Introduction, Design, Features
Everything grows up. In November 2016, we gave a four-star thumbs-up to the 11.6-inch Lenovo Yoga 710, praising the little convertible as heir to the handy take-it-anywhere, note-taking spirit of Apple’s discontinued 11.6-inch MacBook Air. Now that 710 has in turn been discontinued, replaced by a smaller sibling to the 13.3-inch15.6-inchHP Spectre x360.
The 12.5-inch Yoga 720 is practically as portable as an 11.6-inch laptop, weighing just 2.53 pounds and measuring 0.62 by 11.5 by 8 inches. It’s no burden in a briefcase or bag, even if you throw in its 2.5-inch-square AC adapter.
It’s also no barn-burner in performance tests, thanks to its Core i3 CPU—perfectly adequate for emailing, word processing, Web surfing, and video streaming, but skewed more toward content consumption than content creation. Add unexceptional battery life and a missing port or two, and you’ve got an attractive but definitely entry-level 2-in-1, as befits its price. We like this Yoga, but we’d be tempted to spend $150 more for the 13.3-inch 720—or maybe $150 less for the Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA.
Yoga 920, allow it to flip and fold from laptop to tablet mode, with easel-style stand mode and A-frame tent modes in between. The system supports Lenovo’s pricey ($69.99) Active Pen 2 stylus for pen input.
The glossy black bezel around the 12.5-inch display is stylishly thin, though the top bezel makes room for a Webcam that captures above-average, well-lit and sharp rather than grainy selfies and videos. The screen wobbles slightly when tapped or swiped in laptop or stand mode. Sound from the built-in speakers is fair to middling, a touch hollow and short on bass but loud enough to fill a small room.
Ports are scarce. On the Lenovo’s left side, you’ll find the connector for the AC adapter and an audio jack. On the right are the power button, a USB-C port, and a USB 3.0 port. Plugging in an external monitor will require a USB-C DisplayPort adapter, since there’s no HDMI port; nor is there an SD card slot. Using the 720 in laptop mode on our desk, we twice grasped the system to adjust its position and accidentally pushed the power button, putting the machine to sleep.
The keyboard is not backlit, contradicting Lenovo’s Web site, but it is full-sized—the A through apostrophe keys span the regulation 8 inches—and has a pretty good if flat and plasticky typing feel. The layout is not so good, with the flaw we always slam HP laptops for: cursor arrow keys arranged in a row, with half-sized up and down arrows sandwiched between full-sized left and right, instead of the proper inverted T. The arrow keys also double with the Fn key for Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn.
There’s a Windows Hello-compatible fingerprint reader at bottom right of the keyboard, and a small but smooth-gliding touch pad with comfortably clicky lower corners.
Perhaps the 12.5-inch Yoga 720’s best feature is its 1,920×1,080-pixel screen, which offers ample brightness—we regularly worked with the backlight turned down four or five notches, when usually we can’t stand more than two—and wide viewing angles, thanks to in-plane switching (IPS) technology. Colors are vivid and contrast and fine details are sharp. It was a pleasure to sit with the device in tablet mode in our lap and watch 1080p YouTube videos.
Bluetooth and 802.11ac Wi-Fi take care of wireless connectivity. Lenovo backs the 720 with a one-year warranty and preinstalls its own App Explorer store and a McAfee LiveSafe nagware trial.