The system only weighs 3.5 pounds (1.59kg), which is comfortable enough to keep on your lap for extended periods. Its small size also makes it convenient enough to place in tent mode on a variety of surfaces, including a crowded kitchen tabletop, to watch shows while eating.
Like the Yoga 700, the Dell Inspiron 15 is a convertible notebook with a soft touch finish, but it has a larger 15.6-inch screen that drives up its weight to 4.7 pounds (2.13kg). The Aspire E15 lacks the ability to convert into a tablet and weighs in at 5.29 pounds (2.4kg).
Here is the Lenovo Yoga 700 configuration sent to techradar:
- CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-6200 (dual-core, 3MB cache, up to 2.8Ghz with Turbo Boost)
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520
- RAM: 8GB DDR3L (1,600MHz SDRAM)
- Screen: 14-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 FHD LED with multi-touch
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 ports, 1 x USB 2.0 (w/ DC-in), micro HDMI, SD card reader, headphone jack
- Connectivity: Intel 802.11ac 2x2; Bluetooth 4.0
- Camera: 720p webcam
- Weight: 3.5 pounds
- Size: 13.18 x 9.03 x 0.72 inches (W x D x H)
This 14-inch, 256 GB SSD configuration of the Yoga 700 comes priced at $899 in the US and AU$1,399 in Australia with the storage halved. The Yoga 700 is currently unavailable in the UK at 14 inches, but the 11-inch version with a 128GB SSD can be had for £559.
The laptop matches well against other convertible systems, like the Dell Inspiron 15 7000, which has similar specifications but features a larger, 15.6-inch screen. For $899 (about £580, AU$1,499), you could pick up a Inspiron 15 7000 system with similar specifications to the Yoga 700.
However, the Inspiron 15 also weighs about a pound more, so it's a trade-off worth thinking about. I was able to quickly tuck the Yoga 700 into a small messenger bag while running out the door without giving it much thought or attention.
Additionally, the Yoga 700's design is much more straightforward and plain compared to systems like the Acer Aspire E15. Though, that notebook sports a larger screen, much more memory, faster processor and an Nvidia GeForce 940M discrete video card. Although the Aspire E15 may have a stylish pattern etched on its exterior, the Yoga 700 has a touchscreen that's considerably nicer to look at, despite its glare.
Perhaps the Yoga's biggest limitation is its 256GB SSD. Although the SSD lets the computer boot up quickly and hard drive space isn't as much of a concern among more cloud-reliant users, it limits what can be stored locally and there are no options to upgrade your storage.
Here's how the Lenovo Yoga 700 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
- 3DMark: Cloud Gate: 5,014; Sky Diver: 3,072; Fire Strike: 639
- Cinebench CPU: 286 cb; Graphics: 26.54 fps,
- PCMark 8 (Home Test): 2,421 points
- PCMark 8 Battery Life: 3 hours and 7 minutes
- Geekbench 3: Single-Core: 2,605; Multi-Core Score: 5,749
Since the Yoga 700's hardware very closely matches that of the Inspiron 15 7000, it's not surprising that their benchmark scores should also be fairly comparable. The Yoga 700 wins out in some areas, particularly in the 3DMark tests (Inspiron 15 7000 scores: Cloud Gate: 4,556; SkyDiver: 2,547; Fire Strike: 612), but it's by a relatively small margin.
At the same time, the Acer Aspire E15 (Cloud Gate: 6,584; Sky Diver: 5,521; Fire Strike: 1,436) exceeds the Yoga 700's scores in almost every test, thanks to its discrete video card and faster processor. However, the tradeoff is that you get about half the battery life out of the Acer laptop in comparison to the Yoga 700.
Best of both worlds
Although the Lenovo Yoga 700's battery is rated for 7 hours, our local movie loop battery test saw just under 4 hours use. The PCMark 8 estimate puts the battery life at around 3 hours, which is less than the 3 hours and 40 minutes you'd get from the Inspiron 15 7000, but way better than the 2.5 hours the Aspire E15 offers.
I find that the Yoga 700 shines best through off-and-on use, such as doing some web browsing, writing a few emails, or doing some light reading before putting it away.
On the other hand, given its powerful speakers, bright screen and tent mode, this is a great system for marathon binges of streaming shows. Between the productivity and the convenience of the tablet mode, I ended up not wanting to put the system down unless I had to.
Even though it doesn't match well against the Aspire E15's more powerful hardware, the Yoga 700 makes up for it with more versatility. You might get the same flexibility out of other convertibles, like the Inspiron 15 7000, but the weight of the bigger screen could become an issue.
- Lenovo Companion 3.0: An included program that helps optimize the system, its connections and security.
- Lenovo Photo Master 2.0: Program for editing, organizing, and sharing photos.
- Lenovo SHAREit: Included software for sharing documents across devices
- Lenovo REACHit: Utility program for managing files from a single app from multiple locations
- McAfee LiveSafe: 30-day trial to antivirus software.