The new Lenovo Yoga 910 is an update to the Lenovo Yoga 900 which was launched around the same time last year. At that time, we gave it a 10/10 in our Yoga 900 review because it was a great blend of performance, weight, and price, so it was a great “do it all” laptop in its size and price range. The Lenovo Yoga 910 builds up on this and pushes the concept even further. [Last updated on April 15 2017].
Technical specs, as reviewed
We’ll dive a little deeper in the system performance and configurations later, but here are the specifications of the system we have on-hand, just to shed some context before you read the review.
- 16GB of RAM
- Core i7-7500U CPU (2.7-2.9 GHz)
- Windows 10 Home 64
- 4K Display (3840×2160), Touchscreen
- 512GB (450GB formatted) of SSD storage (NVMe Samsung MZVLV512)
- Price (at time of publishing): $1349. Official site.
Right out of the box, you can see that the industrial design has evolved from the Yoga 900 we reviewed a year ago. The design is a bit more angular, and that gives it a perception of being thinner, although the overall size and weight of the Yoga 910 (323 x 224.5 x 14.3, 3.04 lbs) are comparable to the lighter Yoga 900 (324 x 225 x 14.9, 2.8 lbs).
When looking at it from the sides, the difference is even more pronounced, thanks to the metallic finish on the left and right, which looks much more “premium” as it did before.
If you look carefully, you may notice the absence of an SD slot. Lenovo said that people tend to use those less and less. If you happen to need one, it’s something that you should now about. I haven’t used one for a couple of years, so I don’t miss it. I tend to plug my camera (NEX6000) or my phone over USB.
As a Yoga laptop, the Yoga 910 is multimode and capable of swiveling 360 degrees to turn into a tablet-style computer. It’s an extremely useful skill when watching movies in a limited-space environment. The tablet mode is also much better for reading, or sharing a presentation or a slide show with someone else.
There’s one full-size USB 3.0 port, one USB-C 2.0 and one USB-C 3.0. Pretty much everyone in the industry told us that the great USB C switch would happen in 2017, and you can see this coming right now if you pay attention.
Lenovo even has a special model which comes with a Gorilla Glass surface treatment in the back. It looks amazingly good and has several design options. Lenovo says that specific retailers will even have their own designs behind the glass, so there should be enough options to please everyone.
Interestingly, the back of the Lenovo Yoga 910 can be opened by the user, thanks to 9 small screws. From there you can easily access the SSD, WiFi module and the (huge) battery. The RAM is soldered onto the motherboard.
Backlit Keyboard and trackpad
Upon opening the laptop, it looks very similar to the previous version, but a closer look will reveal some keyboard layout changes. As you may know, Lenovo has previously added a column of keys to have dedicated Page Up/Down Home and End buttons. This tactic shrunk the overall keyboard by the width by one key.
This time, Lenovo has come back to a classic layout with those buttons being triggered by CTRL+arrow key, which is more like what people are used to. The general key layout is therefore a bit more spacious and comfortable. If you look below the arrow keys
The trackpad is noticeably bigger than it previously was. I didn’t have something to measure it right away, but if you look at the photos and use the space bar as a reference (I think it hasn’t changed size), you can have a good idea of how bigger the Yoga 910’s trackpad is – larger is better when it comes to touch surfaces. There’s also a fingerprint reader for quick and secure login – I’ve use a similar one on the Carbon X1, and it is a great feature.
I like the tactile feedback of both the trackpad and the keyboard keys. The trackpad has a sharp “click” that gets a little softer at the bottom. The keys also offers a crisp key press similar the older -ahem- macbook pros.
The IPS LCD display measures 13.9” in diagonal and comes in 4K (3840×2160) or FHD (1920×1080). The new display has very thin bezels and looks very nice because of this. One thing that had to change a bit is the webcam location: it now sits at the bottom of the screen. At 323 x 224.5 x 14.3mm (3.04 lbs), the Yoga 910 is definitely in the thin and light category, especially for a 13.9” laptop.
