Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen2 Review

In 2016, the first Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga (which I reviewed) was released in the ThinkPad lineup. It was my pick of laptops, being a solid all-rounder.

It’s 2017 now, and the second generation of this laptop has been out for a few months now. You can buy it straight from Lenovo or other suppliers… but is it still as good, and what’s changed in this latest generation?

Let’s start with the tech specs:

Processor
  • 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor (3M Cache, 2.5GHz, max. 3.1GHz)
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7300U Processor (3M Cache, 2.6GHz, max. 3.5GHz), vPro
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U Processor (4M Cache, 2.7GHz, max. 3.5GHz)
  • 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7600U Processor (4M Cache, 2.8GHz, max. 3.9GHz), vPro
Operating System
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit – Lenovo recommends Windows 10 Pro.
Display
  • 14″ FHD (1920×1080), glossy, 270 nits, 700:1 contrast ratio, narrow bezel FHD panel (on models with no WWAN only), IPS
  • 14” WQHD (2560×1440), glossy, 270 nits, 700:1 contrast ratio, IPS
Multi-Touch
  • Capacitive touch panel, supports 10-finger gesture
Hinge / mode
  • Yoga hinge, 360 degree / Laptop, tent, stand and tablet
Pen
  • ThinkPad Pen Pro
Graphics
  • Intel HD Graphics 620 in processor only, supports external digital monitor via HDMI or USB Type-C; supports 3 x independent displays; max. resolution: 4096×2304@60Hz (USB Type-C), 4096×2160@24Hz (HDMI)
Adaptor (optional)
  • HDMI to VGA adaptor
  • USB-C to VGA adaptor
  • USB-C to DisplayPort adaptor
Memory
  • 8GB / 16GB, LPDDR3 1866MHz, soldered to systemboard
Webcam
  • HD 720p resolution, fixed focus
  • IR camera and HD 720p camera (option is available on models with narrow bezel FHD panel only)
Storage
  • M.2 SSD / SATA 6.0Gb/s: 128GB
  • M.2 SSD / PCIe NVMe: 256GB OPAL2 / 512GB OPAL2 / 1TB OPAL2
Optical drive
  • None
Dimensions (W x D x H)
  • FHD/WQHD: 333 x 229 x 17.05 mm
Weight
  • FHD/WQHD: 1.42 kg
Case colour
  • Black
  • Silver
Case material
  • Carbon-Fibre Hybrid
Battery
  • 4-cell integrated battery (56Wh)
Battery life
  • FHD: up to 15 hours
  • WQHD: up to 14 hours
AC adaptor
  • 45W Type-C
  • 65W USB Type-C (support Rapid Charge)
Keyboard
  • 6-row, multimedia Fn keys, spill-resistant, wave keyboard, backlit
UltraNav
  • TrackPoint® pointing device and multi-touch with 3+2 buttons click pad
Fingerprint reader
  • Touch style fingerprint reader on keyboard bezel
Audio support
  • HD Audio, Dolby® Audio Premium / stereo speakers, 2W x 2 / dual array microphone, combo audio/microphone jack
Ethernet
  • Gigabit Ethernet via Ethernet (RJ-45) adaptor
Wireless LAN
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265, 2×2, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® 4.1, M.2 Card
  • Intel Tri-Band Wireless-AC 18265, 2×2, WiGig™ + Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® 4.1, M.2 Card (available only on models configured with vPro processor)
Wireless WAN
  • Sierra EM 7430 (optional)
SIM card slot
  • Micro-SIM card slot (models with 4G card only)
NFC
  • None
Ports
  • 2 x Intel Thunderbolt 3
  • 3 x USB 3.0 (1 x AlwaysOn)
  • HDMI
  • microSD
  • microSIM (models with 4G card only)

Processor wise, we’ve jumped a generation too, now on the 7th Gen Intel series of CPUs. Pretty standard there. The 8th Gen has already started releasing Q4 2017, but that’s early days with both series being released in the same year, and companies like Lenovo need time to incorporate these into their products.

The display options are good too, the two resolutions I’m happy to pick from. OLED is supposed to be available, but I have personally not seen one in real life, nor can I find any information in Lenovo’s tech specs on it, so you’ll have to read some other reviews to get a take on that. From everything I’ve read though, it’s highly praised. Hopefully I’ll get to see one soon!

