Lenovo Yoga 720: Bending your way



The 360 degree-screen hybrid laptop now comes with more specs and features and an affordable price

Hybrid notebooks, when made well, are a lot of fun to use. And Lenovo’s Yoga series of notebook-tablets has been one of the most compelling in this category. If Lenovo had not taken extra care to give that one component — the hinge — everything they had, it could have killed the concept. But they made the hinge so strong that you can tip the display all the way back till it sits back to back with with the keyboard without hesitation; making the machine a giant tablet. Over time, Lenovo has built on the 360 degree-rotation idea and has now brought two models, the 720 and the 520 to India, which are sturdy and affordable and all topped up with specs and features. They’re also slim and light enough to go up against the MacBook Air.

We had a look at the 13.3-inch Yoga 720. There is a 15-inch version as well, which is more expensive. Made of brushed aluminium, the 720 is elegant, if a little plain. I thought it very professional looking. I saw the silver but there’s an iron grey and a copper option too.

Flexible poses

The 720 performs its main trick very well. You can angle the display to please yourself. If it’s on your lap, you can tip it back extra. If you want to watch a movie, you can make it stand up like a tent or face the display towards an audience for a presentation. I took it through a day of watching movies on battery and it held up very well. It should fare even better when used for work.

If you lay the 720 flat in tablet mode or at a low angle, you are in a good position to unleash your creative or artistic side, using a stylus. Lenovo has thought this through and included a stylus called the ‘Active Pen’ with the Yoga. Windows 10, loaded on this machine, supports handwriting and you can use specific applications to draw or sketch and even create 3D objects. It’s really in the ‘bendability’ that the versatility of the device comes into play.

Keyboard comfort

When you want to set aside the pen or the virtual keyboard, you’ll find the actual keyboard as sturdy as the rest of the notebook. The keys are well spaced out and soft and easy to keep clean. I found the springiness on the keys quite adequate. Typing at top speed, I didn’t find myself having to ever slow down because of anything to do with the keys. If there’s one problem I do face with most hybrids including this one, it is that when I touch the touchscreen, there’s a little play in it so it bounces back instead of staying rigid. Other than that, the screen is nicely responsive to the touch making it easier to use Windows 10. Lenovo is boasting a 4K Ultra HD IPS display on which they have kept the bezels pretty thin. It’s not as bright as some but indoors, perfectly comfortable.

Giant tablet

Getting to the tablet mode, you obviously can’t compare a 1.3 kg machine that’s folded over with the keyboard evident on the bottom to regular tablets. It’s too heavy to hold in your hands to read a book, for example. You’ll have to rest it against your knees as you recline. The tablet mode works best for work with the pen. Comparing it with the iPad Pro 12.9 inches (almost the same size as the 720) with its detachable keyboard and the Apple Pencil, the two experiences are very different. The 720 with its proper keyboard makes a better laptop and the iPad makes a better tablet. But at its price point, the Yoga 720 is more in the league of the MacBook Air, which of course isn’t a tablet at all.

Performance on the 720 was just fine. The model I saw was running on the dual core Intel Core i7 processor with Intel HD Integrated Graphics 620. It doesn’t have a separate GPU. RAM is up to 16 GB DDR4 and storage of up to 256 GB to 1 TB. Look for configurations when buying. I found working on the notebook smooth with no significant heating up and just mild warmth after hours of use. The ports include a USB, a Thunderbolt, USB Type C and headphone jack. No separate card reader or HDMI but the existing ports can be used with a dongle. The 720 has a fingerprint reader and this is the fastest way of getting into the laptop; and the most secure.

Price: ₹74,500

Pros: Very good build, sturdy 360-degree rotating display, good touch screen, pen input possible, snappy performance including graphics, fingerprint sensor

Cons: Speaker slightly disappointing

Published on August 23, 2017


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