Lenovo Yoga 530 review: Hands-on

During MWC 2018, Lenovo introduced a couple of new additions to its Yoga series: the 730 and the 530. The latter is the more affordable of the two, and we had the opportunity to try it out in Barcelona. 

Price  & Availability

One thing is for sure, the Yoga 530 has a very appealing price. With the base model starting at $549, which is around £395, this new 14in 2-in-1 laptop falls in the mid-range category, while having the look of a premium device.

The computer will be available under the name Flex 14 this April in the United States, though for now we don’t have the release date for it in the UK.

Design & Build

The Lenovo Yoga 530 is, much like the rest of the Yoga range, an attractive device - especially for the price

It has a lovely brushed metal finish, and it looks good in any position: as a laptop, a stand, a tent, or tablet. It is available in three colours: Onyx Black, Mineral Grey and Liquid Blue.  

The keyboard is smooth, with a satisfying sound and action. It pretty much has the same look and feel as a MacBook Air, but with curvier keys. As for the trackpad, it takes a bit of getting used to. It’s quite large and it’s too easy to do a right click when you intended to do a left one.

Just under the keyboard, an optional fingerprint reader allow its user to unlock the computer without having to enter a password, and, when used with Windows Hello, to secure online payments. This convenient feature, common in premium laptops, is quite recent for mid-range devices, so it’s great to find it here.

As for ports, there’s a USB-C connector for charging, along with two USB-A 3.0 sockets, HDMI, a 4-in-1 card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

As for the display itself, one of the first things you notice about the Yoga 530’s screen is that it has a large lower bezel. This is partly so you can hold the device in tablet mode, though it does stand out slightly when you use the 530 as a laptop.

The biggest problem is that this 2-in-1 is actually quite hard to use as a traditional tablet. For most people, it will be hard to hold it in one hand, because at 1.6kg it’s just way too heavy to comfortably hold. That means this is best used in the tent or laptop position.

At this price range, this is hardly surprising - this isn’t a sleek ultrabook after all - but it’s worth considering just how you want to use the 2-in-1 features, as this is much bigger and heavier than even an iPad Pro.

Specs and features

The Yoga 530 has a 14in touchscreen that is responsive and smooth to use, with or without the optional Active Pen, which is sold separately. It’s easy to write on it and great fun for people who like to draw and doodle as a hobby. It also works well with apps like Google Maps, when you can just draw on the map to get directions or find out distances between points.

As we tried this laptop on the bright and noisy MWC show floor, we won’t be able to comment on the brightness of the screen or the quality of the speaker for the moment, but the specs are solid.

The speakers come from audio brand Harman, and for the display you can choose between HD (1366x768) or Full HD IPS (1920x1080) - though we’d definitely recommend considering paying extra for the larger resolution.

As for the core specs, the Yoga 530 comes with Windows 10 Home, 4/8/16GB of RAM and 128/256/512GB of SSD storage. For the processor you have five choices, from the basic Pentium 4415U up to the latest Intel Core i7 8th generation, while there’s also the option to add on an nVidia GeForce MX130 graphics card.

That’s a huge range of potential specs, so performance will really depend on how much you’re willing spend to max out the 530’s internals. We’ll test it more thoroughly when we get a model in for full review.

Depending on the specs chosen the battery should last between 10 and 14 hours, and, according to Lenovo, with the included 65W USB-C power adapter you get two hours of power in just 15 minutes, perfect for top ups during the day.

Lenovo Yoga 530: Specs

  • 14-inch HD (1366x768) or Full HD IPS (1920x1080)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4/8/16GB of RAM
  • 128/256/512GB of SSD storage
  • 1 USB-C connector for charging
  • 2 USB-A 3.0
  • HDMI
  • 4-in-1 card reader
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1.6kg
  • 14-inch HD (1366x768) or Full HD IPS (1920x1080)
  • Windows 10 Home
  • 4/8/16GB of RAM
  • 128/256/512GB of SSD storage
  • 1 USB-C connector for charging
  • 2 USB-A 3.0
  • HDMI
  • 4-in-1 card reader
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • 1.6kg

SHOULD I BUY LENOVO YOGA 530?

Our initial impressions of the Yoga 530 is quite good. It looks like a solid option for anyone wanting a mid-range computer and has the added benefice of a premium look and a nice touch screen. The starting price of the laptop is under £400, which is great for anyone on a budget and students.