In this article guide, we will compare both fantastic Lenovo Flex 15 and Lenovo Yoga 730. Before going to get Lenovo Flex or Lenovo Yoga here is a complete configuration overview.
Good laptops combine the features of a laptop and tablet in one device. This increases the versatility of this laptop. However, they’re not as common as traditional laptops.
|Rating||Lenovo Flex||Lenovo Yoga|
|Build Quality (5)||3||4|
|Battery Life (5)||4||4|
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 15 is a 2-in-1 struggling with an important question: How big is too big when it comes to one of these hybrids? Sure, it’s great to have both your tablet and laptop needs served by a single machine, but only so long as both are actually useful. With a 15.6-inch screen, the IdeaPad Flex 5 15 is an average-sized laptop, but an absolutely massive tablet.
Lenovo Flex 5 15 review
Lenovo’s lineup of 2-in-1 devices is truly sprawling, encompassing multiple sub-brands and a broad range of prices. The IdeaPad Flex 5 15 (just Flex 5 from here on out) we reviewed falls in the middle of the spectrum, listing for a hair over $1,200 and featuring an Intel Core i7-8550U processor, integrated Intel HD 620 graphics, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a 512GB PCIe SSD, and a 15.6-inch 1080p IPS touch display.
It’s worth noting this is the top end of the Flex line, and indeed quite a bit more expensive than the Flex 6 14 we tested last year. If you don’t mind dropping to a Core i5-8250U, 8GB of RAM, and a 5,400rpm hard drive you can get a Flex 5 for as little as $590, or less than half the price of the model we reviewed. But that’s an entirely different machine, at that point—one that, with an actual hard drive inside, is arguably less suited to the ultraportable lifestyle implied by a 2-in-1.
The impracticality of some aspects of the Flex 5’s design shows up in its performance results. What’s interesting here is Lenovo improved the product line by stripping out hardware. The Flex 6 14 models we reviewed last year came equipped with a discrete graphics card if you can believe it—an Nvidia GeForce MX130. Not much of a discrete graphics card, but it existed. This year’s version sticks to the aforementioned integrated graphics.
And yet as we noted last year, the MX130 actually performed significantly worse in 3DMark testing than competitors who relied on boring old’ integrated Intel HD 620 graphics. That remains true, with our Intel HD 620-equipped Flex 5 posting a score of 4,315 in 3DMark’s Skydiver benchmark, compared to the Flex 6 14’s pallid 3,111.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 isn’t a bad machine, just an awkward one. It fulfills every promise, checks every box Lenovo says it will. It is technically a 2-in-1 machine. It’s just that the laptop part of this equation works significantly better than the tablet part, even though you’re paying for the luxury of a 2-in-1. Combine that with a lackluster aesthetic and dim screen, and it’s hard to justify the Flex 5’s existence. Lenovo’s own Yoga line outclasses it in every way, for just a few dollars more. Look to the Yoga first, if you’re set on a Lenovo 2-in-1.
Lenovo Yoga 730 review
It’s rare we see much of a push for 15-inch laptop form factors these days. With the 12-to-14 inch market being the sweet spot for portability, larger-scale laptops are largely all about desktop replacements with greater versatility and other high-end features, such as the 4K resolution display of this Lenovo Yoga 730.
Which, by and large, is what the 15-inch Yoga 730 is all about: maximizing on-screen by trimming back the bezel more than ever before while presenting a dazzling array of pixels, plus more ports than you’ll find on a smaller and more portable alternative.
Design and connections
- 360-degree hinge build: laptop, tent, stand and tablet modes
- 15-inch model: 1x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3), 2x USB 3.0, 1x HDMI out, 1x 3.5mm jack
- 13in (for reference): 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3); 1x USB 3.0, 1x 3.5mm jack
- JBL Speakers and Dolby Atmos headphone compatibility
- Finishes: Iron Grey, Platinum Silver
- 360mm x 249mm x 17.15mm; 1.89kgs
Straight out of the box and the Yoga 730 looks big in its 15-inch form. It’s quite heavy, at nearly 2kgs, while its keyboard has three finger widths between its outer keys and the edge of this laptop’s overall footprint. If you’re looking for portable then, well, you may want to consider a smaller model.
That said, the 730 knows what it is. It’s not trying to go for the world’s slimmest form factor. It’s not aiming at the world’s lightest either. Instead, it’s a logical balance of form and function: slim enough to be portable, yet not too thin that space for battery capacity is completely trounced as a result.
- 15-inch LCD touchscreen with LED backlight
- As reviewed: 3840 x 2560 resolution (4K)
- Left/right bezel is 6.5mm (5.5mm in 13in)
The Yoga 730 is all about its screen, with left/right/top bezel that’s less than the 2018 MacBook Air (which we’re sat looking at across the room as we type this – it’s feeling relegated by this Windows beastie). The 15-inch Yoga has 6.5mm bezel to the left and right, while the 13-inch model shaves a further millimeter off that.
There’s a bit of a problem, though, and that’s with the Yoga’s bottom bezel. It’s absolutely massive. And there’s nothing housed within it, so this large black border just seems a bit pointless – a criticism we’ve previously asserted with this product line. Having this larger bezel makes the overall product footprint larger than it needs to be, too, which is something that could and should be addressed for the future. It’s not an eyesore, it’s just the knock-on effect to the product’s overall size and mass.
Keyboard and trackpad
- Integrated fingerprint scanner
The keyboard looks a little lost in the Yoga’s 15-inch form, thanks to its considerable surroundings. That’s no problem for typing, though, as it’s a full-size keyboard just as you’ll find in other laptops – and having moved from a 13-inch model to this it has felt no different to use.
Thankfully Lenovo hasn’t tried to throw in short-travel keys, as the Yoga’s offer suitable travel and a nice spongey resistance that makes typing quieter than it is on a lot of other laptops (yes MacBook Air, we’re looking at you (as, no doubt, is everyone else)).
Performance and battery life
- As reviewed: Intel Core i7-8550 (quad-core at 1.8GHz (2.0GHz turbo boost))
- As reviewed: 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD (PCIe)
The 730’s spec has been massaged compared to the 720 models from 2019, to now include the latest 8th Gen Intel Core I processors. This review model is loaded with an i7-8550 quad-core, clocked at 1.8GHz, making it a powerful machine indeed.
Such power opens up all kinds of use case scenarios. We’ve been happily emailing and browsing, but more hardcore Photoshop or video editing work won’t be a slouch either. And with the option to add discrete graphics (an Nvidia GTX 1050) even some casual gaming with good settings is entirely possible.
With such power does come some limitation to longevity though. We’ve been getting four and a half hours of use out of the machine, which might not sound like a huge amount – but we’re driving a 4K display, including streaming actual 2160p content, which is part of the tradeoff overall.
There’s a trickiness in balancing out what a laptop offers. With the 720 predecessors in its 13-inch form delivering double-digit hours of use from a single charge, it’d be easy to find the larger, more powerful follow-up’s performance disappointing. But, actually, we feel it’s about right: there’s lots of power, there’s lots of resolution and, that considered, innings per charge seem about as expected for this form factor.
The Lenovo Yoga 730 could be your better choice. It’s good quality, exhibit and also performance. Along with this, among those very few cheap laptop computers to own a Thunderbolt 3 interface.