Lenovo’s ThinkPad L390 Yoga is in lots of methods the vital work computer. It’s chunkier than many different skinny-and-light laptops in its fee variety, however, it also packs a whole lot of business enterprise-friendly capabilities, consisting of temperature and surprise resistance and a ramification of connection ports.
At the same time, the L390 Yoga has a few excellent touches to help it stick out from the corporation p.C., most significantly a keyboard that feels exquisite to kind on and one of the nice clicking mechanisms you’ll discover on any trackpad these days. If you’re not making plans to do plenty of work outside—and might consequently tolerate the L390 Yoga’s confined screen brightness—this might be your next workhorse.
We reviewed a $1,079 model of Lenovo’s ThinkPad L390 Yoga, which has a 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen, a 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8265U processor, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, 256GB SSD, and Windows 10 Pro. True to Lenovo’s Yoga branding, the L390 has a 360-degree hinge so that you can turn the screen around and use it like a pill.
The genuine configuration can range depending on the store, though. Staples and CDW, for instance, promote a $1, a hundred and twenty version of the L390 Yoga with an infrared camera for face reputation, however, Lenovo’s internet site does no longer. You also can configure a model on Lenovo’s website for as little as $899, with 128GB of a garage, no keyboard backlighting, no fingerprint reader, and Windows 10 Home as opposed to Windows 10 Pro. Conversely, you may build a totally-loaded laptop with a Core i7-8565U processor, 32GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD for $1,893.
Design and display
The ThinkPad L390 Yoga isn’t precisely skinny and mild. Weighing in at three. Forty-four kilos and measuring 0.74 inches thick, it feels extra like a modernization of yesteryear’s hefty ThinkPads than a peer to svelte laptops like Dell’s XPS thirteen and Lenovo’s personal IdeaPad 730S.
That feeling is strengthened through the ThinkPad’s display bezels, which degree zero.6 inches alongside the perimeters, with a zero.7-inch upper bezel and a 1.5-inch “chin” beneath the display screen. Thick borders like the ones are commonplace amongst convertible laptops, but we’ve seen a few exceptions, consisting of HP’s Spectre x360 thirteen. Then once more, those slicker laptops haven’t been subjected to the various shock, vibration, dirt, and high-temperature exams that the L390 Yoga has long past through.
The show itself is an IPS panel with first-rate viewing angles, but it’s additionally one of the dimmest screens you’ll locate on a laptop in this rate variety, maxing out at 258 nits’ brightness. By evaluation, the aforementioned HP Spectre x360 13 reaches 350 nits, Microsoft’s Surface Pro 6 reaches 378 nits, and Lenovo’s IdeaPad 730S hit 317 nits. In practical phrases, the L390 Yoga calls for nearly complete brightness to apply quite simply in properly-lit rooms, and outdoor computing classes can be irritating.
Touchpad and keyboard
While the display is a letdown, Lenovo does place the ThinkPad L390 Yoga’s bulk to suitable use, with a keyboard that affords masses of the tour and feels snappy instead of comfortable. You can kind for hours on the ThinkPad’s defend-fashioned keys without soreness. In a typing take a look at, I average 102 words in keeping with a minute at the ThinkPad L390 Yoga, as opposed to one hundred and five phrases consistent with a minute on my regular mechanical keyboard, and I never felt uncomfortable going via the barrage of tests. (Apple could analyze a factor or from Lenovo at this factor.)
Lenovo additionally manages to percent in greater keys than normal for a pc of this size, which includes an additional-extensive Escape key and committed keys for Home/End/Insert/Delete. The arrow keys are all roughly the same length, with Page Up/Down keys located with no trouble above the left and right arrows. There’s even a piece of spacing between each cluster of four Function keys. The most effective nitpick is Lenovo’s continued insistence on placing the feature key on the bottom-left corner of its ThinkPads, where maximum Windows laptops placed a Control key as a substitute. Flipping the Fn and Ctrl keys round calls for a ride to BIOS settings and leaves you with mislabeled keys.
The ThinkPad L390 Yoga’s highly-priced feeling extends to the touchpad. With most laptops, I opt for tapping, due to the fact the clicking mechanism is too loud and inflexible. Clicking the L390’s trackpad nearly feels like pressing a key on the keyboard, and I found myself using tap-to-click on less regularly as a result. While the touchpad might be large, it uses a mylar coating that’s clean to float around on.
Of route, the Yoga L390 also retains the ThinkPad line’s iconic TrackPoint nub on the middle of the keyboard, in conjunction with devoted left- and proper-click on buttons above the touchpad. I’ll in no way get used to the former, which now feels extra like a classy flourish than a user input mechanism, but retaining one hand at the touchpad whilst the usage of the other hand for button clicks can be efficient when you’re no longer typing.
