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Lifewire / Yoona Wagener
Large 27-inch touchscreen display
Qi wireless charging pad
Convenient nooks for storing peripherals
Precision dial for left- and right-handed users
Requires a lot of desk space
Included peripherals are just okay
Stylus design is lacking
Screen tilting function can be cumbersome
Highly reflective display
The Lenovo Yoga A940 is an all-in-one desktop with a generous touchscreen display and flexible form factor that supports daily computing and intensive graphics-oriented tasks, but some design limitations won’t appeal to all creative professionals.
If you’re ready to upgrade your workspace with a machine that can handle day-to-day and some intensive creative tasks, the Lenovo Yoga A940 is a stay-put option that offers a unique blend of desktop and tablet capability. The large 27-inch display supports 4K resolution, touchscreen and stylus prompts, and flexes to match the project you’re working on. And the precision dial offers an extra level of quick-touch access whether you’re photo editing or browsing web pages. This versatile all-in-one generally delivers where it matters most for your work or at-home computing needs.
The Lenovo Yoga A940 trades the typical bulky PC tower with a sleek (but plastic) all-in-one design. Extras like a built-in Qi wireless charging pad, LED lights underneath the display, and plenty of base storage for neatly tucking away the provided peripherals can help you streamline your work space. But you’ll need at least 25 inches to accommodate the full length of the machine and nearly 10 inches to support the depth of the base—not to mention full desk space to work in drafting mode.
The peripherals are mostly successful. The precision dial can be placed on either side of the display, which is great for left-handed or ambidextrous users. And the wireless keyboard can be used in both USB wired or wireless mode. The battery-powered mouse works with a nano-USB connection and features a dial to cycle through three tracking speed adjustments.
The quality of the Lenovo Digital Pen leaves a lot to be desired, though. While it has a dedicated storage slot next to the wireless charging pad, it requires an AAA battery to use. Placing the battery in the pen was intuitive enough, but I had no luck removing the pen cap, which should only require an easy twisting motion to move. The pen was rendered useless after that because the battery wasn’t properly aligned with the cap half stuck. This appears to be an issue at least a handful of other users have also experienced and a completely avoidable hurdle.
The port situation is better, but you’ll need to set up the machine in a way that allows you to clearly see and reach the USB ports, HDMI, or Ethernet ports on the rear of the base. The saving grace is the collection of ports located to the left side of the device for immediate and easier access.
Another slight design flaw is the hinging motion of the display. It’s shiftable with one hand, but smoother transitions went best with two hands. It didn’t require heavy lifting by any means, but I couldn’t help but feel worried by the clicking plastic noises that sounded with almost every adjustment. And while the 25-degree flexibility is nice to have, the bottom of the display awkwardly hit the working surface when lowered and required an odd nudge to secure in its flattest orientation.
The Yoga A940 4K UHD 3840x2160 display is generously sized at 27-inches on the diagonal. While these display specs and the Adobe RGB working space accuracy are selling points for visual designers, photographers, and general users, I was underwhelmed by the picture quality. If you’re looking for a machine that could also serve as a home theater PC, you’ll want to keep looking.
Games generally looked much richer and sharper than any streaming content, which often appeared fuzzy or just not quite as crisp as possible, especially 4K content. Colors also often came across as a bit too intensified and inaccurate. At other times, the content looked a bit too dark, even though I left the display at its maximum brightness.
In instances when the picture needed some help, I turned on the Dolby Atmos 4K feature to see if the picture could be enhanced. It did seem to make a nominal difference, but it was impossible to quantify.
The highly reflective display didn’t improve the viewing experience. While I wouldn’t say that anything ever appeared washed out from extreme side views, the glare prevented a clear view. Even straight on, it was difficult to view anything during prime daytime hours without being distracted by the glare. In drafting mode, glare was much less of an issue, but this doesn’t serve all users at all times.
This desktop PC fared relatively well when put to the test with benchmarking software. The overall PCMark productivity score came in at 5226, which is slightly above the company’s general recommendation that computers equipped for office work should earn at least a 4500. This PC also earned a 7635 score for photo editing, which surpasses the recommendation that 3450 and above is best for creative tasks.
GFXBench scores were fair as well. The high-level Manhattan test garnered a score of 126.3fps and TREX brought in a score of 61.5 fps. This isn’t a gaming machine by any means, but you could get by loading a game here or there and not be too disappointed.
While this Lenovo Yoga AIO isn’t the heaviest-duty option on the market, the dedicated desktop processor and graphics card offer ample speed for a range of tasks and multimedia capability. And the 256GB of SSD storage, 16GB of RAM, and 1TB of HDD storage should satisfy most users’ media file and document storage needs.
The dedicated desktop processor and graphics card offer ample speed and multimedia capability.
The true focus of the Yoga A940’s productivity potential is in the creative tools and how you choose to use them with the display, whether that’s with touchscreen inputs, in tablet mode, or in a sketchbook-style orientation.
