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Lenovo Takes on the Surface Studio with the Yoga A940 All-In-One

All-in-ones tend to come in two flavors: a budget machine for novice users or an all-out monster with style and flexibility. Lenovo has taken the latter option with its new Yoga A940, a top-of-the-line machine meant for artists and creators.

Announced at CES, the 27-inch machine includes a 4K touchscreen and a double-hinged display stand, which can move from a 90-degree vertical to a drawing-friendly 25-degree angle with a smooth sweep. The internal components, featuring Intel Core 8th-gen processors and up to 32GB of memory, plus a Radeon RX 560 GPU, are housed in a beefy base. But it’s the stuff around the guts that’s interesting. The top of the main assembly is a shelf for the included wireless keyboard when you’re ready to go full touch, and the smaller area on the side can recharge your Qi-enabled smartphone. Five Dolby Atmos speakers hide inside as well.

Take a look ’round the back and you’ll find four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI-in (for using the display with another machine), and Ethernet if you need something faster than Wi-Fi. On the side, accessible without reaching is another USB 3.0, USB-C, a headphone jack, and an SD card reader, handy for pro photographers who don’t often need MicroSD. Other nice touches include a work light on the bottom edge of the screen and a manual shutter over the webcam.

But it’s the included “Smart Dial” that will make artists do a double take. This gadget is analogous to Microsoft’s Surface Dial but comes with the package for free. It also displays some surprising ergonomic thought, docking into a dedicated USB port on either the right or left side for easy use in folded-down mode. (Southpaws thank you, Lenovo, for ambidextrous design.) Lenovo’s management software can assign different scrolling tools for different applications, like Adobe’s Creative Cloud, with a color-coded LED ring to let the user know which mode it’s in without checking the app.

All of this, plus a powered stylus, keyboard and mouse, and the usual array of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a three-month trial of Creative Cloud come in at $2350 when the Yoga A940 launches in March. The base specs, with 8GB of memory and a 128GB SSD or 1TB hard drive, are a bit disappointing…but this all-in-one has one more trick up its sleeve. The panel beneath the keyboard shelf can be removed, granting the user access to the memory and storage slots. Laptop-grade DDR4 RAM and SSDs can be replaced without further disassembly, keeping the warranty intact.

With a starting price hundreds of dollars lower than the Surface Studio 2 and options for cheap end-user upgrades, this all-in-one will make a tempting option for digital artists and designers hoping to shift to a large-format touchscreen input. Including a scroll wheel and powered stylus accessory at that low price point is just gravy.

Michael Crider Michael Crider
Michael Crider has been writing about computers, phones, video games, and general nerdy things on the internet for ten years. He’s never happier than when he’s tinkering with his home-built desktop or soldering a new keyboard. Read Full Bio »