Touchscreen, 360 degree hinges and the stylus are standard again, which makes this device particularly versatile. It’s still my preferred style of hybrid laptop/tablet as no functionality is lost in laptop mode, and you don’t need to undock/dock and worry about where half the device gets stored.

Graphics is still on board, which these days is more than enough unless you’re doing high end graphic design or gaming. Having a full HDMI port is nice too, instead of finding adapters or the right cable when outputting video – full size HDMI is today’s standard.

RAM wise, 8GB and 16GB options are all you need, again unless you’re doing some real high end work, or trying to run several virtual machines at once. Storage is the same as last year, no complaints there.

The size of the newer Yoga is identical to last year’s, apart from this new one being thicker. THICKER? Yep, a little, 0.25mm. It’s also heavier by 6 grams. I don’t think you’re going to notice either of these changes though, here’s then Gen 1 and Gen 2 stacked together:

X1 Yoga Gen 2 on top of a X1 Yoga Gen 1

You might be wondering why the newer one is slightly thicker and heavier, and I believe this is because of the keyboard.

It’s called a ‘Wave Keyboard’ and it rises and falls with the opening and closing of the screen. The idea of this is to protect the keys from damage when in tablet mode:

I like it, and the keyboard itself still feels normal despite having this extra ability.

Battery life has been improved again, and quite drastically – a claim of 4-5 hours more than the previous generation. Quite impressive!

Here’s a full photo of the keyboard:

After using this for a while, I have no faults to pick. Caps Lock is where it should be, as well as page navigation buttons (such as home and page up). The keys are nice to use, trackpad is a great size and has the physical mouse buttons if you prefer. There’s also a fingerprint reader that works great with Windows 10 Hello for almost instant logins.

If you’re trying to identify a X1 Yoga Gen1 vs a X1 Yoga Gen2 (beyond checking the side for USB-C!) it’s easy to see via the keyboard. For one, the PrtSc (print screen) button is different:

X1 Yoga Gen 1 PrtSc

X1 Yoga Gen 2 PrtSc

Or, you can look at the F12 button, the newer Yoga has a star:

X1 Yoga Gen 1 F12

X1 Yoga Gen 2 F12

Let’s have a look at the sides of the laptop:

Left Side: USB-C in, USB-C out, USB 3, USB 3 with power out (can charge a phone without powering on laptop)

 

Right Side: Stylus, Power, 3.5mm Headphone Jack, Ethernet adapter port, USB 3, Full Size HDMI

Back – Hinges, Protected Slot for SD and SIM

As you may have noticed, the old rectangle power cable port has gone, replaced by USB-C. This is the new industry standard, and it’s good to see Lenovo be a part of that. USB-C charges quickly, and if you have a phone with the same port, can be used to charge that too. The rapid charge claims to get to 80% charge in 60 minutes which I’m very happy with, and experienced similar charge times in real life.

Also there’s no full size network port – the laptop would have to be thicker because of this, so I can live with a dongle on that. Most of the time the laptop is being used portable on Wifi, or at a workstation and using a dock, so this isn’t a dealbreaker.

Speaking of docks, that’s what the USB-C out port is for. My experience so far with those docks has been much better than the older USB 3 models which seemed to lock up occasionally, and there’s the added bonus of running power and data over 1 cable!

I haven’t picked on this year’s X1 Yoga because there’s really that little to pick at. The 7th Gen CPU only supports Windows 10, so you can’t use Windows 8.1 or 7, but that’s an Intel CPU/Microsoft limitation across all laptops and desktops now. Beyond that, I really like this laptop – even more than last year’s. At my work, this is our standard laptop purchase now, which is why I’ve been able to review it, tied into a Windows 10 rollout (It wasn’t given to me by Lenovo).

I can honestly say that I believe this is the right time to upgrade if you’re thinking about it. This laptop will last many years, incorporates all the new features and connections that I think are worth considering, and doesn’t leave anything behind. You won’t be disappointed with this laptop!

