The Lenovo brand is one of the biggest brands in the PC world. As of last year 2018 at least Lenovo has claimed the title of being the largest PC manufacturer in the world. Considering the growing PC market, it is quite an achievement for Lenovo.
When you think about it though, it is not that far-fetched of an idea for Lenovo to achieve what they achieved last year. Lenovo itself can be divide into three brands – the Lenovo brand itself, the Think-series, and Legion. Each brand of course serves their respective markets from commercial to gaming.
The Think series brand which makes the ThinkPad and ThinkStations makes commercial and industrial PCs built to their clients spec. They usually combine the best value in terms of product requirement and use case. For example you can get a completely purpose built ThinkPad that allows you to do engineering designs on the go. They also make some of the best notebook PC keyboards, just saying.
Then there is the Legion brand; the gaming PC makers to compete with the likes of Alienware, Omen, Predator, and ROG brands. The gaming market is huge, of course Lenovo wants a slice of it. The new Legion gaming offerings even offer subtle professional looks while providing performance worthy of the most demanding of games. We also think that they offer some of the best value-for-money gaming PCs.
Then there is the regular Lenovo brand that makes consistently reliable PCs for the regular PC market. The IdeaPad series made for ultimate productivity and reliability with attractive prices making it some of the best valued products in the market. Of course there are more powerful offerings in the series too.
They also make the Yoga series though, some of the most desirable and we dare say best convertible notebook PC in the market. There is a number of reasons to why we say this. But right now we are not reviewing a Lenovo Yoga convertible. We are reviewing a Yoga notebook PC; a proper, regular clamshell design that opens up to just slightly over 180-degree.
It does not turn all the way, the Yoga S730. So the main question for this thing is; Why is it name a Yoga? It does not go all the way around, so it is not a proper Yoga, right? But ultimately, is it as good as they put it to be? Or even as good as the other Yogas? What about the other ultra-thin, ultra-portable notebook PCs out there? Is this worth its MYR3,859 asking price? Well, it is not just a simple yes and no answer here so let us dive in.
The Lenovo Yoga S730 has all the right looks for a Yoga convertible PC. It is the baby Yoga really in the pecking order if you look at it. Do not think that this is the cheapest Yoga there is though, there is a cheaper option in the Yoga 730 series convertible PC. It is also the only traditional form factor notebook PC in the Yoga series; which is, to us at least very weird.
The Yoga brand within Lenovo’s ranks are known for their very interesting, very attractive, and very reliable convertible PCs. Thanks to ThinkPad’s know how in making great notebook PC keyboards, the Yoga benefits from that too making them some of the best convertibles to own if you need them for long emails, or like us; type articles on-the-go. Again, the Yoga S730 is not a convertible though. It is a notebook PC.
But enough about harping on the fact that we do not see the logic in punching a notebook device into a brand full of convertible PCs. Well, one last one; maybe it is a Yoga because it does flip all the way over 180-degree. It is what it is, it is a Yoga notebook.
It comes in either Iron Grey or Platinum colour options. The one we have here is the Iron Grey option. We think that this colour option is the one to go for especially if you want to use it for work – it looks subtle and sleek at the same time while maintaining an aura of professionalism to it. It looks good.
The whole thing is made with aluminium which gives it that super sturdy and solid feel we are familiar with from Lenovo products. Surprisingly though the 13-incher feels lighter than we expected too even with the full aluminium construction. Despite not being a single billet build, the construction of the Lenovo Yoga S730 is so good you may not notice its three-piece construction.
It is designed to be as thin as possible without sacrificing thermal performance either at 11.9mm. There are manufacturers that would go even further and trim the thickness to less than 10mm. But think about its thermal performance. Even this Yoga S730 heats up easily because there is just not enough space to put a big cooling fan into the body of the light notebook. Well, then again the name of the game is portability.
In that name though, the Lenovo Yoga S730 succeeds. Despite not being the thinnest in the market, it is still mighty thin and easy to work with. It does not weigh plenty too which makes traveling with the Lenovo Yoga S730 a breeze. The combination of the Yoga S730 and its chargers still weigh no more than 2.0kg (by our estimation anyway, we did not weigh the things). There is no touchscreen to be found as well which is a bummer, but that also means that the Yoga S730 does not come with a clunky stylus that you risk losing.
