Review

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!

Quick Review – Convertpdftoword.org

Hi,

I was sent an email asking to review this by someone at CometDocs, and it’s free, so I figured why not. It’s called Convertpdftoword.org which is also the website it’s hosted at, by no amazing coincidence. What is it? An online PDF to Word converter. Owned by Cometdocs.com who do a lot of different online file conversions.

PDF to Word? I know I get a lot of requests for this sort of thing, but historically the answer is either getting expensive software to convert, or ask the originator for a non-PDF version of the document.

This is cloud based, which always rings alarm bells for me. Do you want to send your documents to an unknown 3rd party, just because they’re offering a free service? That’s what you’ll need to decide, but this company resides in Canada and the servers for holding your files are located in the United States which matters to some people (the more security minded just won’t use this service).

So, how does it work? You just go to http://www.convertpdftoword.org/ , browse and upload your PDF, put in your email address and wait for the resulting Word document to arrive.

A few minutes later, and I’ve got emails for the two test PDFs I uploaded. They take you back to the site to download them, where they’re hosted for 24 hours. I don’t believe there’s any security behind this, apart from a unique URL – so again, you’d only do this with data you don’t care about others having.

Once you get back to their webpage to download, it sits ‘Processing’ for a few seconds and then starts downloading. It might be buggy with Internet Explorer 10, as it didn’t stop the ‘Processing’ dialogue even after the file had downloaded. This happened on both files.

The results were very impressive. They looked identical to the PDFs I had uploaded, with coloured pictures and all in the exact same positions. The file size blew out from 131kb to 2787kb on one of the examples, but probably expected with Word vs PDF compressions.

In summary, it seems to work really well in my random sample size of 2 documents. Handy if you want to edit a publicly available PDF, but I’m not sure how much demand there is for this.

As pointed out by the person who emailed me, the site gets it’s revenue from adverts. I didn’t get paid anything to write this, so I must have been in a good mood.

HP Cloud Day – Part 2

13th April
I had to rush off to the airport and crashed out, back home in Adelaide now. It was a very interesting event, and was great to get the opportunity to talk to some key HP staff. I’ll summarise the whole event in a few days once I’ve absorbed it all.

3:30pm
Bit of a gap as this section was particularly technical around layers, zones, repositorys, pools, catalogues – you get the idea :)

3:00pm
Architecture Deep Dive for HP Cloud:
IT becomes the service broker, and also needs to choose where to put what. It should also be designed to be able to be moved from one environment to the next.
This requires a common foundation. There are three layers for an Integrated cloud platform to cover all IaaS, PaaS and SaaS (hmm most things seem to be in threes today) – Demand – User Interraction, Deliver – Service Orchestration and Supply – Resource Operation.

2:25pm
If someone uses your hosted severs for an attack, who is at fault? The provider or the consumer? I’m not sure this one was actually answered (please correct me if I’m wrong!) but regardless it’s a good question, and there are a lot of grey areas because laws never keep up with new technologies.
Consumer responsibility vs Provider responsibility in order: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. So if you want the least responsibility, SaaS is the way to go.

2:10pm
Cloud Security is about perspective. HP have a lot of considerations and understanding of this, read some cloudy stuff here:
http://www8.hp.com/us/en/business-solutions/solution.html?compURI=1079449#tab=TAB2

2:00pm
Had a walkthrough of HP’s Comms Room Showcase Extravaganza, check my twitter feed @AdamFowler_IT for the pics (later because all forms of internet are now crawling here).

12:53pm
HP Networking – When you’ve got a single network switch that has 100’s of blades connected to it with 1000’s of VM’s, the MAC table is going to grow huge, and there are limits. HP manage the networking for your cloud to make sure these issues don’t occur… plus it’s their own switches and routers in use!
HP will support VMWare, Microsoft, Citrix and HP ux virtualisation technologies.

12:30pm EST
Welcome to part two, and I’ve now converted to local Sydney time to keep things confusing.

The building blocks that HP has to make your cloud: Private, Managed and Public all used converged infrastructure. The three key steps are: Standardize, Virtualise and finally Automate.

HP CloudSystem is 45% cheaper than Amazon EC2 as long as you buy enough. Based on 4 Chassis, 64 blades with 768 VM’s etc – that’s a rather decent deployment!

There are two stages to cloud; Step-by-step and fast track.

Step-by-step includes Standardize and consolidate, then Virtualise and automate.

Fast Track is then Self service infrastructure, self service applications with full lifecycle management and finally becoming a service broken in a hybrid environment.

The above is a bit deeper defining what I was talking about in Part 1. You’re smart, you’ll find where that is if you need to.

HP Cloud Day – Part 1

11:10am
I have just realised that the times are Adelaide times, not local :) Lunch time, so after that I’ll continue with Part 2.

10:44am
HP Enterprise Cloud Services: Global Availability, Communications & Collaboration, Enterprise and SaaS Applications. One of the bigger benefits is Testing as a Service which should dramatically decrease configuration and setup times. The big goal is to doing the right scale for the right cost. HP do end to end migrations.

10:33am
The current evolving state of hybrid delivery is a mix of traditional, private, managed and public. The future envisioned will be using common architecture, coverged management & security, open & standards based, develop once – run anywhere, and flexibility & portability. This is needed to reduce complexity of managing too many different evironments by too many different methods.