Lenovo Yoga 910 Review

Just over a year ago, I received the Lenovo Yoga 900 laptop to review. Since then, an unfortunate accident occurred when I closed the laptop onto the end of a USB cable, creating a horrible crunching sound and cracking the screen.

Lenovo Australia have come to the rescue and provided me a newer Yoga 910 to review instead! How does it compare to the Yoga 900?

 

The new boxed Lenovo Yoga 910

For starters, here’s the specs with the red options matching what my laptop has:

Processor
• 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor (3 MB Cache, 2.5 GHz, 3.1 GHz max)
• 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U Processor (4 MB Cache, 2.7 GHz, 3.5 GHz max)

Operating system Windows 10 Home 64-bit Display
13.9″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS
• 13.9″ UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS

Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 620 in processor

Memory
8 / 16 GB DDR4 2133MHz

Webcam
Integrated 720p HD Camera

Storage Solid State Drive (SSD), via PCIe NVME:
256GB / 512 GB / 1TB

Dimensions (W x D x H)
323 x 224.5 x 14.3 mm

Weight
Starting at 1.38 kg

Case colour
• Champagne Gold
• Gunmetal Grey
• Platinum Silver

Case material
Aluminium

Battery life
• FHD model: 15.5 hours

Keyboard
Full-size keyboard, backlight, 6-row, multimedia Fn keys

Touchpad
One-piece multi-touch touchpad

Fingerprint reader
Yes, Hello support

Audio
HD audio, 2 x JBL® stereo speaker with Dolby® Audio Premium certification dual array microphone combo audio/microphone jack

Wireless LAN
11ac, 2×2, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® 4.1

Ports
• 2 x USB 3.0 (1 x Type-C with video-out, 1 x Type-A)
• 1 x USB 2.0 (support DC-in function)
• Combo audio/microphone jack

Specs on the box

The Yoga 910 is another high end consumer laptop, following in the steps of laptops such as the Yoga 900S, 900, 3 Pro and 2 Pro. It feels very solid, and is slightly heavier than the Yoga 900, probably due to the aluminium chassis. Eric Xu did a great writeup comparing the two which is worth reading if you’re deciding which one to get.

Lenovo Yoga 910 Ready to go

While looking incredibly sleek and professional (especially in this gunmetal grey version, which to me is just black), it is a fingerprint magnet. That’s the price you pay to look this nice it seems. Another point that stands out is the bezel around the screen – very thin on all edges apart fro the bottom. At first this looks a little strange, but I quickly got used to it.

I’m happy with the 1920 x 1080 screen resolution this particular laptop has, and the screen quality itself was high with great viewing angles – so don’t feel that you have to go for the 4K res option unless you really want it.

The watch hinges are back again, and they seem even sturdier than previous models. They allow the laptop to bend all the way around (as all Yogas do), and I didn’t experience any screen wobble at all when typing.

Lenovo Yoga 910 Keyboard and Trackpad

The keyboard buttons are nicely laid out, with full size arrow keys. Home and End require the Fn button, but they’re easy to reach. The trackpad itself is quite large, with the single clicky style rather than being a solid no-click style that’s found on most of the X1 series, such as the X1 Yoga. The backlit keys also work well to see in the dark, and the addition of the fingerprint reader combined with Windows Hello allows for a very quick and effortless login.

Test

Lenovo Yoga 910 Right Side

Lenovo Yoga 910 Left Side

As you can see in the above side shots, there’s very few ports. Power is provided by the new standard USB-C which was also on the X1 Tablet, and will probably be standard on all laptops eventually. Beyond that, there’s one USB-C out and one USB 3.0 port. Of course a USB hub will give you more ports if you need it, or you can look into a USB-C dock that will provide a bunch of connection types. Yes, we still call them ‘docks’ even though we don’t dock them anymore.

The battery life is impressive – 15.5 hours. It’s hard to test and keep track of that time to see how accurate it is. Windows 10 thinks there’s still over 10 hours left on 50% remaining, and I’ve been using it sporadically in the last few days next to me.

Performance wise, there is nothing lacking in what you’d expect from this laptop. High end gaming or running several virtual machines isn’t what this laptop (nor most laptops) can do, but it’ll serve most purposes for years.

