REVIEW: Lenovo Yoga S940
If you’ve been shopping around for a new laptop or notebooks lately, then you’ll notice that brands are opting for either of the following two approaches to make their offerings stand out from the crowd. They’re either trimming the size of the machines and cutting the flab to make them as thin and light as possible or they’re loading up the laptop specs and giving desktops a run for their money.
An example of the first category is Lenovo’s Yoga S940, while Dell’s Alienware laptop line an example of the latter. If you are in the market for a new laptop, is the featherlight Yoga S940 THE laptop for those who’re looking for a premium ultrabook experience? Well, here’s what I found out after using it for a while.
Review model specs at a glance
- Measures 319.3 x 197.4 x 12.2mm
- Weighs 1.2kg
- 14-inch display, UHD resolution with HDR support & Dolby Vision
- Intel Core i7-1065G7
- Intel Iris Graphics 620
- 16GB DDR3 RAM
- 1TB SSD
- 3 x USB Type-C ports
- Windows 10 Home
Design & display
Unsurprisingly, the first thing that will draw your attention to the Lenovo S940 is its incredible slimness. In fact with a thickness of 12.2mm, the notebook can put even some smartphones to shame. Tipping the scales at 1.2kg, the device is really lightweight and not only was it a delight to carry around in my backpack, but I could also just as easily carry it in my hand too.
Now, you might be wondering if the rig has cut any corners to achieve such compact dimensions. Well, you’d be glad to know that isn’t the case. The Lenovo Yoga S940 features premium construction as it’s built out of aluminium. Along with offering a classy appeal, it also means that the device is quite robust.
Having said that, if you do apply some pressure, then both the screen and the palmrest area will show a little amount of flex. However, it isn’t too bad, and can be expected from the machine that has such a footprint.
Getting into the design bit, the Lenovo Yoga S940 has taken the minimalism to the extreme, so much so that the outer lid doesn’t have Lenovo branding. It only mentions Yoga, and that too towards the corner.
Thanks to its size, you can easily open the lid with a single hand. The aesthetics continue inside too, there are no fancy patterns or multiple stickers in the keyboard and palmrest region. You’ll only find the Lenovo logo in a metallic plate on the lower-right corner, and there’s only one sticker highlighting the fact that the machine has Intel inside.
While there’s no fingerprint scanner on the S940 for authenticating the user, it does come with support for face recognition that works in conjunction with Windows Hello. While it comes with an IR sensor for superior performance, in my experience, it was a hit-and-miss affair.
Towards the sides, Yoga S940 sports a Type-C port on the left along side a 3.5mm headphone socket, whereas the right edge offers two USB Type-C ports. Now I’d have liked more ports like a full-sized USB port or a microSD card slot, but it’s appreciable that the company ships a dongle offering an HDMI port, a VGA port and a Type-A port along with the laptop.
Another USP of Lenovo’s yoga S940 is its display. It comes with a 14-inch panel that bears UHD resolution (on the model that we were testing anyway), but that’s not what makes it special. It’s its curved edges – making it the world’s first laptop with a contoured panel – ensuring an immersive experience and giving an impression that it has a high screen-to-body ratio. And that’s not the only inspiration Lenovo has taken from modern smartphones… if you notice closely, then the webcam is located slightly above the top panel – call it a reverse notch, if you will. Thankfully, it doesn’t look distracting.
Sadly, even though the S940 flaunts the Yoga logo, it doesn’t offer the same features as its brethren. Yes, the device can’t flip 360-degree or in any other manner to offer multiple modes, and there isn’t any touchscreen either. Yet, there’s no denying that the Lenovo yoga S940 pushes the boundaries of how slim and lightweight a laptop can be. It sets a high benchmark for others who want to stake a claim in the ultraportables category.
Keyboard & trackpad
While I loved the design and build of the Yoga S940, unfortunately, I couldn’t get to like its keyboard.. And mind you, it’s not because the keys don’t have enough gap or don’t offer tactile feedback. They do, and while the travel isn’t bad, it can’t match regular laptops. One nice addition is that the keyboard is backlit and offers three levels of light intensities. You may be wondering what my actual issue was with it and, unfortunately, it had to do with its significant input lag.
Even when there wasn’t any app open and power mode was set to best performance, the letters that I typed on the keyboard took a while to appear on the screen. I also found that the keyboard wasn’t as responsive and hence words styped together sometimes appeared as a string together.
Moving on, the trackpad on the S940 is an absolute delight. Despite having a small area to play around with, Lenovo has ensured that the trackpad isn’t tiny. It’s extremely responsive too and supports multi-touch gestures as well.
Hardware & software
Taking care of graphics requirements is Intel’s integrated Graphics 620. It’s clear that this hardware isn’t for gaming, but I did try my hands on titles like Rocket League and, unfortunately, the device barely manage to run them. There were noticeable frame drops, not to mention that gaming experience itself wasn’t all that delightful either.
For storage, the S940 is available with up to 1TB SSD, which is more than enough to meet pretty much all users’ requirements quite well.
What makes the Yoga S940 great for multimedia consumption is its support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos so Netflix shows supporting Dolby’s latest video and audio codecs look and sound particularly good on this device.
Even though the laptop is compact, it manages to offer decent battery life. Charged at 100 percent in the morning, I didn’t need to look for the adapter before the lunchtime and that’s when I had connected the laptop to an external monitor anyways so I didn’t stress too much with it’s battery life. With moderate to light use, you should definitely be able to make it through a day of use with this laptop.
The Lenovo Yoga S940 is an interesting laptop. Anyone who’s looking for a slim and powerful option simply can’t ignore it. And yet, it isn’t for the faint-hearted as it’s RRP is €1,439.99. In terms of availability, we’ve been told that all good Irish electrical stores should be stocking it such as Curry’s/PC World and Harvey Norman.
Now, it totally depends upon what you’re looking for. If performance is what you’re after, then you can get quite a few options out there but if compactness is more important, then the Yoga S940 is the one for you.