If you're looking for a truly premium 2-in-1 experience with epic battery life, a colorful display and a gorgeous chassis, you'll find it in Lenovo's Yoga 920. Starting at $1,299, this 13.9-inch bend-back convertible features Lenovo's sexy watchband-style hinge, a slim bezel and a powerful Intel 8th Generation Core i7 CPU that offers much faster performance than both its predecessor and competitors with older processors. When you're not gawking at its sleek bronze body or vibrant screen, the included stylus makes it easy to use the Yoga 920 for writing or drawing.
The Yoga 920 is one suave-looking 2-in-1, with its all-aluminum chassis, slim sloping slides and attractive watchband-style hinge that lets you bend the lid back into tablet, tent or stand modes. As on the Yoga 910, there's a very thin bezel around the display, but thankfully, on the Yoga 920, the webcam is located above the screen, not below it.
However, the real star of the show is the laptop's stunning bronze color, which was not present on earlier models. The color is pleasantly consistent on its lid, hinge, deck and even its keys. If you look at the laptop in the right light, you'll notice that the sides, while also bronze, have a shiny metallic luster, which frames the matte lid, deck and bottom. Lenovo also offers the Yoga 920 in platinum, but that silvery shade seems boring by comparison.
At 12.7 x 8.8 x 0.55 inches and 3.05 pounds, the Yoga 920 is extremely light and easy to carry. However, both the HP Spectre x360 (0.54 inches thick, 2.85 pounds) and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (0.54 inches thick, 2.7 pounds) are a bit lighter.
The Yoga 920 has a solid combination of ports for a system this slim. The left side holds two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be used for charging or connecting to high-speed peripherals and docks. The right side contains a USB 3.0 port for connecting to traditional USB devices, along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. There's also a single-touch fingerprint reader on the deck, so you can use Windows Hello to log in to the OS with just one press.
The Yoga 920's 13.9-inch display comes in both 1920 x 1080 and 3840 x 2160 resolutions. The 1920 x 1080 panel on our review unit offered bright, sharp images. When I watched a trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, the green in the Hulk's skin and the red in Thor's cape really popped. The panel was fairly bright, with wide viewing angles that stayed true at up to 60 degrees to the right or left and faded only slightly as we moved farther off-center.
According to our colorimeter, the Yoga 920 reproduces a strong 105 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is slightly more than the ultraportable-notebook category average (101 percent) and the HP Spectre x360 (102 percent). The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (107 percent) was ever-so-slightly more vibrant.
At 284 nits, the Yoga 920's screen offers brightness that's about on a par with the category average (289 nits). Both the HP Spectre x360 (318 nits) and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (314 nits) were brighter.
The Yoga 920 offers impressive audio quality that's free from distortion, loud enough to fill a small room and rich enough to dance to. When I played AC/DC's "For Those About to Rock, We Salute You," I could hear a clear separation of sound, with some instruments coming from the left and others from the right. There was none of the tininess we hear from so many laptop speakers.
The Lenovo Settings app lets you choose among music, movie, voice and gaming audio profiles. You can also turn off the Dolby audio enhancement, which is enabled by default, but doing so made the music sound completely flat and lifeless.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The Yoga 920's keyboard is a mixed bag. The keys have only 1.3 millimeters of vertical travel (1.5 to 2 mm is typical) but require a solid 68 grams of force to actuate (65 to 70 grams is typical). The keys were fairly snappy but didn't offer enough resistance to keep me from bottoming out (hitting the base with a lot of force) several times.
I achieved a rate of 96 words per minute with a 4.5 percent error rate on the 10FastFingers.com typing test, both of which are on the low end of my typical range. On the bright side, the right Shift key is full-size and placed above the arrow keys -- a huge improvement over the Yoga 910's odd key size and location.
The 4.1 x 2.7-inch touchpad provided accurate navigation around the desktop. It also responded smoothly and accurately to multitouch gestures such as pinch-to-zoom and three-finger swipe.
The Yoga 920 comes with Lenovo's Active Pen 2 stylus, which makes the laptop a good device for drawing or scribbling notes in handwriting. The Active Pen 2 is about the size of a shortened pencil or pen, which makes writing with it feel more natural than with some of the golf-pencil-sized styli that we've gotten with other laptops. Whereas many 2-in-1s that work with styli don't provide an easy way to stow your pen, the Yoga 920 comes with a small attachment that allows you to hitch the pen to the USB Type-A port on the right side for easy transport.
Overall, the drawing and writing experience was good but not great. I was able to draw in Autodesk SketchBook and noticed that the lines were thicker or thinner based on how hard I pressed down; the Active Pen 2 supports 4,096 levels of pressure. I was able to write with Windows 10's built-in handwriting keyboard and compose a few sentences in WordPad with ease.
