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