Hands on: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 460 review

Pretty and powerful

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 460 is powerful and pretty enough to warrant consideration. Although it's a tad bit heavy, it's a thin and capable laptop worthy of your consideration.

For

  • Powerful new processor
  • Thin frame
  • WQHD monitor

Against

  • Very heavy
  • Boring keyboard
  • You'll want to upgrade

The 14-inch Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 460 (starting at $999, £648, AU$1,405) follows in a long line of successful Lenovo hybrids designed for work. You're probably familiar with the wildly popular Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, and its larger, more powerful sibling, the Lenovo Yoga 3 14.

Each of these laptops feature Lenovo's signature 360-degree hinge that can be rotated from a closed position to a fully open tablet position. Unfortunately for Lenovo, its convertible laptops have traditionally sacrificed a key feature (processing power, battery life, price, etc.) in order to make the flexibility work.

The ThinkPad Yoga 460 appears to remedy this issue by combining a brand new processor with a longer-lasting battery. The Yoga 460 is a solid machine with a gorgeous build at an affordable price (so is the 12-inch ThinkPad 260 pictured below).

ThinkPad

Design

Built with a carbon fiber chassis that is familiar to the Lenovo ThinkPad line, the Yoga 460 weighs a hefty 3.9 pounds (1.8kg). Although that weight might sound a bit extreme, especially for a device that can pose as a tablet, the Yoga 460 is only 0.74 (19mm) inches thick.

Within that thin frame, which can be purchased in black or silver, Lenovo managed to squeeze in an impressive amount of features. The Yoga 460 comes standard with a Full HD (FHD) touchscreen display that can be upgraded to WQHD (3K). Additionally, it comes with an abundance of ports and connections ideal for almost any work environment (3 x USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, HDMI, OneLink+ and 4-in-1 Media Card Slot).

The ThinkPad lineup almost always features a boring keyboard design, trademarked by the two unnecessary red and black buttons that sit along the sticky ClickPad's upper edge. The Yoga 460 is no exception. I'm not a fan of the ThinkPad keyboard, but many of my colleagues and readers are fanatical about the responsiveness and layout, so I suggest actually putting your hands on a device before making a purchase.

ThinkPad

As is the case with almost all new Yoga products, the Yoga 460's keys lock and contract when the laptop is converted into tablet mode, so you never have to worry about an uneven surface or accidental clicks.

Security-conscious businesses will appreciate the addition of a fingerprint reader, which was not available on last year's Yoga 3 14. The reader sits conveniently along the lower right edge of the laptop's keyboard, but far enough away from any important buttons to get in the way of your clicking action.

Lenovo

Performance

The Yoga 460 sacrifices nothing to help you get the job done. Packing the brand new sixth-generation Intel Core i5 (Skylake) processor, the Yoga 460 is designed to help you stay productive regardless of your work function. The hybrid comes standard with Windows 10, a whopping 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, as well as a 2GB NVIDIA GeForce 940M graphics card. Oh, and it's got Wireless LTE WAN for even faster browsing.

For businesses that demand more power and capacity, the Yoga 460 can be customized to include an Intel Core i7 processor and 1TB of storage. The laptop also includes a nifty little opening for the optional ThinkPad Pro Pen, which is cool if you buy the pen, and totally incognito if you don't.

Lenovo projects about eight hours of battery life, which is a slight improvement on the Yoga 3 14, but only by about 30 minutes. Still, this should be good enough to get you through a work day, which is always the benchmark for business-focused devices.

Early verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 460 is eerily similar to last year's Lenovo Yoga 3 14, which I enjoyed using, but criticized for its weak processing power. The Yoga 460, and its upgraded Skylake processor, might be the perfect remedy for the Yoga 3 14's woes. It's a pretty machine, with a thin frame, that can help you power through an entire workday.

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What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.