Lenovo Yoga 920
Peter F. Patel-Schneider (pfpschneider at gmail.com)
The Lenovo Yoga 920 is an ultrabook 2-in-1 computer with a watchband-style hinge that rotates 360 degrees. It has an Intel i5-8250U or i7-8550U processor and a 13.9“ touch-screen with either FHD or 4K resolution; either 8 or 16 GB of soldered memory; and an NVMe SSD with capacity 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. There are two USB Type-C ports with Thunderbolt 3, one USB 3.0 Type A port, and a 3.5mm combined headset port. There is also an active pen.
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|Name||Lenovo Yoga 920|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-8550U||Intel Core i5-8250U|
|Screen||13.9” UHD (3840×2160) touchscreen||13.9“ FHD|
|RAM||16GB (soldered)||8GB (soldered)|
|HDD||1TB NVMe SSD (hard to upgrade)||256GB or 512GB NVMe SSD|
|Network||Qualcomm Atheros WiFi and Bluetooth|
|Processor||Yes||Everything works fine. Remember to update your kernel and compilers to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.|
|Screen||Yes||Linux HiDPI is working better that it did a few years ago, but some applications still end up with very tiny icons or fonts. Touchscreen works well.|
|HDD||Yes||Absolutely no problems. No related changes are required in the BIOS (and none are possible)|
|Graphics||Yes||Intel HD Graphics is fully supported|
|USB Type-C||Partial||See below.|
|Sound||Yes||Output to the internal speakers or through HDMI or DP connections works fine. Input from the internal microphone wasn't working for a while, but booting into Windows fixed the problem. Input from headphones is OK.|
|Ethernet||Yes||A USB Type A to ethernet converter works fine|
|Wireless||Yes||Problems have been reported, but I haven't experienced any. The ideapad_laptop kernel module needs to be blacklisted for kernels before 4.15.|
|USB||Yes||The USB Type A port works fine|
|Camera||Yes||The built-in camera works fine.|
|Active Pen||Partial||The pen works fine, with pressure sensitivity, in Gimp, but the buttons don't appear to work.|
|Fingerprint reader||No||Support for this might never appear in Linux.|
|Action Keys||Mostly||Volume and brightness keys work. The ideapad_laptop produces ACPI events or key presses for most of the other keys but not all of them are hooked up to appropriate actions.|
|Orientation and Motion Sensor||Not tested||Should work. Screen rotation in response to laptop rotation may not be set up.|
The Yoga 920 has two Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB Type-C ports driven by a two-port Intel Thunderbolt chip. Either of the ports can be used to charge the 920 and any third-party USB Type-C charger delivering 60W of power should be acceptable. Each port has 4 lanes of PCIe but I think that the chip only has a total of 4 lanes of PCIe to the processor.
The Thunderbolt chip consumes significant power when on. It is initially off, but turns on when a Thunderbolt or DisplayPort device (or adapter) is plugged in. This produces lots of kernel messages, including some that seem to indicate that the chip is not completely handled correctly.
USB works fine on the ports, even using a Type-C to Type-A converter. The ports can be used to drive DisplayPort displays using a USB Type-C to DisplayPort adapter. This works, including both video and sound, but quite often plugging in the adapter and display produces a hard lockup requiring a power-cycle to recover (Fedora bug report).
I tried to drive an Apple Thunderbolt Display using an Apple Thunderbolt 3-to-2 adapter. This didn't work, but the problem may be with the adapter. As well, Thunderbolt security is turned on, and can't be turned off, so this may have been a problem as well. I filed a bug on this (Fedora bug report).
The BIOS is set up to enforce Thunderbolt security, and there does not appear to be a way to turn this off. Support for Thunderbolt security is very new in Linux and may not be working correctly for the chip in this laptop. There is some experimental user-level code for Thunderbolt security described at https://christian.kellner.me/2017/12/14/introducing-bolt-thunderbolt-3-security-levels-for-gnulinux/
The biggest hassle in installing Linux was shrinking the Windows partition. I finally used a free third-party program to shrink Windows down to around 50GB for all its partitions. There is a detailed blog post by Kevin Fenzi on installing Fedora 27 on the Lenovo Yoga 920.
The fans do run when the laptop is working hard. Linux appears to be better on not running the fans than Windoze.