While the pen was working, I found it to be mostly responsive and accurate for simple freehand sketching and brush size adjustments, though not terribly fast. The precision dial also offers this kind of deeper, hands-on accuracy. It’s convenient for quick adjustments to brush sizes, contrast, and exposure. The dial also ups productivity across other applications, though the compatibility is limited to Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite apps—and the accompanying dial settings app is hardly sophisticated and presents just a handful of customizations.
But you can also apply general settings to the inner and outer rings and the button for actions such as scrolling up and down on a page or document. The LED light on the dial is supposed to change color to match the application you’re working with. I didn’t find that to be the case at all times. I also noticed inconsistency when applying changes to the innermost ring in some applications, which seemed to revert to the default setting.
The Yoga A940 is outfitted with a fairly robust Dolby Atmos sound system consisting of two 3-watt and two 2-watt speakers. All of the speakers are front-facing but stacked more toward the left side of the base of the machine, which gives the sound a lopsided feel. The Dolby Atmos settings app allows you to adjust the sound mode depending on what you’re viewing or consuming. I did notice a difference especially with game and movie modes, but game audio tended to sound more well-rounded than a range of music and video content, which veered on too-loud or tinny at times. Music sounded best with headphones plugged in and the sound was more dynamic that way.
This sound system can also serve as an external Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone, which presents an added layer of functionality from this desktop.
It was no trouble operating this machine with a steady and speedy wireless connection, and wired was even faster. Using Ookla Speedtest to test internet speed at various times of the day rated the connection at a download speed of about 97Mbps over Wi-Fi. When plugged in over Ethernet, the results were even speedier at an average of 153Mbps and a few consistent readings well above my ISP capacity of 200Mbps download speeds.
Unless you do a frequent amount of video conferencing, the Lenovo Yoga A940 should be fine for the occasional chat. The 1080-pixel IR camera produces very underwhelming video quality that skews toward dark and fuzzy even in very bright natural light. Overall, it will have no trouble producing faithful and jitter-free video recording, so it’s adequate for video conferencing.
If you seldom use a webcam, the good news is there’s a privacy shield to cover the lens when you’re not using it. But if you’re all for using the camera instead of logging in to your machine manually, you can employ the facial recognition feature to save you a couple steps.
Windows 10 Home provides an appealing assortment of features that are good for office workers and creatives or the family who wants a shared home computer. Along with the usual standards such as note-taking, weather, and screenshot apps, OneDrive syncing, smartphone integration, and Cortana voice assistance are on hand to back up all of your work and help you stay on top of notifications or whatever you’re working on. And Microsoft Office users and Adobe Creative Suite users get the best of what these programs offer and possible heightened ease of use, thanks to the stylus and precision dial.
For this particular model, the Windows 10 Home OS’s digital pen and touch capability and tablet mode flexibility offer a significant leg up on competing all-in-ones that don’t also offer these interactions and a tilting display. The software and form factor make the Yoga A940 a compelling buy for the shopper that wants a creative-friendly AIO. Of course, you’ll also have to contend with your level of comfort with tracking and privacy and always being dialed in to your Microsoft account, which is heavily encouraged by the OS.
The Yoga A940 a compelling buy for the shopper that wants a creative-friendly AIO.
This is a pretty pricey machine at about $2,340, but it’s not the costliest all-in-one desktop on the market. Higher-end models that are considered some of the best desktop PCs from Microsoft and Apple hover around the $3,500 to $5,000 price range. These costlier options are dialed in to meet the needs of creative professionals by offering more sophisticated designs and hardware. But if you’re looking for an affordable alternative that can still meet your creative demands, the Lenovo Yoga A940 is in a class of its own with its convertible desktop-to-tablet design and built-in storage hubs for peripherals.
Designers and creatives often opt for the Apple iMac for content creation, but if you’re a dedicated Windows user or you’re looking for a drafting-board experience, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 is an obvious contender. The Surface Studio 2 retails for about $3,500 and comes with stepped-up Windows 10 Pro software that offers more security and enterprise extras than Windows 10 Home.
The Studio 2’s form factor is also much slimmer and easier to manage at just 21 pounds and features a superior 4500x3000 touch-capable display. And if you’re a stickler for color details, the surface supports the sRGB color setting, which many photographers and creatives agree is more standard than Adobe RGB. The Surface Dial doesn’t come with the Studio 2, but some will prefer the freedom and precision of that peripheral over the Lenovo dial. Adjusting the display orientation with a single hand is also much smoother on the Studio 2, thanks to the Zero Gravity hinge.
A unique all-in-one for general use and some creative tasks.
The Lenovo Yoga A940 offers a fresh take on the desktop PC form factor. You’ll get more creative flexibility with the tilting desktop-to-drafting-mode display and the added accessories up precision for precise tasks. This AIO is capable of living up to most computing demands, but the high price tag and imperfect build could dissuade creative professionals who need more for their investment.
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