Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

We've already had the chance to review the 13-inch Yoga 720 and the 15-inch Yoga 720, and we were impressed with both, going so far as to stamp the latter model with a Windows Central Choice Award.

With the 12-inch Yoga 720, we aren't getting a dedicated GPU or as many ports, but the tradeoff is a lower price and a smaller footprint, perfect for those on the go. Let's take an in-depth look at this laptop in our review.

About this review

Lenovo supplied Windows Central with a review unit of the 12-inch Yoga 720. This specific configuration has an Intel Core i3-7100U processor (CPU), 4GB of DDR4-2133MHz RAM, and a 128GB PCIe solid-state drive (SSD). It costs about $630.

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Lenovo Yoga 720 12 hardware and specs

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

There are a few configurations to choose from, including up to an Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD. Here's what our review unit looks like.

Category XX
Processor Intel Core i3-7100U (2.40GHz)
Dual core
Storage 128GB SATA SSD
RAM 4GB DDR4-2133MHz
Display 12.5-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080)
IPS, touch, glossy
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 620
Ports USB-A 3.0
USB-C
3.5mm jack
Speakers Harman speakers
Dolby Atmos Audio
Wireless Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A
802.11ac (2 x 2)
Bluetooth 4.1
Camera Front-facing 720p
Biometrics Fingerprint reader for Windows Hello
Battery Three-cell 36WHr
Weight 2.5 pounds (1.15kg)
Dimensions 11.5 inches x 8 inches x 0.6 inches
292mm x 203.4mm x 15.75mm
OS Windows 10 Home
Price About $630

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 design

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

The 12-inch Yoga 720 is available in the same sparkly silver color as we've seen on plenty of other Yogas, and it also has the shiny machined edge around the main body, touchpad, and fingerprint reader. The aluminum chassis is just over a half-inch thick and is less than 12 inches wide. In a bend test, there's actually quite a bit of movement near the touchpad, and you can hear a clicking noise. It's not evident in everyday use, but if you're hard on your device, this might not stand up to a ton of punishment.

This is a standard hinge setup and does not use the "Wave" system that we didn't like in the X1 Yoga, which retracted the keyboard into the body when rotated around. The dual hinges are sturdy and silent and hold the display in place, even while shaking. When closed, the lid doesn't quite match up with the rest of the body, something I know will annoy a lot of people.

As with a lot of convertible laptops, the power button located on the right edge does sometimes get bumped while in tablet mode. It's an annoyance and an inconvenience, but you get used to it quickly. Also on the right edge are a USB-A 3.0 and USB-C port. On the left are a 3.5mm audio jack and a charging port. You're definitely getting a far smaller selection of ports here, and anyone with plenty of peripherals will probably mind, but at least they chose to include both USB-C and USB-A.

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

Dual down-firing Harman speakers are located on the bottom-front corners, and while they do get pretty loud, the sound isn't exactly full or satisfying. Finally, the fingerprint reader is set in the perfect spot on this small body, not interfering with your palm while typing. Logging in with Windows Hello worked flawlessly.

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 display

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

The 12.5-inch FHD display has edge-to-edge glass, but the bezel is bigger than that found on the 13- and 15-inch 720 models. There's enough room at the top for a 720p webcam that works well enough for video, but don't expect any amazing still photos. Lenovo went with an IPS panel for wide viewing angles, and the glossy finish is common with touch. Unfortunately, it doesn't get as bright as we'd like it, and working in a sunny room can be problematic, especially when seeing a lot of glare. Testing color accuracy, we saw 69 percent sRGB and 53 AdobeRGB. These results aren't the best, but the display does still look pretty good in everyday use; you just won't see as deep of color.

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

This display does have an AES digitizer, and while Lenovo's Active Pen 2 isn't included, I did have one available to test. I'm no artist, but it worked very well for jotting down notes and sketching a few stick figures.

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 keyboard and touchpad

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

Lenovo has stretched the keyboard to the very edge on both sides, which provides decent spacing for all keys. There's a lot of travel here, and typing for long periods of time doesn't become uncomfortable. Lack of a backlight is a drag, but otherwise, I had no problems. The F keys provide all your usual shortcuts, and all keys seem balanced well.

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

The Precision touchpad is a bit smaller than I like, but there's really no room to grow on the small chassis. Sensitivity is perfect right out of the box, and the click is muted but satisfying. I had no problems here either that need mentioning.

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 performance

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

Battery life is quite impressive, netting somewhere between eight and nine hours on a single charge if you keep brightness at about 70 percent and stick to light tasks. That's enough to get through most workdays, so you won't have to bring the charger with you to the office. This number no doubt drops if streaming video.

