Time to find out if these machines have the necessary muscle where it counts
The graphics performance of the Lenovo topped the sharper Surface Book 2
Space matters, and there are different ways of dealing with it. You could pull off dirty tricks with curves, or you could use intelligent solutions. Dell has picked the latter, partnering with Intel to bolster its slimline frame with the company’s really rather neat 8th-gen Core processors, which pack discreet AMD Vega graphics right onto the chipset. That’s a space (and heat) saving measure that makes sense. It’s not the fastest GPU you’ll find, but it’s a vast step up from the lackluster on board graphics engines of the past, and performed well in our tests. It’s certainly meaty enough to deal with the lower resolution of the XPS 15, and we never saw it falter in general use. It’s even possible to game on it, if you cut a few corners.
Microsoft’s solution to the space issue seems to be to throttle the Surface Book 2 somewhat, because despite some serious hardware – this 15-inch edition packs in an impressively speedy 8th-gen Core i7, and even manages a completely credible discreet graphics solution (at least when the tablet section is docked) in the form of a mobile Geforce GTX 1060 with 6GB GDRAM – it delivered disappointing benchmark results. You can game on this machine, but you might not get the sort of performance you’d expect out of it. It’s not exactly lacking, but the i7 CPU in our test machine only just beat out the lower-end i5 of Dell’s effort.
Lenovo does slightly less with the graphics features of the Yoga, sticking with the GTX 1050 chipset paired with 4GB of GDRAM. That said, we suspect Lenovo has had to do less to calm it down; the touch and pen input is seamless, and graphics performance topped the supposedly sharper hardware of the Surface Book 2. We’ll admit this was a surprise, but Lenovo’s neat package, even rocking a ULV processor, keeps up admirably, and does an incredible job considering its lower price. One thing to note: this thing goes from whisper quiet to jet engine loud once you start asking it difficult questions.
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Dell XPS 15 2-in-1
Lenovo YOGA 730-15IKB