First Impressions: Lenovo Yoga A940 All-In-One Desktop for Creatives

More and more creatives are integrating PCs like the Lenovo Yoga A940 into their workflow in place of Apple computers.

When Microsoft first announced the Surface Studio back in October 2016, it was met with significant fanfare and interest amongst creatives. This was thanks to its innovative design, along with the fact that it addressed many of the requirements that creatives felt weren’t being met by their Apple desktops and laptops. Fast forward to today and Microsoft has since released version 2 of the Surface Studio while a number of other PC manufacturers have introduced their own take on the Surface Studio concept as well. The Lenovo Yoga A940 All-In-One desktop is one of them. We got to spend some hands-on time with the Lenovo Yoga A940 last week here in New York City while attending Pepcom’s Digital Experience! East technology media event, and think that it’s certainly worthy of consideration for photographers and other creatives in the market for a new computer that can tackle their creative needs.

Tech Specs

Tech specs for the Lenovo Yoga A940 taken from Lenovo’s official product page.

Processor 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8700 Processor (3.20GHz, up to 4.60GHz with Turbo Boost, 6 Cores, 12MB Cache)
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Display 27″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Multi-touch 100% Adobe RGB with Dolby Vision™
Memory 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz
Storage 1 TB 5400 RPM + 256 GB PCIe SSD
Graphics AMD Radeon™ RX 560 4 GB
Audio 2 x 3W + 2 x 5W speakers
Dolby Atmos®
Far-field mics
Tilt Angle 25°
Dimensions (W x D x H) 25” x 18.3” x 9.6” / 635.7 x 467 x 244 (mm)
Weight 32.2 lbs (14.6 kg)
Color Iron Grey
Connectivity 802.11 AC (2 x 2) + Bluetooth® 4.2
Ports/Slots Side
Intel® Thunderbolt™
USB 3.1
3-in-1 card reader
Audio Jack
Rear:
AC-in
RJ45
HDMI
4 x USB 3.0
Camera IR camera
Pen BT Active Pen
Software 1-month free trial with Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop*
Microsoft Office (trial)
Lenovo Smart Assist
Wireless Charging Technology QI Wireless Technology
What’s in the Box Yoga A940
AC adapter
BT Active Pen
Quick Start Guide
Content Creation Dial

 

Ergonomics

 

First and foremost, one of the major draws about the Lenovo Yoga A940 is the massive screen. It is a 27 inch 4K touch capable display that is claiming 100% Adobe RGB coverage. Of course, we haven’t tested that yet. The Lenovo Yoga A940’s screen is attached to a base where photographers can also put their keyboards for a dock while the right side allows for wireless charging of devices.

Like Surface Studio 2, the Lenovo Yoga A940 can tilt. Using their version of a Hockey puck on the side, a number of parameters can be controlled. The tilt is useful for photographers who are doing a lot of retouching. Actions can be programmed and customized to the puck.

Just so you’re aware, this is the puck area we’re talking about.

 

Once you pull everything out, this is essentially what your workspace will look like. If you’re an iMac user you’re probably looking at this with raised eyebrows. When you’re done working for the day, it will be very nice to put your wireless mouse back and your keyboard. Of course, you may be using a pen and tablet to do work; I personally prefer mice.

The Lenovo Yoga A940 has USB 3.0 ports, while on the side there is a Thunderbolt/USB 3.1 port. Here, in the photo above, we also have HDMI for connecting another monitor, gigabit ethernet, and the power cable. We’re positive it can do wireless 5G internet as well. That’s important for FIOS users with 1GB up and down.

 

Here’s a closer look at the wireless charging pad which also holds a pen for drawing; great for retouching if you do that sort of thing.

Build Quality

The Lenovo Yoga A940 features a clean, minimalist design, consisting of a large double hinged display attached to the Iron Grey colored base unit, within which resides an 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8700 CPU and AMD Radeon RX 560 GPU. Unlike Microsoft’s Surface Studio, which features a 28″ 2 x 3 aspect ratio, ultra high res, multi-touch display (4500 x 3000 pixels), the Yoga A940 utilizes a 27″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) IPS multi-touch display with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 that covers 100% of the Adobe RGB color space and includes Dolby Vision support. In a move that will surely please many creatives, a 3-in-1 card reader is integrated into Lenovo’s base unit, along with most of the Yoga A940’s input and output ports, including a Thunderbolt port located adjacent to the card reader on the side of the base unit.

Lenovo includes four input devices with the Yoga A940: a wireless keyboard, a wireless mouse, a Bluetooth Active Pen, and a Content Creation Dial. The wireless keyboard can be charged using a USB cable and can be neatly stowed away when not in use in a dedicated storage space situated on top of the Yoga A940’s base unit. The wireless mouse receives power via the integrated QI wireless charging mat attached to the Yoga A940’s base (that you can also use to charge your phone as well if it supports wireless charging). The QI charging mat includes a slot for the Bluetooth Active Pen, which is powered by technology sourced from Wacom and features 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity; a delight to many retouchers and digital artists. The Content Creation Dial is Lenovo’s take on Microsoft’s Surface Dial, and instead of placing it on the display, you plug it into one of the USB ports built into either side of the Yoga A940’s display. Depending on the application you’re actively using, the Content Creation Dial will allow you to zoom in and out along with other customizable functions.

 

Ease of Use

While we only got to spend a short amount of time with the Yoga A940, we came away quite impressed with Lenovo’s take on the Surface Studio concept. The Lenovo Yoga A940 will be immediately familiar to anyone with experience using Microsoft Surface Studio or other similarly designed All-In-One Desktop PCs. The high res touch screen, while different in aspect ratio, provides plenty of real estate for photographers and other creatives to work on, and its tilting double hinge design makes adjusting the touch screen between upright display mode and angled drafting mode a breeze. The included storage areas for the included wireless peripherals are a thoughtful touch that will surely please the organizationally minded while it reduces the Yoga A940’s physical footprint when the peripherals are not in use. Photographers and other creatives will also be happy to know that the Yoga A940 includes an integrated card reader on the side of the device; that’s one less dongle you’ll need to plug into your computer. The Thunderbolt port on the side of the Yoga A940 will also make it easy to connect high-speed external storage devices or displays without having to dig around on the back of the machine.

 

First Impressions

With many of the latest Windows-powered computers being designed to tackle increasingly challenging creative workflows that require both intensive graphical and computational horsepower, it’s no surprise that more photographers and other creatives are moving away from Apple’s hardware. While we only got to spend a short time with the Lenovo Yoga A940, it certainly has the potential to handle the intensive workflows that modern creative professionals will routinely subject their computers to. We look forward to evaluating the Lenovo Yoga A940 more comprehensively once we receive our review unit to see whether it will truly be up to the task. Please stay tuned for our upcoming full review. The Lenovo Yoga A940 is available now from Lenovo directly as well as from authorized retailers, with an MSRP of US$2,599.99.