Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio – Battle for the Best AIO

Two exciting new All-in-Ones have recently arrived in the digital content creation horizon. And photographers are asking which is best for their needs. So, we’re having a face-off between the Lenovo Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio 2.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2
Microsoft Surface Studio 2

It’s never been a better time to be a digital content creator. Computer manufacturers have woken up to the needs of this community. There are finally viable alternatives to Apple products! In fact, we have multiple alternatives to choose from.

But for now, let’s just focus on the Lenovo Yoga and the Microsoft Surface Studio 2.

Why The Yoga A940 vs The Surface Studio?

They’re not a new concept, so why are we excited about AIOs? We’ve already seen the Surface Studio. Lenovo is no mug either when it comes to AIOs. They’ve been making giant AIOs for nearly a decade now.

But the Yoga A940 is in a different league altogether. In many ways, the Yoga A940 is a Surface Studio killer. Especially, when you consider a comparable configuration of the Yoga A940 will be sold at $1000 less than what the Surface Studio 2 is selling at.

Since the Surface Studio 2 launched late last year, we thought the tech and features would be more comparable with the new Yoga A940. Thus we picked the upgraded second generation unit for this comparison.

yoga a940 vs surface studio
The Yoga A940 (left) vs Surface Studio 2 (right).

The Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio should be an interesting read! Especially, if for digital content creators.

RELATED POST: Best PCs for Photo Editing

Specs Of the Lenovo Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio 2

Microsoft Surface Studio 2

Lenovo Yoga A940

Processor

2.9 GHz 7th Gen Intel Core i7. Maximum boosted 3.9 GHz.8th Gen Intel Core i7-8700

GPU

GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB GDDR5)AMD Radeon RX560

Memory

Up to 32 GB DDR4Up to 32 GB

16 GB Intel Optane Memory Accelerator (optional)

Storage

Maximum to 2 TB SSDUp to 512 GB PCIe SSD. Up to 2 TB SATA HDD

USB 3.0 Type A

44

USB 3.0 Type C

1

USB 3.1

NoYes

Display Size

28” touchscreen27” IPS touchscreen

Aspect Ratio

3:216:9

Display Resolution

4500 x 30003840 x 2160

OS

Windows 10 (64-bit)Windows 10 Pro

Design: Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio

Surface Studio 2

Both the Lenovo Yoga A940 and the Microsoft Surface Studio 2 have beautiful modern designs. And, yes, both are designed digital content creators in mind.

Microsoft surface studio review
The design and style of the Surface Studio easily rival that of Apple products.

But, truth be told, I’m kind of biased towards the Surface Studio 2. The design is just so clean and clutter free.

The only physical buttons on the display are the volume and power buttons. Everything else–brightness adjustments–is done on the keyboard. Or swipe left from the bottom right corner and use the OS.

Yoga A940

The Lenovo Yoga A940, indeed, has a beautiful design as well. But to me, it’s a bit cluttered with the mouse pad which doubles up as a wireless charging dock.

Lenovo Yoga A940
Lenovo Yoga A940

Even the housing that stores the computing components seems larger compared to the Surface Studio 2. Although, there is storage for the keyboard and the charging dock. They neatly tuck under the AIO when not in use.

Ergonomics On The Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio 2

Design and ergonomics go hand in hand. One would be incomplete without the other. When you look at the ergonomics of the two designs, they’re neck and neck.

Surface Studio 2

When upright, the bright, high-resolution display is just like any other large 28” monitor. The display has a resolution of 4500 x 3000 pixels. That gives it a pixel density of 192 DPI–a bit disappointing.

Honestly, the pixel density is nowhere near anything we’ve seen with Apple products.

Yoga A940

Unfortunately, it’s the same thing with the Lenovo. The resolution is a touch smaller at 3840 x 2160.

However, the design is functional and intuitive, especially with the Precision Dial. Add to that the Precision Pen and you have a wonderful platform to produce your digital content.

