Lenovo Yoga 530 AMD Packed ready for travel

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Review: Lenovo Yoga 530

As a frequent traveller, I can either have a laptop and tablet with me or just make do with one of them.  Personally, I operate with both but it bothers me!  I have tried moving to a tablet only world, but where it excelled in some aspects of my work thanks to lightweight apps to help me with digital editing, I found the tablet fell short when I needed a full fat desktop experience.

With the increase in 2-in-1 ‘convertible’ laptop models available, is it time to reconsider the traditional laptop?  Lenovo sent over their new AMD®️ powered Yoga 530 for testing, and with trips to Berlin, Brussels, Dublin and Edinburgh coming up, I had the perfect opportunity to put it through its paces.

 

lie flat yoga 530
The strong yet flexible dual hinges provide a 360° movement // Image {Tech} for Travel

Features

Released in February 2018 at #MWC2018 the design of the Yoga book is functional rather than eye-catching, but the more you use it, you start to realise just how well-engineered it is!

The Harman speakers with Dolby Audio are on the base which seemed strange, until I swiveled the display into Tent mode to watch a movie and noticed the speakers were pointing straight at me!  Then, there is the slanted rear edge which is at such an angle so the robust hinges can move seamlessly between modes; a full 360°.

At 17.6mm in thickness and 1.6kg in weight, the Yoga 530 is slim enough to be lightweight but not an ultra-slim so as not to lose all of its ports; this is a good thing!

I understand, as a traveller, you would want as little weight to your device as possible, but there needs to be a compromise in what you would lose because of it!  The Yoga 530 comes with 2 x USB 3.0, USB-C, HDMI, a 4-in-1 Card Reader and an Audio Jack so no need for additional expensive dongles.

Yoga 530 Laptop mode
Yoga 530 in Laptop Mode // Image {Tech} for Travel.

My only gripe with the design is with opening the device, due to the slim front edges, I struggled to open the lid nearly every time.

Once open, you are greeted by a near bezel-less 14″ FHD display and a 720p camera.  In laptop mode, the display is vibrant and easy to view/use for all manner of tasks, a good all-rounder!

But make use of those 360° hinges and a good laptop becomes a great tablet!  Yes it will be heavier and bulkier than any normal tablet, facts I thought would put me off travelling with it, but this was not the case.

In what I describe as ‘Tent’ mode, the Yoga 530 becomes your media centre away from home!  Not only was watching and streaming my movies & music done with ease but the sound output from those Harman speakers is some of the best I have experienced from a laptop or tablet!

yoga 530 tent mode displaying netflix on hotel bed
The Yoga 530 is your travelling media hub. // Image {Tech} for Travel.

Thanks to the powerful AMD®️ processor, working with multiple large RAW files was easily achieved, and I had no problems whilst video editing either!  These are probably the two most power intensive activities I do on a machine and the Yoga 530 handled them well.

Out of the box, I found the Trackpad a bit to sensitive for my liking, but a quick visit to settings and I was able to adjust it to how I’d like it to react.  Personally, I found the backlit keyboard to be one of the best features on this convertible.  The key response and travel distance worked very well for me.

Yoga 530 Close Up Keyboard
A well laid out keyboard is a pleasure to use! // Image {Tech} for Travel.

Just below the keyboard you will find a fingerprint reader for easy access.  After setting it up I had a few attempts that were not recognised but then for the last few weeks it has worked 100% of the time!

The Yoga 530 also supports the Lenovo Active Pen, which is an optional extra in some countries, and ships as standard with the device in others.

I didn’t have a chance to test this aspect but as a content creator and editor I know how useful they can be as an input device.  My expectation is that the functionality of the pen will work well with the Yoga 530 due to the smooth finish of the display and power within.

 

Yoga 530 profile
A clean, slim profile with plenty of ports. // Image {Tech} for Travel.

As is often the case with powerful machines, the battery life tends to suffer.  The Yoga 530 claims to give up to 8 hours of battery life!

During video editing I was getting around 3.5 hours of use from full, but just for internet use, word processing and a movie in-flight, I just about managed a days work in-between charges!  And, with Fast Charge technology, the device needs 15 mins of charging for a 2-hour battery life.

This is delivered via the 65w power supply that comes with the Yoga 530.

Yoga 530 in tent mode
Be impressed with the audio in Tent Mode. // Image {Tech} for Travel.

 

Specifications

There are two variations of the Yoga 530, an Intel powered model and the AMD version which is the one this review was based on.  My test model was configured as follows:

  • AMD®️ Ryzen 7 2700U
  • Integrated AMD®️ Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics
  • 8GB RAM
  • Windows 10 Home Edition
  • 14″ FHD IPS Display
  • 256GB SSD Storage

 

How Much Does the Lenovo Yoga 530 Cost

The AMD®️ Ryzen powered Yoga 530 range starts at £499 direct from Lenovo.

 

Verdict

Running this site means I’m often asked “What’s the best laptop to buy?” More often than not, many want to focus on the £200-500 price range.  The Yoga 530 sits at the very top of that range, but it’s worth the investment!

The test unit I’ve been using for a month has been an ideal travel companion!

The 2-in-1 form factor replaced the need to travel with both my tablet and laptop, the AMD®️ Ryzen processor gave me ample power without excessively draining the battery, and the keyboard was comfortable to use for long periods of time.

 

 

Although not considered an Ultra-Slim laptop, the Yoga 530 is lightweight, has all the ports you need and is perfect for almost any type of user.  I’d consider myself a power user with my own laptop having to do editing of digital images, video and run this site.  The Yoga 530 had me covered in every task.

lenovo logo at ifa 2018

“The Yoga 530 delivered all of that performance, plenty of power and at a fraction of the cost of my current set-up!  At this price range you’ll struggle to get more for your money.” ~ {Tech} for Travel.

 

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