Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 Review

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Design and build quality

The Yoga 11 ( Lenovo Keyboard Cover  ) is immediately recognisable as the little brother to the Yoga 13. Its design is identical, albeit a little smaller. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. The even thickness across the chassis, together with the silver edging make the Yoga look rather like a lovely hard-back book.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11
Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me.

The illusion would be complete if Lenovo were to clad a model in leather. And I really think it should consider it, as my review model looked extremely dull. The lid and base are entirely covered in a yawn-inducing matte grey colour -- a shade I decided to call 'Basingstoke paving slab grey' -- with only the small Lenovo logo on the top breaking the monotony.

 

If you like bright colours and fancy patterns it's certainly not for you. Mercifully, it's available in a bright orange colour too. This retains the smart, professional aesthetic required for the boardroom while injecting enough colour to remind you that life does exist outside of accounts presentations.

 

It measures 298mm wide, 204mm deep and 15.6mm thick, making it small enough to slide into the most diminutive of briefcases or backpacks without any pushing and shoving. Weighing in at a meagre 1.27kg, you won't need to employ a host of burly companions to haul it around town for you.

 

Around the edges you'll spy two USB 2.0 ports, a combined headphone and microphone jack, Lenovo Keyboard  , an HDMI out port and an SD card reader. There's no Ethernet port so you'll have to rely on wireless networks for your Internet and you only get 64GB of storage. SSD drives might not be cheap but I'd have liked to have seen 128GB of storage for the price.

 

The Yoga gets its name from its flexibility and talent for bending itself into various poses. In normal laptop mode, you can swipe around the live tiles of Windows 8, using the keyboard to type when you need to. The screen is stiff enough not to fold back under your touch.

 

Fold the screen back and you can prop it up in 'tent mode', or have the keyboard keys facing down and the screen pointing up. Both these modes serve the same basic function -- propping the screen up to let you watch videos or give presentations more easily -- so it's up to you which you prefer to do. Alternatively, flick the screen all the way around and hold it like a tablet.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11
While in tent mode the Yoga 11 won't keep you dry from the rain, but it will allow you to view videos more easily.

It's chubbier than a normal tablet and you do of course have the keyboard on the underside like the HP DV Series DV5 (Silver) Keyboard  , which isn't at all pleasant to hold. Thankfully though the keys themselves are deactivated, so you can't accidentally type a string of nonsense letters into your company-wide emails.

 

It costs a whopping £700, putting it right alongside the Asus VivoBook S400E -- a touchscreen full-fat Windows 8 laptop that runs on a super-charged Intel Core i7 processor. If power is your concern then the Asus is the way to go. If you just need a lightweight device then take a look at Microsoft's own Surface RT tablet. It has the same processor as the Yoga 11 and can be used like a keyboard with the keyboard cover .

 

With a starting price of £400, the Surface tablet, which also runs Windows RT, is considerably cheaper than the Yoga. The cheaper Surface offers the same power as the Yoga -- or for the price of the Yoga, you can get a much more powerful Surface. This shows there's little reason to buy the Yoga 11 unless you're really hankering after that convertible design.

Conclusion

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga ( Lenovo Ideapad Keyboard  ) has a lot going for it: it's slim, helpfully transforms into a tablet for watching video more comfortably and has enough juice under the hood for most of the everyday essentials. Sadly, it's just far too expensive.

For the same money you can get a very powerful Windows 8 touchscreen laptop in the form of the Asus S400E Vivobook or save yourself £300 and buy Microsoft's Surface tablet.

 

 

 

 

Published on Laptop accessories

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