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Lenovo Yoga 900S

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star

What's Hot: Very light and slim convertible. Works with Wacom AES digital pen (not included though). Quiet fanless operation.

What's Not: Keyboard has extremely short travel and isn't very tactile. Color gamut on the 1080p model is below average for price range.


Reviewed June 1, 2016 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Lenovo Yoga 900S

There are conventional laptops, laptops with 360 degree hinges, and 2-in-1 models where the keyboard separates from the tablet portion. A few have digital pens; some are small while others are as big as 17". Lenovo's going after than uncommon intersection of very small 360 degree convertible with pen. The Lenovo Yoga 900S is the smaller, thinner and lighter version of the Yoga 900 (as if that thin and light 13.3" convertible was a hefty beast). The 2.2 lb. Yoga 900S has a 12.5" display and it's currently the thinnest convertible at 0.5" (the 0.41" HP Spectre is currently the thinnest laptop of any kind). While the Yoga 900 runs on Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, the smaller Yoga 900S uses the lower power Intel Core m5 and m7 CPUs for silent, fanless operation at the expense of some performance.

The Yoga 900S, like all convertibles that transition from laptop to tablet to tent mode, has a touch screen. It adds special sauce in the form of a Wacom AES digitizer (unfortunately the optional $40 ThinkPad Pen Pro isn't included in the box). That, along with the relatively light weight, makes it an ideal note taking companion and it's good for digital painting and drawing too. It's muscling in on the low end Core m3 Microsoft Surface Pro 4, the more expensive and bulky Toshiba Portege Z20t and the Dell XPS 12. It lacks the horsepower of the Intel Core i5 and i7 equipped Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. For those hoping to use this for artwork with complex drawings that have many layers or with heavier programs like Corel Painter 2016, this is an important consideration. For casual sketching and artwork, the Yoga 900S is perfectly adequate in terms of horsepower.

The laptop has Broadcom dual band WiFi 802.11ac with Bluetooth, a backlit keyboard, stereo speakers that are decent for the size and a 720p webcam.

Lenovo Yoga 900S


Design and Ergonomics

This is very much the smaller version of the Lenovo Yoga 900. It's available in champagne gold (our review unit), which is very blingy with gold to pink casing tones and a two-tone gold and silver watchband hinge. The silver model is a little more staid with a silver casing and black keyboard deck. If you thought the HP Spectre was out there, the gold Yoga 900s is positively excessive even if it lacks a gold bar at the back.

The casing is aluminum alloy and is fairly rigid--this doesn't feel like a delicate or vulnerable machine even if it's not as robust as a Lenovo ThinkPad. Lenovo's finishes on the Yoga series have a sprayed on look that lessens the quality look and feel, though it's still a nice looking machine. Microsoft Surface products and Apple's various MacBooks look much more expensive (and in some cases, they are). The bottom panel is affixed with Torx T5 screws, and once you remove them, access to internals for upgrades and repairs is easy (there are plastic clips, but none that are overly tenacious).

The keyboard deck is finished in black faux leather textured plastic, similar to other Yogas. It's grippy and soft, and suits us fine. Neither the outer casing nor the interior accumulate fingerprints, though the touchpad does. The watchband hinge may look delicate, but it's firm and has held up fine in Lenovo's previous products. It's certainly a visual standout.

The laptop has a generous collection of ports compared to the 12" MacBook, though they're skimpy by larger 13.3" laptop and convertible standards. The charging port doubles as a USB 2.0 port and there's a USB 3.0 port, a USB-C 3.1 Gen. 1 5 Gbps port that supports display out and charging, and a 3.5mm combo mic-headphone jack.


Keyboard and Trackpad

Thin laptops and convertibles often suffer short key travel. The Yoga 900S keyboard is a casualty of the thin design and key travel is extremely short. Don't expect ThinkPad levels of keyboard excellence here. In fact, after typing several thousand words with it, I didn't warm up to this keyboard because there's little tactile feel and travel is so short. The truncated right shift key that makes room for arrow keys is another annoyance, but on a positive note, the white backlight is even and the trackpad is decent.

Lenovo Yoga 900S



The Lenovo Yoga 900S is available with a full HD 1920 x 1080 or QHD 2560 x 1440 display. Both are IPS and support touch and pen. We have the 1080p display, and brightness is good at 287 nits and contrast is likewise good at 750:1 with a respectable black level of 0.38 at maximum brightness. Gamma is perfect at 2.2 as is the 6600K native color temperature. Color gamut isn't impressive for this price range at 69% of sRGB and 52% of Adobe RGB. We expect near 100% of sRGB and 75% of Adobe RGB for laptops and convertibles in the $1,000+ price range. For content creators who work with images and video professionally, the gamut falls short, but it's fine for pleasant photo and video viewing for those who are content consumers.

