Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 review

A flexible, business-centric device

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 review

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As you can see from the specs below, you're getting a device with a solid interior. The fifth-generation Intel "Broadwell" chips can be upgraded to Core i7. I found the 2.90GHz in my device to be speedy enough to get me through a few days of work, and one day of lounging around the house.

The 8GB of RAM and 180GB solid-state drive on the review unit isn't going to wow anyone, but the device can be upgraded to include up to a 1TB hard drive and 250GB of SSD storage.

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 review

You've got all the ports you'll likely need to get you through a workday. The absence of an ethernet port is annoying, but we're all just going to have to get with the times and accept that adapters are the norm these days.

Here is the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 configuration given to TechRadar for review:

Spec sheet

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-5300U (2C, 2.30/2.90GHz, 3.0MB, 1600Mhz)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Screen: 1920x1080
  • Storage: 180GB SSD OPAL2
  • Ports: 2 USB 3.0, mini-HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC)
  • Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless – AC 7265 + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Camera: HD 720p
  • Weight: 3.48 pounds (1.5kg)
  • Size: 12..44" x 8.70" x 0.74" (31 x 22 x 1.8 cm)

For those who like to abuse their hardware, the Yoga 12 is Mil-Spec certified, which means the laptop is able to continue operating for an extended period of time from -20-degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius. It's also dust and sand resistant, for when you need to finish that presentation while backpacking through the Sahara.


  • 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 5,377; Sky Diver: 51,238; Fire Strike: 750
  • Cinebench CPU: 263 points; Graphics: 29.89 fps
  • PC Mark 8 (Home Test): 2,471 points
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 24 minutes

In our suite of benchmarks, the ThinkPad Yoga 12 proved itself worthy of any head-to-head comparison with the Yoga 3 Pro and the Surface Pro 3 in terms of design and gameplay. The ThinkPad Yoga demolished the Yoga 3 Pro and Surface Pro 3 in the 3DMark graphics test, with a Fire Strike score of 750, compared to the Yoga 3 Pro's 329 points, and the Surface Pro's 347 points. This score obviously doesn't even come close to the Dell Precision M3800's 8,170 3DMark graphics test score, but there aren't many laptops on the market that are gunning for that rarified air.

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 review

In the PCMark 8 test, the ThinkPad finished with an impressive speed that merited 2,471 points, which is more than double the Yoga 3 Pro's 1,147 score, and just narrowly edges out the Surface 3 Pro's 2,190 points. But again, if you need workstation speed, buy a proper workstation. The Precision M3800 scored a whopping 3,322 points in its test.

Battery life is where the ThinkPad gets to flex its muscle against the Precision M3800. The latter only scored two hours and nine minutes in the PCMark 8 battery test, whereas the Yoga 12 made it to three hours and 24 minutes, which is just slightly better than the Surface Pro 3 and Yoga 3 Pro. In real-life testing, the Yoga 12's battery life lasted for seven hours and four minutes of video playback with the screen brightness and the volume set to 50%. Frazzled workers beware: the laptop shut down on me with "6% and 28 minutes left."

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 review

One other important point to note: When TechRadar reviewed the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12's larger twin brother, the ThinkPad Yoga 14, we found a major issue. As we noted then: "Lifting the laptop from its front left corner causes the system to shut down immediately." This defect, as well as other reported battery defects, are common among Yoga 14s. However, the Yoga 12 review unit sent to TechRadar was in perfect condition.