(Pocket-lint) - How to improve upon one of last year's best laptops? Trim the bezel, but of course. That's exactly what Lenovo has done in the Yoga 730, which refreshes the already impressive Yoga 720.
That's not all, though, with the 730 also updating to the latest 8th Gen Intel Core to ensure its innards are up to scratch, while the exterior design also sees the body take on a slight slant for more comfortable hold in any of its hand-held modes (possible thanks to that hinged design).
Design and screen
- 13.3-inch LCD touchscreen (Full HD and Ultra-HD resolution options)
- 5.9mm bezel (left and right of screen) / 6.5mm bezel (15in model)
- 360-degree hinge build: laptop, tent, stand and tablet modes
- 2x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3); 1x USB 3.0, 1x 3.5mm jack
- Finishes: Iron Grey, Platinum Silver
- Integrated fingerprint scanner
- 307 x 216 x 14.1mm; 1.12kgs
The footprint and much of the Yoga 730's design remains the same as its 720 predecessor. But as that was one of our favourite laptops of last year, that's certainly no bad thing. Available in 13-inch and 15-inch forms, we're focusing on the smaller footprint laptop for this particular piece.
The hinge to the rear - which is now slanted slightly, to make for a different form in tablet mode (which we actually still didn't find that comfortable to hold, really) - allows the Yoga 730 to be manipulated through 360-degrees. That's ideal for laptop use, at any screen angle, or for repositioning in tent/stand/tablet modes - in which Windows will prompt to enable it's more tile-centric Tablet Mode.
The screen is the biggest difference of all, though, thanks to a bezel edge that's continuing to shrink. In the 13-inch model that's just 5.9mm to the left and right sides, which is an improvement - but it's still playing catch-up with the Dell XPS 13 and the Huawei MateBook X Pro.
Not all the Yoga 730's bezels measure so small, either, with the bottom bezel (which hosts the camera) remaining as large as ever. It's not a total deal-breaker, but we think a wide-screen format with a different footprint would help to eliminate this chunky bottom edge.
Also on the spec sheet are all the ports you'll need - but no SD card slot, sadly - along with an integrated fingerprint scaner for rapid login. All that in a 1.1kg design and competitively slender form, making it smaller and lighter than before. On the whole we think the Yoga 730 looks great.
Power and performance
- Up to 8th Gen Intel Core i7, integrated H620 graphics
- Up to the 16GB RAM, up to 512GB SSD (PCIe)
- JBL Speakers and Dolby Atmos headphone compatibility
- Up to 11 hours battery
- Alexa integration
The other massaging the 730's spec gets compared to the 720 is upped specification, with the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i processors on board, up to i7. Graphics are integrated for the 13-inch model, while the 15-inch will include the option of an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050.
We've not had the time to use the laptop as a day-to-day unit just yet, but based on its predecessor - which was suitably quiet and heat-efficient, we found - we have high hopes for the Yoga 730 to be a great performer. Battery life should push into double-digit use for casual tasks, just like its predecessor.
What's interesting about the software setup of this Yoga is that Lenovo has an Amazon Alexa integrated app as part of its Windows 10 setup. So if you're keen to use voice assistant - perhaps you already have an Echo device at home, or other smart home products - this should open the door for wider communications and actions than available with Microsoft's Cortana (which, of course, is also on board).
Sound is delivered from JBL approved speakers, but these are positioned to the underside of the device so don't deliver the very cleanest of output. It'd be great to see these repositioned up top, MacBook Pro style.
With a tweaked form factor and slimmer screen bezel than its predecessor, the Lenovo Yoga 730 looks set to be one of the hottest 13-inch form-factor laptops to hit the shelves in 2018.
That said, at the higher-end of the market - if you're willing to spend a little more money, of course - the introduction of the Huawei MateBook X Pro is likely to lure many Windows users its way.
What the Lenovo has on its side is well-established performance and longevity in a proven and versatile package. With the US set to receive the 13-inch Yoga 730 starting from $880 this April (it's from $900 for the 15-inch) we hope that translates into competitive UK pricing.