Opinion

Lenovo Yoga 910 Review

Just over a year ago, I received the Lenovo Yoga 900 laptop to review. Since then, an unfortunate accident occurred when I closed the laptop onto the end of a USB cable, creating a horrible crunching sound and cracking the screen.

Lenovo Australia have come to the rescue and provided me a newer Yoga 910 to review instead! How does it compare to the Yoga 900?

 

The new boxed Lenovo Yoga 910

For starters, here’s the specs with the red options matching what my laptop has:

Processor
• 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor (3 MB Cache, 2.5 GHz, 3.1 GHz max)
• 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U Processor (4 MB Cache, 2.7 GHz, 3.5 GHz max)

Operating system Windows 10 Home 64-bit Display
13.9″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
• 13.9″ UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS

Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620 in processor

Memory
8 / 16 GB DDR4 2133MHz

Webcam
Integrated 720p HD Camera

Storage Solid State Drive (SSD), via PCIe NVME:
256GB / 512 GB / 1TB

Dimensions (W x D x H)
323 x 224.5 x 14.3 mm

Weight
Starting at 1.38 kg

Case colour
• Champagne Gold
• Gunmetal Grey
• Platinum Silver

Case material
Aluminium

Battery life
• FHD model: 15.5 hours

Keyboard
Full-size keyboard, backlight, 6-row, multimedia Fn keys

Touchpad
One-piece multi-touch touchpad

Fingerprint reader
Yes, Hello support

Audio
HD audio, 2 x JBL® stereo speaker with Dolby® Audio Premium certification dual array microphone combo audio/microphone jack

Wireless LAN
11ac, 2×2, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® 4.1

Ports
• 2 x USB 3.0 (1 x Type-C with video-out, 1 x Type-A)
• 1 x USB 2.0 (support DC-in function)
• Combo audio/microphone jack

Specs on the box

The Yoga 910 is another high end consumer laptop, following in the steps of laptops such as the Yoga 900S, 900, 3 Pro and 2 Pro. It feels very solid, and is slightly heavier than the Yoga 900, probably due to the aluminium chassis. Eric Xu did a great writeup comparing the two which is worth reading if you’re deciding which one to get.

Lenovo Yoga 910 Ready to go

While looking incredibly sleek and professional (especially in this gunmetal grey version, which to me is just black), it is a fingerprint magnet. That’s the price you pay to look this nice it seems. Another point that stands out is the bezel around the screen – very thin on all edges apart fro the bottom. At first this looks a little strange, but I quickly got used to it.

I’m happy with the 1920 x 1080 screen resolution this particular laptop has, and the screen quality itself was high with great viewing angles – so don’t feel that you have to go for the 4K res option unless you really want it.

The watch hinges are back again, and they seem even sturdier than previous models. They allow the laptop to bend all the way around (as all Yogas do), and I didn’t experience any screen wobble at all when typing.

Lenovo Yoga 910 Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard buttons are nicely laid out, with full size arrow keys. Home and End require the Fn button, but they’re easy to reach. The trackpad itself is quite large, with the single clicky style rather than being a solid no-click style that’s found on most of the X1 series, such as the X1 Yoga. The backlit keys also work well to see in the dark, and the addition of the fingerprint reader combined with Windows Hello allows for a very quick and effortless login.

Test

Lenovo Yoga 910 Right Side

Lenovo Yoga 910 Left Side

As you can see in the above side shots, there’s very few ports. Power is provided by the new standard USB-C which was also on the X1 Tablet, and will probably be standard on all laptops eventually. Beyond that, there’s one USB-C out and one USB 3.0 port. Of course a USB hub will give you more ports if you need it, or you can look into a USB-C dock that will provide a bunch of connection types. Yes, we still call them ‘docks’ even though we don’t dock them anymore.

The battery life is impressive – 15.5 hours. It’s hard to test and keep track of that time to see how accurate it is. Windows 10 thinks there’s still over 10 hours left on 50% remaining, and I’ve been using it sporadically in the last few days next to me.

Performance wise, there is nothing lacking in what you’d expect from this laptop. High end gaming or running several virtual machines isn’t what this laptop (nor most laptops) can do, but it’ll serve most purposes for years.

The Yoga 910 contains some small benefits and improvements over the Yoga 900 – price being equal, the 910 is the laptop to pick. There’s no reason to upgrade from a 900 to a 910 though, and anything older is a decision you’ll need to make for yourself. If you have a laptop that works for you and isn’t slow, then stick with what you have.

JB Hifi’s display on the flagship Dell, HP and Lenovo consumer laptops

If you’re looking to compare similar laptops, Dell and HP have their own offerings. Dell has the XPS 13 while HP has the Spectre x360. As I haven’t used either, I can’t comment on which I think is better, so check them out for yourself.

For myself, the Yoga 910 will be my new main laptop for personal use. It’s powerful, sleek and really nice to use. I can’t really fault anything about it – maybe more USB ports would be nice but I’m generally only going to use one for a USB memory stick occasionally, so that doesn’t bother me.  While on a recent cruise, the laptop was used in tent mode to watch some movies – the long battery life meant I didn’t need to worry about having it plugged in while watching. Warning: If you do go on a cruise, watch out for those towel animals. They get up to a lot of mischief!