However, pressing the tip of the stylus against the screen did not feel even remotely like writing on paper with a real pen. Whereas competitors such as Microsoft simulate friction with special pen tips and screen coatings, writing on Lenovo's laptop does feel like you're pressing a piece of plastic against a piece of glossy glass.
With its Intel 8th Gen Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB of RAM and speedy 256GB NVMe-PCIe solid-state drive, the Yoga 920 provides powerful performance. This is the first laptop we've tested with an Intel 8th Gen Core i7 CPU, and comparing it to competitors with 7th Gen Core processors seems almost unfair. In moving from 7th to 8th Gen, Intel doubled the number of cores in its mainstream laptop processors from two to four while also increasing top clock speeds, and the results are impressive.
Lenovo's laptop scored an impressive 13,306 on Geekbench 4, a synthetic benchmark that measures overall performance. That's more than double the ultraportable category average (6,617) and much better than the HP Spectre x360 (Core i7-7500U; 8,147) and Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (Core i5-7Y54; 6,498). By comparison, last year's Yoga 910 scored just 7,988.
The Yoga 920 took just 3 minutes and 17 seconds to complete our spreadsheet macro test, in which we match 20,000 names with their addresses. That's a lot faster than the category average (5:51) and the score from the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (4:14). The HP Spectre x360 was only 16 seconds slower, however.
The laptop's NVMe-PCIe SSD took just 17 seconds to copy 4.97GB of mixed media files, for a rate of 299.9 MBps, which is much quicker than the category average (211.8 MBps) and the XPS 13 2-in-1 (187 MBps). However, the Spectre x360 was just a tad faster, achieving a rate of 318 MBps.
While we wouldn't use the Yoga 920 as a serious gaming rig, its integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics chip is good enough for video playback or less-demanding titles.The laptop scored a respectable 86,267 on 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, a synthetic graphics test. That's far better than the category average (56,270), the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (49,214) and the HP Spectre x360 (70,494).
On Dirt 3, a racing game that runs well on even ultraportable laptops, the Yoga 920 achieved a playable frame rate of 35 frames per second. That's slightly below the category average (39 fps) and the Spectre x360 (40 fps).
The Yoga 920 offers truly impressive battery life that will let you leave your charger at home. The 2-in-1 endured for a strong 12 hours and 22 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing over Wi-Fi. That's about 4 hours longer than the category average (8:25) and the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 (8:27). It's also roughly 2 hours better than the HP Spectre x360 (10:06) and last year's Yoga 910 (10:36).
Believe it or not, you can speak to your Yoga 920 from across the room. The laptop includes a pair of two far-field microphones, which allowed us to interact with the Cortana digital assistant from more than 20 feet away.
So, if you speak clearly enough, you could ask Cortana to play a song when you're standing in the dining room and the Yoga 920 is in your adjacent living room.
The Yoga 920's 720p webcam captured decent but unimpressive images of my face. In a photo shot under the fluorescent lights of my office, I noticed that the green in my shirt and the skin on my face had a somewhat bluish tint, but details like the buttons on my shirt and the hairs in my beard were sharp enough.
Software and Warranty
Like most Lenovo laptops we've tested lately, the Yoga 920 has just a pair of useful Lenovo utilities and the standard set of bloatware that Microsoft puts into every Windows 10 install. Lenovo Settings gives you fine control over features such as the Wi-Fi card, the audio output and the camera, while Lenovo Companion monitors the system's health and downloads software updates.
The Start menu also contains the standard set of freemium games that Microsoft shovels into its OS, including Candy Crush Soda Saga, Bubble Witch Saga and Asphalt 8 racing. Thankfully, it's easy to uninstall these apps.
Lenovo sells the Yoga 920 in two configurations. The $1,299 base model, which is the one we reviewed, comes with a 1920 x 1080 display, a Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The $1,649 model has the same CPU, but it includes a 4K display, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. All models come with the stylus.
We haven't tested the model with the 4K display, but we expect that it would have better image quality but worse battery life. Lenovo estimates that the 4K screen will cut about 25 percent off of the endurance, and based on our experience with other notebooks, that number seems conservative.
With its vibrant screen, bold design, long battery life and powerful 8th Gen Core performance, the Yoga 920 is the best highly portable consumer 2-in-1 you can buy today. The only real chink in its bronze armor is a somewhat shallow keyboard, though it's perfectly serviceable.
HP will soon be releasing its Spectre x360 13-inch with 8th Gen Core CPU, and that could give the Yoga 920 a run for its money. However, right now, if you're looking for the best premium 2-in-1 for mainstream users, the Yoga 920 stands in a class by itself.
Credit: Shaun Lucas/Laptop Mag