You can get a mediocre bend-back 2-in-1 laptop for a low price or a premium convertible for $1,000 or more. But what if you want a premium experience at a more affordable price? For just $800, the 14-inch Lenovo Yoga 710 combines strong performance, discrete Nvidia graphics, long battery life and a vibrant, 1080p display into an attractive little package. You may find even faster or sexier-looking 2-in-1s on the market, but none offers this much convertible for the money.
The Yoga 710 looks far more expensive than it is, thanks to a minimalist design that sports a silver, aluminum chassis. The lid is rather plain; it has a Lenovo logo and a shiny Yoga emblem. Opening the lid reveals the island-style keyboard, a large trackpad and a 1080p touch screen surrounded by a tiny bezel.
At 3.4 pounds and 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.6 inches, the 14-inch Yoga 710 is just as small as 13-inch convertibles like the HP Spectre x360 13t (12.8 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches, but a lighter 2.4 pounds) and the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 (12.7 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches and 3.5 pounds). Lenovo's 14-inch business convertible, the ThinkPad Yoga 460, is 4.2 pounds and 13.3 x 9.3 x 0.7 inches.
As with other bend-back 2-in-1s, the Yoga 710 has a 360-degree hinge that allows it to switch between four modes. You can use the 710 like an ordinary laptop, fold the hinge all the way back to make a tablet, use it as a display (by placing the keyboard face down and lifting the monitor vertically) or as a tent (an upside-down "V").
You'll only find the bare-essential ports on the Yoga 710. The left side is home to the power jack, SD card slot and headphone jack, while the right side has two USB 3.0 ports and a micro HDMI port.
The Spectre, Yoga 460 and Inspiron 13 all have three USB ports (one of the Inspiron's is Type-C), which make them more handy when you're using a bunch of peripherals.
I was impressed by the sharp, colorful 1080p display on the Yoga 710. When I watched the latest Doctor Strange trailer, Doctor Strange's spells appeared emerald green and the screen showed off all of the little cracks around Kaecilius' eyes. The screen did, however, have a slightly warm tint, making the sky over Nepal look especially yellow during a sunrise.
According to our colorimeter, the Yoga 710's display can reproduce 96 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is better than the thin-and-light category average of 79 percent. Only the Spectre was more vivid (111 percent), while the Yoga 460 (65 percent) and Inspiron 13 (63 percent) fared worse.
The panel on the Yoga 710 registered a Delta-E color accuracy score of 1.1 (zero is best). While that's more precise than the category average of 2.13, its closest competitors notched 1 or lower.
The Yoga 710's display has an average 288 nits of brightness, literally outshining the 247-nit category average. Neither the Yoga 460 (241 nits) nor the Inspiron 13 (244 nits) was as bright, but the Spectre was particularly luminous at 308 nits.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The keys on the Yoga 710 are a bit shallow, but not uncomfortably so. They have a travel of 1.37 millimeters (we prefer 1.5 to 2 mm) and require 57g of actuation to press down. Despite their low travel, I found them pleasantly clicky and responsive. On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I managed 106 words per minute (in my average 100- to 110-wpm range) with my standard 2 percent error rate.
My biggest complaint about the keyboard is that it doesn't feature the Lift 'n Lock keys found on Lenovo's ThinkPad 2-in-1s. Those keys fall flush with the chassis when folded into tablet mode, which feels smoother and keeps you from pressing them when they're not needed. The keys don't register in tablet mode, but the Lift ‘n Lock keys feel a lot better.
The 4.1 x 2.7-inch trackpad is spacious, comfortable and responsive to gestures. Whether I was navigating a browser, pinching to zoom or scrolling with two fingers, the mouse kept up with me.
The Yoga 710 produced clear, loud sound. When I listened to Kanye West's "Runaway," the laptop immediately filled our testing labs with music. The song's keyboards and percussion were crisp and balanced.
In tent mode, there was a bit of an echo when I listened to the music. Most 2-in-1s have this issue, since the sound bounces off multiple surfaces. I didn't have any problems in laptop, tablet or stand mode.
The Yoga 710 we reviewed came armed with an Intel Core i5-6200U CPU, Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU with 2GB of VRAM, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Those specs combine to make a fine multitasking laptop; I had 25 tabs open in Chrome, including one streaming a 1080p episode of "Last Week Tonight" from YouTube without any noticeable lag.
Lenovo's 2-in-1 earned a score of 5,965 on Geekbench 3, an overall performance test, which fell short of the thin-and-light category average of 6,622. The ThinkPad Yoga 460 (Core i5-6200U) was worse at 5,848, but the Spectre (Core i7-6500U) and Dell Inspiron 13 7000 (Core i5-6200U) fared better, with scores of 6,829 and 6,458, respectively.
It took the Yoga 710 a modest 39 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed-media files, a transfer rate of 130.5 megabytes per second, which is a bit less than the thin-and-light average of 138.4 MBps. This was another case where the Yoga 460 performed worse (111.7 MBps), and the Spectre (173.4 MBps) and Inspiron 13 (154.2 MBps) had stronger showings.
The Yoga 710 paired 20,000 names and addresses in our OpenOffice Spreadsheet macro test in 4 minutes and 31 seconds, faster than the 5:42 category average. The Spectre completed the task more quickly (4:02), the Yoga 460 was just one second behind (4:02) and the Inspiron 13 was the slowest at 4:54.
Despite packing an Nvidia 940MX GPU with 2GB of VRAM, the Yoga 710 isn't powerful enough for more intense games like The Witcher 3 and Metro: Last Light. It notched a score of 80,223 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics benchmark. The Spectre (62,054) and Inspiron 13 (61,252) performed better than average (56,451), while the Yoga 460 didn't do as well (53,196). The Yoga 710's discrete GPU is more likely to give you a little extra power in Photoshop and other image-manipulation tools.
You can flip the Yoga 710 around all day without worrying that it will run out of power. It lasted for 8:55 on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves surfing the web continuously over Wi-Fi.
That time beats the thin-and-light average of 8:11, as well as the Spectre x360 (8:26), Yoga 460 (8:20) and the Inspiron 13 (7:06).
The 720p webcam on the Yoga 710 takes blurry, oversaturated photos, even compared to the average lousy laptop webcam. A selfie that I snapped with the camera was fuzzy, and my red shirt appeared far more bright than it does in real life. The light coming in through ceiling windows across the office completely blew out the photo.
The Yoga 710 stayed nice and cool in our testing. After streaming 15 minutes of HD video from Hulu, the bottom of the notebook reached 93 degrees Fahrenheit, the center of the keyboard hit 91.5 degrees and the touchpad was a comfortable 83.5 degrees. All of these temps are below our 95-degree comfort threshold.
Software and Warranty
The Yoga 710 comes with the standard mix of bloatware and useful utilities that we've become accustomed to on Lenovo's notebooks. Candy Crush Soda Saga, Flipboard and Twitter are present, as always. Lenovo's own software includes Companion for hardware scans and driver updates and Settings to adjust the screen, Wi-Fi, power and more.
We reviewed the $800 base model of the Yoga 710, which comes with an Intel Core i5-6200U CPU, Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU with 2GB of VRAM, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and a 1080p display.
For $900, you can upgrade to an Intel Core i7-6500U CPU, but otherwise, the two configurations are exactly the same.
The Lenovo Yoga 710 is a small, attractive 2-in-1 with a great display for far less money than some of its competitors. Frankly, I'm surprised how much you can get for just $800.
If you want a more premium design and a little more performance, the HP Spectre x360 13t is another great option. However, if you want the best mainstream 2-in-1 for the money, the Yoga 710 should be your top choice.