Lenovo takes on Microsoft’s Surface Studio with its own tilting all-in-one

  • Lenovo Yoga A940 from the front.Lenovo
  • Lenovo Yoga A940 folding hinge demonstration.Lenovo
  • Lenovo Yoga A940 Precision Dial on the left of the screen.Lenovo
  • Lenovo Yoga A940 charging mat.Lenovo

Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet stimulated a range of copycat systems from PC OEMs, with all the major PC companies coming out with their own riff on the tablet with kickstand and detachable keyboard/cover. It’s now Surface Studio’s turn to inspire clones. Lenovo’s Yoga A940 copies the central Surface Studio concept: it’s an all-in-one PC with a large touchscreen mounted on a hinge so that it can be laid relatively flat (an angle of 25 degrees).

Lenovo’s display isn’t as eye-catching as Microsoft’s: it’s a 27-inch display with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio and either a 2560×1440 or 3840×2160 resolution. It supports stylus input from an active stylus using Wacom’s AES technology. Lenovo even has its own riff on Microsoft’s Surface Dial peripheral; on the left-hand side of the screen is a rotary control named the “Precision Dial,” which can control features of various Adobe applications.

At the top of the display is a 1080p webcam with an infrared camera for Windows Hello facial recognition. While the screen is smaller, the base unit, containing the integrated PC, is quite a bit bigger than Microsoft’s. It includes a desktop (65W) 8th generation Core i7 processor, so it should outpace the mobile chip found in the Surface Studio.

On the other hand, the discrete GPU is an AMD Radeon RX 560, which is quite a bit slower than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 in the Surface Studio 2. The A940 has up to 32GB of RAM, up to 512GB of PCIe SSD, and 2TB of hard disk storage. The system has four USB 3.1 generation 1 ports, one USB 3.1 generation 2 port, two USB 2 ports, a three-in-one card reader, an RJ-45 Ethernet port, and a 3.5mm headset jack.

In addition, it has a single Thunderbolt 3 port, giving it the next-generation connectivity that Microsoft still refuses to equip its machines with. There’s also 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The base unit itself is a little unusual; it’s designed so that the keyboard can sit on top of it, keeping it conveniently out of the way when the screen is in its flat drafting position.

As simple a feature as this is, it’s a thoughtful one; on this machine, just as on the Surface Studio, the screen essentially occupies the spot on your desk where your keyboard would be when it’s in the folded position. Having a place to stick the keyboard before folding the screen is very sensible. On the right of the base unit is a wireless charging pad that can be used to charge the pen or a smartphone.

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