Lenovo Ideapad Yoga - Well Worth The Cash

1/16/2013 9:22:54 AM

Bendy laptop becomes big-screen tablet

Yoga by name and by nature, this is a touchscreen laptop that doubles as a 13-inch tablet. The Yoga moniker comes from the lid’s ability to bend backwards on itself, so that the traditional laptop design transforms to become a tablet. This makes it better suited to watching videos or using apps, while losing none of the standard laptop usability.

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga

Under the hood is a generous spec that offers plenty of power. There’s a low-voltage third-generation Intel Core i7 processor clocked at 1.8GHz with 4GB of RAM, which will crunch through most tasks. HD video rendering is best left to beefier machines, but playback, picture editing and casual gaming are all well within its remit.

The IdeaPad Yoga comes in two colours: a bright orange and a corporate-looking grey. We much prefer the former, which will turn heads for its stylish design as well as its contortionist tendencies. The inside is plain black, with a spacious keyboard, but it sorely lacks backlighting for use in dim conditions.

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga

As the Yoga doubles as a tablet, the 13-inch touchscreen is especially important. Unfortunately, unlike other hybrids like the Samsung ATIV smart PC and Asus Taichi, the screen isn’t full 1080p HD. Instead, Lenovo has plumped for a 1,600 x 900 display. That’s still high, but Windows 8 heralds a new generation of quality and we feel slightly let down. That’s not to say that the screen is poor, though. The IPS panel isn’t as reflective as many of its competitors, colours are deep and vibrant, and movies look fantastic on it.

Elsewhere, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga enjoys a 128GB SSD, two USB sockets, HDMI and an SD card reader. That’s standard for ultraportable laptops, but obvious omissions include an Ethernet socket and an optical drive.

Lack of comfort

As a laptop, the IdeaPad Yoga performs well. Windows 8 is a joy to use; we actually turned off the trackpad and moved to using our fingers, which was genuinely liberating, but nowhere near as pleasurable as flipping the screen back to browse the web in tablet mode. At 1.4kg it’s too heavy to walk about with, but when sitting back on a sofa or train, the ability to bend back the Yoga and stand it up on its haunches meant we could enjoy it all the more.

There are a few bugbears with the Yoga though. There’s a little flex in the plastic base of the keyboard, so the keys bounce slightly when typing.

What’s more, when used in tablet mode, the keys sit exactly where your hands rest. The keyboard is disabled, thankfully, but you have no choice but to grasp it, mashing the keys as your fingers search for grip, which is annoying and feels disconcerting. As a result, we rarely held the Yoga as a flat tablet device.

While it’s not the perfect laptop, the range of movement and use offered by the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga won us over. The more we embraced its range of movements, the more the real-life benefits of a touchscreen display became apparent. If you’re looking for a great Windows 8 laptop that offers something extra, the Yoga is well worth the cash.

Vital Statistics

  • Price: $1499
  • Manufacturer: Lenovo
  • Web:
  • CPU: Intel Core i7
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Screen size: 13-inch (1,600 x 900)
  • Storage: 128GB SSD

·         Weight: 1.4kg


  • Features: 8/10
  • Performance: 7/10

·         Value: 7/10


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