I received a Yoga 900 HOME from Lenovo for testing and review purposes. When I was told that I would be receiving one, I thought I would be getting a new addition to the Yoga convertible computer line. That impression was far from the truth. UPS showed up before lunch one day, and I went out to get my new laptop. The UPS driver handed me this huge box that was about 3 times heavier than I had anticipated. The box was about 3 feet wide by about 2 ft. tall and about 8 inches thick. On the side of the box was an image that I first took as a monitor. Turns out I was wrong twice. I opened the box up and started reading the documentation and pulling out components.
Turns out it is an All in One computer. Included inside was a very light keyboard and a wireless mouse that looks like a regular cordless mouse similar to Lenovo’s N700. But it is only a mouse. The scroll wheel has been replaced with trackpad and a switch. So there are three buttons across the front of the mouse and the trackpad built into the center button. The keyboard is the same size as the keyboard on my U410, if you add a number pad on the right side of the laptop. In fact it feels like the same keyboard as the IdeaPad line seems to use. Not a lot of vertical movement and not a lot of noise. I like the keyboard, but I know there are going to be a lot of people who will not. Both the mouse and the keyboard connect to the computer using a micro receiver that is the common size currently used by most wireless mice and keyboards.
Now we get to the computer itself.
As I mentioned it is an all in one. So the only cable is the power cable. There are three USB ports, a power port, and a combined audio/microphone jack all on the left side. On the other side is the power button and volume up and down button. On the back there is a …… Kickstand. It has a spring that keeps it down. When not in use it is held up in a recessed area by a button. To extend it, push in on the stand, and then slide the button up. While holding up on the button, let the stand open but hang on to it, the spring is strong and it makes the stand move. Once it is down you can adjust it so that it tilts the screen to any angle from straight up to laying flat (stand is stowed). Now there is the screen itself, it is a touchscreen. You see where this is going? This monitor is big enough that you can use it as a TV and its all touchscreen. The actual physical dimension is 31.5 inches corner to corner and about 2 inches thick. The screen itself (usable area) is 27 inches from corner to corner.
Now I know what you are thinking, GAMES! Yep, this thing can be a gaming rig, at least it can be used as such. Now I am not a big gamer (no MMORPG in my past or future) but I did play a few games on it. The ones that come with the computer are mostly board type games and family or children’s games. Candy Crush is also on here and that seems to have a huge following, although I would rather play Tetris. Those kinds of games, including a copy of RISK work great. But I know you all want to know how good the graphics are. There is a program called Aura that is the interface for the NON Microsoft games, some educational material, as well as a nice interface for viewing images, video’s, playing music and Apps.
I am not overly fond of these sorts of media “Centers” but this one seems to be well thought out. There is also access thru Aura to Lenovo’s App store. The offerings fall short of what the Windows store and the Apple Store have, but I am sure it will be populated fairly rapidly. The other two started out small as well.
I installed a first person shooter and other high intensity games and they all looked good to me. I had no lag in the graphics, and everything flowed smoothly. I am not including any pictures of these, as my digital camera makes them look a lot worse that they are in person. One of the gaming accessories that did come with the system were 2 kinds of joystick looking devices. 4 of them have suction pads on the bottom and can be used as a traditional joystick, left, right, up, down. The other 4 have 4 little pads on the bottoms and can be used in all four directions and in a rotational fashion.
On the other end of the graphics, I installed Adobe Photoshop CC and edited an image that I had scanned in at an insane resolution (1600 dpi) and was just over ½ a GB in size and I was able to work on repairing the damage to the photo with no problems at all. And with such a large screen I was able to blow it up to such an insane size that it made fixing the image easy. The original had mold spots and creases as well as cracks. I had not worked on this photo before because of resolution issues. The Yoga 900 HOME has made this work easy.
Also included are some educational type of games and apps. Some of them are clearly for kids, others are brain teasers at any age.
In short this all in one is one sweet piece of hardware. I can see this fitting in well with anyone. Families will get plenty of use from it, older folk will definitely like this over a traditional laptop, and everyone else will be able to use it for just about anything they can think of. The one downside is that while it is supposed to be a portable, it is not very. My first laptop was an Inspiron 1520 and the Yoga 900 HOME weighs about twice of the Inspiron. And you definitely will not be sticking it on your lap on the train. At least not if it is just you. If you have three friends that you want to play a game with, you will be set. It will definitely need a custom case in the future, in fact I can see a whole line of accessories just for this computer. The documentation shows a wheeled stand, I would like to see that but with an arm so that you can extend the system over a chair so you can sit back and use it. A nice pen or stylus would make working with Photoshop or other graphics programs much easier.
I hate all in one machines because they always seem to skimp out on something, be it a printer / fax/ scanner or a computer stuck to the back of a screen. But this one has me sold. This is one All in One that I would be standing in line to own.