Lenovo Yoga 720 and 520 convertibles check all the right boxes


— 11:30 AM on February 27, 2017

Over at the 2017 Mobile World Congress, Lenovo is showing off three new fold-over convertible laptops. The Yoga 720 comes in 13" and 15" varieties, while the Yoga 520 comes in a 14" size. Lenovo says the new laptops were primarily designed around user feedback. Perhaps as a result of that design philosophy, these machines' spec sheets read like a fantasy laptop feature wish list.

The larger of the two Yoga 720 models offers a Kaby Lake Core i7 processor, up to 16GB of memory, and most unusually, a GeForce GTX 1050. That's a lot of graphics horsepower for a machine that's only three-quarters of an inch thick when closed. It's a good thing that Lenovo offers that GeForce, too, because this convertible can also be configured with a 3840x2160 IPS touchscreen display. Storage comes exclusively by way of a PCIe SSD that can range up to 1TB in capacity.

Those are pretty solid specs to start with, but the list of desirable features doesn't stop there. The Yoga 720 includes a USB Type-C port that does triple duty as a Thunderbolt 3 connector, a DisplayPort output, or a USB 3.1 port. The display has active pen support (although the pen itself is not included), and a slim-bezel design that Lenovo says makes the machine closer to a typical 12" laptop in size. The Yoga 720 includes a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication, and the keyboard is backlit. Neither of those are unusual on nice laptops, but it's nice to see those boxes checked regardless.

The Yoga 720's 13" edition has nearly the same specs as the 15" model, although sadly it forgoes the GeForce card. That's only to be expected, though, given that Lenovo shaved another quarter-inch of thickness to make this machine only 0.56" thick. However, you do get just about the same options for hardware, including the 3840x2160 display. Unusually, the 13" Yoga 720 actually has two Thunderbolt jacks over the 15" model's single connector, so it's possible to hook up an external GPU without losing USB 3.1 connectivity.

Compared to the other two machines, the Yoga 520 appears to be a bit more of a budget model. It comes with a 14" display that can optionally be a 1920x1080 IPS touchscreen. It also offers discrete graphics card options, but only up to a GeForce 940MX. The Yoga 520 can still take in up to 16GB of DDR4 memory, and unlike the ultra-thin 720 models, it can have a dual-storage arrangement with an SSD and an HDD. The active pen support and fingerprint reader of its Yoga 720 cousins are still present here, but there's no Thunderbolt 3 connector.

Lenovo only offered European availability and pricing info, but says the 15" Yoga 720 will start at 1099€ (about $1167), while the 13" model will start at 999€ (or $1061). Those two models will be available in April of this year. Meanwhile, the 14" Yoga 520 will begin selling in July for just 599€ (or $636).

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