Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review

Work meets play in Lenovo's snappy, sightly business ultrabook

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Lenovo uses Yoga style to craft a speedy, stylish ThinkPad ultrabook, but Yoga tablet modes don't offer enough for business users.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Gorgeous thin design
  • Fantastic performance
  • Brilliant FHD touch screen
  • Brand new keyboard tech


  • Little use for tablet modes
  • Sacrifices I/O for form factor
  • Short on storage to start
  • Pricey by comparison
Scores in depth
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review

Lenovo's flexible Yoga line of consumer ultrabooks brought finesse and style to the Windows 8 laptop experience. Frankly, the Yoga series is one of the best displays of what the hybrid laptop is capable of, regardless of popular thoughts on the category. But deftly switching between a notebook and three quasi-tablet devices has been for casual users only—until now.

This is the ThinkPad Yoga, a fusion of Lenovo's flagship consumer and professional laptops into the sleekest ThinkPad yet at 0.74 - 0.76 inches thin. But with the Yoga 2 Pro already on the scene, which we were quite fond of, what's the difference?

For one, this ultrabook comes packing a 12.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 FHD, Gorilla Glass panel with 10-point multi-touch control. It's certainly not the Yoga 2 Pro's razor sharp 3200 x 1800 QHD+ screen, but what does the professional need that many pixels for?

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review

As for aesthetics, the Yoga 2 Pro sports a soft touch finish throughout (even on its touchpad), whereas the ThinkPad Yoga is completely housed in a magnesium alloy frame that felt almost matte under my fingers. This is also the only Yoga with IBM—er, Lenovo's—trademark touchpad, red TrackPoint mouse and illuminated logos on the lid and palm rest.

Finally, the ThinkPad Yoga comes installed with Windows 8.1 Pro, giving users access to enterprise features like remote desktop access, native data encryption, virtual hard drive creation and more. However, Lenovo omitted fingerprint security from this notebook, a staple for most business laptops.

But first, an important note: few comparable, professional-level hybrid laptops at this size have passed through the TechRadar staff's hands. The Yoga 2 Pro, 13-inch MacBook Air (which is gaining traction in the business world) and ThinkPad T440s will have to do.

Business up front, party around the back

There's another major difference between the ThinkPad Yoga and its cousin: Lenovo's new "Lift 'n' Lock" keyboard. Lenovo wouldn't dare change up its lauded chiclet keyboard design, but this rendition appears to recede into the chassis as you bend the screen toward the bottom of the ultrabook. In reality, the keyboard frame rises to meet flush with the keyboard deck and palm rest—an "engineering optical illusion," Lenovo touts.

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review

That's right, Lenovo's zinc alloy hinge returns, allowing this ultrabook to bend a full 360 degrees. This feature brings the Yoga line's four use modes to the ThinkPad: the standard notebook mode, a stand mode that rests on the keyboard's face, a tent mode that stands at a 270-degree angle and a full-blown tablet mode with the keyboard face around back. And with the "Lift 'n' Lock" keyboard, these modes are considerably more comfortable than on previous Yoga laptops, especially the tablet mode.

With the Yoga 2 Pro, the keyboard often got in the way of the tablet experience. Regardless of the ThinkPad Yoga's new and improved keyboard, this hybrid laptop still makes for a hefty tablet at 3.52 pounds. (And we thought the 3.06-pound Yoga 2 Pro made for a heavy slate.) You won't be holding this hybrid laptop in tablet mode comfortably with one hand for long.

As for the ThinkPad Yoga's other modes—stand and tent—they turn out to be more useful for consuming content than creating it. While watching TV at home, this ultrabook in tent mode proved to be a fine second screen, mostly to browse the web, order dinner from Grubhub and play Angry Birds. To that end, it works out beautifully, thanks in large part to the hybrid's snappy and responsive touch screen.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook/Tablet
Hard Drive Capacity500 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4400
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Product FamilyThinkPad Yoga
Operating System Architecture64-bit
Keyboard BacklightYes
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli3-4010U
Operating SystemWindows 8.1
Brand NameLenovo
Form FactorConvertible
Processor Speed1.70 GHz
Processor TypeCore i3
Screen Size31.8 cm (12.5")
Number of Cells8-cell
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.60 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
vPro TechnologyNo
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height19.3 mm
Width316.5 mm
Depth221 mm
Screen ModeFull HD
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product SeriesYoga
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product Model20CD0034UK
Product NameThinkPad Yoga (20CD-0034UK)
Product LineThinkPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number20CD0034UK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing Information12.5" MULTIMODE BUSINESS ULTRABOOK™

The ThinkPad Yoga delivers flexibility for business. It's 12.5" display rotates 360 degrees to offer four different usage modes: Laptop, Tablet, Tent, and Stand. Boasting legendary ThinkPad reliability and a range of business and security features, it's the ultimate multimode business Ultrabook.
Package Contents
  • ThinkPad Yoga (20CD-0034UK)
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter