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Review: Lenovo's Yoga 900S Is A Home Run On Flexibility And Style

The CRN Test Center does a deep dive with a new super-portable (and pretty) version of the Yoga 900S.


The first thing to know about the Yoga 900S, the new version of Lenovo's popular Yoga convertible laptop, is that it looks like a dream.

And close behind is a second thing -- it's so light it's kind of unbelievable.

While trying out the Yoga 900S in the CRN Test Center, we found those two factors only grew in their appeal over time, making it an appealing option for solution providers serving customers with on-the-go work forces.

Everything about the Yoga 900S looks nice. We tried out the Champagne Gold edition, which was black and gold all around. It's got gold keys surrounded by black palm rests, a gold watchband hinge for adjusting the display and, you guessed it, a gold exterior behind the display.

We think the thinness and lightness of this laptop may be an even bigger selling point, though.

It's a half-inch thick and weighs 2.2 pounds, which makes it insanely portable.

The appealing look and size of the device would be a bit of a moot point, of course, if the computer didn't have the right specs inside.

But it does -- the Intel Core m7 processor and 8 GB of RAM make it possible to multitask very effectively on the Yoga 900S.

The 12.5-inch touch-screen display (which looks amazing, by the way) allows users to work however feels best at the moment, perhaps scrolling down a Web page with their finger rather than other methods. The touchpad works well, although its sensitivity took a little getting used to. After a while we found that a gentle tap on the touchpad to execute a click was actually helpful rather than hurtful to productivity.

The keyboard feels nice, though it's a bit small and it feels like the keys are not that well made. We do find that we have to press pretty hard on the keys, especially the space bar. Lighter tapping on the keys means missing letters fairly frequently.

This is no doubt one of the trade-offs of having such a light and thin device -- if the keys were more substantial, lightness and thinness would be much tougher. One other nitpick -- the shift key on the right side of the keyboard is in a different place than normal, and the "up" arrow is where we expected the shift key to be, which led us to make lots of mistakes.

Some retraining might be required to use the keyboard effectively.

The keyboard doesn't detach on the Yoga 900S but it does fold all the way back so the device can be used just as a tablet (with the keyboard disabled in that mode).

In two tests of the battery life we found about 5.5 hours each time on a charge, which is well short of the promised 10.5 hours but still plenty to get a lot done.

It's worth noting, however, that we did a fair amount with the touch screen, which tends to drain the battery faster, and had the display set to full brightness. Couldn't help it -- it just looked great.

Taking all of this together, we found the Yoga 900S to be a laptop that would be ideal for those who like a lot of flexibility in how they work.

There are so many different ways to get things done on the laptop, many of which users can't do on other machines.

For mobile workers, the device strikes us as a great plane-and-coffee-shop computer -- maybe the ultimate plane-and-coffee-shop computer. It's so flexible that users are probably going to be able to figure out a way to use it comfortably and productively no matter the space constraint.

The cool factor, matched with the productivity and flexibility niceties, make this a solid device for solution providers equipping a mobile workforce for their customers.

The Lenovo Yoga 900S model we tested is priced at $1,199.

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