The laptop market in India has become quite competitive especially from the past few months given the entire work-from-home situation. Brands have significantly improved their offerings across price brackets and most manufacturers offer the latest generation of processors from Intel or AMD along with some features/characteristics that are unique to the brand. Lenovo, for example, has chosen to wrap the top cover of its new Yoga 6 13ARE05 laptop with a denim-like fabric that stands out from the crowd of the usual plastic/metallic chassis on most laptops.
While there is no real functional advantage that the fabric provides, it surely looks unique and when closed, can be confused for a hard-bound notebook or a diary. Is it just about the top of your laptop matching your pants for the day or is there more to what the Lenovo Yoga 6 13ARE05 packs for it to be a worthy option if you are looking to buy a laptop for around Rs. 80,000? We used Yoga 6 for the past two weeks to perform various tasks right from writing Word documents to some light video editing, and here is our experience with the machine.
Yoga in a pair of jeans?
Sounds uncomfortable, doesn’t it? Not for this machine from Lenovo though. The Yoga 6 pulls it off beautifully by covering the entire top lid of the laptop in a fabric that has a texture just like a pair of Levi’s jeans. Lenovo says that this fabric is stain resistant but that’s a claim you would not want to test unless you can live with a laptop that has ketchup on its lid in case it doesn’t wipe off.
A metallic badge houses the Lenovo logo at the bottom left while the Yoga branding is embossed into the fabric. The material feels great to touch and in a world of generic-looking laptops that either has plain aluminum or disco-like RGB all over, a denim top is something we would take any day since it both feels good and also adds to the overall appeal of the device. As mentioned earlier, the Lenovo Yoga 6 resembles a hard-bound notebook which means it also fits well into a classroom environment if you are a student.
The way Lenovo has managed to integrate the fabric right alongside the frame of the laptop till it meets the display bezel is impressive. There is no loose threading or imperfections throughout the top lid and along the side as well. The remainder of the laptop body is constructed out of plastic that has a matte texture and feels soft to the touch. The Yoga 6 indeed seems to be pretty good at yoga as it maintains a slim and lightweight profile.
What the Yoga branding essentially means is that you can completely fold the display on the laptop by 360 degrees to convert it into a tablet. You can also put into tent mode if you watch a lot of content or if you’re giving a presentation. The hinge is sturdy and there is absolutely no flex when the display is wiggled around. A compromise that you have to make with such a tight hinge that enables 360-degree rotation is that you cannot open the laptop using a single hand.
Keyboard and Trackpad
Let us start with the trackpad first since the one on the Lenovo Yoga 6 is surprisingly good when compared to some other laptops in the Windows space. While we are not sure if the trackpad is made of plastic or glass, it feels smooth to scroll and all the gestures work as they should. The clicking mechanism provides great feedback and feels tactile. The size feels adequate too for a 13-inch machine and overall, the trackpad on the Lenovo Yoga 6 is among the better ones out there at this price segment and you can certainly rely on it for most tasks instead of plugging in an external mouse.
The keyboard too on the Yoga 6 does a fairly good job in the sense that the size of the keys makes it comfortable to type. However, the key travel is slightly on the lower side so you will need some getting used to if you type a lot and your primary use case of the laptop is going to be typing long documents. The keyboard is backlit which is a necessity in our opinion and the keyboard deck has little to no flex even when typing at high speeds. The palm rest houses a fingerprint scanner that is fast and works 9 out of 10 times to enable Windows Hello.
Ports and I/O
The keyboard is flanked on either side by top-firing Dolby Atmos powered speakers which given the size and price point of the laptop is something we appreciate. The speaker gets quite loud given that it fires audio upwards unlike most conventional laptops that have downward-firing speakers. However, we observed slight distortion in audio at 100% volume so if you are going to be watching movies or shows on the speaker, we suggest you set the volume to about 80% for the best experience.
If you decide to rest the laptop with the keyboard surface as the base while viewing content, which is surely a use case given that this is a Yoga laptop, the speakers can get blocked off easily in which case we recommend using a pair of earphones that are either wireless or connect via the 3.5mm audio jack.
While we are speaking about the combo jack, let’s go over the ports present on the Lenovo Yoga 6 and tell you if they are sufficient for daily use or not. At a time when laptops are ditching most conventional ports in favor of USB-C in pursuit of a thin form factor, the Yoga 6 retains two USB-A ports along with two USB-C ports, one on either side for added convenience. However, what’s weird is that only the USB-C port on the left supports charging while the one on the right is for data transfer. The two USB-A ports will let you plug in your existing pen drives and accessories.
Lenovo has gained a few extra brownie points here for opting to go with a USB-C port to charge the laptop instead of proprietary or a generic DC-in barrel connector. We hope more manufacturers adopt this approach so that we have a single universal connector across all devices which just makes a lot more sense in the grand scheme of things. The power button on the Yoga 6 is located on the right-hand side which is slightly unconventional, but the placement is apt given that the button is easy to reach when the laptop is in tablet mode.
The Lenovo Yoga 6 has a webcam on the top bezel and the video output is satisfactory for online meetings and classes. Lenovo has given attention to privacy and just like some of its higher-end laptops, the Lenovo Yoga 6 also gets a privacy shutter that can be activated via a mechanical slider to cover the webcam entirely when not in use.