9:49am
HP Converged Cloud is built on OpenStack technology, and works on a hybrid delivery. Choice, Confidence and Consistency are the 3 main aspects of this. HP’s public Cloud services have now gone beta. The great challenge for clients is ‘how do I get started?’. Start with the ‘low hanging fruit’ (for those playing management buzzword bingo, that should help). Start with Dev/Test for the private cloud as there is little to no impact to end users. Then, in managed cloud there is the application transformation, including enabling the management of apps and servers in different ways. Most applications aren’t ready or aren’t designed for Cloud yet. Third is public cloud, which includes SaaS applications and Application Transformation.

9:31am
If you believe that services can be anywhere, the role of the IT Leader becomes ‘builder/broker’ which changes the competencies of IT. Moving from building to buying, when most IT staff were originally only trained in building. The IT Imperatives in a hybrid cloud delivery are:

– Build & consume right mix of services based on service requirements
– Leverage best of traditional IT, private, managed & public cloud
– Manage & secure hybrid environment to reap value & mitigate risk

9:18am
New technology access methods. The barrier to innovation has been lowered, particularly due to cloud technologies. Blogging back in the old days meant you had to build your own website from scratch, or use poor limiting services such as geocities (sorry to bring that one up). Bottom up adoption and CIO’s spending most of their time fighting fires are the more troublesome outcomes of this (in my opionion) but at the same time, a lot of people have some great ideas, but because the switch to turn it on is so easily accessible, people do it without proper thought or analysis of the business.

9:05am
Top level view of HP Cloud and the announcements from yesterday is what we’re about to discuss… many model changes around the world. A shift from West to East culture for business models. There is a higher demand for more agility and change, and working in an uncertain market and be flexible.

8:44am
Introductios from everyone involved, there are some key HP staff here and the general focus is private/public/hybrid cloud.

8:31am ACST
Hi,
I’ll be live blogging this tech day as much as possible here on AUTechHeads, as well as smaller comments on twitter at @AdamFowler_IT. You can also follow the hashtag #HPTechDay.

Make sure you refresh the page for the latest updates.

12th April 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note Review

Hi readers,
I have been trialling out the new Samsung Galaxy Note. For those of you who haven’t heard or seen this phone before – it’s  huge. Huge compared to any other phone you’ve seen with a 5.3” WXGA (1280 x 800) screen. Check out the official specs here: http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxynote/note/spec.html?type=find

The first thing that came to my mind when deciding if I wanted to test this device was this Dilbert comic:

Source: http://www.dilbert.com/2012-02-23/

So, can a device still be a good phone, while being large enough to be a tablet? After playing around with it for a while, my personal answer is ‘yes’, but it’s still not the best solution for every scenario.

The first thing I noticed about the phone after taking it out of the box, was the size. Suprisingly the phone is quite light, thin and study despite this. After realising I also needed to put the battery in, it was still quite light. Powering on the unit then displayed it’s next great feature, yes the display. 1280 x 800 pixels brightly showing on 5.3″ is a rather decent resolution, and the picture takes up almost the full front face of the phone.

Here’s a comparison on size. An iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy Note and finally an Acer Iconia A500:

Source: Me

As you can see, the Note is still much closer to an iPhone than it is a full 10″ tablet. if I had a 7″ Tablet that would have been a closer comparison.

The next difference is that this phone actually has a stylus. A great addition in my opinion, as you can interchange with using the fingers you’re used to for touchscreen devices, or the very old ‘stick technology’. It  means you can write your own notes/lists on the go, draw diagrams or doodle whatever takes your fancy. For me, the main use I considered was that I could Citrix into my work environment and use the stylus on a Windows desktop, which definitely isn’t designed for fingers. Sadly this didn’t work out the best, but this isn’t Samsung or Google’s fault – after logging in using the Citrix app, it seems that using the stylus on the screen does the same function as pressing the delete key along with what you’re selecting. This made a rather large mess of my mailbox as I deleted about 20 emails. Hopefully there’s a solution to this, but even the Citrix Connector Beta had the same issue.

Using the on screen keyboard is quite nice, due to the screen real estate you’ve got nice big virtual keys to press. There’s some extra functions for zooming/scrolling that I hadn’t seen before, such as putting 2 fingers on the screen (one from each hand ideally) and tiling the device backwards or forward to zoom in and out. Not a bad idea, especially if you’re reading something and already holding the device with 2 hands.

Anyway, I should mention the software. It’s running Android Gingerbread, with an Ice Cream Sandwich update coming out soon. Response times of opening, switching and scrolling are great. It’s a very smooth experience natively. I can’t say the same about the official Twitter app though, the scrolling in that was very jerky and clunky. I’m going to guess that this is the fault of the Twitter app developers, since everything else ran so smooth.

There are a bunch of pre-installed apps and widgets on the device. Nothing seemed to be bloatware, and the widgets are a really nice feature for your home screens. It’s really customisable!

I’ve also set up a full home screen just for my calendar (that was actually there by default) and added, removed and resized others. It really makes you feel like it’s your own device, instead of having screens and folders full of apps (sorry Apple).

Now, if you’re considering the device there’s a few things to think about, especially for men. Unless you’ve got large pockets, you’re going to need a manbag. This is something that I can’t do, but maybe you’re fine with that. My work pants are fine, but I could never wear a pair of jeans and manage to fix the Samsung Galaxy Note in a pocket (gangsta’s probably won’t have this problem). Women, well generally you don’t even have pockets and this will fit nicely in that little red handbag of yours.

In summary, I like it…. buuut it’s too big. I love the screen size, and it’s selling really well around the world, but I think for a single thing to carry around 24/7 I’d rather wait for the Samsung Galaxy S3, which comes in at a smaller but decent 4.6″ screen. Either way, I now look at my iPhone 4S and have size envy.

Update: Since writing this article, I obtained a Samsung Galaxy S3 and have been very happy with it.