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Lenovo Yoga 730 review: Hands on with the Alexa-powered 2-in-1 laptop

MWC is here, and with it the usual flurry of smartphone announcements. But perhaps the biggest surprise of the show is that, this year, Lenovo hasn’t launched a single handset.

READ NEXT: The best laptops of 2018

Rather, the firm is focusing on its long-standing laptop ranges – and the new, refreshed Yoga 730 might just be its best 2-in-1 hybrid laptop yet.

Lenovo Yoga 730 review: UK release date and specifications

  • 13.3in or 15.6in, Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) or 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS touch display
  • Up to eighth-gen Core i7 CPU
  • Intel HD Graphics 620 or Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics
  • Up to 16GB of RAM
  • Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
  • 1.12kg or 1.89kg
  • Windows 10
  • $879 (£629) or $899 (£644)
  • Released in April 2018

Lenovo Yoga 730 review: Design, key features and first impressions

The Yoga 730 comes in 13-inch and 15-inch variants, both of which look almost identical to the Yoga 720. That’s no bad thing: the aluminium chassis still looks very swish, and the dual hinge mechanism – similar to the one found on Acer’s Spin series of laptops – works well. It lets you easily fold the laptop around into a tablet, or angle it into a sturdy kickstand mode, which stood firm in the face of my aggressive finger prodding.

Look closely, though, and subtle differences emerge. There’s now a second USB 3 port, joining the three Thunderbolt-powered USB Type-C ports and the solitary HDMI connector. The bezels around the display have been reduced in size slightly, and there’s also a new far-field four-microphone array, which is used for the Yoga 730’s big new feature: Amazon Alexa.

Yes, as originally trailed at CES, Amazon’s digital assistant has come to Lenovo’s Yoga range. It must be said, the pre-release version I tried is a bit clunkier than a real Echo device: to activate Alexa, you have to launch the dedicated shortcut on the desktop, rather than just yelling “Alexa!” But we’re promised that voice-activation will be enabled when the laptop is released in April.

Once invoked, Alexa works pretty much as you’d expect. The quad microphone array picked up my gruff Lincolnshire accent with impressive accuracy, even on a noisy show floor, and Alexa responded to my commands without a hitch. It’s a cool, useful addition to the Yoga formula.

While Alexa grabs the headlines, it’s also notable that both models of the Yoga 730 have seen a big internal revamp. The pair can be configured with up to eighth-generation Intel Core i7 CPUs, along with up to 16GB of RAM and a 1TB PCIe SSD. The 15in model can also optionally be equipped with dedicated Nvidia GTX 1050 graphics, for more demanding games and creative applications.

Lenovo Yoga 730 review: Early verdict

Lenovo faces some fierce competition in the hybrid marketMicrosoft’s Surface-branded 2-in-1’s still lead the charge – even if they are absurdly expensive. Dell’s XPS 13 2-in-1 is another respectable contender. 

Yet the Yoga 730 could be set to shake all that up. It’s a terrifically versatile machine, and an unequivocal step up from the old 720, with subtle new design tweaks, faster internals and Alexa on board. And with the 13in variant starting at just $879 (~£629) it’s enticingly affordable too.

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Source: http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/laptops/1406815/lenovo-yoga-730-review


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