Good battery life
Just okay performance
About the Lenovo Yoga 6 13ALC7
Here are the specs of the laptop we tested:
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 5500U
- Graphics: AMD Radeon (Integrated)
- Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X 4266MHz
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Display: 13.3-inch FHD WUXGA (1920 x 1200) 16:10 aspect ratio, 60Hz, IPS
- Battery: 59 watt-hours, 4 cells (10 hours, 9 minutes as tested)
- Camera: 1080p FHD IR Camera with Privacy Shutter
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
- Ports: 2 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, 2 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, Headphone / mic combo, HDMI 2.0 MicroSD card
- Dimensions: 0.68 x 11.96 x 8.58-inches
- Weight: 3.02 pounds
- Warranty: 1-year courier or carry-in
Lenovo’s Yoga 6 also comes in a few other configurations: up to a faster Ryzen 7 5700U processor with integrated AMD graphics, 16GB of RAM, and 1 TB of storage. Lenovo limits cosmetic options to dark teal with an aluminum cover or dark deal with a fabric cover. A three-month Xbox Game Pass subscription is also included with your purchase.
What we like
The keyboard is still great
I’ve tested a lot of Lenovo laptops over the years and their keyboards have remained consistently good for everything from typing reports to casual gaming in the cloud. The Yoga 6’s keyboard is no different, and it’s particularly good for a mechanical keyboard in a laptop.
The keys have a surprising amount of travel for low-profile keys and click gently when you hit their actuation point. Anyone who prefers clicky switches to linear ones should like the key feel of these.
One big reason I like Lenovo’s laptop keyboards so much is that my fingers always remember where the keys are. There’s usually a learning curve switching to another brand’s keyboard and depending on the size of your hands and how you naturally place them over a keyboard, it’s not guaranteed you will adapt easily. (Got to build that muscle memory.) But there’s something about the size and spacing of Lenovo’s keys that fit the size and length of my fingers.
I can come back to Lenovo’s laptop keyboards time and time again, no matter the model or configuration, without re-learning where to place my fingers. According to Monkeytype, a timed typing test, I type at 78 words per minute (wpm) with my daily driver, a Keychron K8 with custom keycaps. With the Yoga 6’s keyboard, I type at exactly the same speed, even though both keyboards are wildly different. Normally my wpm is about 5-10 words fewer even after getting used to a keyboard for a week.
Good battery life
Clocking in at ten hours and nine minutes, the Yoga 6 has some of the best battery life we’ve seen in a laptop, even when pitted against the 14-inch MacBook Pro M1 Pro, which lasted ten hours and 25 minutes in our testing. This is well below Lenovo’s claimed 17-hour maximum, but 10 hours is more than enough for an entire day of work or attending classes. I’d feel comfortable leaving the charging cable at home with the Yoga 6 at 100% battery life at the start of the day.
Battery life always varies depending on what you are doing on your laptop and the brightness level of the display. We set laptop displays to 200 nits and automatically cycle through 20 different text-based and multimedia websites until the battery dies to simulate a hard day’s work of surfing the internet. We also set the battery saver to kick on at 10%; this is a setting that usually comes enabled on Windows machines and isn’t generally turned off by the average user.
Responsive touch screen
With my Bamboo stylus I was able to seamlessly write notes in Windows 11’s Sticky Notes app. Every stroke, every word appeared on screen as quickly as putting a real pen on real paper. I had the same snappy experience when I was doodling stick figures and happy little trees in Adobe Fresco.
The display also did not pick up my palm or wrist if I was resting it on the screen while writing or doodling, so you shouldn’t have to worry about accidental inputs from something other than your stylus.
Typing with the Yoga 6’s digital keyboard was surprisingly responsive. I couldn’t type as fast as I could with the laptop’s physical keyboard, only about 55 wpm instead of nearly 80, but that’s to be expected without tactile feedback. When I was able to type quickly, the touch screen handled my fast inputs with minimal lag, nothing that ruined my typing flow.
What we don’t like
The ’90s called, it wants its denim back
I appreciate how laptop designs have evolved over the last several years. Alongside neat features like fingerprint readers and Windows Hello, companies like Lenovo have used all sorts of materials and colors to make their laptops stand out from the competition. (Almost like a modern twist on capturing the vibrant vibe of Apple’s iBooks.) However, I can’t get behind the dark denim fabric wrapped around the Yoga 6’s lid.
Presentation-wise, it looks neat and clean, and it feels nice gliding your fingertips over the textured fabric. Someone out there is going to love how this looks, but I would have rather seen Lenovo opt for different earth-toned colors in a similar vein to the protective covers Amazon sells for its Kindles.
The other version of this Yoga 6 swaps the denim lid for a slightly metallic, dark teal that matches the rest of the chassis, but while the fabric version is also teal, the denim-like fabric on top looks more like a dark navy blue in most lighting.
