It’s the thought (and the lap­top’s con­struc­tion) that counts

T3 - - State Of The Art -

The cor­ru­gated hinge on the Mi­crosoft Sur­face 2 is ab­so­lutely in­ge­nious

Mi­crosoft’s Sur­face Book 2 is strik­ing and un­usual; even in pic­tures, you can sense some­thing dif­fer­ent about this ma­chine that’s found nowhere else in the mar­ket, and in per­son it’s more re­mark­able. Its cor­ru­gated hinge, for a start, is ab­so­lutely in­ge­nious. It’s lower, key­board-side, than the main base of the lap­top sec­tion, mak­ing room for a ven­ti­la­tion port, and it’s sturdy enough to po­si­tion the screen at ev­ery use­ful an­gle.

Tap an on-key­board key, and an in­ter­nal mech­a­nism re­leases its firm grip on that 15-inch 3:2 ra­tio tablet; place it back on, and the base fires up within a sec­ond or two. It’s weighty, par­tic­u­larly as a full pack­age, but ev­ery as­pect is very pol­ished. Even the se­vere edges are off­set by a del­i­cate curve on ei­ther side of the base.

Dell’s lean is more to­wards the clas­sic two-in-one de­sign, with a screen that flips back to tuck the key­board un­der­neath; this gives it a greater range of mo­tion than Mi­crosoft’s hinge, but it’s stiff enough that the screen doesn’t flop about at all. Its ven­ti­la­tion sys­tem, also ex­haust­ing through a vent be­hind the screen, is clev­erly en­gi­neered, and there’s a tex­tured fin­ish to the key­board sur­round that, while not of­fen­sive, doesn’t have quite the same class.

No ma­chine here is no­tice­ably thin­ner than the other, but there’s plenty on dis­play in terms of smoke and mir­rors. Mi­crosoft’s ta­per­ing pro­file, for ex­am­ple, squashes its front end down, but Len­ovo’s mi­cro­scop­i­cally slim­mer screen sec­tion gives this flip-back two-in-one a thin­ner feel, par­tic­u­larly when closed. It also means that, un­like Dell’s in­sis­tence on stick­ing with USB 3 ports – a bless­ing and a curse in equal mea­sure – the Yoga joins the Sur­face Book in fea­tur­ing full-sized ports. Given the al­most iden­ti­cal di­men­sions of Dell and Len­ovo’s ma­chines, we’re not quite sure why Dell couldn’t have in­cluded more ver­sa­tile con­nec­tors here. It couldn’t just be be­cause USB 3 is what all the cool kids are do­ing, could it?

Len­ovo YOGA 730-15IKB

Len­ovo’s flex­i­ble friend sports a no­tice­ably thin­ner feel, thanks to a slen­der screen sec­tion, and feels sturdy yet com­fort­ably light dur­ing use

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