Last year, I recommended what I considered the best ultrabook: the Asus ROG Flow Z13 with the AMD Ryzen 9 6800U. Priced at 5,799 RMB, weighing just 1 kg, and delivering strong performance, it offered an exceptional balance of affordability, battery life, and portability. However, a year later, Asus didn’t continue its AMD processor updates for the Flow series. The new version adopted an Intel 13th-gen Core i7 low-voltage CPU, with a price tag exceeding 8,400 RMB, but it fell short in performance and battery life compared to the previous 6800U version, offering no compelling reason to recommend it.
In 2023, AMD continues to dominate the ultraportable laptop market, with the Ryzen 7840 series replacing the 6800 series from last year. The Mechrevo brand even offers 7840 series ultrabooks for as low as 3,999 RMB, while a multitude of Windows handheld gaming devices are thriving with AMD’s 7-series chips. However, there’s a noticeable absence of AMD 7-series processors in high-end ultrabooks. That was until I discovered the Lenovo Yoga Air 14s.
Let’s take a look at its design and specifications:
This laptop is slightly heavier than last year’s ROG Flow X13, weighing 1.29 kg. It’s not as featherlight to hold, but it’s within a manageable range, offering daily portability without significant burden. When it comes to aesthetics, it’s remarkably eye-catching. The A-side has a slightly blueish emerald shade, while the B-side edges sport a rose-gold finish, creating a unique and appealing color scheme with a comfortable texture. The keyboard backlighting complements this design with a corresponding orange hue.
Regarding specifications, it’s equipped with a specially packaged 7840s CPU. Currently, this CPU is exclusively available for Lenovo products, thanks to an exclusive agreement with AMD. It’s known for higher performance, lower power consumption, and reduced heat output. It’s said to deliver performance comparable to the 7840HS 45W version while consuming just 30W. Additionally, the 32GB dual-channel DDR5X 6400MHz RAM and a 1TB SSD by Samsung make it a flagship configuration for ultrabooks in 2023. The 70Wh large battery, which typically weighs over 1.8 kg in all-around laptops, offers a generous battery life of approximately 7 hours when paired with Sensory Assistant.
The screen is another major highlight of this laptop – a Samsung E6 OLED display with around 3K resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio, high color gamut, color accuracy, and touch support. While touchscreens might not have much relevance for Windows laptops, the 90Hz refresh rate strikes a balance between smooth performance and energy efficiency. The screen can open up to 180 degrees, making it particularly useful in flat-laying mode when held by hand.
The keyboard offers a comfortable typing experience, which is something Lenovo excels at in the laptop keyboard department. The touchpad is large, responsive, and generally comfortable, though the keypress sensation is average.
The internal layout features dual fans and heat pipes, ensuring efficient heat dissipation for continuous 30W operation. Unfortunately, there are no memory slots or a second SSD interface, leaving virtually no room for upgrades. The abundant 70Wh battery contributes significantly to impressive battery life. Furthermore, it features a six-speaker system, a rarity among Windows laptops, delivering excellent audio output.
In terms of ports, it’s quite limited with only 3 USB-C ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which could be seen as a downside.
Running a 3DMark benchmark, with the laptop plugged in, it scores over 3,000 in total, with a graphics score of 2,743, suggesting it can handle 1080p gaming with minimum settings for AAA titles without much issue.
When running on battery power, the graphics score increases while the CPU score takes a significant hit. It’s evident that the laptop prioritizes the GPU, allowing it to continue gaming on battery power, but this doesn’t hinder its office performance.
The initial price of 8,299 RMB for this laptop is slightly on the expensive side, but it’s often available for around 7,200 RMB through daily deals, which makes it a very suitable choice for those with specific requirements.