Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro review
Lenovo gives its Yoga range a suite of upgrades, delivering a Haswell CPU, a big SSD and a glorious high-DPI screen for £1,000
Lenovo was the first manufacturer to really nail the Windows 8 hybrid, and the Yoga 2 Pro sees it take the winning formula and refine it even further. With two new 11.6in and 13.3in models joining the ranks, Lenovo has retained the double-jointed hinge, streamlined the design and packed in Intel Haswell CPUs for good measure. The big news, though, is that the 13.3in model has also crammed in the small matter of 4.32 million extra pixels – it now has a high-DPI, 3,200 x 1,800 touchscreen.
See also: The best laptops of 2014
The beauty of the original Yoga was always its simplicity. Where other designs give away clues to their hybrid abilities with clearly unusual-looking screen bezels or telltale release catches, it’s impossible to recognise the Yoga’s split personality at a mere glance.
The Yoga 2 Pro is no exception to this rule: from without, it’s just as you’d expect an Ultrabook to look; that is, gorgeous. There’s the same hardback-book-inspired design as the previous model, with dark, silvery metal lapping across the lid and base, and very slightly overhanging the edges. Gone is the predominantly square, somewhat frumpy profile of the original, however: the Yoga 2 now looks far more curved and streamlined, with its base tapering delicately up towards its front edge.
Lenovo’s engineers haven’t just tweaked the design for the sake of it. The new model not only looks prettier, but it’s also lighter and much more solid-feeling than before. The Yoga 2 now weighs a relatively dainty 1.39kg – 140g less than the IdeaPad Yoga 13 – a mere 60g heavier than Apple’s MacBook Air 13in, and only 100g heavier than Sony’s featherweight hybrid, the VAIO Fit 13A multi-flip. It’s also a millimetre thinner than last year’s Yoga 13.
Yet where the Yoga 13 felt a little flexible in places, the new model’s build is rock-solid. Granted, it’s still no match for the Apple MacBook Air 13in, but it isn’t a million miles off. The base is super-stiff, and the lid feels capable of protecting the high-DPI display secreted within.
Your flexible friend
In contrast with so many hybrid designs, the Yoga 2 Pro is refreshingly free from compromises when used as a laptop. Tilt back the sturdy-feeling lid, and you’re greeted by a full-sized, Scrabble-tile keyboard (which, incidentally, is now backlit), and a buttonless touchpad. There are minor niggles – the half-height Enter key, and the strip of navigation keys on its right edge take a little getting used to – but, most importantly, there’s just the right amount of resistance to each keystroke to make for comfortable typing, and the touchpad works well, responding reliably to everything from simple left-clicks to edge-swipes.
It’s the double-jointed hinge that allows the Yoga 2 to be so much more than a laptop, however. Push the display backwards, and it smoothly rotates backwards through 360 degrees, making it possible to flatten it against the back and use the Yoga 2 as a tablet. And although the keyboard and touchpad are left exposed when you do this, they’re disabled as soon as the screen passes the 180-degree mark.
That’s not all, though. Tilt the screen part of the way back, and the Yoga 2 can be up-ended and used in “Tent” mode, which is perfect for achieving a comfortable screen angle on the fold-out tray of a train or plane seat. Alternatively, placing the keyboard face down and tilting the display backwards turns the Yoga 2’s base into a stable stand, while giving plenty of forward- and backward-tilt adjustment. It’s an ingenious design.
|Price ex VAT||£833|
|Price inc VAT||£1,000|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||6|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Dimensions||330 x 220 x 16mm (WDH)|
Processor and memory
|Processor||Intel Core i5-4200U|
Screen and video
|Resolution screen horizontal||3,200|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,800|
|Resolution||3200 x 1800|
|Graphics chipset||Intel HD Graphics 4400|
|Hard disk||Samsung SSD|
|Replacement battery price inc VAT||£0|
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|USB ports (downstream)||1|
|3.5mm audio jacks||1|
|SD card reader||yes|
|Pointing device type||Touchpad/Touchscreen|
|Hardware volume control?||yes|
|Camera megapixel rating||0.9mp|
Battery and performance tests
|Battery life, light use||7hr 50min|
|Overall Real World Benchmark score||0.59|
Operating system and software
|Operating system||Windows 8.1 Pro|
|OS family||Windows 8|