Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 review

8 Jan 2013

Lenovo’s ingenious Yoga 13 is an unusually flexible Ultrabook, with tablet functions that come as a welcome bonus

Price when reviewed 
1,000
Buy it now for 
5

Other Windows 8 hybrids have gone crazy with intricate sliding mechanisms and ingenious flipping, rotating screens, but the Lenovo Yoga 13 keeps it simple. Thanks to an ultra-flexible hinge, the Yoga 13’s lid rotates right through 360 degrees, allowing it to flit between laptop and tablet modes with ease.

From a distance, the Yoga 13 looks similar to Lenovo’s Ultrabook, the IdeaPad U300s. There’s the same hardback-book-inspired styling, with the silvery metal of the lid and base sandwiching a matte-black interior. It’s a smart, attractive laptop.

Lenovo Yoga 13 - front 2

At 1.52kg, it’s also only 200g heavier than its Ultrabook sibling, although the move from a metal keyboard surround to a textured, rubberised plastic leaves the Yoga 13’s base feeling a touch more flexible. It’s immensely solid by the standards of its hybrid peers, however, and the simple, double-jointed hinge feels likely to outlast the more fiddly designs we've seen.

The perfect compromise?

Unlike many of its rivals, the simple design means Lenovo hasn’t had to cut back on comfort. In laptop mode there’s precious little, if any, compromise. There’s a large, wide Synaptics buttonless touchpad, and our only complaint about the keyboard concerns key size – we’d prefer them to be larger. Nevertheless, the scooped-out profile of the keys grips the fingers agreeably, and each gives way with a sharp, positive dig of feedback. The wide, rubberised wristrest is comfy too.

Push the display backwards and the Yoga 13 contorts into an array of different positions. In “tent mode” the Yoga 13 stands on a desk like a name place card at a wedding supper. Lay the base flat with the keyboard facing down, and the hinge allows the touchscreen to be tilted back and angled just so. Fold it back completely flat, and it can be used as a straight tablet – in all modes, the keyboard and mouse are automatically disabled just as the screen passes the horizontal.

That means there’s no danger of inadvertently typing random letters as you hold it, but it still makes for a seriously heavy tablet, and there’s no doubt the exposed keyboard and touchpad feel a bit odd. For casual web surfing or video watching, however, the touchscreen and flexible hinge are a winning combination.

Details

Price ex VAT £833
Price inc VAT £1,000
Overall rating 5
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 5
Performance 5

Warranty

Warranty 1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 334 x 225 x 17mm (WDH)
Weight 1.530kg
Travelling weight 1.9kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-3317U
Motherboard chipset Intel QS77 Express
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 1

Screen and video

Screen size 13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,600
Resolution screen vertical 900
Resolution 1600 x 900
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 4000
Graphics card RAM N/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 0
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 128GB
Spindle speed N/A
Hard disk Samsung CXM13L
Optical disc technology N/A
Optical drive none
Battery capacity 3,860mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed N/A
802.11a support no
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support yes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch no
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 1
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
3.5mm audio jacks 1
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader yes
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad/Touchscreen
Hardware volume control? no
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 0.9mp
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 6hr 50min
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.61
Responsiveness score 0.71
Media score 0.66
Multitasking score 0.47

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 8 64-bit
OS family Windows 8
Recovery method Recovery partition

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