Updated: Aug 20, 2021
Recently, we reviewed the MateBook 13 from Huawei, and it’s honestly a laptop many should check out. It’s got a high-resolution touch display, pretty powerful performance for its size, all in a thin and light minimalistic chassis.
But there might be some people out there, who don’t want a 3:2 display, and much prefer the standard 16:9.
This here is the 14-inch Lenovo Yoga S740, which offers almost everything the MateBook 13 has, give and take some, but most importantly, a 16:9 display.
So let’s get the specs out of the way real quick.
The S740 runs an Intel Core i7-1065G7, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe SSD, and just like the MateBook 13, a dedicated graphics card in the flavour of an MX250 from Nvidia.
So you kind of already know what you can expect in terms of performance, but before all that, let’s talk a little more about the laptop itself.
The design of the S740 is really clean. There’s nothing fancy, no huge logos, no RGBs, no unique stripes or edges. It’s just plain and simple. A laptop that wouldn’t look out of place, no matter where you are.
A smooth metallic finish covers every bit of surface, and it’s not only nice to the touch but matte as well. So, you need not worry too much about fingerprints and oil stains.
In short, it’s a laptop that just looks professional, be it working in an office or just studying in school.
As mentioned, this is the 14-inch variant of the S740, and thus you get a 14-inch panel. The one that I have is a full HD panel, so that’s 1,920 by 1,080 pixels, it’s IPS and can go up to 400nits in brightness with support for Dolby Vision.
It’s a really nice display, with great colour reproduction and viewing angles so you can pretty much enjoy any kind of content on it, or even go ahead and do some creative work.
You can also opt for a 4K panel instead, which will also bump up the maximum brightness by 100nits. But same as always, I’ll advise not to get that, as 4K on a 14-inch display doesn’t really make much sense, especially since till today, Windows Scaling is still an issue.
Of course, it does have a webcam, but I would say that there’s nothing great about it. It’s usable in a pinch, but you’ll much rather just use your smartphone. A little unfortunate.
For the keyboard, you do get Lenovo’s signature design, where the keys are slightly concave, and the key themselves aren’t exactly square-shaped. It’s a keyboard design that Lenovo has been using for the longest time, and as most people would agree, it’s a great keyboard to type on.
There’s a good amount of feedback, and the keys do feel tactile and satisfying to click. It’s a great size for a 14-inch laptop which means little to no mistakes while typing, and you’ll be glad to know that the power button is separate from the keyboard, which also means that all your important keys like Shift and Backspace are of the correct size.
The keyboard is backlit with your standard white, and it does get reasonably bright. There is also one thing which I like on this keyboard, and that’s the function keys, which by default, you don’t need to use the Function key to activate them, so that’s nice.
Moving down, we have the trackpad which is decent. It’s a good enough size and runs Precision, so that’s two criteria checked. The only thing I didn’t like is the left and right clicks, which are mushy, like most laptops out there. In all though, a decent trackpad.
Speakers-wise, they won’t win any awards. They do have a little bit of bass and the vocals are quite clear, along with slight separation thanks to the placement of the speakers, but it just doesn’t get that loud. It’s okay, nothing fantastic.
We then come to ports, and this is where the S740 might pique your interest.
On the right, you get a full-size USB 3.1 Gen2 port, along with a power LED indicator. On the left, you get your standard barrel plug for power, another full-size USB 3.1 Gen2, a headphone/mic combo jack, but most importantly, a Type-C port.
This Type-C port supports Thunderbolt 3, meaning it also supports data transfer, power delivery and DisplayPort output. This very port enables much more flexibility with the S740, and perhaps even upgradability down the road.
So that’s all on the physical aspects of the S740. We now come to the performance. Like always, we focused more on the creative aspect.
In Cinebench R20, the Intel Core i7-1065G7 does get a multi-core score of 1515 while the single-core scored 437. This is in line with the scores achieved on the XPS 13 2-in-1 which has the same chip, and it’s roughly 25% better than the Core i5-10210U in the multi-core score, as compared with the MateBook 13.
As for DaVinci Resolve, however, things take a slight turn. The 10 minute 1080p render took about 36 minutes, while the 15 minute 4K render took an hour and a half. If we were to bring up the scores from the XPS 13 2-in-1, the results are pretty much in line. But compared to the Core i5-10210U that’s in the MateBook 13, the render times are taking roughly 50% longer.
In terms of temperatures, it’s not the best, with it hovering around 90 degrees celsius for the entire duration of the render, but it does do so at clocks speeds above 2GHz, so I would say, not too bad.
One thing that did surprise me was the performance of the NVMe drive. Sequential read and writes speeds are fantastic, as most laptops do, but here, the random 4K was really great as well, getting over 1GB of read and write speeds. This means transferring multiple chunks of files is still going to be quite fast.
For games, I would say to keep to simpler and lighter titles like CS:GO where you can achieve over 60 frames per second even on the maximum settings at 1080p. You can also play triple-A titles, but you will have to drop down the resolution and graphics to achieve smoother frame rates.
As for battery life, I got a solid 7 to 8 hours of actual real-world usage, which means I was on Wi-Fi, documents, browsing, YouTube and more. It’s certainly enough for a simple day of usage.
Overall, it’s a laptop that has pretty much everything you want in a good everyday laptop. It has a clean design, a great display, that familiar Lenovo typing experience, plenty of ports and great all-round performance.
With that said, however, I do have to bring back up that webcam quality, which is passable but not great. If you’re a creative, I would suggest sticking to 1080p video editing or use it mainly for photo editing instead.
The main point here is this. Weigh your options, the pros and the cons. Take a look at the Yoga S740 from Lenovo, if it checks those boxes.
More information about the Yoga S740 (starting at S$1,749) can be found on Lenovo’s website.