Now, let’s touch on the positioning of the ports separately. They are, after all, an integral part of the ergonomics.

Ports

Where are the ports are located on a computer is a major aspect of its design. Just ask anyone who’s used a computer where the ports were hard to access!

This is where I think the Yoga A940 wins against the Surface Studio 2.

Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio
All the ports are located on the back of the Surface Studio 2.

Surface Studio 2

The ports on the Surface Studio 2 are located at the back of the computer. Read: HARD TO GET TO. Ugh.

Microsoft has gone the aesthetic way rather than practicality. There are 4 USB Type-A ports, 1 Type-C USB port, power input, 3.5mm port for headphone, SDXC card reader, and an RJ45 jack input port. Not too shabby! But…

All of them are at the back of the unit.

On the bright side, there is a pretty cool feature on the Surface Studio 2. You can attach the pen on either side of the bezel. This is perfect for left and right handed people both.

Yoga A940

The Lenovo looks a bit cluttered but the layout of the ports is way more practical. The left side of the machine has the power button, the 3.5mm input, an SD card reader, USB, and USB Type-C with Thunderbolt port.

The back of the computer has four more USBs (mix of USB 2.0 and 3.0), HDMI, and Ethernet. The power cable connects here too.

Power & Configuration

Let’s talk about the core configuration of these two AIO’s and what generates the power under the hood. This Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio match-up would be meaningless unless we pop the hood and find out what’s inside.

Surface Studio 2

The quad-core processor inside the Surface Studio 2 can clock a maximum of 3.9 GHz. It ensures smoother operation of resource hogging processes. Things like exporting photos or rendering videos.

Here’s an example:

A typical 10-minute 4K video can sometimes take in excess of 40 minutes to be exported. Depending of course on the power of the computer. On the Surface Studio 2, it takes roughly 20 mins to export.

Plus the internal SSD unit is fast. You can open large files and save them quickly.

Yoga A940

When it comes to power the Lenovo Yoga A940 is a formidable opponent. It’s powered by an 8th Generation Core i7 processor. That’s better than the 7th Gen Core i7 that we saw in the Surface Studio 2.

But the Yoga A940 loses out in the graphics department. Graphics is powered by an AMD Radeon RX560 GPU. You can opt for up to 32 gigs of RAM with this unit. This is a much slower unit compared to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 GPU that powers the Surface 2.

Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio
The Yoga A940 is a little bulky, but still a sleek design

Performance wise there is going to be some difference. Some amount of lag will be unavoidable on the yoga. Especially when working with resource hogging applications. The difference will be apparent when playing any latest PC game. Especially, at full native resolution.

The Yoga does offer an optional16 GB Intel Optane Memory Accelerator. The system supports both PCIe SSD unit and SATA HDD. You get an amazing amount of storage as a result.

Dial

Another point of difference in this Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio discussion is the dial. Lenovo calls it the Precision Dial and Microsoft calls it the Surface Dial.

Surface Studio 2

The Microsoft surface dial is a precision tool. It attaches itself to the glass surface. The Surface Dial is programmed to give you access to different tools depending on the application you are using.

Since it’s not wired to anything, you can place it anywhere on the screen as per your convenience. That’s where its better than the Yoga.

yoga a940 vs surface studio
The Surface Dial works great, but it is an optional accessory you’ll need to purchase separately.

However, the Surface dial is going to be an additional cost as it’s not included with the price of the Surface Studio 2.

Yoga A940

The Precision Dial, as Lenovo names their dial, is yet another engineering marvel. The dial is ambidextrous. I.e., you can plug it in on either side of the computer depending on whether you are a righty or a lefty.

Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio
Precision Dial Yoga A940

The dial plugs in via a USB port, so not as convenient as the Surface. The dial has multiple functions bringing on different features depending on the application that you are using.

A cool touch is LED light between the two rings that corresponds with the color of the brand of software you are using. I.e., so if you using a Microsoft product it would be Blue and Purple for Adobe Premier and so on.

