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Lenovo Yoga A940 AIO wants to be the Surface Studio, sort of

With a hinged pen-and-touchscreen display and Precision Dial input device, it resembles Microsoft's drawing-focused desktop. But it seems more for dabblers than professionals.

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Lenovo's Yoga A940 all-in-one offers a novel take on Microsoft's Surface Studio, known for its big, pressure-sensitive touchscreen display that's ideal for design work. Lenovo's isn't quite as professionally oriented, but neither is its price: It's expected to ship in March starting at $2,200, whereas the Studio starts at $3,500.

The 27-inch display can be configured with either a 4K or quad HD (2,560x1,440-pixel) screen that works with Lenovo's Active Pen. It's Dolby Vision certified like some of Lenovo's other products, but that doesn't really tell you much about the display. It just means that it has profiles for effectively cramming Dolby Vision's beautiful colors and bright details into a dim, tiny color space as well as for a bright, wide-gamut monitor. 

You can also configure it as a five-speaker Dolby Atmos system, though with all the speakers right in front of you and close together, it's not clear how effective that would be.

Oddly, it uses Lenovo's first-generation Active Pen with 2,048 levels of sensitivity rather than the newer Active Pen 2 and its 4,096 levels.

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While the look of the system might not appeal to you -- we seem to be split on that -- it has some great features. A lighting strip on the bottom lets you see what's in front of you when you're working in the dark, it has a docking area to stash your keyboard, mouse and pen when you're not using them, and a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad on the base.

Lenovo's take on a second-hand input device, like the Microsoft Dial or Brain Magic O2, the Precision Dial is intriguing. It plugs into the USB port on either side of the display, depending on which is your dominant hand, and you rotate it to access tools within applications, probably by mapping keystrokes to it. At launch it will come with presets for select Adobe Creative Cloud applications. 

Other specs include:

  • Eighth-gen Intel Core i7 processor
  • AMD Radeon RX560 graphics
  • Up to 32GB DDR4 memory
  • Up to 512GB SSD and 2TB HDD
  • Connections: 4x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.0 (probably the ones on the display); and 2x USB-C, one of which is Thunderbolt 3 compatible

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