Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15 review

Is a 15-inch laptop too big to be considered versatile?

Big and bad
Big and bad

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In terms of specifications, the ThinkPad Yoga 15 is perfectly priced at $929. The fifth-generation, Intel "Broadwell" chips can be upgraded to Core i7 for about $150 extra. I found the 2.2GHz in my device to be speedy enough to get me through a few days of work, and plenty of Netflix binging. However, the machine did sputter when I ran several benchmarks.

The 8GB of RAM and 150GB of storage on the review unit isn't going to wow anyone, but the device can be compromised a bit to reduce the RAM to 4GB in order to cram in 500GB of storage.

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 and docking stations are the norm these days.

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15

Here is the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15.6 configuration given to TechRadar for review:

Spec sheet

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-5300U (dual-core, 2.20GHz, 3.0MB cache, up to 2.9GHz with Turbo Boost)
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5500
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Screen: 1,920 x 1,080, 10-point multi-touch display
  • Storage: 150GB SSD OPAL2
  • Ports: 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, HDMI, 4-in-1 card reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC)
  • Connectivity: Intel Dual-Band Wireless – AC WLAN + Bluetooth 4.0
  • Camera: HD 720p
  • Weight: 5.07 pounds
  • Size: 15.07 x 0.82 x 10.07 inches

Although the Yoga doesn't pack as much power as the MacBook's 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor, it's got a much newer and better chipset than the Envy, which is still powered by Intel's previous generation Core i5 processor.

If you upgrade to the highest level ThinkPad Yoga 15, you will receive a processor that is on par with the MacBook Pro, and you'll spend about $1,000 less than you will with Apple. However, the MacBook Pro has a much higher resolution screen that is much more suitable for graphic designers, videographers and photographers.


  • 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 5,676; Sky Diver: 37,115; Fire Strike: 1,448
  • Cinebench CPU: 251 points; Graphics: 51 fps
  • PC Mark 8 (Home Test): 2,357 points
  • PCMark 8 Battery Life: 5 hours and 7 minutes

In our suite of benchmarks, the ThinkPad Yoga 15 proved itself worthy of any head-to-head comparison with the Envy 360 and the MacBook Pro. The ThinkPad Yoga demolished the Envy in the 3DMark graphics test, with a Fire Strike score of 1,448, compared to the Envy's 504 points.

In the PCMark 8 test, the ThinkPad finished with an impressive speed that merited 2,357 points, which is comparable to the Envy, which scored a slightly lower 2,322.

Battery life is where the ThinkPad gets to flex its muscle against the Envy. The latter only scored 3 hours and 53 minutes in the PCMark 8 battery test, whereas the Yoga 15 made it to 5 hours and 7 minutes. In real-life testing, the Yoga 15's battery lasted for 9 hours and 35 minutes of video playback with the screen brightness and the volume set to 50%.

Compared to the MacBook Pro, which scored a whopping 310 points, the Yoga scored a slightly lower 251 points in the CineBench CPU test, which measures the processor's hyperthreading performance through image rendering. Unfortunately for the Yoga, the MacBook was able to stay powered for 12 hours and 4 minutes on a similar video test, a difference of almost three hours.