Hinge

The hinge is what makes both AIOs the stuff digital content creators dream off.

Surface Studio 2

The hinge of the Surface Studio 2 is super smooth. From a standing desktop mode to an almost flat mode, the hinge supports the weight of the large display quite well. As a matter of fact, you can rest one hand on the bezel while drawing and the hinge will take the weight. It never feels like it’s going to buckle under pressure.

At any angle, the hinge supports the weight of the display well.

Yoga A940

Yoga A940 Precision Pen
Yoga A940 Precision Pen

Just like the Surface Studio 2, the Lenovo Yoga A940 too has a hinged display. The hinge allows the display to switch between different viewing angles. It can be set to operate as a normal desktop display. It can then swivel all the way to 25 ◦ to operate as a giant drawing canvas.

The hinge on the Yoga works well, with no discernable difference between the Surface’s hinge.

Pen

Surface Studio 2

The Surface Studio 2 uses the Surface Pen, which we’ve seen before. It’s very responsive, just as it is with the Surface Pros.

microsoft surface studio 2 pen
The pen is no different than the pen that comes with the Surface tablets. But, its still a great piece of hardware!

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The Surface Pen boasts 4000 levels of pressure sensitivity. And, luckily, the glass surface of the Surface Studio 2 has incredible palm rejection performance. So, while it does pick up the Surface Pen smoothly it does not pick up the palm gliding over the glass.

Talk about a winning combination!

There are different angles at which you can work with the Surface Pen. You can draw the normal way, which holds the Surface Pen like a drawing pencil, at an angle. Or hold the Pen vertically to use brush strokes normally associated with a paint brush.

The reverse of the Pen works like an eraser.

Yoga A940

The Lenovo Precision Pen is your primary working tool when using the Yoga A940. It comes with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity.

Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio
We like both the pen and the nibs that came with the Lenovo Yoga A940.

If you’re used to using a Wacom tablet, you may find the performance of the Precision Pen a bit lacking. Same for the Surface Pen. But both are still great pens to use and most people who’ve used them absolutely love them.

LED lights

The Lenovo has programmable LED lights which are attached to the bottom front bezel. Directly overlooking where the keyboard would be. This is a pretty cool touch. Especially with the three different brightness levels.

Considering many digital content creators work in a dimly lit room to avoid glare, it’s often hard to see the keyboard. That’s what’s nice about the LED lights.

This is something the Surface Studio 2 does not have. So, brownie points for the Yoga A940.

Wireless Charging Dock

The wireless charging dock on the Yoga A940 is yet another cool touch. The charging dock doubles up as your mouse pad. This is yet again something that the Surface Studio 2 does not have.

More brownie points for the Yoga A940!

Webcam Toggle Switch

Oh, and one more thing. The Yoga A940 has a webcam toggle switch at the top. This is for those who are paranoid of the government watching them or some nerd across the street hacking into the camera. You can simply toggle and switch off the camera completely.

This isn’t a case of the Lenovo Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio 2 because the Surface doesn’t have this feature at all. The Yoga is an uncontested winner in this particular bout.

Comparing The Input Devices On The Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio

Surface Studio 2

Apart from the Surface Pen, the Microsoft Surface 2 comes with a wireless Bluetooth keyboard and a wireless mouse. There is, of course, the optional Surface Dial. The last of the tools, in my opinion, is a must have if you are a digital content creator. Something this AIO is specifically designed for.

Yoga A940

The Lenovo Yoga A940 too comes with a wireless keyboard, wireless mouse, the Precision Pen, and the Precision Dial as standard input devices.

Display

This Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio discussion would be incomplete without a detailed discussion of the display.

Surface Studio 2

The Surface Studio 2 has a resolution of 4500 x 3000 pixels. The aspect ratio of the display is 3:2. Thus this is not your typical gaming monitor. Nor is it designed to Binge Watch Game of Thrones on Netflix. It is designed for creative professionals. People who develop digital content. Like animation, digital images, edit videos, so on and so forth.

surface studio review
Even the Surface packaging is sleek!

