- 13.3-inch / 15.6-inch FHD/UHD, IPS touch
- Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7
- Integrated H620 or GTX 1050
- Up to 16GB DDR4
- Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
- Amazon Alexa support
We check out Lenovo’s Alexa-enabled notebook
The Lenovo Yoga 730 is an updated version of the Yoga 720 convertible that Lenovo unveiled at MWC in 2017, and from what we’ve seen so far, it could be one of the best laptops to arrive this year for students and casual gamers on a budget. It’s available in 13-inch and 15-inch variants.
At first glance, both models look like a tepid upgrade to the 720. They feature a similar-looking aluminium metal chassis and the same flexible hinge mechanism that lets you turn it into a tablet by folding the screen onto the device’s back.
Up-close, however, you’ll notice a number of subtle but important design improvements. The biggest is the addition of four far-field microphones, which make it quick and easy to take advantage of the 730’s unique selling point: Amazon Alexa support.
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Lenovo Yoga 730 – What’s new?
Support for Amazon Alexa has been baked into the laptop’s core Windows 10 software. On the pre-release version I saw, it was launched via a shortcut icon on the main desktop, but the final version will reportedly let you activate the digital assistant simply by uttering “Alexa”.
Although it sounds small, the addition of Alexa is a unique selling point for the laptop and it will be a welcome addition for anyone with other Amazon smart devices at their disposal. For those who have had their head in the sand, Alexa is Amazon’s assistant. It works in the same way as Google Assistant, Microsoft Cortana and Apple Siri, enabling you to carry out tasks such as shuffle music or get the answer to questions using voice commands.
The demo I saw worked a treat, with the four microphones easily picking up voice commands in a crowded, slightly noisy conference room. A particular highlight was when the person running the demo asked the 730 to tell us a joke, to which we Alexa responded with this dad-worthy treat: “Why did a jaybird cross the road? To practice its jaywalk”.
Alexa isn’t the only change. Lenovo has also tweaked the metal frame in a number of ways. These include subtle changes, such as making the top screen edge slanted – rather than flat – in a bid to make it more comfortable to hold in tablet mode; to more obvious tweaks, such as reducing the display’s bezel size by a couple of millimeters. The screen isn’t edge-to-edge as it is in the Dell XPS 13 and Huawei MateBook X Pro, but it’s a welcome move that makes the 730 look noticeably swisher than many competing sub-£1000 laptop.
The addition of Rapid Charging is another welcome addition, which, according to a Lenovo spokesperson, will let users get two hours’ use from 15 minutes at the mains. I didn’t get the chance to test this, however.
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Lenovo Yoga 730 specs
Elsewhere, things are pretty similar to the 720. As before, the 15-inch model can be upgraded to feature a GTX 1050 GPU. This means the top-specced 730 should be able to play AAA games at 1080p if the graphics settings aren’t maxed out. It will also be good enough for basic video- and photo-editing tasks, which is great since the screen supports Lenovo’s Pen 2 digital stylus.
The only downside is that Lenovo couldn’t confirm colour gamut coverage figures for the IPS screen, which to my naked eye looked fairly similar to last year’s model and featuring an identical 300 nits max brightness.
The only big change is that Lenovo has upgraded the two models to run using Intel’s improved 8th-gen CPUs. This should result in both devices being slightly nippier and more power efficient than previous devices, if our past benchmarks of 8th-gen laptops are anything to go by. However, until I get a chance to benchmark the laptop, I won’t be able to confirm this.
You can see a full list of the specs of both models in the table below.
|Device||Lenovo Yoga 730 13-inch||Lenovo Yoga 730 15-inch|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD/UHD, IPS touch||15.6-inch FHD/UHD, IPS touch|
|CPU||Up to 8th-gen Intel Core i7||Up to 8th-gen Intel Core i7|
|Graphics||Integrated H620||Integrated H620 or Nvidia GTX 1050|
|Memory||Up to 16GB DDR4||8GB DDR4 + 8GB DIMM|
|Storage||Up to 512GB PCIe SSD||Up to 1TB PCIe SSD|
|Battery||11 hours||11 hours (FHD), 9 hours (UHD)|
|Connectivity||2 x USB C (Thunderbolt), 1 x US 3.0, 3.5 mm||2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB C, HDMI, 3.5 mm|
|Weight||1.2 kg||1.89 kg|
Lenovo Yoga 730 price
Exact pricing will depend on the configuration you opt for. The most basic version of the 13-inch will retail for $879 (£629) and the lowest-specced 15-inch model will retail for $899 (£644). Considering the specs, the pricing is fairly reasonable.
Lenovo Yoga 730 release date
The Yoga 730 is set to launch in April.
The Yoga 730 isn’t a huge update on the older 720, but the changes Lenovo has made appear to be positive ones. The minor design optimisations and move to Intel’s 8th-gen family of CPUs will help improve performance and usability in a number of ways.
Alexa support is another nice touch that will appeal to those who have already invested in Amazon’s smart ecosystem.
Hopefully, the device will make good on its opening promise when we more thoroughly test it in April. Check back then for our full review of the Lenovo Yoga 730.