Ports and stylus
Beyond the keyboard and trackpad, the ThinkPad L390 Yoga justifies its hefty layout with the aid of together with lots of ports.
This is the primary time Lenovo has abandoned its proprietary ThinkPad charger, as a substitute opting for 3 USB-C ports ( on the left facet, one at the proper). All three are USB three.1 Gen 1 ports, which means they guide switch hastens to 5Gbps. I became grateful for the exchange, specifically after a current journey in which I used an unmarried charger for the laptop, an Android phone, and a Nintendo Switch. Lenovo also boasts of “anti-fry” safety on its USB-C ports, that may protect towards harm by using poorly-designed 0.33-celebration charging cables.
The ThinkPad doesn’t mandate USB-C for every connection, even though. The pc’s left aspect also has USB-A and HDMI ports, at the same time as the proper side packs a 2nd USB-A port, along with a headphone/microphone jack, a MicroSD card slot, an ethernet extension connector, and a hole for protection locks. It might’ve been satisfactory to have a right ethernet port, a full-sized SD slot, and Thunderbolt assists, however, the port arrangement nevertheless feels beneficial at a time whilst USB-C is beginning to update the whole thing.
It’s clean to overlook, however, the ThinkPad even includes a small active stylus with 2,048 tiers of strain sensitivity, tucked into the computer’s bottom-proper edge. It’s no substitute for, say, a Microsoft Surface if you’re seeking to do a severe drawing or picture layout paintings (Microsoft’s Surface Pen has two times the strain sensitivity and is a great deal larger), however, it’s true enough for handwritten notes in OneNote or records markup in Drawboard PDF.
Audio, webcam, and safety
Surprisingly enough for a commercial enterprise laptop, a fingerprint reader is non-compulsory at the ThinkPad L390 Yoga, although it’s protected with all however the most inexpensive configuration. Unlike earlier ThinkPads, it also shops fingerprint data inside a chip on the sensor module itself, which is extra cozy than sending facts to the system’s host processor for authentication. The webcam is less latest, though, presenting just 720p decision for images and motion pictures. The loss of face recognition on most models is a downer.
As for audio, the ThinkPad L390 Yoga faucets Dolby Audio for speaker tuning and equalization. The result is respectable sound quality for films or tune, especially at slight volumes, even though it’s nonetheless a bit on the thin facet usual.
Because the Lenovo ThinkPad L390 Yoga is a work device, PCMark’s Work 2.0 check is arguably the most important benchmark, simulating a battery of productivity tasks which includes word processing and video chat. A score of 2,000 or better shows first-rate overall performance. Fortunately, the ThinkPad L390 Yoga got here out close to the top of the percent, no question assisted by Intel’s new “Whiskey Lake” Core i5-8265U processor. Performance becomes almost similar to Lenovo’s IdeaPad 730S, which features the equal CPU and become predictably behind HP’s Core i7-based Spectre x360 13.
In different checks, the L390 Yoga falls roughly returned into line with other laptops in its charge variety. Cinebench, for instance, measures a brief burst of CPU activity as it renders three-D photos, and has the ThinkPad L390 Yoga got here out slightly at the back of different Core-i5 laptops.
The L390 Yoga’s rating in HandBrake, which encodes an MKV video file to the MP4 format, became also not anything unique. This is a quad-core pc, so we’re no longer amazed that it treated the encoding in closer to one hour than hours.
The ThinkPad L390 Yoga may be aided via its larger design from a thermal angle, however, its unmarried grille beneath the laptop’s again-proper facet isn’t doing something specific to hold the laptop cool over long periods.
One place in which the L390 Yoga without a doubt lagged behind comparable laptops turned into in 3DMark’s Sky Diver benchmark, which tests GPU overall performance. Given that different laptops in this magnificence can’t cope with modern-day 3-D games besides, this isn’t a first-rate loss, and the L390 Yoga can play some 2D indie games like the new Toejam & Earl without issue. (Doing so with the Yoga folded into tent mode on an espresso table or kitchen counter is in reality pretty satisfactory.)
The handiest real letdown here changed into battery life, with the ThinkPad L390 Yoga averaging 7 hours and 34 minutes in our video rundown check. This is one of the worst scores we’ve seen among cutting-edge thin-and-mild laptops.
However, it’s now not out of line with a few other ThinkPads like the L480 (8 hours and thirteen minutes) and the X1 Tablet (7 hours and six minutes). At least the new USB-C charger can bring the L390 Yoga back to 80-percent of a full price in an hour.
Should you buy the Lenovo ThinkPad L390 Yoga?
While the Lenovo ThinkPad L390 Yoga isn’t the maximum appealing computer you may get, it compensates for its lack of favor with a killer keyboard, a fulfilling trackpad, and lots of ways to connect to external devices. You might not enjoy lugging it around or the use of its dim display outdoors, however, it can make work a piece more bearable when you’re stuck at your desk.