Going from the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga to the Yoga 2 Pro, Lenovo did make a few minor adjustments to the chassis, including a new backlit keyboard—an increasingly essential feature of any modern laptop. The new rubberized rim around the top bezel is welcome, since it prevents sliding when in tent mode. Furthermore, the power button is now located on the right side of the device, making it less likely that you'll turn the system on when it's in your bag.

Finally, at 3.06 pounds the Yoga 2 Pro is about a half-pound lighter than last year's 3.4 pound model. And at 13 x 8.7 x 0.61 inches in size (W x D x H), it's a shave thinner—.05 inches to be exact—than last year's model.

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro review

This year, in addition to the standard silver color, the Yoga 2 Pro also comes in a lovely electric orange trim. A fairly wide number of different configurations insure that you will be able to find an ideal price-performance ratio.

ThinkPad Yoga vs. Yoga 2 Pro

It's worth comparing the Yoga 2 Pro to Lenovo's new ThinkPad Yoga. Both systems have the same 360-degree hinge, and the same set of CPU, memory, and drive configurations (minus the 512GB option on the ThinkPad Yoga).

The big differences between the two are that the ThinkPad Yoga only has a standard HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display in comparison to the

Ultimately, these distinctions feel like arbitrary lines in the sand. It would be easy to argue that more productivity-minded version of the Yoga would benefit more from the QHD+ display than the more consumer minded Yoga 2 Pro. Similarly, you could also make the case that the fold-away keyboard would be of equal benefit to consumers sitting on the couch than it would be to work-oriented road-warriors.

One final difference: at 12.46 x 8.70 x 0.76 inches (W x D x H), the ThinkPad Yoga is a little trimmer width-wise, but a little thicker. At 3.52 pounds, it also weighs a little under a half pound more than the Yoga 2 Pro.

Specifications

The system specs of the review unit Lenovo sent us were:

  • CPU: 1.6GHz Core i5 4200U
  • RAM: 4GB of DDR3
  • Screen: 3,200 x 1,800 IPS multi-touch display
  • Storage: 128GB SSD
  • Ports: 1 USB 3.0, 1 powered USB 2.0, headphone/mic jack, micro HDMI-out, SD/MMC card reader
  • Webcam: 720P front-facing camera
  • Weight: 3.06 pounds
  • Size: 13 x 8.66 x 0.61 inches

The major upgrade here is the inclusion of Intel's new Haswell architecture in the form of the Core i5 4200U processor. A dual-core part built specifically for ultrabooks, the 4200U appears to be an ideal fit for the Yoga 2 Pro given its solid CPU performance. Each core operates at 1.6GHz, but the presence of Turbo Boost means it can throttle up to 2.3GZ with both cores active, and 2.6GHz with a single core active.

Lenovo Yoga 2 pro review

The key advantage Haswell provides over the Ivy Bridge Core i5-3317U part from last year's Yoga is power savings. We'll get into that a bit more in the performance section, but without Haswell, we shudder to think what kind of battery life the Yoga 2 Pro would have.

In addition to the 1.6GHz Core i5 4200U we reviewed, Lenovo offers two other CPUs for this system, including an upgrade to the 1.80GHz Core i7 4500U part, and a lesser 1.7GHz Core i3 4010U. Both of these processors are also Haswell-based. The former offers a little more power under the hood with very little additional power consumption. The latter provides a more affordably-priced configuration, but with no CPU throttling Turbo Boost support. If we had our druthers, we'd choose the higher-end Core i7 part for this system.

Intel's integrated HD Graphics 4400 provides the pixel-pushing muscle for the display and 3D graphics. It's par for the course, and is integrated into all three of the CPUs available for this device.

At press time, the price for the configuration above was US$999.00. That's a pretty solid price point, given the blend of modern parts—especially the high-quality QHD display.

Lenovo Yoga 2 pro review

In addition to the CPU options noted above, buyers can also choose less memory (2GB vs. 4GB), or double the RAM to 8GB. In addition to the 128GB drive our review unit shipped with, two other hard drive configurations are offered, at 256GB and 512GB. Prices range from $949 to $1,499 fully loaded.

Technophiles who want more future-proof PC computing will be disappointed that the Yoga 2 Pro does not have a built-in 802.11ac network adapter. It currently only supports b/g/n standards. While it is true that the specification yet to be finalized, and probably won't be completely locked until early 2014, there are already a number of pre-802.11ac routers on the market, and a select few laptops—including Apple's newest MacBook Air—have integrated 802.11ac adapters.

High-speed junkies, please note that there is no built-in Ethernet jack on this system; you'll have to buy a separately-sold dongle for that.