Open it up and the LED backlit chiclet keyboard greets you. That, and the 13-inch Full HD 1080p display that is shoehorned into a body that is smaller than regular 13-inch laptops. Despite the smaller size though you still get a proper HD webcam that sits above the display. There is no flaps or analogue switch to cover the webcam. You can deactivate it via the Lenovo Vantage control though. The proper placement of webcam too means that you do not get some awkward video conference angle that sees you getting a triple chin.
Usually aluminium top feels cold and a little harsh on your palms. Not on this though. The aluminium top is comfortable. Even if you place it on the table and it runs at its highest performing setting and starts heating up, the heat never really transfers to the keyboard. You only feel the heat when you actually place your palms above the keyboard.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga S730 feels just right. It feels like a solid product just like any other Lenovo product that came before. The non-glossy finish gives it a much more industrial and rugged feel which is a great thing considering that this is built to be your workhorse of choice.
What we got here is a the Lenovo Yoga S730 13IWL with 81J0005KMJ product code. If you do put that in the Google search bar or Lenovo’s web page you will find that the brand new Yoga S730 13-incher that we have here packs an 8th Generation Intel i5- 8265U CPU with Intel’s proven UHD Graphics 620 GPU. Those and 8GB of RAM, which if you find in a few reviews – the right amount of RAM to run Windows properly. As suggested by the main product code, 13IWL; it packs a 13.3-inch display with Full HD 1080p resolution. The Intel Core i5 may make it sound like it is slower than the range-topping Core i7. The thing is though it packs a 512GB SSD so it still should be as fast as you can make a laptop go.
|Processor||Intel® Core™ i5-8265U 1.60GHz|
|RAM||8.0GB LPDDR3 LPDDR3 SODIMM 2133MHz|
|Hard Disk||512GB SSD|
|Graphics Processing Unit|
|Intel® UHD Graphics 620|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Pro|
|Battery||4 Cell Li-Polymer|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 ac 2×2 wireless, |
2x Type-C USB3.1 GEN2 (power delivery)
Type-C USB3.1 GEN1 (DC-in)
3.5mm headphone/mic jack
|Camera||VGA (720p) Camera with dual Mic|
|Other Features||Fingerprint reader|
Dolby Atmos® Speakers
10-hours (quoted) battery life
The downside of having less thickness is usually the lack of ports. While you still can technically fit a normal sized USB port on the Lenovo Yoga S730, it might not look like it belongs there. That would also make the casing around the USB port unnecessarily thin. Instead of full-sized USB ports then, you get USB Type-C ports. Specifically you get only three USB Type-C ports plus one 3.5mm audio jack. That is it; no other ports. The good thing about having USB Type-C (3.1) ports is that you still can buy those USB Type-C hubs that has multiple full-sized USB ports, SD card readers, and an HDMI outlet.
All of the USB Type-C ports can be used for charging, though we suspect that fast charging can only be done on the only USB 3.1 Type-C GEN1 port placed on the left side of the Lenovo Yoga S730. The other two ports on the other side of the Lenovo Yoga S730 are two USB3.1 GEN2 ports which also means that they are also charging outlets. One of them is an always-on charging port so you can make the Lenovo Yoga S730 a powerbank if you have to.
The Lenovo Yoga S730 comes with a 64W charger that is small and light. But it still can supercharge the Yoga S730 when it has too. You can charge it to 80% in 60 minutes when you turn on rapid charging via Lenovo Vantage software built into the notebook. If not, it still charges darn quick anyway; we got a full charge within two hours from flat. Rapid charging your batteries may even shorten your battery lifespan anyway so we usually leave it to charge as normally as possible.
You move your eyes down from the gorgeous display and you meet the beautifully laid chiclet type keyboard that is ever so popular. It is a backlit keyboard so you can still type in the dark if you have to. It is also not a full-sized keyboard that you might get from a 15-inch laptop but that is still understandable. The touchpad below the keyboard is not exactly central but it is almost in the middle and that makes it a very comfortable placement of the touchpad which helps with typing ergonomics.