Speaking of creative professionals the display comes color calibrated from the factory. So, you can start working straight away.

Let’s not forget that this is the sort of experience that photo editors would love. The 4500 x 3000-pixel resolution means you will be able to open 16 – 18-megapixel files almost at 1:1. You will be able to see the entire photo without having to constantly zoom out.

When you zoom in though, the high resolution gives you an incredible amount of detail. Perfect for adjusting image sharpness, noise, and blemishes among other things.

The display supports multi-touch. Additionally, you can use the Surface Pen and your fingers at the same time. Such as when retouching you can pinch and zoom in or zoom out with your left finger while holding the pen on the other.

Yoga A940

The Yoga A940 also has a 4K / UHD IPS touchscreen display. But the resolution is less than the Surface Studio 2. So, even though the screen size is 1” smaller, the difference in resolution will matter. Especially, when editing large RAW images shot with a high-resolution camera.

Face Authentication

Surface Studio 2

The Microsoft Surface Studio 2 comes with Windows Hello face authentication camera for unlocking.

Yoga A940

The Lenovo Yoga A940, on the other hand, comes with the optional IR camera. The system supports Windows Hello. The system is much more intuitive in terms of functionality. It has a smart assistant feature. Plus, it can do things like pause a video when you move away from it. It can dynamically suppress audio volumes when commercials come on.

Image Editing On The Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio 2

Surface Studio 2

Now with all that power at its disposal, you might imagine this AIO would be great for editing images.

And, well, yes it is.

It’s actually mind-blowing! All that resolution helps too. Remember the native resolution of the display is 4500 x 3000 pixels. That’s more than the standard 4K / UHD resolution which is 3840 x 2160.

Microsoft Surface Studio 2 Side View
Microsoft Surface Studio 2 Side View

The display supports 100% of the sRGB color gamut. This is perfect for any web ready applications. Including image editing and sketching. You will have full-color support when you work with this color space.

Yoga A940

The Yoga A940 supports 100% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. Along with that the display also supports Dolby Vision. Thus if you want to watch 4K HDR videos or produce 4K HDR content, this display will support that.

RELATED POSt: Best Monitors for Photo Editing in 2019 (Top 16 Picks)

Video Editing On The Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio 2

Surface Studio 2

As a matter of fact, the native resolution is more than what DCI 4K is. Which is 4096 x 2160. So, once you edit your 4K footages you would be able to play them back in their native resolution without issues.

Another advantage of such a large screen is you can see a really large timeline of your videos. Even then all the tools, including the preview window, are well visible. As has already been mentioned above. Playing back 4K videos is also very smooth after you have made your edits.

RELATED POST: Top 10 Desktops for Video Editing (Top 10 Choices)

Yoga A940

The Lenovo does suffer from a slight disadvantage in the graphics department. Though the AMD Radeon RX560 is fast. It is not as fast as the GeForce GTX 1070. Thus rendering 4K videos will be time-consuming. Small changes in large graphic files will take more time to render than in the Surface Studio 2.

yoga a940 vs surface studio 2
All in all, the Yoga A940 is a solid machine at a more agreeable price point than its competitor.

Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio 2 – Conclusion

The Yoga A940 vs Surface Studio discussion is about functionality, practicality, and usability.

I really like the design of the Surface Studio 2 minus the port locations. The Yoga A940 too is designed well. For people who need that charging dock/mouse pad, the design is functional. Also, the sound quality is definitely better on the Yoga.

However, the Surface Studio 2 is better in terms of display resolution, power, and build quality.

The Yoga A940 has the advantage of pricing. While you can replace a desktop with the first, the Yoga will find it difficult to replace a proper desktop.

So, I think it all comes down to whether you need that large canvas. If you’re on a budget than the Lenovo would be your choice. If you can really splurge then the Surface Studio 2 is hard to resist.

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