Lenovo Yoga 900S


Deals and Shopping:


Lenovo Yoga 900S Video Review


Pen Input

Though a pen isn't included in the box, all Lenovo Yoga 900S models support Wacom AES pens, sold as the $40 ThinkPad Pen Pro by Lenovo. It supports 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity (important for artists, but it also makes for a more natural inking experience even when writing) and has palm rejection as well as a small and precise tip. This is Wacom's newer technology that works with an active AAAA battery powered pen and passive unpowered screen digitizer similar to (but not the same as) the N-Trig digitizer and pen used in Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pro as well as Vaio models. Pen tip offset (parallax) is minimal and edge detection is good, which means you can accurately write near the edges of the display and ink flows from the pen tip rather than a tiny bit away from it. The laptop is fast enough to support fluid writing in OneNote, and is fast enough for lighter art programs like ArtRage and even Clip Studio Paint unless you've got lots of layers.

Horsepower and Performance

This is an Intel Skylake 6th generation Core M machine. The Core M is a lower powered CPU designed for tablets and small convertibles that has a much lower base clock speed than Intel Core i laptops like Lenovo's own Yoga 900 and the HP Spectre x360. The upside is a silent machine that needs and has no fan and it has an aggressive Turbo Boost that can temporarily nearly double clock speeds. The base $1,100 model has the 1.1 GHz Intel Core i5-6Y54, and the $1,300 model has the 1.2 GHz Intel Core m7-6Y75 processor, both with Intel HD 515 integrated graphics. The base model has 4 gigs of DDR3 RAM and the higher end model has 8 gigs of RAM. Memory (RAM) is soldered on board and is not upgradable. The laptop has an M.2 SSD slot with a 128 gig or 256 gig PCIe SSD drive (the fast kind of M.2 SSD). For $200, we recommend the higher end model if you can afford it since you get a bit faster CPU and double the RAM and SSD capacity.

Lenovo Yoga 900S



Lenovo Yoga 900S benchmarks


Battery Life

Lenovo claims up to 10.5 hours of streaming video playback from the relatively large 4 cell, 53 Whr battery that's sealed inside. Though Lenovo, like most Windows PC manufacturers quote optimistic runtimes, in this case they're not that far off, at least not for the less demanding 1920 x 1080 model we have for review. We averaged 8.5 to 9 hours of actual use time on a charge with brightness set to a very adequate 50% and WiFi on in a mix of productivity tasks (MS Office, Photoshop, email and web) and streaming 1080p video via Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Lenovo Yoga 900S



If you want a very thin and light convertible that's actually comfortable for note taking and drawing, the Lenovo Yoga 900S has strong appeal. It's not as heavy or bulky as 13" convertibles and the fanless design and cool operation mean it's comfy and quiet in the lap and in hand. The Yoga 900S is versatile thanks to the Yoga 360 degree hinge, and works well in laptop and tablet modes. Despite the normal laptop ergonomics, the keyboard is a letdown, with miniscule travel and little tactile feel. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4's Type Cover is much easier to type on, which you might not expect.

Lenovo Yoga 900S

Lenovo's little Yoga has enough horsepower to handle daily productivity tasks along with occasional photo editing, casual gaming and streaming video. It's a good choice for note taking in school, casual sketching and taking care of email and work documents on the road. The display's mediocre color gamut (at least the 1080p model, we didn't receive the QHD model in for testing) means this isn't the machine for professional photo and video editors, but the Intel Core M's not the ideal choice for those tasks either.

Price: $1,099 and $1,299


Related Reviews:

Lenovo Yoga 900 Review

Lenovo Yoga Book Review

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Review

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260 Review

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Review

Microsoft Surface Book Review

Acer Switch Alpha 12 Review

Samsung Galaxy TabPro S Review

Huawei MateBook Review

HP Spectre Review

HP Spectre x360 Review

Toshiba Portege Z20t Video Review

12" Retina MacBook Review


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Display: 12.5", 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440 IPS displays with pen and touch. Intel HD 515 integrated graphics. Display out via USB-C port.

Battery: 4 cell, 53 WHr Lithium Ion rechargeable.

Performance: 1.1 GHz Intel Core m5-6Y54 and 1.2 GHz Core m7-6Y75 6th gen Skylake processors available. 64 MB built-in RAM (55 megs available).

Size: 4.47 x 2.78 x .53 inches. Weight: 2.2 pounds (1 kg).

Camera: 720p webcam.

Audio: Built-in stereo speakers, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone/mic jack.

Networking: Integrated dual band Broadcom WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth.

Software: Windows 10.

Expansion and Ports: 1 charging port that is also a USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, 1 USB-C 3.1 Gen. 1 5 Gbps port, 3.5mm audio.



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