Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 review

22 Jan 2013

Lenovo’s brilliant Yoga concept buddies up with Microsoft’s Windows RT, but it’s simply far too expensive

Price when reviewed 
700
Buy it now for 
4

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 13 has done its bit to revitalise the appeal of Windows 8, and now its pint-sized sibling, the Yoga 11, is ready to work that magic on Windows RT. With the same ingenious double-jointed design shrunk down to an 11.6in chassis, the Lenovo Yoga 11 is the most intriguing Windows RT device we’ve seen so far.

It would be a stretch to describe the full-sized Yoga 13 as cute, but it’s an appropriate description for the Yoga 11. And even though the novelty has worn off somewhat since we first saw its big brother, this little hybrid retains a spark of individuality. With a plain, all-black interior contrasting vividly against the intense shade of matte orange coating its exterior, the Yoga 11 will be enough to send many people reaching for the credit card.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 - rear

It’s also available in silver – if this is more to your taste – but whichever colour you choose, this 1.19kg hybrid oozes luxury. Its desirability is matched with sturdy build, and, with a chassis that measures only 16mm thick, the Yoga 11 feels every inch the classy, cutting-edge hybrid.

Different strokes

It doesn’t just look different, either. Where other Windows RT devices are mere tablets with clip-on keyboards of various shapes and sizes, the Yoga 11 is an ultraportable laptop that happens to double as a bulked-up tablet.

The hybrid design is immensely flexible. Prop the Yoga 11 up in “tent mode”, and the touchscreen can be angled just so. Lay the keyboard facing the desk, and the screen can be tilted back and forth while sturdy-feeling hinges keep the display from flopping backwards. Fold the screen all the way back, and hidden magnets hold it clamped shut against the underside, transforming it into a tablet.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 - tablet mode

Although the exposed keyboard and touchpad on the rear feel a little odd in this mode, it’s no deal-breaker: they’re both disabled as the keyboard sweeps past the 180-degree mark, so there’s no danger of accidentally typing or jogging the cursor.

It’s when it comes to working in tight spaces, such as the confines of an economy-class plane seat, or sitting on the sofa, that the Yoga 11’s flexibility comes to the fore. Indeed, although the Yoga 11’s 1.19kg weight is heavy compared to dedicated tablets, the integrated stand means you’ll rarely need to support its full weight in everyday use; it’s easy to prop it up on a desk or lap and use it just as effectively.

As a laptop, the Yoga 11 isn’t far behind the best 11.6in Ultrabooks. The Scrabble-tile keyboard has a spacious layout, and the crisp, light action of the keys makes for comfortable typing. The touchpad works well, too, and there’s support for two-fingered zooming and scrolling as well as Windows’ edge-swipe gestures.

Details

Price ex VAT £583
Price inc VAT £700
Overall rating 4
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 2
Performance 4

Warranty

Warranty 2 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions 298 x 204 x 16mm (WDH)
Weight 1.190kg
Travelling weight 1.5kg

Processor and memory

Processor Other
RAM capacity 2.00GB
Memory type DDR2

Screen and video

Screen size 11.6in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Nvidia GeForce ULP
HDMI outputs 1

Drives

Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

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 key-combination switch yes
Modem no
USB ports (downstream) 2
3.5mm audio jacks 1
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad/Touchscreen
Integrated webcam? yes
Camera megapixel rating 1.0mp

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 11hr 58min

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows RT
OS family Windows 8

Price comparison powered by Reevoo

£384
£400