Both of those are accomplished all-in-one PCs that combine powerful performance and stylish designs. While the iMac had been the go-to all-in-one for creatives for years, Microsoft did a fine job competing against it with the Surface Studio. Windows users finally had a viable alternative to the iMac.
The Lenovo Yoga A940, also a Windows 10 machine, wants to compete with both – but how does it fare against its two established rivals? Let’s find out.
Here is the Lenovo Yoga A940 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: 3.2GHz Intel Core i7-8700 (hex-core; 12MB cache; up to 4.6GHz Turbo Boost)
Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560X (4GB GDDR5); Intel UHD Graphics 630
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 27-inch IPS touchscreen, 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160), 100% Adobe RGB with Dolby Vision
Storage: 1TB SSD (PCIe)
Ports: Intel Thunderbolt USB-C, USB 3.1, 3-in-1 card reader, Audio jack, LAN, HDMI, 4 x USB 3.0
Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
Weight: 32 pounds (9.56kg)
Size: 25 x 18.3 x 9.6 inches (635.7 x 467 x 244 mm; W x D x H)
Price and availability
The Yoga A940 comes in a variety of configurations, though many of them are currently out of stock, so it’s difficult to ascertain what price the upgrades will be. However, in the US, the base model comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i7-8700 processor (CPU), 32GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive and 256GB SSD and AMD RX 560 GPU for $2,199.
In the UK, there is one model of Lenovo Yoga A940 available, for £1,999. It comes with an Intel Core i5-8400 CPU, 16GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive and 256GB SSD and AMD RX 560 GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 memory.
Meanwhile, in Australia, you can get one with a newer 9th generation, Intel Core i7-9700 eight-core CPU, 16GB RAM, 2TB hard drive and 1TB SSD and AMD Radeon RX 560 4GB GDDR5 GPU for AU$4,999.
It’s frustrating that different countries get different specs, and it’s not clear how easy it will be to configure the base models for each country. As it stands, Australia has by far the best model specs-wise, while the UK gets a pretty raw deal.
When it comes to price, the Lenovo Yoga A940 is certainly cheaper than the iMac Pro, which starts at $4,999 (£4,899, AU$7,299). However, it is also far less powerful. Meanwhile, the more evenly-matched iMac 27-inch model begins at $1,799/£1,749/AU$2,799.
Both of these are quite a bit cheaper than the Surface Studio 2, which starts at $3,499 or AU$5,499 (about £2,680).
So, compared to the iMac, the Lenovo Yoga A940 is a more expensive alternative, but if you want a Windows-powered all-in-one, and the Surface Studio 2 is too expensive, then the Yoga A940 offers better value. It’s just a shame that – for the time being, at least – buying the damn thing is so convoluted, with different specs for different countries, and low stock levels.
The appeal of all-in-one PCs is that they are essentially monitors with a PC built into them, though unlike many all-in-ones, which have the computer behind the screen, the PC part of the Lenovo Yoga A940 is actually built into the base of the stand.
In a way, this makes sense, as it allows the screen to be much thinner, and – like the Surface Studio – the screen can be angled so that you can draw on it using the included stylus. For anyone who has been frustrated by the inflexibility of the iMac when it comes to positioning the screen to comfortably work on, this is a welcome feature. The screen can be pulled down and angled as if you were working on a canvas, which could appeal to digital artists.
The 27-inch screen boasts a 4K resolution with 100% Adobe RGB support and Dolby Vision. This makes visuals on the screen look bright and vibrant, and that Adobe RGB support is essential for any professional who requires accurate colors – such as digital artists and photographers.
The bezels around the screen are rather thick, but it doesn’t detract from the stunning display. The top bezel holds a webcam, which can be used to sign in using Windows Hello – letting you log in with just a glance at the webcam. There are also built-in front-facing Dolby Atmos speakers along the top, which gives the user a more immersive audio experience – especially in movies.
The Dolby Atmos speakers are an interesting addition, as the tech is more geared towards watching movies, rather than productivity. With the 4K HDR screen, it means the Lenovo Yoga A940 is a formidable media playing PC – but you wouldn’t be making the most out of the system if you used it just to consume media.
If you edit 4K video, or want to mix high quality soundtracks – including Dolby Atmos – then out of the box the Lenovo Yoga A940 will perform very well, though you’ll probably want to hook up external speakers if you’re serious about music and audio production.
A nice touch is that on either side of the screen is a hidden USB port. By removing the magnetic cover, you can plug in the included content creation dial. Plugging it in, then launching the settings app, lets you use the dial for various tasks, such as scrolling through pages, zooming in and out, opening programs and changing the audio volume.
It’s a nicely-made little add-on that feels comfortable to use. It can be genuinely useful in certain apps, and the fact that you can plug it in to either side of the Lenovo Yoga A940, depending on if you’re right or left-handed, is a nice touch.
On the right-hand side of the screen, there’s a button. This doesn’t (as we first thought) turn on the PC or screen. Instead, it turns on a series of LED lights underneath the display, which Lenovo claims is for helping you to work in low light conditions. Personally, we’d recommend using a desk lamp if you’re working late into the night.
As we mentioned earlier, most of the PC is built into the base of the screen, and while it’s not quite as minimalistic as an iMac, it does have a certain charm. It certainly looks more like a professional PC you’d find in an office than the iMac.
