PC

The Force is with the Yoga 920

The special edition Yoga is available in two lid variants - a Galactic Empire (far left) or a Rebel Alliance design.
The special edition Yoga is available in two lid variants - a Galactic Empire (far left) or a Rebel Alliance design.

The Star Wars edition of the Lenovo Yoga 920 laptop sports excellent design and hardware

The Force remains strong with the latest Star Wars movie The Last Jedi, which has been steadily adding to its billion-dollar box-office takings since its debut more than a month ago.

On top of movie earnings, franchise owner Disney also profits from merchandise tie-ins, such as the Star Wars edition of the Lenovo Yoga 920.

The difference between this special edition and the standard Yoga is the lid, available in two variants with either a Rebel Alliance or a Galactic Empire design. The one on my Rebel Alliance review set has a dirty white finish embossed with the iconic logo of the underdogs.

The lid is protected by a glossy Corning Gorilla Glass cover, like the Acer Aspire S7 ultrabook. But the Rebel Alliance logo does not glow or light up in any way.

To my disappointment, the Star Wars customisation ends there. The silver aluminium palm rest is unadorned by any decals or logos. There are no bundled Star Wars wallpapers or desktop themes.

The rest of this hybrid laptop looks normal enough, though one can tell it is a premium device from its classy 360-degree hinge - made up of interlocking links that remind one of a metallic watch band.

With an ultra-high 3,840 x 2,160-pixel resolution, its IPS screen is much sharper than those of typical laptops.

  • TECH SPECS

    PRICE: $2,999

    PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-8550U (1.8GHz)

    GRAPHICS: Intel UHD Graphics 620

    RAM: 16GB DDR4

    SCREEN SIZE: 13.9 inches, 3,840 x 2,160 pixels

    CONNECTIVITY: 2 x Thunderbolt 3, 1 x USB 3.0, audio jack

    BATTERY: 70 watt-hour

  • RATING

    FEATURES: 4/5

    DESIGN: 4/5

    PERFORMANCE: 4/5

    BATTERY LIFE: 4/5

    VALUE FOR MONEY: 3/5

    OVERALL: 4/5

Like many modern laptops, this screen is surrounded on three sides by slim bezels, with a thick border at the base. There is just about sufficient room above the screen for the 720p Webcam.

While there is no infrared camera for facial authentication, the Yoga's fingerprint sensor is comparable in speed and accuracy with the ones found in the latest smartphones.

Bundled with the Yoga is Lenovo's Active Pen 2 stylus, which had impressed me previously while testing an older Lenovo Yoga device. It is still as good as before, with 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and low latency that make using it feel almost like a pen and paper experience. A plastic pen holder lets one attach the stylus to the Yoga's single USB Type-A port when not in use.

Its other connectors are Thunderbolt 3 ports that are USB Type-C compatible. They are also used to charge the Yoga. However, unless you are an early adopter and have other Thunderbolt or USB Type-C devices, these ports will require a dongle of sorts to work with the usual devices.

Fans of Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant will be glad to know that the Yoga's microphone will pick up voice commands from up to 4m away. And with the latest Windows 10 Fall Creators update, Cortana will respond to queries when the Yoga is in sleep mode.

Thanks to its eighth-generation Intel Core i7 chip, the Yoga managed 3,602 points in the PCMark 10 benchmark compared with around 3,200 points for a similar laptop sporting a last-gen processor.

Battery life is good at around 61/2 hours, considering its ultra-high-resolution screen.

At $2,999, this Star Wars Yoga 920 is slightly cheaper than the $3,049 standard Yoga 920. But the latter has a 1TB solid-state drive that is twice the capacity of the Star Wars Yoga.

• Verdict: The Star Wars design is well done, but Lenovo could have gone further with the theme. The hardware and overall design are excellent, which is expected for its premium price.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 17, 2018, with the headline 'The Force is with the Yoga 920'. Print Edition | Subscribe