CPU

Geekbench 4.0 Benchmarks (Higher is better)

Device CPU Single core Multi core
Lenovo Yoga 720 12 i3-7100U 2,930 5,309
Surface Book 2 13 i7-8650U 5,036 14,237
Lenovo Yoga 920 i7-8550U 4,485 12,297
Lenovo ThinkPad 25 i7-7500U 4,211 7,919
Lenovo Flex 5 15 i7-7500U 3,976 7,730
Lenovo Yoga 720 15 i7-7700HQ 3,784 10,255
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2nd Gen) i5-7200U 3,911 7,549
Surface Laptop i5-7200U 3,725 7,523
Lenovo ThinkPad T470 i5-7300U vPro 4,394 8,580
Lenovo Yoga 720 13 i5-7200U 3,881 7,509
Lenovo X1 Carbon i5-7300U 4,139 8,311
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext i7-7500U 4,316 8,320
Dell Latitude 7280 i7-7600U 4,381 7,935
Dell XPS 13 (9360) i7-6560U 4,120 7,829
HP Spectre 13 i7-7500U 4,100 7,469

The U-series dual-core Core i3 CPU here is a decent performer and is enough power to get you through everyday productivity tasks, like word processing and web browsing. For much more, you'll want to look into a Core i5 or Core i7 option.

GPU

Geekbench 4.0 Graphics OpenCL (Higher is better)

Device Score
Lenovo Yoga 720 12 13,395
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13 75,665
Lenovo Yoga 920 21,892
Lenovo Flex 5 15 16,912
Lenovo Yoga 720 15 13,727
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2nd Gen) 19,738
Surface Pro 2017 30,678
Surface Laptop 19,256
Lenovo ThinkPad T470 21,276
Lenovo Yoga 720 13 18,185
Lenovo X1 Carbon 20,932
Dell XPS 13 (9360) 19,410

These results are typical for the integrated Intel HD Graphics, and if you'd like to use this laptop for any sort of serious gaming, you're going to find disappointment. Nevertheless, it's alright for some light entertainment.

PCMark

PCMark Home Conventional 3.0

Device Score Comparison
Lenovo Yoga 720 12 2,343 Better than 33 percent of all results
Lenovo Yoga 920 2,882 Better than 51 percent of all results
Microsoft Surface Book 2 13 3,090 Better than 57 percent of all results
Lenovo Flex 5 15 2,634 Better than 46 percent of all results
Lenovo Yoga 720 15 2,993 Better than 57 percent of all results
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2nd Gen) 2,773 Better than 46 percent of all results
Surface Pro 2017 3,055 Better than 57 percent of all results
Surface Laptop 2,494 Better than 40 percent of all results
Lenovo ThinkPad T470 3,103 Better than 62 percent of all results
Lenovo Yoga 720 13 2,717 Better than 46 percent of all results
Lenovo X1 Carbon Core i5 2,965 Better than 57 percent of all results
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext 2,998 Better than 57 percent of all results
Dell XPS 15 (9560) 3,534 Better than 71 percent of all results
HP Spectre x360 15 2,472 Better than 41 percent of all results

The PCMark Home Conventional test takes a bunch of your hardware and determines how well it works together while performing a number of everyday tasks. Keep in mind that we're using a Core i3 CPU and only 4GB of RAM here, so results aren't nearly as impressive as other machines. Still, the Yoga 720 offers decent performance for the asking price, and I didn't really have any standout issues in everyday use.

SSD

CrystalDiskMark (Higher is better)

Device Read Write
Lenovo Yoga 720 12 545.8 MB/s 173.8 MB/s
Lenovo Yoga 920 1,756 MB/s 1,428 MB/s
Lenovo Flex 5 15 2,146 MB/s 1,186 MB/s
Lenovo Yoga 720 15 1,839 MB/s 1,238 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2nd Gen) 1,253 MB/s 763.6 MB/s
Surface Laptop 423 MB/s 237 MB/s
Lenovo ThinkPad T470 1,079 MB/s 716.1 MB/s
Lenovo Yoga 720 13 1,904 MB/s 1,169 MB/s
Lenovo X1 Carbon 1,518 MB/s 1,188 MB/s
Samsung Notebook 9 15 Ext 1,365 MB/s 1,213 MB/s
Razer Blade Pro 2,571 MB/s 2,467 MB/s
Dell XPS 15 (9560) 2,207 MB/s 1,628 MB/s
Dell XPS 13 (9360) 1,287 MB/s 794 MB/s
HP Spectre x360 15 1,128 MB/s 862 MB/s

The SSD used in the Yoga 720 is a Liteon CV3, and although Lenovo's website advertises both a PCIe and SATA drive, this one is definitely using a SATA bus. Speeds aren't great, but they're definitely still faster than what you'd get with a hard-disk drive (HDD).

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review: Conclusion

Lenovo Yoga 720 12 review

The 12-inch Yoga 720 is designed as a cheaper option for those who still love the look of the bigger siblings, but I don't think it quite captures the stuff we loved so much. For less than $400 more, you can grab a 15-inch model with a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB PCIe SSD, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 GPU.

True, 15 inches might be too large to tote around easily, but the same holds true for 13-inch Yoga 720 models. Get a Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB PCIe SSD for only about $130 more than the 12-inch model reviewed here.

If we ignore the other laptops in the Yoga 720 family, the 12-inch option really isn't a bad laptop. It offers great battery life, decent performance for what you're paying, and the keyboard and touchpad feel great. Overall, it's a strong option for a productivity machine. However, as soon as we factor in the other, larger models, this one just seems like an outlier unless you absolutely are set on the 12-inch size.

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Pros

  • Great battery life.
  • Reasonable price.
  • Keyboard and touchpad feel great.
  • Decent performance.

Cons:

  • Lid doesn't quite sit flush when closed.
  • No keyboard backlight.
  • Low color reproduction and dim display.

3.5 out of 5