If the denim was in a different color, I could get behind a fabric lid, but as it stands this configuration reminds me too much of when my mom thought it was cute to dress me in all denim as a child.
Performance is just OK
The AMD Ryzen 5 5500U in the Yoga 6 is not a slow processor, but if you’re looking for a faster (and possibly cheaper) laptop, there are better options. Compared to other last-gen chips in similar productivity laptops, the Yoga 6’s benchmark scores are the slowest.
During our CPU tests, Geekbench 5 returned a single-core and a multi-core score of 1075 and 5105, respectively. According to our previous testing, both Apple and Intel’s equivalent chips return higher scores, which means your programs will most likely load and run faster when processed by those chips instead of AMD’s Ryzen 5 5500U. You probably won’t notice if you are writing emails or checking Twitter, but heavier workloads like 3D image rendering or batch photo tagging will bog down this laptop.
Compared to Intel’s 11th-gen Core i7-1165G7 in the Acer Swift 3, AMD’s chip in the Yoga 6 also falls behind. Intel’s chip is 29% faster in single-core tasks, but 5% slower in multi-core tasks. Apple’s M1 chip is 34-38% faster than the Ryzen 5 5500U, depending on the task being performed.
It also took the Yoga 6 seven minutes and 50 seconds to render a 3D image of a BMW vehicle in Blender with the CPU. Since this task is a multi-core process, it beat the Core i7-1165G7 by nearly a minute but fell behind the M1 by two minutes and 40 seconds.
So, how does all that translate into cost versus raw processing performance? The Lenovo Yoga 6 configuration we reviewed starts at $860, but you can find the last-gen Acer Swift 3 for nearly the same price and you’ll get double the memory and storage capacity along with a processor that is much faster in single-core tasks. If you want to stick with macOS, Apple’s MacBook Air M1 costs about $100 more for the same amount of memory and storage, better battery life, and a much faster processor.
Super quiet speakers
The audio quality is the Yoga 6’s worst feature, especially if you are hearing-impaired like I am. You’ll be lucky to find a song or a scene from a movie where the bass can punch through even a little. Even the treble isn’t powerful enough, as I am unable to hear a lot of dialogue over the roar of a simple box fan. (And if my air conditioner is turned on, forget about it.) Even with the volume at 100% and a dead-silent apartment, I can’t make out all the dialogue of a show or song from the next room.
But that’s when the laptop is in its normal, clamshell mode. When you flip the lid back into either tent or tablet mode, the speakers end up pointing away from the display. This makes games, music, movies, podcasts, and everything else hard to hear since the sound is not traveling toward your ears. If I have a movie playing with my fan or air conditioner running in the background, it will completely drown out the audio.
If you like this laptop and you plan on using it to watch any kind of show or play any kind of game, we highly recommend picking up a great pair of headphones or earbuds if you have it in your budget.
Should you buy the Lenovo Yoga 6 13ALC7?
Maybe, depending on your personal needs and budget
Lenovo’s Yoga 6 is a good 2-in-1 laptop. It’s well-constructed, weighs next to nothing, and has more than enough battery life to get you through an entire workday. The processor will speed through basic tasks, and if you feel like drawing or taking notes, this laptop doubles as a tablet.
Lenovo isn’t creating a compelling argument for you to buy its Yoga 6 at full price, even though it’s a 2-in-1 laptop. On sale, however, this is one of the best budget laptops on the current market. We’ve seen the faster Ryzen 7 5700U configuration with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage sell for $820, or $40 less than the regular price of the Yoga 6 we reviewed, and we’d snatch that up over this base model in a heartbeat.
If you’re an artist or writer who needs something well under $1,000 that functions as both a tablet and a laptop, there are other 2-in-1 options with a current-gen Intel processor for the same price. We’ve seen the HP Envy x360 15.6-inch with an Intel Core i5-1240P (the successor to one of our favorite budget laptops) on sale for $850, and aside from the processor, it offers nearly all the same features as the Lenovo Yoga 6.
There’s also the Dell XPS 2-in-1 line, which does have a slightly higher base price, but you get a newer-specced laptop. If you don’t need (or don’t want) a 2-in-1 laptop, the Acer Swift 3 and MacBook Air are similarly priced and configured.
If the Yoga 6 was my daily driver and I got a good deal on it, I would be perfectly happy with it. My last laptop was a Lenovo, and even after I donated it’s still going strong five years later. If you can look past the lackluster sound and don’t need more performance than what the Ryzen 5 5500U or Ryzen 7 5700U offers, Lenovo’s Yoga 6 will carry you through the next several years.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the tester
Senior Editor, Electronics@JLNwrites
Joanna specializes in anything and everything gaming-related and loves nerding out over graphics cards, processors, and chip architecture. Previously she was a staff writer for Gizmodo, PC Gamer, and Maximum PC.
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