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Lenovo's 13-inch Yoga is an affordable 2-in-1 with surprisingly luxurious features

Lenovo announced a veritable trove of tablets and laptops at Mobile World Congress 2017. First up were the 13-inch and 15-inch Yoga 720, the newest laptops in the company’s convertible Yoga series. Next were the mid-range Flex 5 (Yoga 520) and the Miix 320 2-in-1 device, and lastly two tablets — the Tab 4 — designed for kids in mind.

We had a chance to check out a particularly promising machine, the 13-inch Yoga 720, at a preview event in Barcelona. We’ll have to spend more time with it to formulate a final opinion, but we came away generally impressed.

More: The best products of 2016: Computing

Lenovo’s 2-in-1 Yoga devices have historically featured a proprietary “watchband hinge,” and the 13-inch Yoga 720 is no different. Whether the screen’s oriented in a “V” shape, angled slightly upward, or tucked securely under the keyboard, it’s locked in place securely, but never so tightly that it’s difficult to adjust.

Lenovo says the 13-inch Yoga 720 is 13 percent light and 17 percent thinner than last year’s Yoga, and at 14.33mm and 2.9lbs, and it certainly feels like it. But perhaps the most striking thing about the Yoga 720 is its IPS screen, which boasts ultra-narrow bezels and a resolution of up to 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160). Its crisp and vibrant from most angles, if a little prone to glare. And the bezels nearly match the thinness of the Dell XPS 13’s Infinity Display, an impressive feat of engineering.

Despite its compactness, the Yoga 720 manages to pack plenty of ports and components into its petite frame. It has a Thunderbolt Type-C port, a USB 3.0 port, a microphone/headphone 3.5mm combo port, and supports Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11ac. There’s a 720p HD camera onboard, plus up to 512GB of SSD storage or a 1TB HHD. A fingerprint sensor sports Microsoft’s Windows Hello authentication in Windows 10, which lets you unlock your computer without having to enter a password. And stereo JBL speakers tuned with Dolby’s Audio Premium software supply the Yoga 720’s sound.

Lenovo didn’t skimp on any of the Yoga 720’s other hardware. The 2-in-1 is compatible with Lenovo’s PC stylus, the Active Pen, in Windows Ink and other programs that support capacitive drawing tools. But keyboard traditionalists needn’t be disappointed. The Yoga 720’s keys are responsive and spacious, and while they don’t have much travel, the keys’ rounded indentations make pecking out paragraphs more comfortable than might be expected.

The same can be said of the Yoga 720’s touchpad. It doesn’t measure as wide as, say, Apple’s new plus-sized MacBook Pro touchpad, but it’s a Precision Touchpad, meaning it means it can work with all of Windows 10’s touchpad features. It’s responsive to both single- and two-finger gestures and, like the touchpad on the Yoga 910, its tactile click buttons are satisfyingly springy to the touch.

The top-of-the-line Yoga 720 configuration boasts a 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor, integrated Intel 620 graphics (a discrete GeForce GTX 1050 in the 15-inch model), and 8GB of DDR4 RAM (16GB in the 15-inch), which is more than enough processing power to plow through basic tasks. In our brief time with the Yoga 720, Microsoft Word launched without stutter or hesitation, and webpages loaded almost instantly. We’ll have to run the Yoga 720 through its paces to find out how it compares to the competition, but our initial impressions are quite good.

Despite the Yoga 720’s high-end hardware, it’s a power-sipping champ. Lenovo estimates that the Full HD model’s battery will last nine hours on a charge, while the Ultra HD manages about eight hours.

The Yoga 13-inch ships in platinum silver, iron grey, and copper, and starts at $860. It’s expected to launch in several territories as soon as April.

Lenovo’s Yoga series may be considered the definitive 2-in-1, but that’s not to imply it doesn’t have competition. The LG Gram series and Dell’s XPS 13 best the Yoga 720 it in thinness, and the XPS 13 lasts several hours longer on a charge. The HP Spectre x360 and Acer Spin 7, meanwhile, are measurably more compact.

But the Yoga 720’s high-resolution screen and affordable price point are tough to beat. A great keyboard, responsive touchpad, and speedy processor are icing on the cake.

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