Speaking of ergonomics though; we really like Lenovo notebooks thanks to its ergonomics. In our opinions, this China manufacturer makes the best notebook keyboard in the market; thanks to the Think-brand too we think. That keyboard making know how makes it into the Yoga S730 too obviously. So in short, we love the keyboard – it feels like the best that you can get in its class of products. It feels well-made and high-quality; like you can type a hundred emails on it and still feel no finger fatigue.
The keyboard travel is just right, even for such a thin laptop. The feedback is not harsh on the fingers and every click feels satisfying. If you type it right, it would be a very quiet keyboard too. It is just a very comfortable keyboard with greatly cushioned feedback making this the perfect typewriting machine for writers even. The fingerprint sensor may not be placed on a place so sensible as the edge of the touchpad like plenty of the ASUS laptops that we reviewed before this. It is still placed away from the keyboard though, the bottom right side of the keyboard which is still quite ergonomical. We would like it better though if it also doubles as the On/Off switch.
The function buttons (those F1 to F12 buttons) are also your shortcut buttons. To use the shortcuts though you do not have to activate them by pressing and holding the Fn button; which makes it easy to access things like volume control and screen brightness. You can even turn off the touchpad from the function buttons which is nice because most modern laptops does not allow you to do that anymore. The integrated function shortcuts too are a nice touch because Lenovo does not need to add any extra buttons to the Yoga S730 adding to that minimalist look of this Iron Grey metal sheet.
It packs the mid-range ultrabook type processor in the Intel Core i5-8265U CPU. It clocks at about 1.60GHz at maximum speed. It also does not pack a discreet GPU like the Nvidia GeForce 940MX. Instead it has to make do with the Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU. They are paired to an 8GB RAM though which helps with running Windows 10 Pro smoothly. Despite that though the Yoga S730 13IWL with Core i5 does not sound like much. Of course the Core i7 version would be better; but that is also about MYR500 more than the one we have (yes, that would have 16GB of RAM too). Of course, with a discreet GPU too you might need to add some thickness or size to the laptop.
While on paper it sounds like the Core i7 plus 16GB of RAM is more than MYR500 in difference; it may not be the case for the Yoga S730 laptop. The downside to the MYR500 upgrade is that the 512GB SSD storage remains the same. So on the Core i5, you get the same 512GB SSD storage that you get on the Core i7 version too. SSD means that it still performs very quickly. Because the 512GB storage is the only storage available in the thin and light laptop performance loading apps is not an issue. It even performs like it runs on a high-end processor; like there is no trade-off. Sure you might be able to run slightly faster on the Core i7 and more apps at the same time on the 16GB RAM. The Core i5 and 8GB RAM though still runs very well with the amount of things I personally do with the laptop.
Most of the time I run more than 10 tabs on Mozilla Firefox, play Spotify while I work, leave Netflix running in the background when I do not play music, have Facebook and Instagram apps open, and a few Microsoft Office apps. Even those is not enough to slow the machine down a little bit. Even switching apps rapidly does not weigh the PC down in any way. The only noticeable change on the PC is the heat generated. Smart power management though ensures that it stays cool when you put the Yoga S730 on your lap, most of the time.
Speaking of apps, playing music on the Lenovo Yoga S730 is quite amazing. For such a small device, the speakers pack some punch. Of course with the sort of thickness you get from the Yoga S730 you cannot actually fit a proper sub-woofer on the thing for powerful bass. That also means that bass might sound a little smaller on the dynamic range. Bass is still powerful enough though to give you a full theatrical experience with any movies with its Dolby certified speakers. Audio details is quite amazing too even when you push it to its loudest. Unless your media tears, the speakers does not peak and tear at its loudest which is impressive. The only issue with the speakers is that they point down so if you put it on a cushion, the audio becomes a lot weaker.
