Rapid Review: Lenovo Yoga 730

Image: Supplied

The Lenovo Yoga 730 is evidence that you can teach an old dog new tricks. It's hard to believe that the same company that brings the understated, matte black ThinkPad to the market delivers the Yoga convertible, with its touchscreen, fully-foldable design and shiny body. There's a lot to like about the Yoga 730 - but there are some rough edges.

What Is It?

The Yoga 730 is a convertible notebook that can double up as a 13-inch laptop or tablet. It includes a Bluetooth-connected stylus, for drawing and writing on the display when using supported apps, and ha, sufficient grunt to watch high definition movies as well as run business apps and some light gaming.

Image: Supplied

Specifications

Processor 8th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-8250U Processor (option for 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor)
Memory 16GB RAM (as tested)
Storage 512GB SSD (as tested)
Size and weight 306.8 x 216.3 x 13.9-14.1mm, 1.12kg
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620 in processor only; supports external digital monitor; max. resolution: [email protected] (HDMI)
Display 13.3-inch running at 1920 x 1080, with capacitive-type 10-point multi-touch
Ports 1 x USB 3.0 (AlwaysOn) and 2 x USB 3.0 Type-C (Thunderbolt 3, 1 x power delivery), combo audio/microphone jack
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Wireless Comms 802.11ac Wi-Fi + Bluetooth 4.1
Camera HD 720p, 1.0MP resolution, fixed focus

What's Good?

Lenovo has balanced the need to support legacy USB devices with the single USB-A connector as well as pair of USB-C ports - although one of that pair is used by the power supply.

The review unit Lenovo provided was furnished with the fast Core I7 power plant and it didn't miss a beat. Image editing, watching HD movies and general office work and gaming were all handled easily. The display is crisp and clear, with everything I threw at it rendered clearly.

The hinge mechanism on the aluminium body felt robust. It's hard to tell how durable it will prove over a couple of years use, as the screen is pushed back all the way behind the keyboard so it can be used as a tablet, but Lenovo does have a reputation for making solid hardware.

Included with the Yoga 730 is the Lenovo Active Pen. This is a Bluetooth-enabled stylus that I used to make notes in OneOne and for annotating PDFs. Aside from a somewhat frustrating set up experience, it worked well although it wasn't perfect.

Lenovo has included support for Microsoft's Windows Hello authentication system though a fingerprint scanner as well by using a PIN code. But the integrated webcam, built into the display's top bezel, doesn't let you take advantage of facial recognition.

Image: Supplied

What's Bad?

While video playback was great, the Yoga 730's internal speakers were very weak. Even with the volume jacked up to the max, they were very quiet. If you're planning to use the Yoga 730 for presentations, you'll want to bring an external speaker system along.

The Active Pen is one of those devices that is almost great. The setup process was a little frustrating. For some reason, it requires three batteries; one AAAA and a pair of tiny SR527SW cells that were very difficult to put the right way up into the hard-to-find compartment in the pen. Once I had that sorted, I then used the pen with OneNote and a couple of other pen-ready apps.

The combination of the stylus tip and screen coating isn't great. I found the pen didn't slide easily across the glass. There was a little too much friction for my liking. That made scribbling for extended periods uncomfortable.

Should You Buy It

Lenovo offers the top of the range Yoga 730 (https://www.lenovo.com/au/en/laptops/yoga/yoga-700-series/Yoga-730-13-/p/88YG7000964) I tested for $2799 although there's a discount of $500 for online orders at the moment for the entry level unit with a Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD, bringing it to $1799 - which is a great deal in my view.

It's a well-made device that performs well and will fulfil the needs of most travelling workers. It just needs a little bit of attention to smooth out a couple of rough edges.


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