Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 review: first look
If Windows 8 tablets are going to take off, it’s designs like the IdeaPad Yoga 11 that are going to make the difference. It’s slim, has stunning battery life, and it’s stupidly easy to move between tablet and laptop positions.
The key to this is Windows 8 RT, because that releases Lenovo to use an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor rather than – by comparison – energy-hungry Intel Core processors.
According to Lenovo, that means the Yoga 11 can last for 13 hours on a single charge. Considering it includes an 11.6in screen and measures 15.6mm thick, that’s a respectable achievement.
Note, though, that we haven’t said that it’s super-light – because it isn’t. At 1.27kg it’s comparable with an Ultrabook, and that means it will weigh you down if you hold it one hand for any amount of time.
The cleverness of the design once more comes into play here, however, with the Yoga 11 able to work in three different modes. There’s the straightforward laptop mode, with the keyboard operational, a tablet mode where you fold the screen around and the keyboard is disabled, and a hinged mode where it balances on the two edges like a house of cards.
The obvious criticism is that, when in tablet mode, you can feel the keys. Lenovo has attempted to solve this by offering a sleeve that can cover up the keys in that position, but frankly we think you’ll either get used to it or get annoyed by it.
It could even turn out to be a non-issue, because a keyboard-equipped tablet device such as the Yoga 11 is probably going to be used on a surface (even if that’s your knees) rather than being held freeform.
Thanks to Office 2013 being bundled, you can also get some serious work done. This is where the cloud comes into play, whether you opt for SkyDrive or a third-party service such as Dropbox. Because you’ll be syncing all your key files onto that cloud service, you’ll always be able to access and edit them on the Yoga – and then the changes will be saved back to the cloud.
There’s a decent amount of local storage as well, with a 64GB SSD inside, and the tech specs are rounded off by 2GB of RAM and the fact it’s a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. In practice, it’s quick.
Lenovo is offering the Yoga in two colours: boring grey and a rather more attractive orange (Clementine Orange to provide its official colour, and Lenovo calls it Silver Grey rather than Boring Grey too). While your taste may differ, we think it looks rather nice.
We’re keen to get the Yoga 11 into the PC Pro Labs once it’s fully launched, but from what we’ve seen so far it’s looking very promising. And once we’ve put it through some more extensive real-world tests, we’ll be able to comment whether it’s worth the $799 asking price too (UK price TBC).