and 22 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi.

yoga-920-4

The Spectre x360 with regular, 1080p screen lasted 9 hours and 45 minutes, which is two and a half hours less than Lenovo's laptop. With a Sure View screen, which uses more power even when not in privacy mode, the time was 8:26.

Winner: Yoga 920.

Value

Depending on when and where you buy your laptop and how you configure it, either the Spectre x360 or Yoga 920 could be cheaper. At publication time, both 2-in-1s were on significant sales. Normally $1,149, the starting Spectre x360 configuration was $999 at HP.com; it comes with a Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 1080p screen and a 256GB SSD. With a Core i7-8550U processor, the price was $1,099 (normally $1,249).

hp-spectre-4

At present, the Yoga 920 with Core i5-8250U, 1080p screen, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD goes for $1,199 on Lenovo.com. However, Best Buy has the model with similar specs, but a Core i7-8550U CPU inside for just $1,099 (normally $1,299). So, at the moment, both Core i7 models are the same exact price, but at their MSRPs, the Spectre x360 is $50 cheaper.

Winner: Spectre x360 is a tiny bit less expensive when not on sale.

 

Bottom Line

  Lenovo Yoga 920 HP Spectre x360
Design  
Ports  
Display  
Keyboard  
Performance
Battery Life  
Value  
Overall Score 4 4

The Lenovo Yoga 920 and HP Spectre x360 are two very evenly matched convertibles with similar configuration options, performance and prices. Each machine took four rounds in this face-off, with one round a tie.

Which convertible you choose should depend on your priorities. HP's laptop has a superior keyboard, microSD slot and slightly lower prices when neither system is on sale. It also has an IR camera and optional Sure View screen.

However, overall, we prefer the Lenovo Yoga 920, because of its larger and brighter screen and especially its longer battery life. The over 2.5 hours of extra endurance gives Lenovo the win in this close contest.

 

 

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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2 comments
  • Nightwalker Says:

    I see that the article has finally been rewritten.

    The previous wording sounded really biased and the information was just confusing (Dell chart in a HP vs Lenovo comparison?). (The author seems to hate silver color here, but that was not helping readers to make a purchase decision.)

    Still I don't think the design section should be decided the current way. Both devices are beautiful in their own design. On the other hand, some people might also not like the shiny watchband on the Yoga or the sharp-looking edge on the Spectre.

    And I don't see how the 920 has done an impressive feast here. The screen is slightly bigger, but then it's bigger and heavier as well. This section should be left as a draw.

    The Display section is also problematic. The HP spectre X360's brightness has been rated 313 nits in your HP-review chart but then 261 nits in the passage. This question was already raised in the comment section of your HP X360 review. Judging by others' review on the device, the HP is definitely exceeding 300 nits. Coupled with the fact that it covers more RGB gamut and offers the privacy filter, the HP has a clear win here.

    The HP also has a Windows-Hello ready webcam and not just the fingerprint reader whereas the Lenovo only has the latter.

    Other differences:
    -The Lenovo has a far-field microphone.
    - The HP has quad speakers.

    IMO these two devices have their differences clear enough and it's a draw.

  • Yoga Packard Says:

    Your article is confusing because your comparison charts don't show the Yoga or X360. Instead they show Dell laptops.
    Cheers.

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