I managed to get my hands on a new Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260, so here’s my thoughts on the current Yoga situation and the Yoga 260:
The consumer series of Lenovo Yogas has been making leaps and bounds – from the Yoga Pro 2 I reviewed, up to the new Yoga 900S – many models have come out, all with their improvements from the previous, and attracting a lot of attention.
However, the Yoga 260 and 460 are the first ThinkPad series of Yoga laptops since the ThinkPad Yoga 14 (along with the 15 and 12 models) which were decent laptops, but didn’t get too much fanfare. It was a little on the hefty side for weight, and a little bit chunky which made other options such as the drool-worthy X1 Carbon more attractive, despite not having a tablet mode.
It was still an improvement however, over the earlier ThinkPad Yoga which was too weighty and thick to be a decent hybrid laptop. When I first saw one of these, it wasn’t really a consideration. At the time, the ThinkPad Helix seemed to make more sense with it’s proper tablet mode and crazy battery life, due to having a second battery in the keyboard base.
That has all changed – CES 2016 had a plethora of laptops launched, including the highly regarded ThinkPad X1 Yoga – but you can’t get those yet.
Before all those were launched, the ThinkPad Yoga 260 started coming out in Q3 2015 (not that I could get one until Q1 2016!) and were the first ThinkPad Yogas along with the larger ThinkPad Yoga 460 to feature Intel’s 6th Gen CPU, codenamed Skylake.
It is worth pointing out, that any Lenovo laptop under the ThinkPad name are incredibly robust, and have standards to Mil-SPEC and beyond Mil-SPEC, which is impressive that they now have such thin devices that still meet these standards.
ThinkPad Yoga 260
So here I am, with a Yoga 260 sitting next to me. First impressions of the device are that it’s not as small as I expected for a 12.5″ device, but it’s still reasonably light. I’ve spent some time playing around with it, so I’ll try to cover the bits and pieces I’ve found interesting about this particular model.
I’ve put all the specs at the bottom of this post, as there’s a lot of them! Points of interest are:
Keyboard – it’s a nice keyboard, the standard I’d expect from a ThinkPad. Keys are nicely spaced and easy to type on. The trackpad is very clicky which I like – it’s a proper click when you press into it rather than a light click. It has the two proper left/right buttons for those who prefer it, but the standard gestures and left/right click work on the main trackpad too.
Screen – I don’t like the lower end 1366 x 768 option, but love the 1920 x 1080. Perfect res without being over the top (I don’t think you need more than this on a 12.5″ screen). It doesn’t have a particularly thin bezel, comparing against a 3 year old X1 Carbon, the Carbon is a lot thinner. I’d be curious to know what reasons the engineers chose to not go thinner. At the same time it’s not too thick, but makes the laptop more of what I’d expect from a 13″ size overall.
Pen – The Yoga 260 comes with an inbuilt powered pen. It’s a supercapacitor stylus using Warcom technology. I calibrated it once after turning on the laptop to improve the accuracy, and it’s very accurate (video below). It’s compact, but personally I prefer the bigger Microsoft Surface Pen – but, I don’t know if that would actually fit inside the laptop. Lenovo’s pen fits snugly into the base of the laptop and you wouldn’t know it was there unless you looked. They’re different use cases I believe – Lenovo’s pen is better for ad-hoc use, where Microsoft’s pen is more designed as a mouse replacement. I also tested, you can’t use a Microsoft Pen on the Yoga 260 :)
The pen requires charge, but uses a super capacitor rather than a battery. Engadget has a great supercapacitor stylus of the technology. It will go for 2 – 4 hours and then need a charge; 15 seconds of charging will give you 80% of the life back, or full capacity in 5 minutes.
Ports – Apart from the discreen pen slot (which I’m calling a port because it charges the pen), there’s quite a few ports on this device. There’s the micro SD slot which is handy if you have another device that uses one (such as a camera), and a SIM slot so you can have 4G straight from your laptop. The other ports are standard, there’s both HDMI and Mini DisplayPort which is nice for options, and the newer dock connection along with 2x USB3. There’s also a very long slot for a card reader, but as this is an optional addon I don’t think mine has the internal card reader.
As taken from Lenovo’s website, here are all the specs. I’ve underlined the parts where there are options to show what I’m using:
ThinkPad Yoga 260 Tech Specs
|THINKPAD YOGA 260 CONVERTIBLE ULTRABOOK
|Digitiser pen (optional)
ThinkPad Pen Pro, active pen for multi-touch display
|Hinge / mode
Yoga hinge, 360 degree / Laptop, tent, stand and tablet
Intel HD Graphics 520 in processor only, supports external digital monitor via HDMI, Mini DisplayPort;
Supports dual independent display Max resolution: 3840×2160 (Mini DisplayPort)@60Hz 4096×2160 (HDMI)@24Hz
Up to 16GB, 2133MHz DDR4, one DDR4 SO-DIMM socket (8GB)
Integrated, HD720p resolution, fixed focus
|Dimensions (W x D x H)
309.9 x 220 x 17.8 mm
Starting at 1.32kg
4-cell Li-Polymer battery (44Wh)
Up to 10 hours3
45W or 65W AC adapter
6-row, LED backlit, spill-resistant, multimedia Fn keys
TrackPoint® pointing device and multi-touch with 3+2 buttons click pad
Touch style fingerprint reader on the keyboard bezel
HD Audio, Conexant® CX11852 codec, Dolby® Home Theater® v4 / stereo speakers, 2W x 2 / dual array microphone, combo audio / microphone jack
Trusted Platform Module, TCG 1.2-compliant and Software TPM 2.0
Ambient Light Sensor
3D accelerometer and 3D magnetometer, 3D compass, 3D gyrometer
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, 2×2, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® 4.0, no vPro
MIL-STD-810G military certification