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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 11 review

A Yoga convertible with a flexible price

The hinge mechanism Lenovo uses on its hybrids is one of the best methods we've seen so far for combining laptops and tablets into one device but, as ever, both modes are a compromise. The Yoga 2's laptop position is hampered by a poor keyboard and, in tablet position, that keyboard still proves distracting – and this machine is just too heavy to be used for lengthy periods.

The Pentium processor has enough power to handle general computing, and the Ultrabook-style dimensions mean the Yoga is better used as a laptop than a tablet. If you need a notebook, though, devices like the Toshiba Satellite M50 and Acer Aspire V5 have better ergonomics and benchmarks and cost similar amounts to the Yoga – and, if you're after a tablet, the £500 required for the Yoga could go towards an iOS or Android device and a high-quality keyboard case. If you do that, you'll get a machine that's slimmer, lighter and with a better app selection.

That means we're only able to recommend the latest Yoga to people who really are set on buying a hybrid. The smart design and reasonable quality elsewhere mean this is the best hybrid we've seen at this price.

We liked

The Lenovo's physical design looks good and works well. The hinge is a sturdy mechanism that means the Yoga can be quickly flipped into any of its modes, and the simple styling means this system looks far better than most other £500 laptops.

The Pentium processor has enough power to handle a wide range of general computing tasks, and it's capable of playing Windows Store games. The screen is brighter and with better contrast than rivals, the speakers are surprisingly good, and the trackpad is decent.

We disliked

The Yoga's weight and dimensions are good for an Ultrabook, but they're bad for a tablet. That means this system is just too heavy and thick to be used in one hand for any length of time – it needs to be on a lap or a tabletop, which defeats the point of tablets entirely.

The keyboard has little travel and a deeply unsatisfying action, which isn't like Lenovo. And, while that Pentium chip is capable when it comes to less demanding tasks, it can't handle intensive work or top-end games.

The battery life is mediocre and the screen, while bright, loses out with a low resolution and average colour accuracy.

Final verdict

The latest Lenovo is another slick hybrid, with a good mechanism that's strong and easy to use. As usual, though, machines of this type involve compromises: it's too cumbersome for tablet use, and the keyboard is too poor to make this a satisfying laptop. Despite this, the Yoga 2 11 is the best cheap hybrid we've seen – but only take the plunge if you really do need a convertible device rather than a dedicated laptop or tablet.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook/Tablet
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4400
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time9 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
WimaxNo
Product FamilyIdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro
Keyboard BacklightYes
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli5-4200U
ColourOrange
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameLenovo
Form FactorConvertible
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Screen Resolution3200 x 1800
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.41 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityTÜV
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
vPro TechnologyNo
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height160 mm
Width330 mm
Depth220 mm
Screen ModeWQXGA+
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product SeriesYoga 2 Pro
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product NameIdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook/Tablet
Product LineIdeaPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number59395047
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing InformationDAZZLING 13.3" MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK™

Introducing the ultimate multimode Ultrabook™. The Intel®-inspired Yoga 2 Pro is a PC, a tablet, and more. Its super-high resolution QHD+ multitouch display flips back 360 degrees to offer four different usage modes: Laptop, Tablet, Stand, and Tent. Life has many modes; so should your technology.
Maximum Memory8 GB
Package Contents
  • IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook/Tablet
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter