Lenovo Yoga 6 13 Laptop Review

Introduction

As part of a back to school promotion, Best Buy was recently selling a Lenovo Yoga 6 13 2-in-1 13.3” Touch Screen Laptop for $599.99. This was considerably lower than the regular price of $749.99, so I decided to grab one to play with. This will be a quick Lenovo Yoga 6 13 laptop review.

Zoom out on Front Zoom. Lenovo Yoga 6 13 2-in-1 13.3" Touch Screen Laptop - AMD Ryzen 5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Abyss Blue with Fabric Cover.
Lenovo Yoga 6 ALC6

This laptop weighs 2.91lbs (1.32kg) and it has a 13.3″ 1920×1080 IPS touchscreen. It has a 60Wh battery that Lenovo claims is good for 18 hours of battery life. There is a 720p webcam with a privacy shutter.

For wireless connectivity, there is a Realtek 802.11ax 2×2 (WiFi 6) and an Intel BT 5.0 module. There are two USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 ports, two USB-A 3.2 Gen 1 ports and a 3.5mm combo headphone microphone jack. You also get a touch fingerprint reader.

Zoom out on Angle Zoom. Lenovo Yoga 6 13 2-in-1 13.3" Touch Screen Laptop - AMD Ryzen 5 - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD - Abyss Blue with Fabric Cover.
Blue Fabric On Top of Case

The case is aluminum on the top and ABS plastic on the bottom, both in Abyss Blue. The top is actually covered in a denim-like blue fabric that is sure to be controversial. I think it looks nice and it will keep the top from being covered in fingerprints. Some professional reviewers worry excessively that it will quickly get dirty and be impossible to clean. I would say that depends on how you treat the machine.

Lenovo Yoga 6 13ALC6 Laptop Specifications

This 13.3″ laptop machine comes with a 6C/12T AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor, which is good. But it is not as good as it may sound due to AMD’s confusing CPU naming scheme. You might think it is a Zen 3 mobile CPU, because of the Ryzen 5 5xxx naming, but it is actually a Zen 2 Cezanne mobile CPU. This is still a pretty decent mobile CPU, but it is not as speedy as a Zen 3 Ryzen 7 5800U would have been!

The Ryzen 5 5500U gives you a base clock speed of 2.1GHz and a max boost clock of up to 4.0GHz, with 8MB of L3 cache. It has a decent CPU-Z ST score of 494.2 and a CPU-Z MT score of 3651.1. This level of CPU performance is pretty amazing in a laptop in this price range!

Lenovo Yoga 6 13 Laptop Review
CPU-Z Benchmark Scores

Unfortunately, the Yoga 6 only comes with 8GB of DDR4-3200 RAM, which I think is the absolute bare minimum for Windows 10. The memory is soldered to the motherboard, so you cannot easily upgrade the RAM. Luckily, it is in dual-channel mode, running at 3200MHz as confirmed by CPU-Z.

Lenovo Yoga 6 13 Laptop Review
CPU-Z Memory Tab

The storage situation is also a mixed bag. It has a 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD running in x4 mode. Most new lightweight laptops have M.2 NVMe SSDs now, since M.2 NVMe SSDs save weight and space compared to 2.5″ SATA SSDs. This machine came with a Western Digital SN530 M.2 2242 SSD.

This is a budget 256GB OEM M.2 NVMe SSD that has pretty mediocre performance compared to larger, more expensive M.2 NVMe SSDs. Still it is considerably faster than a 2.5″ SATA AHCI SSD would have been.

Here are the CrystalDiskMark results for the stock SN530 SSD. It is somewhat slow for reads and quite slow for writes. Only having 256GB of capacity hurts it’s sequential transfer performance because there are fewer NAND channels than a larger capacity SSD would have. Being limited to 256GB of space is also not ideal.

256GB Westen Digital SN530 Results

Fortunately, it is easy to remove the bottom panel (after removing six tiny Torx screws), and then swap out the OEM SSD for something larger and faster. Even though the OEM drive was only 42mm long, you can install a more standard 2280 (80mm long) SSD. In my case, I had a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD available.

Lenovo Yoga 6 13 Laptop Review
After Installing the Samsung 970 EVO

The Samsung SSD gives a nice increase in performance, but the main motivation for the swap was to get more drive space. The Samsung SSD probably uses a little more power than the OEM SSD.

CrystalDiskMark Results
1TB Samsung 970 EVO Results

I could have cloned the OEM SSD to the Samsung SSD, but I decided to do a fresh install of Windows 10 Version 21H1 from a USB 3.1 thumb drive. I showed how to create Windows 10 installation media in this video.

The complete specifications of this machine are here.

Final Words

I think this is a pretty nice laptop for this price range, especially if you can find it on sale. It does not have any glaring faults for casual everyday usage.

This machine has a slightly faster CPU than the AMD Ryzen 5 4600H in the Lenovo Legion 5 15ARH05 Laptop Review that I wrote last November. It also costs less money than that machine did. With integrated graphics and only 8GB of RAM, this is not a gaming laptop though. The low amount of RAM will also be a problem for more intense productivity workloads.

Upgrading the SSD (which is easy) will give you more disk space and better storage performance. This machine should be perfectly fine for many users.

If you have any questions about this post, please ask me here in the comments or on Twitter. I am pretty active on Twitter as GlennAlanBerryThanks for reading!

AMD, PC Hardware

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