Business | Technology

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga: Two in one

A Windows 8 laptop that can flip open into a tablet

  • By Naushad K. Cherrayil Staff Reporter
  • Published: 14:31 November 19, 2012
  • Gulf News

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga: as the name suggests their theme is flexibility. Yoga is one of the new convertible ultrabooks which runs on Windows 8 operating system.

The Yoga’s 13.3-inch can flip 360 degrees and fold flat on its back, turning the laptop into a tablet, or it can stand up on its front edges like a tent. The bezel is a bit wider than many of the newer ultrabooks to create more space to hold the laptop when it is in tablet mode.

It has 1,600x900-pixel-resolution IPS display which is an odd resolution that we don’t see too often in notebooks, but it’s a welcome change.

The display supports up to 10-finger capacitive multitouch. It runs on a third-generation Intel Core i5 ULV processor at 1.70GHz and can come with up to 4GB of RAM and a 128GB solid-state drive (SSD). It matches many other ultrabooks on the market.

It doesn’t have discrete graphics card, just an Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics chip. A USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, an SD card slot and an HDMI port round out the expected connections, but there’s no Ethernet port. There’s also a 720p, 1-megapixel Webcam for video chat. It has a new stylish square power adaptor to charge the unit.

When using it as a tablet, it has got a very good onscreen keyboard and pinch to zoom works very well. Lenovo Motion Control uses the webcam as an input device, allowing you to effortlessly flip pages, rewind of fast-forward music, change the volume and gesture other simple commands, with a flick of a hand

Using the Yoga 13 in tablet mode did feel a little awkward given the size and weight of the device. But, as long as you buy the Yoga with the intention of using it as a laptop first, you can probably put up with the keys on the occasions when you use it as a tablet. And yes, the keyboard shuts down in tablet mode, so you don’t have to worry about any interface issues.

This works well with the touch-friendly tiles in Windows 8 and even when using the Yoga 13 in notebook mode, I found myself using the touch screen instead of the track pad. The keyboard is excellent. It has great tactile feel, good key spacing and a roomy island design. The only thing missing is the backlighting.

Likewise, the large Synaptics trackpad performs well and supports Windows 8’s multi-touch gestures without a hitch.

It starts from cold at an amazingly fast 9.5 seconds, less than two seconds while recovering from sleep. The only downside is that it does provide a fairly limited amount of space for storing applications, data and media files. It has only around 90GB space.

In my digital video playback tests, the laptop was able to run for five hours and 45 minutes.

At 1.4 kilos, it isn’t a featherweight, ultraslim device, even compared to some 13-inch ultrabooks. However, the 360 degree screen flexibility gives the Yoga 13 an interesting edge among the first wave of Windows 8 convertibles. At Dh4,299, it’s not also a budget machine, but if you’re looking for a great Windows 8 laptop that offers something extra, the IdeaPad Yoga is worth the cash.

Quick score

Pros

• Great touchscreen for Windows 8

• Excellent convertible screen with well-designed hinge

• Decent battery life

• Superb keyboard and trackpad with gesture support

• 10-finger multitouch touchscreen technology

Cons

• No backlighting keyboard

• Not full HD

• Physical keyboard awkward in tablet mode

• No Ethernet port

• Small power and volume controls

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