Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 (11 inch) review
A superbly crafted 11.6in hybrid with a gorgeous display and a well-judged specification – for a very reasonable price
Review Date: 26 Aug 2014
Reviewed By: Sasha Muller
Price when reviewed: £417 (£500 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Lenovo was one of the first manufacturers to really nail the Windows 8 hybrid with its folding Yoga concept, and the IdeaPad Yoga 2 is its cheapest expression yet. With its 11.6in touchscreen, it reprises the design of the £1,099 IdeaPad Yoga 11S, but slashes the price with a quad-core Pentium processor. See also: what's the best laptop you can buy in 2014?
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 (11 inch) review: look and feel
The Yoga 2’s similarity to the 11S is no bad thing. We’re sad that it isn’t available in the distinctive orange hue of its predecessor – only in a more sedate silver and black finish – but it’s just as stylish and daintily proportioned. The subtle curves of the body are pleasingly understated and, at 1.3kg, it’s the perfect size and weight for slinging in a bag and carrying around every day. It’s fairly slim, too: the chassis measures 18mm at its thickest point, including the rubber feet on its underside.
Some compromises have been made to keep costs down, the foremost being a switch from the metal construction of the Yoga 11S to an all-plastic chassis. Thankfully, this hasn’t dramatically impacted the overall build quality. There’s a little flex in the keyboard section if you twist it viciously from side to side, but – crucially, given the Yoga 2’s portable aspirations – both the slender lid and the double-jointed hinges still feel reassuringly tough and resilient. The overall package feels solidly put together, especially for a £500 hybrid.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 (11 inch) review: hybrid design
The Yoga design is impressively versatile. In laptop mode, the Yoga 2 does a superb impression of a high-quality 11.6in Ultrabook. The Scrabble-tile keys could do with a little more travel, and as a result aren’t quite as tactile and responsive as the best we've used, but we found them easy to get used to. While the keys are a little less than full-size, Lenovo hasn’t resorted to needlessly shrunken keys or awkward key placements. The buttonless touchpad doesn’t throw up any issues either, and everything from two-fingered gestures to edge swipes works reliably.
The double-jointed hinge means that the Yoga 2 can also shapeshift into a variety of other formats. Flip the lid back on itself and the keyboard section becomes an adjustable stand, allowing the display to be angled to your liking. Turn the Yoga 2 upside down and “tent mode” makes it usable even in the most cramped of spaces. Fold the display all the way round and the Yoga 2 becomes a tablet.
It’s a great piece of design. As ever, the keyboard and touchpad are automatically disabled as soon as the screen is tilted past 180 degrees, so you won’t be typing or clicking by accident in tablet mode. The power, volume and automatic-screen-rotation toggle buttons are all positioned along the Yoga 2’s edges so they’re always readily to hand, and there’s a physical Windows key embedded in the touchscreen’s lower bezel.
But where's the free copy of Office 2013?
The main problem with the form factor of this is that at 11.6 inches the screen is too big for Lenovo to be able to add a version of Office 2013 for nothing.
I have just bought a Lenovo Flex 10 (in Finland) for EUR 279 incl VAT (ca £235) and that just makes it under MS's limits for a free copy of Office 2013 Home and Student edition (without Outlook).
Admittedly I was disappointed to find that the Flex's screen didn't make it all the way around ("Fold the display all the way round and the Yoga 2 becomes a tablet.") so you don't also get a (fat) tablet but only a prop-up screen useful virtually only for showing yourself films, but the lower price and the free copy of Office make up for this. [Especially if - as in my case - you also have an iPad]
By MikeW2 on 12 Apr 2014
- Google reveals why it thinks we'll buy smartwatches
- Windows 8.2/Windows 9: release date, features and free cloud version
- Apple's top reasons for rejecting apps
- Raspberry Pi unveils HTML5-optimised browser
- Apple and FBI "actively investigating" celeb photo hack
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office