Integration fundamentals – What to Avoid

Hi,
An opinion piece here, so please poke holes and post criticisms below.
Lately I have been going through a lot of system changes at work. That is to say, more than normal, and most at the early stages. We’ve been stuck in a state of limbo, mainly because the several systems we want to upgrade or change all talk to each other in one way or another. I’ll first briefly outline one house of cards, and then move to what should have been done better, generally speaking (or typing as the case may be).

We are on Exchange 2007, and want to go to Exchange 2010. That’s not too difficult you may think, you can build your whole new Exchange environment and move a few mailboxes over for testing, then just do a mass mailbox migration over the weekend and everything’s great.

This would be true, if several other systems weren’t leveraging off of Exchange 2007. Firstly, voicemail. Our phone system will pass unanswered calls through to the Unified Messaging Exchange 2007 server, which means we need the same functionality in Exchange 2010. How do we even test this? We need to contact our PBX support, and pay for changes back and forth out of hours. It’s not something we can easily do without business impact. Then, the PBX has no official support for Exchange 2010, so if something doesn’t work or goes wrong we’re fairly stuck.

Then, we’ve got the same problem with faxing. It goes from our PABX via Unified Messaging. Both of these services are considered business critical.

At the same time, we want to change our PBX system. So we’ve got the above problems in reverse, but on top of that we use OCS 2007 R1 which also needs to get upgraded. So now, we need to deploy a new PBX system, integrate it with a new Exchange environment, which in turn is integrated with Lync to replace OCS, and that talks to the phone system for both making/receiving calls and precense.
Now, because we want to change our PBX system we may need to also change our switch infrastrucutre because if we keep what we have, and went with a provider such as Cisco, they would say that they won’t support what issues happen with vocie quality if the switches aren’t theirs. Our switch infrastructure is up for renewal anyway.

I could go on about this with several other systems that are tied in, but hopefully the above is starting to paint a picture.

When integrating systems, think about how the OSI 7 layer model works. Refresher: each network layer can talk above and below it, regardless of what it is. This means that anything that gets changed in your network environment should work, if it meets the standards. You can swap a network card over, and everything else above it will work exactly the same way as before (drivers pending). You can swap a centralised switch, and it will continue to pass the packets of data around like the old switch did. Your application can talk to anything else on the network when anything below it gets swapped over. Hopefully that shows what I’m trying to say…

Where possible, use standard protocols or single supplier solutions. If you’ve got something that needs to send alerts out, go for simple SMTP emails. Everything supports it, and little to no work should be required when you have to change something. If they won’t support standards like SQL databases of either the latest version or the version before, you should hear alarm bells ringing.
If you need two seperately supplied systems to talk to each other, get each company to show proof they support the other, and will in the future. There’s no use 3 years later saying that company X would say it would work.

This should be the case for any system implemented – think about the future and what would happen, and what might go wrong if you have to swap out any part of it.

How I started in I.T.

Hi,
I thought this would be a good discussion point. I’m sure we have some readers who have a passion for I.T. but may not know where to start for their career, and there’d be some interesting stories on how some of us managed to get our way into the industry.

Personally, growing up I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do – but I did know that I liked computers, and spent a lot of time on them from a very young age. My Dad was a computer technician in the hardware and building PC’s sense – so I sort of assumed I’d do that. After doing some work experience with him, and being put on a production line (he was higher up than that) being told to sort out a box of screws to different sizes, I decided I probably didn’t want to be a computer technician after all.
After finishing high school, I then had an opportunity to do two weeks work at my Dad’s new place of employment, where he was the systems builder and tester. I was excited to be earning $13 an hour back in mid 1999 but the job was pretty much just building PC’s out of components, installing an image and testing that the basics worked. Again, it put me off being a computer technician, but I had no idea what else to do.

I then decided I’d do a TAFE course in Diploma of I.T. It would take 3 years to do, and from what I can remember, the first lessons I had were: Programming (something I knew I didn’t want to do), Networking (Interested in this but was too basic so lost interest), Flow Charts (this wasn’t what the course was called, but that’s all it seemed to be and was incredibly boring) and I don’t even remember the other two. I didn’t last long, dropped out and gave up on my IT career as I still didn’t really know what I wanted.

Jump forward 6 months, and I ended up applying for a call centre job. It paid well for a 19 year old ($28k back in late 2000) and thought I might as well give it a try and see how it went. 3 months into this job, and IT role came up in the company, to support the call centre itself. I considered applying, but missed the deadline and thought I won’t bother because I have no experience. The job came up again, as no suitable applicants had applied yet. This time I thought that I might as well give it a shot, and actually got it! From then on, my career continuted to be in I.T.

That’s how my I.T. career started, and despite my efforts, I landed a job. Part of it was dumb luck, part passion of a hobby, and partly being able to demonstrate the right skills and knowledge requierd. I had no qualifications or formal training either!

So, what can I tell you from all this? Aim to do what you want, and if you don’t know – just try something else. You might find a job you like, but even if you don’t it will open up more opportunities, contacts and experiences to help your career along.

Hopefully some of you can share your stories below as myself and others would love to read.