A Display that is a Treat to Look at and Use
The Lenovo Yoga 6 is a small and compact notebook that houses a 13.3-inch Full HD display that covers 72% of the NTSC color gamut and can achieve a brightness of up to 300 nits. Leaving the numbers aside, the experience of using the display on the Lenovo Yoga 6 has been excellent. Video content looks great on this display and so do photos. If you are going to edit photos or videos, however, this is not the most color-accurate panel so keep that in mind.
The display is also extremely reflective so if you are going to be working in outdoor environments a lot, you might prefer a laptop that has an anti-glare display. Given that this is a laptop that also doubles up as a tablet, the display has touch functionality and also supports pen input. If you want to take notes during class or while in a meeting, the pen does come in handy. It can also be used to make precise selections and edits while editing photos. We noticed a slight latency or an input lag while using the pen but it won’t matter to you unless you are doing something serious like professional artwork, but then you are not buying this machine if that is the kind of work you actually want to do. An iPad with an Apple Pencil is probably the way to go in that case.
The colors on the display look adequately saturated and for the size, a 1920 x 1080 panel spread across a 16:9 aspect ratio is plenty sharp. The bezels around the display are also quite thin which provides an immersive experience especially while using the Yoga 6 in the tablet mode. Most people are going to enjoy the display on the Lenovo Yoga 6 and we can surely recommend it to anyone looking for a laptop primarily for media consumption.
Good Performance let down by Average Thermals
The Lenovo Yoga 6 comes in multiple CPU configs and the one sent to us for review has the AMD Ryzen 7 4700U coupled with the integrated Radeon GPU for graphics. The Ryzen 4700U is an excellent mobile chip and translates to reliable real-world performance for the most part. We have seen laptops with this same exact CPU pulling off a great performance in some other laptops, but the situation is not exactly the same on the Lenovo Yoga 6.
The reason we think so is the poor thermal management on this laptop either due to inefficient engineering or plainly because this is a small laptop and it can get rather hard to effectively cool a hot CPU inside this chassis. Don’t get us wrong, for normal day-to-day usage consisting of web browsing, media consumption, MS Office, lightweight photo editing, and online meetings, it performs without any hiccups or stutters. Only when you fire up something intensive like a game or Adobe Premiere Pro to edit videos, the fans go berserk in trying to keep the CPU cool but don’t really do a good job at it.
The sustained performance on heavy load is good for a short while but as soon as the CPU touches the threshold temperature, it starts to throttle which results in dropped frames or lags in whatever you are doing. Given that the Yoga 6 is not meant to be a powerhouse, this can be deemed acceptable especially since the performance is good for the most part. Even then, the fans on the laptop stay on for longer than I would want them to during smaller workloads as well. Lenovo could have done a better job at managing the thermals on the Yoga 6 which would have made it a winner in terms of performance as well. Our unit has 16GB of RAM that helps with the snappy performance along with 512GB of SSD storage.
If you are still going to play competitive titles like CS:GO, you can expect a frame rate of about 50fps at high settings which is not bad at all. You can lower the graphic settings for a higher frame rate and a better overall experience. While editing 1080p videos, the timeline on Premiere Pro is smooth and rendering times are decent. However, editing 4K footage is slightly strenuous on the CPU and the timeline starts to get slightly choppy with more layers. There certainly are better-performing laptops in this category and price segment, but they may not provide the same level of portability and/or flexibility (quite literally) as the Lenovo Yoga 6.
Lenovo Yoga 6: Battery Life
The Lenovo Yoga 6 lasted about 7-8 hours of moderate usage that mainly included web browsing, writing documents on MS Word, a video call for an hour, and watching videos on YouTube. We regard this to be good battery life and if you are going to be away from your charger for a while, you won’t have battery anxiety with this machine. Also, since the Yoga 6 charges via a USB-C port, you can even use a smartphone charger to either top it up or just keep it running for a few minutes in case of an emergency. Most smartphones nowadays come with fast chargers that use USB-C which should be good enough to keep the laptop powered on until you get hold of the laptop charger.
Should you buy the Lenovo Yoga 6?
For a price of around Rs. 80,000, the Lenovo Yoga 6 scores high in terms of aesthetics, build quality, display, trackpad, battery life, and the fact that it is a 2-in-1 means you are getting a laptop that can get some serious work done and when required, can just fold into a tablet to watch your favorite show on Netflix or just for some doodling using the included pen. All this in a form factor that is portable and lightweight and can easily fit into most backpacks and blend in with your notebooks.
Apart from the novelty of having a fabric-coated top, the Lenovo Yoga 6 is a versatile machine to get things done on the move and can be a good option for you if raw power is not what you are looking for. For all you cricket enthusiasts out there, the Lenovo Yoga 6 is a little like Rajat Bhatia – no express pace, no audacious slogging, but can still manage to get a wicket or two and hit the winning runs when required.
- Funky design
- Good display
- Pen input
- Reliable battery life
- Average thermals,
- Sustained performance isn't great,
- Only one USB-C port can be used to charge
|Build & design||
Lenovo has taken the wrappers off the Yoga 6 laptop with a denim-like fabric that stands out from the crowd of the usual plastic/metallic chassis on most laptops. It's a versatile machine to get things done on the move and can be a good option for you if raw power is not what you are looking for.