Being accepted into SUSS for further education is both a blessing and a blessing. I will be pursuing my Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics, and finally a reason to splash out on a shiny new Ryzen laptop.
It comes as no surprise then, that I have a list of laptops which I wanted to buy:
The desirability score works by awarding 5 points for a feature that I like, with lesser points for features that I don’t quite like. The Lenovo models came out on top, followed closely by the Asus Zenbook UM325. Eventually I chose the Yoga 6, but the 6-core 5500U instead of the 8-core 4700U, for I read some reviews that showed 4700U versions throttling due to insufficient cooling.
Design and Build
I’ve owned this for roughly a month. The hinges feel sturdy and the screen feels like a quality product. However, the bottom part of the Yoga is disappointing. There is a fair amount of flex on the chassis and there is very visible bending if you pick up the laptop from a corner.
The keyboard feel is average at best, but given it’s price tag, these are mere trade-offs for the functionality of a convertible laptop. The F3 key has lost its tactile feedback after a month of use (and that is the volume control key too), so it is an annoyingly livable problem.
I did not receive the fabric-cover version, but I wasn’t caring much for that feature. A plastic case would be easier to maintain in the long run.
The features I really like are the privacy shutter for the camera, the quick and accurate fingerprint reader, USB-C charging with DisplayPort Alt Mode, a side-mounted power button and the Lenovo pen. The pen is a useful tool for jotting notes and making quick highlights, but it is still faster to type wordy stuff than trying to scribble it down.
And if you were wondering, the Yoga 6 does not boot if you press the power button with the screen closed, it only works to wake up the machine if it is put in sleep mode.
I lack a good majority of paid benchmark software, so I’ll skip going in depth into the 5500U’s performance. It has been a solid performer with no problems running photoshop, processing multiple 20mb raw files at a go while listening to Spotify and having 20 Chrome tabs open.
I have been using my desktop Ryzen 5 2600 machine less since I’ve got this laptop, and I don’t have any desktop withdrawals. They are both similarly configured with NVMe drives and 16GB ram, and the processors performance are very close.
The Yoga does feels a little slower eventually because it still throttles at full load, eventually. It idles at 48deg.c, averages at 65 deg.c on load and maxes out at 100 deg.c. Using a Thermaltake Massive laptop cooler lowers the temperatures to 47, 63 and 98 respectively. Since the bottom of the laptop only has a vent cutout for the fan, the additional cooler has very little effect.
The display is a lot dimmer than I expected, while colour and viewing angles are ok. Being a glossy screen, it is very annoying to use in bright light. In a darkened room, the backlit keys are a nice addition and you can have it at medium, or max brightness.
The speakers are adequate. Loud enough to fill a small bedroom with mostly tinny sounding music with some mid-bass. For the sake of your ears, get headphones or a decent pair of USB-powered speakers.
Flawed, but still nice.
The Yoga 6 isn’t the best Ryzen laptop, but it certainly is a good example of cramming a desktop’s worth of performance into a 13.3″ convertible laptop. Why didn’t I consider the HP Envy x360? Chiefly because the HP lacks an important feature called battery conservation. The Lenovo implementation is a lot more conservative, only allowing the battery to reach a 60% charge while Acer and Asus allow up to 80% charge levels.
As such, I am only getting roughly half of the laptop’s runtime, which is roughly 6 hours of reading textbooks or sitting through a 3.5 hour Zoom lecture with about 10% left. Since most lessons are now held online, you wouldn’t need to worry about battery life too much.
Unless you’re at a swank coffee chain, sipping a produce of consumer capitalism, which does happen if you have very capable laptop like the Lenovo Yoga 6.
What I like:
Good battery life
Has battery conservation
Feels like a fast desktop in everyday use
Two year warranty with accidental damage coverage
What I dislike:
Short AMD Boost duration due to cooling limitations
Display lacking in brightness
F3 key lost tactile feedback after a month’s usage
Power button does not turn on laptop if lid is closed