Back at MWC 2018, Lenovo introduced its new Yoga 730 laptop, the successor to last year’s Yoga 720 which I described as “as advertised.” It offered everything you could want in a laptop in a slim and affordable package.
Flash forward a few months and I’ve now had the change to check out the 730 for a few weeks. Despite being all over Lenovo’s social media accounts and headlines across the web, there really isn’t anything that special with the PC. But that doesn’t make it a bad laptop. It’s just for basic, everyday people.
The design of the Yoga 730 captures this point, I think, extremely well. Lenovo’s been using an all-aluminum enclosure for a few years now and it’s a super safe way to build a laptop. It isn’t trying to be ultra-thin or become the flashiest accessory in your backpack. Rather, it’s opted for an industrial design that’s light enough to take anywhere and thin enough to not take up much room in your bag. It’s super practical and will appeal to general consumers really well.
The hinge Lenovo is using, in this case, isn’t their signature watchband. Instead, they’re using a standard 360-degree hinge system that lets you rotate the display to meet the bottom portion of the laptop and turn the device into an ultra-chunky tablet. I rarely used the laptop in this fashion, but I did use it a few times in its tent and stand modes to watch videos which I find more functional and practical.
Opening the laptop require two hands most of the time, although you’ll get the occasional one-handed opening job if you take your time. After opening the lid, you’ll be greeted by a 13.3-inch IPS LCD display with slim bezels on the top, left, and right sides. It’s a good quality panel with good contrasts and acceptable viewing angles, but it can feel a bit washed out at times especially with higher brightness levels. Speaking of which, the screen gets bright enough so that it’s relatively easy to see in highly-lit environments, but it can’t stand up to direct sunlight very well.
The screen on the Yoga 730 comes with a 1920×1080 resolution which, admittedly, looks fine on a display this size. I should also mention the display is compatible with Lenovo’s Active Pen. I didn’t get the use the pen during my review period, but it’s good to know the hardware’s supported in this case if you’re ever interested in sketching or writing out notes.
For my review, Lenovo loaded my Yoga 730 with an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor. Having used the 7th-generation i5 shortly before switching to the 8th-gen, I can say there isn’t much of a speed difference between the two. Of course, having the newer chipset will safeguard you going into the future, but you could totally get by with the 7th-gen if it were in this PC.
As for the rest of the internals, there’s 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and Integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics. With this configuration, you’ll find no performance issues during normal, everyday use like checking email, scrolling Facebook, or working on that super important PowerPoint. Of course, during heavier tasks like playing Fornite, you will notice the computer gets a bit slower and some dropped frames, but it’s nothing to really get upset over. It also doesn’t get too hot under heavier loads.
Also notable is the inclusion of far-field microphones. This is great for those of you who use Microsoft’s Cortana from across the room, but Lenovo is promising Amazon Alexa compatibility with this machine. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to test how Amazon’s assistant worked on the Yoga 730 since the app for it hasn’t come out yet. I don’t know when it’ll be released either, so if you’re looking into this laptop for the Alexa compatibility, you may want to hold off for a little while until we hear something regarding the feature from Lenovo themselves.
For IO, Lenovo includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports (one for data/charging, one for data only) and a headphone jack on the left and a single USB-A port on the right directly above the power button. While you are pretty limited in terms of how many peripherals you can connect, at least you have some versatility that won’t immediately require you to go out and buy a bunch of dongles.
As far as the keyboard and trackpad go, the former is extremely comfortable to type on. I do a ton of typing all day, so having something that’s both satisfying and evenly spaced is something I greatly appreciate. As for the latter, it’s a good trackpad. It’s super precise and supports all the gestures Windows 10 users are accustomed to using. In the end, I don’t have any complaints.
Also, the Fn key is in the right place. Thanks, Lenovo.
Below the keyboard and to the side of the trackpad sits a fingerprint sensor for unlocking your PC. On the Yoga 720 and basically every other Lenovo laptop I’ve reviewed in the past, the sensor has been nothing more but awful. Luckily, this sensor is improved. It reads my print far faster than any of the other ones and is far more reliable. It still isn’t perfect as it tends to fail once in a while, but it’s more successful at doing its job than otherwise.
Speakers on laptops aren’t normally fantastic, and the Yoga 730 is no exception. It uses JBL-branded speakers, but they’re mounted to the bottom of the laptop like many of Lenovo’s previous computers. This makes for a tinny, muffled, and unpleasant experience while listening to music or watching videos. Therefore, I strongly recommend plugging in some headphones.
Finally, for battery life, Lenovo advertises up to 11.5 hours of usage. In real-world testing, I experienced around 7.5 to 8 hours of usage before it conked out on me. It charges from zero to 100 percent in around 2.5 hours, but that doesn’t necessarily make up for its somewhat disappointing endurance. Still, this is probably enough for average people to get through the day on.
There’s a certain vibe that comes with Lenovo’s Yoga 700 series of laptops. I experienced it with the 720 and I feel it now with the 730. It’s the fact that this lineup is built for normal, basic, everyday people to do their computing on. It isn’t meant for enthusiasts or hard-core gamers or spec junkies. Rather, it’s built for those who use Microsoft Office daily or regularly browse social media or watch Netflix every night. It’s built and designed for the basic.
And for the price you pay, it’s easy to tell it’s meant to be accessible. For the model I reviewed, Lenovo charges $849.99 which is a really good price for a laptop of this quality. Overall, for any average Windows 10 user who needs a new laptop but doesn’t want to break the bank, the Yoga 730 is definitely the way to go.
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