Ports-wise, it’s also a more generous offering than Apple’s all-in-one, with a USB-C Thunderbolt, USB 3.1, 3-in-1 card reader and audio jack. That card reader will be particularly welcome for photographers.
On the rear there’s a LAN port, HDMI and four USB 3.0 ports, plus a proprietary power socket. As a prosumer product, the large array of ports is certainly very useful, allowing people to plug in their devices without having to mess around with dongles and adapters.
There is also a large wireless charging mat connected to the base of the Lenovo Yoga A940. This is another thoughtful addition – placing a Samsung Note 9 on it allowed the Lenovo Yoga A940 to fast charge the phone wirelessly. There’s also an indent where you can store the included stylus.
The Lenovo Yoga A940 also comes with a wireless mouse and keyboard. While these are perfectly fine, and do the job, you may want to swap them out with more ergonomic choices, as they are pretty basic.
Despite both being wireless, you can’t charge them on the wireless charging mat, which is a bit of a missed opportunity. While the keyboard has a rechargeable battery built in, you need to plug it in via USB to charge. Meanwhile, the mouse uses normal AAA batteries.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga A940’s design is more functional than the iMacs, with less visual flair, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. As a productivity machine, it means it’s able to offer some genuinely useful features that many professionals will welcome. The wireless charging mat is particularly useful. If Lenovo had gone down Apple’s route of prioritizing aesthetics over productivity, we might have missed out on those features.
Here’s how the Lenovo Yoga A940 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
3DMark Sky Diver: 16,193; Fire Strike: 4,996; Time Spy: 1,769
Cinebench CPU: 1,367 cb; Graphics: 124.42 fps
Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 4,767; Multi-Core: 16,112
Geekbench 5 Single-Core: 5,498; Multi-Core: 11,61
PCMark 8 Home: 4,337 points
The Lenovo Yoga A940 model we reviewed comes with an Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, 16GB of RAM and AMD Radeon RX 560X GPU. These aren’t the latest and most powerful components you’ll find in a PC, especially a workstation, but they are enough to handle pretty much any modern application with ease – and even a spot of gaming as well.
The Intel Core i7-8700 is a six core CPU that was launched at the end of 2017, and while it has a decent amount of cores, and a base frequency of 3.2GHz and a turbo frequency of 4.60GHz, there are more accomplished CPUs out there, which have been released in the proceeding years.
The CPU is fine for most tasks, including multitasking, but if you can get a version of the Lenovo Yoga A940 with a more recent CPU – such as the 9th generation Intel Core i7-9700 eight-core CPU that is available in Australia, then we recommend it, as you’ll see a big uptick in performance.
Perhaps more disappointing is the choice of GPU, with the AMD Radeon RX 560X with 4GB of GDDR5 being a decidedly mid-range graphics card (GPU). It’s also more of a consumer GPU than a professional one, which means it’s better at playing games than heavy workloads. For anyone who is looking for a workstation where graphical grunt isn’t the most pressing issue, then this won’t be too much of a problem, but for video editors and 3D modelers, the GPU will struggle.
It’s a bit of a shame that Lenovo has added such a gorgeous screen to the Yoga A940, yet didn’t provide the GPU to back it up. Compare it to the iMac, which comes with an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48, which is AMD’s professional series GPU, and the Lenovo Yoga A940 can’t compete.
But that’s not to say it’s a bad performer. On the whole, it runs Windows 10 and a variety of apps well. Using it with the included stylish, it keeps up well with drawing and sketching, and the ability to angle the screen into a comfortable position is a great plus for digital artists. While it’s not the most powerful all-in-one workstation on the market, it’s not the most expensive, and there’s enough nice features that make up for its mid-range specifications.
One thing we did notice is that in direct sunlight, we could see lines in the screen. It’s a bit distracting and impacts what should be a flawless display.
The Lenovo Yoga A940 is a strong alternative to the iMac and Surface Studio 2, mainly thanks to its competitive price and some genuinely useful and innovative design quirks that shows that Lenovo wasn’t happy to merely copy Apple and Microsoft when it built its all-in-one PC, but to blaze a trail of its own.
The 4K HDR screen is fantastic (though not in direct sunlight), the ability to angle the monitor is a real boon to digital artists, and the included dial all helps make the Lenovo Yoga A940 a PC that can really help the workflow of creatives.
The added wireless charger is a lovely touch, and the design as a whole will appeal to many people, even if it’s not quite as slick as the iMac.
However, there are a few missed opportunities that prevents the Lenovo Yoga A940 from being a complete success. The mouse and keyboard aren’t the most comfortable to use, and the inability to charge the mouse and stylus when not in use on the wireless charging pad is a shame – that could have been a killer feature.
The relatively low specifications are also disappointing. If Lenovo had packed the Yoga A940 with some truly enterprise-level hardware, it would have had a device that would have challenged the iMac Pro. Instead, it’s used older, mid-range, components, which may have kept the price down, but it’s also constrained its performance.
However, there is enough here to make you seriously consider the Lenovo Yoga A940 if you’re not sold on the iMac and Surface Studio. Plus, if Lenovo irons out the bugbears, the next generation device could be something very special.