Laptop paired with a good stylus and touchscreen

The Lenovo X380 Yoga has an excellent tactile keyboard.
The Lenovo X380 Yoga has an excellent tactile keyboard.

The Lenovo X380 Yoga is a business laptop with a twist. As its Yoga name suggests, it is a convertible laptop with flexible hinges that rotate to turn it into a tablet.

It is identical to last year's X370 Yoga, but the processor has been upgraded to the latest Intel eighth-generation chip.

Its power button is at the side. There is no space for a volume rocker, with Lenovo outfitting the Yoga with a comprehensive array of ports, including a mini-Ethernet port, Thunderbolt 3 port and HDMI.

As you would expect of a ThinkPad laptop, the X380 Yoga has an excellent keyboard that feels tactile with good key travel.

The touchpad could be larger though. It is also not as smooth as a few of the glass-coated ones I had tried. This is a good thing, as the friction keeps the mouse cursor from slipping out of my control. But the touchpad has a grainy feel that, at first, had me checking that there were no dirt particles on it.

Like other Yoga devices, the keys retract when in tablet mode. The keyboard and the touchpad are also disabled to prevent accidental key presses while holding the device.


    PRICE: $2,436

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-8250U (1.6GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Intel UHD Graphics 620

    RAM: 8GB DDR4

    SCREEN SIZE: 13.3 inches, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 2 x USB 3.0, Thunderbolt 3 port, HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader, mini-Ethernet port, audio jack

    BATTERY: 51 watt-hours


    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 3/5




    OVERALL: 4/5

But the Yoga is still relatively hefty for a tablet. Its 16:9 aspect ratio makes it awkward to hold in landscape orientation. I do not see users holding it up to read news or e-books like they would an iPad.

However, I can see myself using it on a desk with the included ThinkPad Pen Pro stylus that slides into a dedicated pen slot at the side. This stylus is charged while in the slot, so you do not have to remember to charge it.

It supports 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is decent. It feels responsive with minimal input lag and, with the palm rejection support in Windows 10, result in a good experience for note-taking and drawing.

At 300 nits of brightness, the screen is sufficiently bright for indoor use. But its glossy finish reflects the fluorescent lights in my office. Colours look good, though not quite as vibrant as some displays on other devices. Coupled with its mediocre speakers that are decently loud, but bad at everything else, the Yoga will not be my first pick as a device for watching videos.

Lenovo offers two biometric authentication methods - a fingerprint scanner and an infrared facial-recognition camera. Both methods work promptly, though I would pick the hands-free facialrecognition method. Also included - and standard for a business computer - is the built-in Trusted Platform module for encryption.

My review set comes with an Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid-state drive. It is not the highest-end configuration, but should be capable enough for its intended users. Its PCMark 10 score of 3,514 compares well with the 3,612 produced by the Intel Core i7-equipped Toshiba Portege X30.

Its battery life is also good. It clocks seven hours and 10 minutes in a video-loop battery test.

• Verdict: The X380 Yoga has a good stylus and touchscreen for ThinkPad users who require these features.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'Laptop paired with a good stylus and touchscreen'. Print Edition | Subscribe