Head-To-Head: Lenovo Yoga 900 Vs. Microsoft Surface Book

New Yoga Primed For Portability

Lenovo Monday lifted the curtain on a new laptop -- the 13.3-inch Yoga 900 convertible Ultrabook. Lenovo's new product comes two weeks after Microsoft unveiled its own laptop, the 13-inch Surface Book, tightening the already-rigid competition.

The China-based company also unveiled the Yoga Home 900, a beefed-up 27-inch version of the laptop with the performance and functionality of a desktop. The Yoga Home 900 will be available through the channel, according to a Lenovo spokesperson, but the Yoga 900 will not be available through the commercial channel and will be sold exclusively through Best Buy.

Following is a head-to-head comparison of the $1,399 high-end model of Lenovo's Yoga 900 and Microsoft's entry-level $1,499 Surface Book configuration.

Price And Availability

Lenovo's Yoga 900 clearly wins for its price points, from its $1,199 entry-level model to its $1,399 high-end model that is most similar to Microsoft's Surface Book model. Even Lenovo's high-end convertible model is still $1,000 below the entry-level configuration of the Surface Book, which starts at $1,499 and reaches up to $3,199 for its high-end model.

The Surface Book is currently open for preorder and will be available Oct. 26 through distributors, according to Microsoft, while the Yoga 900 is now available exclusively through Best Buy and Lenovo's website.

Display: Surface Book Larger, Less Portable

Both the Surface Book and Yoga 900 are convertible, meaning that they have a flexible form factor that turns the machine into either a tablet or laptop. Lenovo's Yoga 900 can rotate 360 degrees like the other devices in the Yoga lineup, but it lacks the detachable screen of Microsoft's new device.

The two devices also differ in display -- the Surface Book has a slightly larger screen at 13.5 inches vs. Yoga 900's 13.3-inch screen. But Microsoft's 2-in-1 is also a heavier device at 3.4 pounds vs. the Yoga 900's 2.84 pounds.

Measuring at 0.59 of an inch thick, the Yoga 900 contains an LCD multitouch screen with 3,200 x 1,800 QHD+ resolution, while the Surface Book measures 0.9 of an inch thick and contains a PixelSense touch-screen display with 3,000 x 2,000 resolution.

Cache And Clock Speed

Both the Yoga 900 and Surface Book use Intel's sixth-generation Skylake microarchitecture, but the two devices use different chips. The Surface Book uses the Core i5-6300U mobile processor, which has a clock speed of 2.4GHz and can clock up to 3.0GHz. The Surface Book's processor also contains 3 MB of smart cache, which is essentially extra storage and allows for better system multitasking performance.

Meanwhile, the Yoga 900's high-end $1,399 configuration ditches the Yoga's traditional Intel Core M processor for a superior Core i7-6500U mobile processor, which runs at 2.5GHz and has a maximum clock speed of 3.1GHz, and contains 4 MB of cache. While clocking speeds for the two processors are similar, the Core i7 has more capabilities than the Core i5 processor, driving better performance for multimedia computing tasks, multitasking, scientific work and high-end gaming.

Dedicated Graphics

While Lenovo's high-end Yoga 900 may beat out the entry-level model of the Surface Book in terms of processor power and price point, the Chinese company's laptop misses the mark on one big aspect -- dedicated graphics.

While the Yoga 900 contains Integrated Intel HD graphics, the Surface Book has the upper hand in the graphics department with an optional discrete Nvidia GeForce GPU integrated into the keyboard base. The Redmond, Wash.-based company has not yet revealed the exact specs of the processor that will be used in its laptop. Dedicated graphics mean that the GPU will utilize its own RAM as opposed to using the system's memory, so the system is not fighting for memory with the graphics hardware.

Battery Life

While the Yoga 900 contains 50 percent better battery density compared with Lenovo's previous generation, according to Lenovo, its nine hours of video playback between battery charges is still no match for Microsoft's Surface Book. The Surface Book can run up to 12 hours of video playback after being fully charged, according to Microsoft's testing on an Intel Core i5, 8-GB RAM device.

Windows 10

Both devices run on Microsoft's new operating system, Windows 10, which contains one feature called Continuum specifically geared toward convertible users. Continuum allows users to seamlessly move between laptop and tablet modes on their convertible devices.

The Surface Book runs full Windows 10 Pro, while Lenovo's Yoga 900 has Windows 10 Home. While these two operating system versions contain similar features needed for everyday computing such as Cortana, an Edge browser and an improved user interface, Windows 10 Home is focused more firmly on a consumer base, while Windows 10 Pro is targeted at power users and SMBs.

Memory And Storage

In terms of storage, the Surface Book contains solid state drive (SSD) options of 128 GB and 8 GB of RAM for its entry-level model. The device also offers options of 256 GB, 512 GB or 1 TB with 16 GB RAM on the high end.

Meanwhile, the Yoga 900 contains up to 512 GB of Samsung SSD, and up to 16 GB of memory for its high-end $1,399 model.


The Yoga 900 contains two USB Type A 3.0 ports, one USB Type C 3.0 with video-out port, one DC-in with USB 2.0 Function port, a 4-in-1 card reader and Audio Combo Jack. The device also contains pre-installed software including Lenovo OneKey Recovery, Lenovo Companion 3.0, Lenovo Photo Master and McAfee LiveSafe.

The Surface Book contains two full-size USB 3.0 ports, a full-size SD card reader, Surface Connect, headset jack and Mini DisplayPort.

Accessories And Other Features

The Surface Book comes with a Surface Pen in the box, which is designed to work with the laptop.

Yoga 900 lacks a pen that comes with it in the box, but the device contains third-party accessories sold through Lenovo, such as the Lenovo N700 Wireless and Bluetooth Mouse and Laser Pointer, as well as the Lenovo 65W slim travel AC adapter.

The Lenovo Yoga 900 also contains JBL speakers for stereo sound and premium Dolby Home Theater for audio. The Surface Book contains front-facing stereo speakers with Dolby audio and dual microphones that are front- and rear-facing. Microsoft's Surface Book also contains a 5.0-megapixel front-facing camera and 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and 1,080p HD video recording. Meanwhile, the Yoga 900 contains a 1-megapixel 720p HD webcam.