Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review

Lenovo's flagship Ultrabook won't entirely bend to your will

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review
Sitting pretty

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The Yoga 3 Pro is undoubtedly a stunner: it's almost perilously thin, offers supreme portability and is genuinely useful in certain scenarios when flipped into its various modes. If you value those attributes above all else, there is nothing out there quite like it.

Such originality is a dual-edged sword, because you'll have no choice but to pay through the nose to get it. Moreover, questionable build quality, poor battery life and lower performance than last year's model are overbearing negatives that you should be aware of before pledging your hard-earned.

We liked

The Yoga 3 Pro is thin and light with a strikingly original design, making it arguably most attractive Windows 8.1 Ultrabook out there. Its display isn't one of the brightest we've laid eyes on, but its QHD+ resolution means that text, images and UI elements look pleasingly crisp and provide plenty of desktop real-estate for productivity or general tasks, in addition to light gaming.

Its excellent IPS display means that content can be easily viewed from all angles and shared with a friend when flipping the convertible into one of its four different modes.

For those that like to be productive, the lack of an F-row of keys only slightly detracts from what is an excellent keyboard to type on. It's satisfying to use thanks to its incredibly low profile and decent sized, well-spaced chiclet-style keys.

It may not be an absolute beast in the power department, but a fast-performing SSD means that you're never waiting long for it to boot up and shut down, and Windows apps open and close in a snap.

We disliked

It can't be escaped: this is a fairly pricey Ultrabook with only very average battery life. Sure, if you set the display to 25% brightness and read a couple of websites a day then you may well hit those nine hours that Lenovo promises, but is that the experience you want on something that costs upwards of a grand - and then some?

Not only does the Yoga 3 Pro have poorer battery life than the Yoga 2 Pro, our benchmarks show that it's less powerful too - in both the CPU and (in more taxing conditions) graphics departments.

It's incredibly pretty and portable, but that thinness has been achieved at the expense of build quality. The lid is overly flexible and highly sensitive to LCD discolouration no matter how or where you grab it. It's also awkward to open in the absence of a recessed lip.

You may fall in love with that superb keyboard, but only if you can get along with not having a dedicated row of F-keys. And while the clickpad operates smoothly enough, it becomes caked in fingerprints too easily and is slightly finicky with how much pressure it wants you to apply.

Final verdict

The Yoga 3 Pro ultimately fails to live up to its high price tag once you get past the attractive exterior. There are too many drawbacks for it to be recommended to anyone other than the style conscious crowd and those who must have the latest model at any cost.

On the other hand you can look past its caveats and simply want one of the thinnest and lightest Windows 8.1 machine on the market for everyday computing tasks - whether that's browsing the web, light gaming or productivity work - you'd be hard pressed to find find anything like it.

But before you put your hands into your pockets, it's worth noting that the Yoga 3 Pro is one of the first Core M devices to race out of the traps, and others are expected to follow soon. Thinner and lighter is set to become the norm, and with fanless designs on the horizon, we should expect to see even more experimental models that won't break the bank in the near future.

Kane Fulton
Kane has been fascinated by the endless possibilities of computers since first getting his hands on an Amiga 500+ back in 1991. These days he mostly lives in realm of VR, where he's working his way into the world Paddleball rankings in Rec Room.