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Lenovo Yoga 520 – bending to your will

Lenovo Yoga 520 – bending to your will

In October 2012, mouths were agape and the world was left wide-eyed.

People shook their heads in disbelief and amazement, when Lenovo introduced its 13-inch Yoga to the tech market. As expected with the bendy and flexi way of the yoga discipline, the name referred to the unit’s design. Made up of a double hinge to allow four different configurations, the Yoga provided maximum flexibility when in use.

Lenovo then made the smart move to partner with the brain and braun that is Ashton Kutcher, which left us wide-eyed once more. This University of Iowa alumna was not only hired for his looks (we don’t mind) but his smarts as well. Kutscher had studied biochemical engineering, and took on a role at Lenovo as a product engineer. He worked with Lenovo’s engineering teams and developed and marketed the company’s Yoga line of Windows 8, Windows RT, and Android convertible tablets.

Unfortunately, Kutcher was NOT included when I received a review unit of the Lenovo Yoga 520. I expect more from you Lenovo… Next time.

But let’s get down to it.

Design

It’s really pretty – really, really pretty and the fact that it is mainly plastic means that Lenovo have succeeded in the category of design. Initially, my gripe here was that it was still a bit heavy, even though it’s mainly plastic. 19.9mm wide, the Lenovo Yoga 520 weighs in at 1,74kg – quite a bit more than what I’m used to. The weight might not concern some but my argument is that if I’m flipping it in different directions it should really be a bit more convenient. Then again, the Lenovo Yoga 520 does seem durable, which is probably a more endearing feature… I’ll get over the weight – I’d rather be throwing around something that can take the knocks. Besides, it might be good for the biceps.

Once unshut, there is no hint of the plastic shell and the sleekness of the design invites you to run your hands over the clean keys and just start typing.

Interestingly though, the Yoga’s hybrid design came from a special patented hinge that allowed the keyboard to flip flush to the back of the display. That’s why the device can be held partway open and set upright on a flat surface as a display.

With a DC charging port, a full-sized HDMI port, two USB 3.0 port on either side of the device, a USB 3.1 Type-C port as well as a 3.5mm jack, SD card reader, the Lenovo Yoga 520 has everything you really need.

Display

Years ago, there used to be a joke made at people’s expense, a joke that insinuated that the person’s intelligence was lacking. It went along the lines of:

Q: How do you know so-and-so has been using the computer?

A: Because there’s Tip-Ex on the screen.

 

I’ll explain:

Basically the assumption was – the person was completely daft and didn’t really know how to use the PC in front of them, thinking they could erase text like it had been done on a typewriter or paper for years before. (This is what I hear… I wouldn’t know… I wasn’t around then.)

BUT, let’s be honest. This little anecdote has come around to bite most of us in the rear-end. Please raise your hand, if in your haste or rather habit, you have tapped on a screen that wasn’t touch screen with the aim of a result. Then tried again with no result. Then realized what you’re doing and laughed at yourself. No? No one? Just my husband then! He tells me he was tired.

In all seriousness though, touchscreens are what it’s about nowadays and the case of the Lenovo Yoga 520, is no different with a 14″ HD IPS touchscreen panel. So be prepared for fingerprints.

The choice of HD and full HD is yours here, and I’m sure we all know the full HD at 1080p resolution will without doubt outdo the 720p resolution.

Hardware

The Lenovo Yoga 520 boasts an Intel Core i3-7100U Dual-core chipset with 2.40GHz, 4GB DDR4 RAM at 2400MHz, Intel HD Garphics 620 and 256M.2PCIe NVMe SSD. It also has an impressive 35Wh battery.

Software

Yup! This baby comes with pre-installed apps like antivirus software, a Lenovo Setting app, a Lenovo App Explorer and the Lenovo Companion App. All bloatware that I didn’t find a need for… then again that’s how I feel, but somebody who owns a Lenovo Yoga 520 might not be able to live without it.

So all in all my two weeks with the Lenovo Yoga 520 were pretty fun. It’s a great device that comes in just under R 9000 and at that price, it’s hardly a “stretch” – see what I did there? but rather a steal for anyone in the market for something a little different.

Specs

PERFORMANCE
Processor
– Intel Core i3-7100U Processor
Operating System
– Windows 10 Home
Graphics
– Intel Integrated
Camera and Microphone
– 720p HD Fixed-Focus CMOS Camera
– Dual Digital Microphones
Memory
– 4 GB DDR4
Storage
– 128 GB SSD
Audio
– Harman Speakers with Dolby Home Theater
Battery
– 52.5 WHr Polymer; 10 Hours for FHD

DESIGN

Display
– 14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Touchscreen
Dimensions (W x D x H)
– (mm): 330 x 235 x 19.9
Weight
– Starting at 3.83 lbs (1.74 kg)

Additional Features
– Backlit Keyboard

– Fingerprint Reader

– Onyx Black

 

CONNECTIVITY
WLAN
– 2 x 2 WiFi 802.11 ac- Bluetooth 4.1

Connectors
– 1 x USB Type-C- 2 x USB 3.0
– 4-in-1 Card Reader
– HDMI
– RJ45- Audio Jack

 

 

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Clare Matthes

Clare is Gadget-Gal – and she’s technically amazing.

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