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Apple MacBook Air vs. Lenovo Yoga 900

by Calin AndreescuNovember 21, 2015

This year we got to witness the launch of a great number of gadgets, including smartphones, wearables, laptops, tablets, and cameras. Although we paid a little more attention to the handsets and wearables that were released this year, the laptops didn’t go by unseen either. All the major manufacturers delivered improved versions of their flagship devices, or totally new, innovative devices that are meant to make our lives easier and more fun. Two of these devices are the Macbook Air, 2015 edition and the Yoga 900. They both have the same size, so we thought we should check them out to see which one could be the perfect laptop for you.

Apple MacBook Air(2015)

macbook_air_13_b_1157_0

The Cupertino, California-based company released its latest version of the MacBook Air in March, so it is possible to see its new version in a few months. Even though there weren’t any changes made design- wise compared to the previous versions, the 2015 MacBook Air is still quite appealing with all- aluminum, thin and light- weight body and its simple but still elegant lines. Unfortunately, while the outside of the laptop still looks all right, despite the lack of improvements in the past years, the inside is quite disappointing.  When you unfold the device, the thick bezels around the 13.3- inch display of the Macbook Air will just smash you, especially since there are so many laptops out there that offer a bezel- less display. The 1,440 x 900 pixel resolution of the display is also quite unusual in times when the resolution of low- cost laptops starts from 1080p and it goes up to 4K with the high- end ones.

Even though the 2015 edition of the MacBook Air looks a lot like its predecessor, it is an improved version of the previous model. The new version is powered by a 5th-generation Intel Core i5-5250U processor and it includes a new Intel HD Graphics 6000 GPU. It also features dual display and video mirroring now, meaning that it simultaneously supports a full native resolution on the built-in display and up to 3840 by 2160 pixels on an external display. Another novelty of the 2015 edition of the Apple laptop is that it’s now equipped with a new Thunderbolt 2 port, two USB 3.0 ports, and an SD card slot, connecting to other devices being easier than ever.

Although the new version of Apple’s light- weight laptop was improved in many ways, the great battery feature is a constant one. The built‑in 54‑watt‑hour lithium polymer battery is able to last for up to 14 hours of web surfing, which is quite impressive, especially for such a thin device. The MacBook Air also impresses with its storage and memory. The laptop comes in two versions, one of them offers 128 GB of internal storage while the other one includes 256 GB PCIe-based flash storage. The laptop’s memory also comes in two variants, 4GB or 8GB. Although it’s not necessarily an impressive feature, it is more than decent, so we’ll look at the memory and storage of the Apple laptop as pros instead of cons.

13" macbook air

The 2015 MacBook Air is not the best we’ve ever seen on the laptop market, but to be honest, it doesn’t really have to be in order for people to buy it. Many customers simply prefer the looks of this laptop and they are ready to compromise on the resolution for example in order to get it. If you don’t want to watch videos on it, and you only want a laptop for work, it could be a good one for you.

  • CPU: 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor or 2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 6000
  • Memory:4GB  or 8 GB RAM
  • Storage: Up to 512GB flash storage
  • Display: 13.3-inch, 1440 x 900-pixel display
  • Wireless connection: 802.11ac Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible); Bluetooth 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB 3.0; 1 x Thunderbolt 2; 1 x SDXC card slot; 1 x 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: 54-watt-hour battery: Up to 12 hours wireless web browsing (claimed)
  • Height: 0.3-1.7cm
  • Width: 32.5cm
  • Depth: 22.7cm
  • Weight: 1.35kg
  • OS: OS X El Capitan

Lenovo Yoga 900

yoga-900

The Yoga 900 is another laptop that didn’t get a major overhaul in design compared to its predecessor, but it is still a majorly improved version of the previous version. The Lenovo Yoga 900 is the improved version of the Yoga Pro 3. The signature “watchband” hinge is present in the Yoga 900 also, and it allows users to bend the Lenovo Yoga 900 in different directions, exactly the way they could with the Yoga Pro 3. The Lenovo Yoga can be used as a laptop, as a tablet or in the tent- mode. The Continuum feature offered by Windows 10 will now make it even easier and smoother to switch between the modes offered by this convertible laptop. The 13.3- inch display of the Lenovo ultrabook has a quad- HD resolution, which is definitely better than the one featured by the previously presented laptop. The display is clear and is perfect for watching movies, unlike the Apple laptop, with its lot lower resolution.

The Lenovo Yoga 900 is powered by sixth generation Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors. These will make the Lenovo Yoga 900 more powerful and faster not only than its predecessor but also than the MacBook we’ve presented. The Lenovo Yoga 900 includes up to 16 GB LP-DDR3L and is available with up to 512 GB SSD storage. Less powerful version come with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage.  This means that even the lower spec sheet is more impressive than the highest version of the Apple device. The Lenovo Yoga 900 also offers impressive connectivity due to its numerous ports. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports, a Type C 3.0 port  with video out, a DC-in with USB 2.0 function, a 4- in- 1 card reader and an audio combo jack.

lenovo-yoga-900-04

The battery of the Lenovo yoga 900 is a 4 Cell 66 Watt Hour Li-Polymer one. This is supposed to ensure up to 9 hours of battery life, at least without being connected to Wi- Fi and with a reduced display brightness. When normally used it will definitely last for a shorter period of time. Actually, it probably ensures around 5 hours of battery life on a charge, which is a lot lower than the battery of the MacBook.

