Lenovo IdeaPad 730S 13 vs. Lenovo Yoga 730 13: Which laptop should you buy?

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Lenovo’s 13-inch IdeaPad 730S focuses on strong performance, a premium design, and a full-color display, altogether available for a price less than what you might expect. However, you can’t convert it to tent or other modes.

$900+ at Lenovo

Pros

  • Stellar aluminum build
  • Display has full sRGB color
  • SSD can be upgraded after purchase
  • Nearly all-day battery life

Cons

  • No touch display available
  • Is strictly a notebook

The 13-inch Yoga 730 is your best bet if you’d like a slim convertible laptop with inking capabilities. It can be had for about the same amount as the IdeaPad 730S, but has a different set of strong features.

$880+ at Lenovo

Pros

  • Quality aluminum design
  • FHD touch display with inking
  • SSD can be upgraded post-purchase
  • Converts to tent, stand, and tablet modes

Cons

  • Battery might not last quite as long
  • Display doesn’t offer same color reproduction

These two laptops come with a sturdy aluminum chassis with Thunderbolt 3 ports and fingerprint readers, but only the Yoga 730 can be converted into tent, stand, and tablet modes. The IdeaPad 730S remains attractive by costing less for high-end configurations and sticking with a solid notebook design.

Lenovo IdeaPad 730S 13 vs. Yoga 730 13 tech specs

Lenovo IdeaPad 730S Lenovo Yoga 730 13
OS Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Pro
Processor 8th Gen
Intel Core i5-8265U
Intel Core i7-8565U
8th Gen
Intel Core i5-8250U
Intel Core i5-8262U
Intel Core i7-8550U
Intel Core i7-8565U
RAM 8 GB, 16 GB DDR3-2400MHz 8 GB, 16 GB DDR4-2400MHz
Storage 128 GB, 256 GB PCIe SSD 128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB
PCIe SSD
Display 13.3 inches
1,920 x 1,080 (FHD)
IPS, non-touch, glossy
13.3 inches
1,920 x 1,080 (FHD)
IPS, touch, glossy
3,840 x 2,160 (4K)
IPS, touch, glossy
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620 Intel UHD Graphics 620
Ports Two Thunderbolt 3
USB-C
3.5 mm audio
Two Thunderbolt 3
USB-A 3.0
3.5 mm audio
Audio Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos
Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos
Camera Front-facing 720p Front-facing 720p
Keyboard Backlit Backlit
Touchpad Precision Precision
Biometrics Fingerprint reader Fingerprint reader
Battery 42 Wh 48 Wh
Dimensions 12.1 inches x 8.3 inches x 0.5 inches
(307 mm x 210 mm x 11.9 mm)
11.53 in x 8.01 in x 0.62 in
(293 mm x 203.4 mm x 15.75 mm)
Weight 2.43 pounds (1.1 kg) 2.47 pounds (1.12 kg)

Lenovo IdeaPad 730S 13 vs. Yoga 730 13 design and features

At first glance, these two 13-inch laptops have a lot in common. They weigh about the same — though the Yoga’s touch display and larger battery add a small bit — and have almost the same footprint (though the IdeaPad 730S is slightly thinner while the Yoga 730 isn’t quite as wide). In both cases, you’re getting a laptop that makes it easy to tote with you in a bag or underarm protected in a sleeve. If you travel a lot, this is an ideal size for planes, trains, and everything in between.

Both laptops have a unibody aluminum design that’s sleek and modern, but you only get the benefits of a convertible hinge system from the Yoga 730. You can flip the display around to tent, stand, and tablet modes for watching movies, presenting media, or for drawing with an active pen (which isn’t included in the starting price). It can be used as only a notebook, but if that’s really all you can see yourself doing with a new laptop, you’re probably better off with the IdeaPad 730S. It doesn’t fold around, it doesn’t have a touch display, and it doesn’t have active pen support, but that’s OK for a lot of people.

You don’t get an IR camera option here, but for added security, there’s a fingerprint reader set into the right palm rest on both laptops. This works with Windows Hello, and both provide snappy sign-ins with no need for a typed password. For ports, both look to the future with dual Thunderbolt 3, and thanks to 4x lanes of PCIe each, you get optimal performance no matter what you connect. The Yoga 730, other than a 3.5 mm audio jack, holds onto a single USB-A port for legacy devices, while the IdeaPad 730S has a third USB-C port without Thunderbolt 3 capabilities. You’re likely going to need to invest in a few dongles or a quality docking station to get the most out of either laptop.

I enjoyed typing on both keyboards during the testing and review process, even if key travel was slightly less than what I was used to on a full-sized standalone keyboard; these laptops are both very thin and must make up for space just about anywhere they can. Both touchpads here use Precision drivers for the full gamut of Windows 10 gestures, and they’re both sized appropriately, if not on the large side.

Lenovo IdeaPad 730S 13 vs. Yoga 730 13 display

A lot of Lenovo’s more affordable laptops cut costs in the display department, but the IdeaPad 730S is impressive. There’s just one non-touch, FHD (1920×1080), glossy option available, but it does just about everything well. The IPS panel offers wide viewing angles, the bezel is relatively thin, and you get 100 percent sRGB and 76 percent AdobeRGB color reproduction for a full picture you’ll notice. The only downside here is the 300-nit brightness coupled with the glossy finish. If you’re in a room with direct light, you’re going to get a lot of glare.

The Yoga 730’s display is the same size and has about the same bezel, but it’s only available with touch added due to the convertible nature of the laptop. Brightness is about the same and you’ll probably experience similar glare issues when dealing with direct light, but you get the added bonus of being able to flip it around into different modes. One thing to note is that a touch display generally pulls more battery than a non-touch display, and even though the Yoga 730 has a slightly larger battery, you’ll probably get a bit more life from the IdeaPad 730S when going about similar tasks. Lenovo also decided to add a 4K option to Yoga 730 configurations with Whiskey Lake CPUs, so if you need that boost to resolution, your only option is the convertible laptop.

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