A 2-in-1 with premium features at a reasonable price, the Lenovo Yoga 720 (13-inch) offers solid performance, an all-metal chassis and a vibrant screen, all for under $1,000. This lightweight convertible also lasts around 8.5 hours on a charge. Its keyboard is a bit stiff and its screen could be brighter, but the Yoga 720 is a good choice.
The aluminum rectangle that makes up the Yoga 720 is really small. It's sleek enough that I thought it was smaller than 13 inches. The silver lid, with the Yoga logo in a playful font, is inoffensive and solid without any give.
Under the lid, the display is surrounded by a black bezel, and there's an island-style backlit keyboard and a fingerprint reader on the aluminum deck. We've seen more and more fingerprint readers on 2-in-1s move over to the side for use in tablet mode, but that's not the case with this one.
The whole package is quite svelte; just 2.8 pounds and 12.2 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches. The Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1 is 3.5 pounds and 12.7 x 8.9 x 0.8 inches, and the HP Envy x360 15t, with a larger screen, is 4.7 pounds and 15 x 9.8 x 0.7 inches. Lenovo's more-expensive Yoga 920 weighs 3.05 pounds and measures 12.72 x 8.8 x 0.55 inches, but it also has a larger, 13.9-inch display.
The left side of the laptop boasts a USB Type-C port for both data and charging, a Thunderbolt 3 and the headphone jack. It's slim pickings on the right side -- just a single USB 3.0 port and the power button.
The Yoga 720's 13-inch, 1080p touch screen is dimmer than the average ultraportable, but it is far brighter than its competition and is extremely vivid. When I watched the trailer for The Greatest Showman, nighttime scenes were darker than I would have liked, even at max brightness, but the circus performers' varied costume colors, including purple, blue and crimson, were all deep and rich, especially against the shadows outside of the spotlights.
Lenovo's panel reproduced an amazing 141 percent of the sRGB color gamut, surpassing the ultraportable average (104 nits) and the bland displays on the Inspiron (71 percent) and the Envy x360 (77 percent). The Yoga 920 is good but less vivid at 105 percent.
The screen on the Yoga measured an average of 255 nits, falling short of the 286-nit average. Still, it was far brighter than both the Inspiron (188 nits) and the Envy (186 nits). The Yoga 920 is brighter at 284 nits, but still lower than average.
Keyboard and Touchpad
I'm not a fan of the Yoga 720's keyboard. It feels flat, with just 1.2 millimeters of travel. And with 68 grams of force required to make it actuate, I found myself bottoming out constantly, which led to sore fingers after just a bit of typing. On the 10fastfingers.com, I reached 112 words per minute, within my average range, but with a 6 percent error rate, which is three times my usual 2 percent.
The 4.1 x 2.7-inch touchpad is luxuriously spacious, and, more important, accurate. It responded easily to any Windows 10 gestures I threw at it, including pinch-to-zoom and tapping four fingers to see my notifications in the Action Center.
The speakers on the Yoga 720 are squarely average. They pumped out enough sound to fill our midsize conference room when I listened to Imagine Dragons' "Thunder." And while the vocals, synths and drums were clear, there was very little bass.
The Dolby Atmos software lets you switch between presets, but I found the default music setting to be the best option.
Thanks to an 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, the base configuration of the Lenovo Yoga 720 is up to all of your multitasking. I had 30 tabs open in Google Chrome, including one streaming a 1080p episode of "The Daily Show," and noticed no lag.
On the Geekbench 4 overall performance test, it earned a score of 10,622, beating the ultraportable average and the Envy (10,079, Core i7-8550U). But it fell behind the Inspiron (12,041, the Core i5-8250U) and the Lenovo Yoga 920 (13,913, Core i7-8550U).
It took 18 seconds for the Yoga to copy 4.97GB of files, or 282 MBps. The average is 226.1 MBps, and the Inspiron (121 MBps) and the Envy (a sluggish 27.7MBps) were far behind. Only the Yoga 920 was faster (299.9MBps).
The Yoga paired 20,000 names and addresses on the OpenOffice spreadsheet macro in 4 minutes and 58 seconds. Although that beats the average (5:30), the Inspiron (3:45), Envy (3:21) and Yoga 920 (3:17) were speedier.
You won't play serious games like Wolfenstein: The New Colossus and Assassins' Creed Origins on the Yoga 720 and its integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620, but it ran Dirt 3 at 56 fps, which faster than the average (42 fps), the Inspiron (47 fps) and the Envy (54 fps). The Yoga 920, though, hit just 35 fps.
The battery in the Yoga 720 will give you a full day of work with time to spare. It lasted for 8 hours and 28 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which continuously browses the web over Wi-Fi. The ultraportable average is 8:11, and it outlasted both the Inspiron (8:01) and the Envy (5:49). Lenovo's own Yoga 920, however, is even more long-lasting, clocking in at 12:22.
The Yoga's 720p webcam is good enough for casual chatting, but I've seen better. Although it's fairly sharp, and I could see individual hairs on my head, there's a bit of a haze over it, muting the blues of my eyes and making me look a bit lifeless.
Whether you keep the Yoga on your lap or hold it in your hands in tablet mode, it will be cool enough to handle. After 15 minutes of streaming HD video from YouTube, it measured 91 degrees Fahrenheit on the bottom, 87 degrees between the G and H keys, and 83 degrees on the touchpad. That's all below our 96-degree comfort threshold.
Software and Warranty
As always, Lenovo is lighthanded with its own apps. The Yoga 720 includes Lenovo Vantage to adjust settings and update your system, as well as a specialized app to create a Lenovo Account. The Lenovo Settings app, which has been deprecated in favor of Vantage, is still there, but it only launches the new app.
Otherwise, there's just the usual bloat packed in with Windows 10, like Bubble Witch 3 Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, March of Empires: War of Lords, Disney Magic Kingdoms, Spotify and Drawboard PDF.
The base-model Lenovo Yoga 720 we tested costs $879.99 with an Intel Core i5-8250U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB PCIe SSD. For $1,049.99, you can bump up to a Core i7-8550U CPU and 512GB SSD, but you'll keep the same 8GB of RAM
At $1,499.99, you'll get the Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 1 TB SSD and a boost to a 4K display. That model also comes with a Lenovo Active Pen.
Versus the Yoga 920
If you can afford to spend over $400 more for a premium, ultraportable 2-in-1, you might want to consider Lenovo's Yoga 920. The 920 has a larger, 13.9-inch display, nearly 4 hours of additional battery life and the Active Pen 2 stylus in the box. It also has a more attractive design, complete with a stylish watchband hinge.
Starting at $879, the Lenovo Yoga 720 is a reasonably priced 2-in-1 with a premium feel, good battery life and sleek looks. The display isn't as bright as most ultraportables, but it's more luminous than the competition and is extremely vivid. We just wish the keyboard had more snap to it.
You can go cheaper, with a Dell Inspiron 13 5000 2-in-1, which is $600 when similarly configured, but you'll get slower storage and a dimmer screen. The upgrade pick is the Yoga 920, with its luminous 13.9-inch display, included stylus and even longer battery life, but it starts at a much pricier $1,299. However, if you want a strong combination of performance, screen color quality and design, the Yoga 720 should be on your short list.