All in all the Lenovo Yoga 900 is a great 2-in-1 laptop, it looks great and it has an impressive spec sheet. It is definitely an improved version of the Yoga Pro 3, and it is a better laptop than many of the ones from its price range. It is the perfect device to carry around, even if it isn’t the perfect laptop ever made.

  • CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U (dual-core, 4MB cache, up to 3.1GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • GPU: Intel HD Graphics 520
  • Memory: 8GB  or 16GB RAM
  • Storage: Up to 512GB flash storage
  • Display: 13.3-inch, QHD+ 3,200 x 1,800 IPS display, 10-point multitouch, 300 nits brightness
  • Wireless connection: WiFi 2 x 2 802.11 a/c, Bluetooth® 4.0
  • Ports: 2 x USB Type A 3.0, 1 x USB Type C 3.0 with video out, 1 x DC input with USB 2.0 functionality, 4-in-1 card reader, audio combo jack.
  • Battery: Up to 9 hours
  • Height: 1.49 mm
  • Width: 32.4cm
  • Depth: 22,5cm
  • Weight: 1.3 kg
  • OS: Windows 10

Conclusion

Given the fact that the MacBook Air is not a convertible device, but the Lenovo Yoga 900 is, we will try not to focus on this feature when deciding which laptop is better. If we look at the processors, the Lenovo Yoga clearly has an advantage over the other laptop, given the fact that it is equipped with a newer generation processor. The display of the Yoga 900 is clearly a lot better than the one of the Apple laptop,  so if watching movies on your laptop is important for you, the Yoga is the one for you out of these two. However, for the most of us the battery life is just as important as the design and the display of our computers, and in this category the MacBook is definitely the winner. It is a highly reliable device, so if battery life and smooth functioning are important for you, above the clarity of the images, the MacBook should be your choice. The prices also tip the scale toward the MacBook. While the price of the Yoga 900 starts at $1199, you can purchase an Apple MacBook starting from $999.

If we take into consideration the overall image of the laptops, the  MacBook Air seems to be the winner. It doesn’t have a complicated design, like the Lenovo, it’s not a convertible, but it has a good processor and a great battery life.

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About The Author
Calin Andreescu
I have always been eager to try out any gadget I could get my hands on. I became a tech journalist so that I could always be around technology and see the newest devices. I use gadgets every day to make my work and life easier. I have enough experience to know If a device is actually improving my activity, offers something useful or new. I will post my honest opinions and judge a device as objectively as I can.
  • Hungry4cheese

    The looks winner being the macbook is a highly subjective opinion. For some, the watchband hinge design is more intriguing and beautiful than a macbook air’s plastic black hinge, the rubberized palmrest feel is better and less slippery for the wrist. And you not focusing on one of the BIGGEST differences – the convertible design and touchscreen of the Yoga 900 is a mistake since this makes it extremely different from the macbook air, which does not include any of these features. Also you say the price is more inviting for the macbook air, but you don’t mention that the price is the same for similar hardware in the macbook air, where you don’t get the convertible design, you still get a lesser processor by far, and a pathetic display resolution. The hardware literally eats the macbook air for breakfast. And I am writing this from a macbook air, which I have owned for 5 years.

  • Candice Etonae

    The Macbook Air is still the standout. The build quality is hugely better than the Yoga. I would say that the hardware and software integration make the the better kit. I would say the Yoga is cheaper (lower cost), but the Air is still better value for money.

  • Fred

    Wow, everything about this review was good until the end, the conclusion. “Let’s see, we are going to throw out the most compelling aspect of the Yoga 900 design, the hinge and convertible capability–just take it off the table in deciding which is best.” Why? Okay so let’s take the most compelling aspect of the Mac off the table: battery life. Starting there then, reliability of the Yoga has not yet been established, so can’t compare those. And the price claim is wrong since you aren’t comparing the same config–if you do they are the same price or maybe better for the Yoga. MacBook gets a nod due to better build quality, but Yoga wins by a landslide based on big performance gains and much higher screen quality–both of which are huge preferences in buyers these days. Huh.

  • scott cziraky

    Wow, what a terrible conclusion. The clear winner is obviously the lenovo yoga 900. You must have not read anything you wrote up top.

  • Wei

    macbook has 2 fatal problem, 1. not touch screen, 2, microsoft office does not work perfectly on its system. Yoga has 2 fatal problem, 1. battery life, and how long would 5hrs last, 2. speed slowing down, my experience on non-apple products is the device slows down significantly over the years.

  • Wei Wang

    I have a brand new Lenovo Yoga 900. the touch screen stopped working only one week after i bought it, the lenovo customer service never bothered to return call back request. then another 3 weeks later when i tried to put on a computer cover, the screen cracked, what an expensive cheap made piece of shit….DO NOT BUY LENOVO…OR ONE DAY YOU WILL REMEMBER AN UPSET GUY WRITING THIS REMINDER MID OF THE NIGHT,. The only downside with macbook is its compatibility with MS Office applications.