As usual, this YOGA is a multimode device, which means that its display will tilt all the way to 360 degrees and anything in between. Multimode is great for flights, trains, buses and other spots where seating space is sparse. It makes a big difference for me in long haul flights. Having a 360-degree laptop with a thinness of 14.3mm is made possible by Lenovo’s proprietary all-metal hinge.
We found the display quality to be excellent for color rendering and brightness (478 NITs, according to our measures). This is not a pro workstation, so the screen isn’t calibrated for print, but even semi-pros could be satisfied, depending on their specific needs.
You should note that opting for the 4K UHD display will have consequences on the battery life. Although this is extremely difficult to measure, the impact could be as high as a 30% reduction in battery life, depending on the brightness settings and refresh activity. This is true for laptop PCs in general, so if battery life is a priority — consider a 1080p/FHD version.
The Lenovo Yoga Y910 has a range of options when it comes to Processors, but the top of the line is an Intel Core i7 7500U. The graphics processor is integrated into the Intel CPU, so it will change depending on which you choose. It’s not a “gaming system”, but it can run most games that are not super-demanding.
Not surprisingly, the performance is comparable to other system equipped with the same Intel platform:
However, Lenovo is more aggressive when it comes to pricing with a starting price of $1050 for its Core i7 7500U model, this reflect favorably in the performance/price data:
As for storage speed, it seems to be comparable to the Dell XPS 13, which is also a very good computer.
There’s a maximum of 16GB of RAM, and the PCIe SSD storage can climb to 1TB. This capacity is pretty impressive, but unfortunately not cheap (oh well). Heavy graphics workloads aside, this computer should perform very well and be at the top of what’s possible in this kind of form-factor today.
Battery capacity: 78 Wh!
With a 78 Wh battery capacity, Lenovo brings a major improvement (+22%) over last year Yoga 900 (64 Wh). When it comes to battery life for laptops, there are three things to look at:
- battery capacity (in Wh)
- processor and hardware platform
- display resolution
Within these three parameters, the battery life’s best indicator is the battery capacity. In the real-world, it is extremely difficult to benchmark or predict battery life since, it is a factor of your setup and usage model.
For example, you may like having a very bright screen, run a few apps that are very power-hungry, or your Windows may be spinning in the background, or maybe you like having 50 browser tabs open at once. All of this will cause major changes in the effective battery life.
Ultimately, having more capacity will determine how long your specific usage model can last, before running out of juice.
Interestingly, the Lenovo Yoga 910 also has the best battery capacity “for the price” and “for the eight” when compared to two close competitor within the same class of price/performance (keep an eye on the Intel i7-7500U versions):
Lenovo estimates that the computer can run for ~10.5 hours in UHD and ~15.5 hours in FHD – at least, this is what they are getting with Mobile Mark 2014. However, we always look at these scores as a synthetic benchmark, even though M.M 2014 was designed to reflect real-world usage, it’s just too big of a problem to solve for now.
The M.M numbers never translate into real world usage because it’s impossible to predict or average what your software setup+usage+network will be.
Conclusion: very good laptop and battery capacity
The Lenovo Yoga 910 is a very good laptop, with a great build quality and very good performance in its class. The HP Spectre X360 and the Dell XPS 13 are probably its closest competitors, although both were designed to be a little small and lighter although not by much (2.89Lbs and 2.84Lbs versus 3.04 Lbs for the 910).
The Lenovo 910 does have strong points against those two laptops, depending on what you’re looking for. First, it has a much higher battery capacity, and if you choose the 1080p/FHD version of the laptop, this will translate into a great advantage in terms of battery life. If battery life is not as important, the Yoga 910 has a 4K display option that pushes it to a display PPI (sharpness) of 315 PPI, versus 166 (Spectre X360) and 276 (XPS 13).
Finally, the Lenovo Yoga 910 can reach 16GB and 1TB of SSD storage at the same time, and for some users, this could be a huge difference when manipulating a lot of data. In the end, Lenovo manages to carve a space where it leaves the HP Spectre X360 and Dell XPS 13 compete against one another, while it caters to users who want more capabilities and more battery while trading off a small amount of portability.