Lenovo Yoga 720 and 520 convertibles check all the right boxes

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 3840×2160 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 3840×2160 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 1920×1080 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).

Comments closed
    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    As always, laptops come down to implementation: cooling/throttling, build quality, drivers, software, etc. But on paper these are great machines!

    • cynan
    • 3 years ago

    Surely it’s the 13″ 720 that’s dimensionally closer to a conventionally-bezelled 12″ laptop and not the 15″ 720?

    • lmc5b
    • 3 years ago

    “the new laptops were primarily designed around user feedback”
    All of them being 16:9, I’ll guess those consumers weren’t from around here.

      • DancinJack
      • 3 years ago

      I’m not sure what you think the overwhelming majority wants, but it is in fact 16:9. By a lot.

        • tay
        • 3 years ago

        All macs are 16:10 and always have been. Surface are 3:2, iPads (sorry) are 4:3.

          • DancinJack
          • 3 years ago

          And Macs and Surface(s) account for how much of the market….?

        • fix
        • 3 years ago

        Do you see the space between the screen and the hinge? I don’t think anyone would mind the screen to cover some of it. And many who view portrait photos on laptops would appreciate the extra height.

        In fact, 16:9 vs. 16:10 is all about the cost vs. user experience tradeoff. 14″ 16:9 has about 5% smaller surface area than 14″ 16:10, so it is cheaper to make. Apple thinks it is worth to increase the cost for 16:10 to improve user experience. Everyone else thinks not.

        What is ironic is that most laptops have space for the 16:10, because the trend has been to enlarge the touchpad area.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Uh, 16:9 is [b<]THE[/b<] format people want. TV shows and streaming services? 16:9 Gaming? 16:9 Outputting to a TV or projector? 16:9 Most common image ratio for web content? 16:9 Youtube video optimal format? 16:9 Let's face it, almost everything is optimised for 16:9 these days and a lot of stuff is wrong/stretched/squashed/broken/fugly at non-16:9 ratios. Why the heck would any [i<]consumer[/i<] want anything [i<]other than[/i<] 16:9!?!

    • brucethemoose
    • 3 years ago

    Remember Superfish?

    Remember that Lenovo rootkit in the BIOS that overwrote Windows update, force installed bloatware, and sent information back to Lenovo using no encryption?

    …I do. And until I forget, I’m not touching one of those [i<]things[/i<] with a 10 foot pole.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Welcome to “Chinese-owned”. What do you expect from IBM once it was handed over to the Chinese?

      Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing on the US government’s snooping wouldn’t even merit a raised eyebrow in China given how oppressed, censored, and manipulated everyone is over there. Superfish is probably taken for granted over there…

    • TwoEars
    • 3 years ago

    Looks like the Dell XPS series is going to have some stiff competition. Or maybe that’s flexible competition?

    • BillyBuerger
    • 3 years ago

    I like the thin bezel. It’s hard to tell but it appears that unlike Dell, they left enough room for the webcam above the display so it’s not looking up your nose. But my biggest beef with the regular Yoga versus the Thinkpad ones are the keyboards. The Thinkpad keyboards are good for a laptop. The non-Thinkpad keyboards I’ve touched are all pretty crappy and feel like mush. These appear to be in the mush category. Of course, you can’t really tell without trying but my expectations are low on this. The rest of the specs seem like a move in the right direction. 4K at 200% scaling would look nice on the desktop.

      • cygnus1
      • 3 years ago

      If Dell is really dead set on the thin top bezel that’s ok, but it should just ditch the IR nose cam and put a regular cam at the top, then put a fingerprint reader where it will fit so you still have a bio-metric login option. Putting that camera below the screen is just a ridiculous compromise to have facial recognition and a thin top bezel.

      The thin top bezel though seems like it shouldn’t be that big a deal though. I have the newer HP Spectre x360 and I really don’t mind the larger top bezel for fitting the IR cam up there. Besides, on a touchscreen convertible, thicker bezels are nice as a way to hold on to it without touching the touchscreen….

    • DPete27
    • 3 years ago

    It really annoys me how many laptops these days have the GTX940m in them. These aren’t gaming machines, and the 940m isn’t very well suited for that task anyway. Just offer up with the Intel IGP only. Save power, save money.

      • slowriot
      • 3 years ago

      I get the impression this is as much about warehouse and supply chain management as it is about designing/delivering the best product to consumers.

        • DPete27
        • 3 years ago

        Or it’s Nvidia buying themselves into laptop “design wins”. Seems like an unnecessary add if that wasn’t the case.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    OMG, if I hadn’t spent my bonus check already!

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      WE APPRECIATE YOUR PRE-ORDER!
      — AMD

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