Lenovo's follow-up to the Yoga 3 Pro loses a little portability, adds a lot of power
Lenovo just announced the latest flagship in its Yoga lineup of 2-in-1s. The Yoga 900 Convertible Laptop (yes, that's its full name) is the follow-up to 2014's Yoga 3 Pro, adding only a little weight and thickness in favor of more raw power.
Last year's Yoga 3 Pro was incredibly light and thin, but it ran an Intel Core M processor – weak compared to recent Core i series chips. At 16 percent thicker and 8 percent heavier than that 2014 model, the new Yoga 900 might sound like a step backwards in that respect, but it should provide a big performance boost, jumping to a 6th-generation (Skylake) Intel Core i7 processor. It also supports up to 16 GB RAM.
Considering how relatively minor the Yoga 900's downgrade in portability is, those sound like terrific tradeoffs.
The core Yoga experience remains, with the 360-degree hinge folding all the way from laptop to tablet, with a couple of less interesting stops (tent and stand) in between. The watchband-style hinge we saw last year is back, and this time Lenovo says it provides noticeably smoother rotation.
Display specs are the same as last year: 13.3 inches measured diagonally, with 3,200 x 1,800 (276 pixels per inch) resolution. Its 16:9 aspect ratio will look more elongated compared to rivals like Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pros and Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.
Lenovo says the new model has 50 percent greater battery density than last year's model (it's listed at 66 W-h). But with an entirely different class of chip inside (more powerful, less battery efficient) that's to be expected. Lenovo is estimating "up to 9 hours of local video playback" (which the fine print says is with Wi-Fi turned off and brightness set at 200 nits).
Right now the Windows 10-running Yoga 900 starts at US$1,299 for a Core i7 CPU, 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD. Lenovo's press release, though, lists a $1,199 starting price, so perhaps we'll see some cheaper i5 configurations show up for order later on. Either way, you can pre-order now from the product page below for a scheduled October shipment.
Product page: Lenovo