Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga ultrabook review

Reviews James Hunt Feb 11, 2013

An ultrabook that offers a pretty decent Windows 8 experience

Moving somewhat off the beaten track, we arrive at this, the IdeaPad Yoga. We keep getting told that Windows 8 is an operating system designed to work with tablet PCs, so here's an Ultrabook that more or less approximates one. The convertible IdeaPad Yoga, which can fold back on itself in a variety of ways to turning the keyboard into, variously, a keyboard, a stand, or a functionless part of the chassis.

Of course, while the tablet functionality seems to be the main sell, we can confirm that it doesn't quite work that way. At 16.9mm thick and 1.47kg, it's pretty big and heavy by any standards. You might use it in tablet mode for short periods, but it's a little too bulky to use that way all the time.

The 13.3" UPS display is very good, with a 1600x900 resolution, while 4GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD both meet the Ultrabook's current requirements and go no further. It looks great, though, and there are some interesting features such as the Kinect-style 'Lenovo Motion Control', which uses the built-in camera to read simple gestures and assigns Mac-style swipe-to-switch functionality to the touchpad. Lenovo's keyboards have always been better than average, and the the IdeaPad Yoga continues this tradition (although there's no backlight, sadly). The touch-screen is less impressive, though - often inaccurate and inconsistently responsive.

Again, battery life is unimpressively average (seven hours of use, at most) and the integrated graphics make it a poor choice for gaming, but these are issues with the entire Ultrabook line, not just the IdeaPad Yoga. The device's unique hinge is enough to make it stand out from the rest of the crowd, though, and while it isn't quite the tablet it wants to be, it's pretty darn close to it.

As it is, it makes for a decent Windows 8 experience, especially if you don't fancy a surface, and the price is right for a device of this power, so it feels like a bargain to get the various proprietary features at no extra cost. Finally, an Ultrabook that genuinely stands out.

Details:

• CPU: Core i7-3517U
• SSD Size: 256GB
• Screen: 13.3"
• Weight: 1.47kg
• Thickness: 16.9mm
• Price: £999

Scores:

Power: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 8/10