A flexible Ultrabook – literally.
For many of us (myself included), we tend to carry multiple devices to fulfill a particular need. I carry a Blackberry for my emails, a laptop to do most of my work on, and an iPad to casually surf through websites or play the occasional game when I’m out and about. But unless you’ve got a fancy (and rather large) bag, lugging around all of these various devices can be a complete pain. Wouldn’t it be amazing for instance, if you were able to combine your laptop and tablet into one fully-functional device? Well, Lenovo seems to think so, and have come out with the very inspiring and aptly named, Lenovo Yoga.
Build quality & Design
The Yoga is indeed hard to describe at first. At first glance it looks like any other run-of-the-mill Ultrabook, complete with Lenovo’s signature design aesthetics. But the Yoga hides a clever little secret – it also doubles as a fully functional Windows 8 tablet, thanks to its sturdy central hinge that lets the display fold all the way back, hiding the keyboard out of sight. This kind of laptop/tablet hybrid isn’t a new concept – other manufacturers have tried to emulate this to some success, either with a detachable display or one that can rotate on a hinge and then fold down. But the Lenovo Yoga is simply something else, something we haven’t ever seen on the market before, and it’s this that makes it a remarkable and curious device to explore.
You’ll find a bare minimum of ports on the Yoga – a USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI port and Card reader are present, but there’s no Ethernet port which is a bit strange to see. There’s a volume rocker and power button hidden along the edge, as well as the Yoga’s power connector. The device is finished off in a sleek silver coating, while the inside has a black rubbery feel to it to make prolonged typing more comfortable. Lastly of course is the somewhat industrial-strength hinge that connects the two halves of the device, and it’s safe to say that this hinge looks and feels like it can take a serious beating (or years of swiveling the display back and forth). Though one point to note is that because the hinge is so tough, it makes opening the Yoga a bit of a challenge – you literally need to pry the thing apart with both hands.
As mentioned before, the Yoga is a hybrid laptop/tablet device, so when you’re not using it in the traditional clamshell laptop setup, you can quickly switch over to one of the three other available modes. The tablet mode will let you bend the keyboard all the way back, and use the Yoga as a traditional tablet. The stand mode lets you prop the Yoga up and is good for presenting things on screen without having to hold the device up. The last mode is known as the ‘tent’ mode, and turns the Yoga into an upside-down ‘V’; this mode seems to be the most peculiar one to use, so I’m not too sure under what circumstances you’d use the Yoga in this way.
Overall the build quality is impressive, as expected by Lenovo, and at first glance the Yoga passes with flying colors.
At its heart, the Yoga is indeed an Ultrabook, and as such comes with familiar specifications. You’ve got enough juice here to get through most apps and multitask in Windows 8 without any issues, but as with other Ultrabooks don’t look to use any taxing applications or games on this unit.