Displayed regularly at an unbeatable price, the Lenovo Yoga 530 in "AMD Ryzen 5" intrigued us. So we bought it to see what really has in the stomach this ultraportable 14-inch convertible.
Sold at a price often lower than € 600, the Yoga 530 does not have the look of a low-end product, far from it. Lenovo applies its now well-known design choices here, including two chrome-plated metal hinges that allow the screen to switch to 360 degrees, or a very simple black hood simply enhanced with the logo of the range. The chassis could almost pass for metal, but it is here hardened plastic which largely illusion. Solid and not sounding hollow, the entire hull seems very well built.
The keyboard is, again, typical of Lenovo, displaying slightly rounded keys in their lower part. Unfortunately, the writing experience is not very good because of a very short race and a little feedback. The keys go a little sluggish when pressed and they are quite small. With a little habit, typos remain limited, but the use of this keyboard is never really enjoyable. Surprisingly enough for a computer in the Yoga range, this model does not have a backlight. The touchpad is more convincing: large enough and precise, it slides well under the fingers and is reactive. Note also the welcome presence just under the keyboard of a fingerprint sensor, which allows to unlock its Windows 10 session very easily and without having to type a password.
In terms of connectivity, the Yoga 530 is well priced for an ultraportable 14 inches. We can thus count on the presence of two USB 3 Type-A ports, a USB-C 3.1 port, an HDMI output, a combo jack and an SD card reader. Charging is done through a standard power port, not via USB-C.
One of the strengths of the Yoga 530 is undeniably its management of temperature and noise. After one hour of benchmarking under Unigine Heaven, the PC does not exceed 36.3 ° C in front of the top of the keyboard and 46.4 ° C under the hood. Hot spots are also very localized. The breath from the fans is particularly discreet, and you really have to approach the ear to hear it. We remain, in any case, below 37 dB.
The Yoga 530 opts for a 14-inch touch screen, displaying a definition of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The slab used is IPS type and brilliant. The reflections are also particularly present and readability is not helped by a rather low maximum brightness, measured by us at 230 cd / m2. Before going into the details of the results, note also the chassis occupancy rate quite low, which rises here to 74%. Blame it on a very wide band under the screen.
The results of our probe give this screen a status of "small 3 stars": nothing is really good, but nothing is really bad either. We note a correct contrast ratio of 1 170: 1, but a gamma curve that lacks stability at the end of the race, which shows shades of light gray and white that tend to be particularly burned.
From left to right: gamma curve, color temperature, delta E.
The colorimetry is, again, in a small average, the only true good here being the temperature, well calibrated at 6,320 K, a figure very close to the norm at 6,500 K. The gradient of gray is well balanced and does not pull either red or blue. The rendering, however, lacks fidelity, because of a delta E which still rises to 5.7. Recall that the delta E represents the difference between the actual colors and the colors displayed by the screen, and is considered very good below 3.
Finally, there is a time of persistence of 19 ms, which is high, but not surprising on this kind of ultraportable. The product is anyway not intended for gambling, this figure has little impact.
The Lenovo 530 Yoga is available in several configurations: on one side models opting for Intel processors (Core i3-7130U or Core i5-8250U), on the other a 100% AMD solution based on Ryzen 5 2500U. This is the version we are testing here. It also includes 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD for storage. On paper, a rather light configuration, but that should be ample enough for a large number of so-called "simple" tasks.
In practice, the results of our various benchmarks (file compression, audio and video conversion, 3D calculation, photo editing) are very correct and allow us to see that this kind of configuration is placed at the level of a Core i3 8th generation. The 4 GB of RAM may seem a little fair, but remain sufficient for Windows 10 and multitasking on low-power applications. The operating system launches quickly, responsiveness on a browser is good. The Yoga 530 thus fulfills its role of extra product for travel.
The Yoga 530 is not the most compact ultraportable on the market, but is nevertheless easily transportable in a medium-sized bag. It weighs in fact 1.6 kg and displays relatively large dimensions (328 x 229 x 17.6 mm). Added to this is a small charger.
Regarding autonomy, the Yoga 530 is a student full of good will, but ultimately very average. Our streaming video playback test (Netflix in Chrome, screen brightness at 200 cd / m2, headphones plugged in) ran for 5 hours and 3 minutes. A rather disappointing figure for an ultraportable, especially since many recent models in this category now exceed 8 hours.
We find here a recurring defect of many ultraportables: the speakers are placed under the frame, radiating against the surface on which the computer is placed. Depending on the material of this surface, the sound is therefore more or less smothered. What's more, they are positioned far forward under the keyboard, and therefore far from the screen, which causes a rendering unnatural when viewing a video, for example.
That said, the rendering is not bad, but there is still a somewhat acidic aspect that betrays distortion in acute extremes. The rendering is still very correct, enjoying a good balance. The voices in particular are perfectly recognizable and intelligible. The Yoga 530 also comes with a preinstalled Dolby Audio software, which you are advised to allow to activate – taking care however to pass on the profile "Customize", and leaving the equalizer flat and disabling the options "Volume Leveling" and "Improved Dialog" (see screenshot below). However, you can leave the "Virtualizer (sic) surround" mode, which arrives rather convincingly to expand the stereo scene beyond the physical dimensions of the computer.
The headphone output also delivers a correct performance, but is not free of defects. The stereophony is very convincing, but the current withstand is not very good, which results in a loss of quality at maximum volume. It is thus necessary to go down to 86/100 to obtain an acceptable result, but one then loses in power, this one being limited to 90 mV RMS. Only nomadic headsets will accommodate this headphone output.