That leads us to the battery life of the Yoga S730. They quote about 10 hours on the battery. For the record, we do believe that the rapid charge capable 4-cell battery can last about 10 hours. The only issue is that we were never able to reach anything close to that. However I do have to admit that my usage is not exactly power efficient. I leave it to run at average to maximum power at all times while screen brightness turned up to the maximum most of the time to counter the bright lights. In this use case I can safely say that the battery lasts more than 5 hours. It goes up to 7 hours at one time which is more than the average laptop PC these days anyway.
It packs a 13.3-inch display. Just like plenty of the new generation notebooks too the bezels are super thin. That makes the Lenovo Yoga S730 smaller than the usual 13-incher that we are used to. It does even look smaller than the 12-inch Apple iPad Pro, in exception of its thickness. It is not that thick too in actuality; just 11.9mm – not less than 10mm, but still very thin for a notebook. The biggest benefit to all of this smallness is its weight; or rather the lack of it. It weighs only 1.2kg without its charger which you will not really need to carry around that much anyway.
The Full HD 13.3-inch display is in a class of its own. Thanks to Dolby Vision with 1080p resolutions colours are crisp and accurate. details are sharp and clear. Anything on the Yoga S730 looks pretty and beautiful without trying too hard. The vividness though can hurt your eyes a little bit. Lenovo has got you covered with their blue-light filter from Lenovo Vantage though. It is also a built-in Windows function now thankfully.
The Lenovo Yoga S730 – Not So Yoga
So is it worth MYR3,859? Well, I would say yes. The more important question to me here is whether or not I would spend my own MYR3,859 on this Lenovo Yoga S730. The short answer is I will not. But there is more to it than just saying no.
To start with, I would say that I really like this Yoga S730. I like it because even with the Intel Core i5 it performs like a champ. I like it because it still plays 4K videos properly without a discreet GPU. I like it because its 512GB SSD is fast enough to keep up with me and its limited storage means I should pick and choose what I put inside the storage. Well 512GB is still quite plentiful even by today’s standards really.
I mostly like it because it is light and small. I like it because it is ultra portable, and easy to work with anywhere I go. I like it because it I can easily deploy it at any time making a workstation anywhere. I like it because its battery lasts longer than may own gaming laptop. I like it because its display looks great while it packs great audio.
I like that it flips all the way out to slightly more than 180-degree. I like the robust metal build of it. I like the keyboards, and its fingerprint sensor. I even like the feel of the touchpad. I like that it has three USB Type-C ports instead of full-sized USB ports. I like that it has a headphone/mic jack too.
I like the Lenovo Yoga S730; but enough for me to sensibly put my money on it. Why? Because I will not even consider getting a Lenovo Thinkpad for their kind of asking price. Not because I do not like them. More like because this is not what I am looking for.
MYR3,859 is not a small asking price. It is not big either but with that kind of money there are other offering in the market that boast slightly better hardware including a discreet GPU. Of course you have to trade that off with a slightly worse battery life and bigger, heavier body. But those are the kinds of trade-off I personally would make just because there is more processing power.
Yes, I do move around for work a lot. That does not mean that I would trade power for ultimate practicality though. I prefer my device to be the balance of power and portability and this Yoga S730 does not fit my bill in that sense.
Do not walk away from this review thinking that the Yoga S730 is a rubbish device though. It is a very respectable device in fact. It serves its purpose and it does it very well. For the time period that I have been using the Lenovo Yoga S730 I tend to leave my heavier gaming rig for the minimal Yoga S730. I have to carry extra adapters to get full-sized USB ports or even an HDMI outlet but its a small trade-off for ultimate portability and light travelling. Even when I wanted to watch Netflix, or iflix, or even Prime Videos I tend to steer toward the smaller 13-inch Yoga S730 than my gaming rig just because the viewing experience in better. Plus, I can leave it unplugged for one or two movie lengths.
So, should you spend your MYR3,859 on this Yoga S730? Well, do not think of it as a Yoga device actually. Think of it as more of a bargain ThinkPad model; then it makes plenty more sense. If you want something minimal, easy to work with, reliable, light, thin, and long-lasting; this is the PC for you – for now at least. It is not cheap, but hey so is a gaming rig; you cannot even bring that around as conveniently.