The Yoga 910 contains some small benefits and improvements over the Yoga 900 – price being equal, the 910 is the laptop to pick. There’s no reason to upgrade from a 900 to a 910 though, and anything older is a decision you’ll need to make for yourself. If you have a laptop that works for you and isn’t slow, then stick with what you have.

JB Hifi’s display on the flagship Dell, HP and Lenovo consumer laptops

If you’re looking to compare similar laptops, Dell and HP have their own offerings. Dell has the XPS 13 while HP has the Spectre x360. As I haven’t used either, I can’t comment on which I think is better, so check them out for yourself.

For myself, the Yoga 910 will be my new main laptop for personal use. It’s powerful, sleek and really nice to use. I can’t really fault anything about it – maybe more USB ports would be nice but I’m generally only going to use one for a USB memory stick occasionally, so that doesn’t bother me.  While on a recent cruise, the laptop was used in tent mode to watch some movies – the long battery life meant I didn’t need to worry about having it plugged in while watching. Warning: If you do go on a cruise, watch out for those towel animals. They get up to a lot of mischief!

Lenovo X1 Yoga Review

Lenovo has recently released the 2016 lineup of ThinkPad X series laptops. Previously this was only the X1 Carbon, which was a highly regarded laptop. I have a feeling that success has lead to extending the range for 2016 to:

Lenovo X1 Carbon (Gen4)
Lenovo X1 Tablet
Lenovo X260
Lenovo X1 Yoga

A wide variety of laptops to meet different needs. My pick of the crop is the Lenovo X1 Yoga, and here’s why:

output_1aJEi4Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga

Specs
I always like to look at the hardware specs of the device first, so here’s the table of options:

DESCRIPTION THINKPAD X1 YOGA CONVERTIBLE ULTRABOOK
Processor
  • Intel® Core™ i5-6200U Processor (3M Cache, 2.3GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.8GHz)
  • Intel Core i5-6300U Processor (3M Cache, 2.4GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (3.0GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-6500U Processor (4M Cache, 2.5GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (3.1GHz)
  • Intel Core i7-6600U Processor (4M Cache, 2.6GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (3.4GHz)
Operating system
  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
  • Windows 7 Professional 64-bit preinstalled through downgrade rights in Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Display
  • 14″ FHD (1920×1080), 300 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, IPS, 10-point Multi-Touch
  • 14” WQHD (2560×1440), 300 nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, IPS, 10-point Multi-Touch
Hinge / mode
  • Yoga hinge, 360 degree / Laptop, tent, stand and tablet
Stylus Pen
  • ThinkPad Pen Pro, active pen for multi-touch display, docks inside laptop and auto recharges.
Graphics
  • 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
Onelink+ Adaptor (optional)
  • HDMI to VGA Adaptor
  • Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adaptor
Memory
  • Up to 8GB / up to 16GB for i7-6600U model, LPDDR3 1866MHz, non-parity, 1 x 204-pin SO-DIMM socket, max 16GB
Webcam
  • HD720p resolution, fixed focus
Storage1
  • 128GB / 192GB / 512GB SSD, SATA3
  • 256GB SSD, SATA3 Opal 2.0 Capable
  • 512GB SSD PCIe NVMe
Optical drive
  • None
Dimensions (W x D x H)
  • 333 x 229 x 16.8 mm
Weight
  • Starting at 1.36 kg
Case material
  • Display cover: Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic + Glass-Fibre Reinforced Plastic; Bottom: Magnesium/Aluminum
Case colour
  • Midnight Black
Battery
  • 4-cell Li-Polymer battery (52Wh)
Battery life2
  • Up to 11 hours3
AC adaptor
  • 65W AC adapter
Keyboard
  • 6-row, LED backlit, spill-resistant, multimedia Fn keys
UltraNav™
  • TrackPoint® pointing device and multi-touch with 3+2 buttons click pad
ThinkLight ™
  • None
Fingerprint reader
  • Integrated touch style fingerprint reader
Audio support
  • HD Audio, Realtek® ALC3232 codec / stereo speakers, 1 watt x 2 / dual array microphone, combo audio/microphone jack
Security chip
  • Trusted Platform Module (Software TPM & Hardware dTPM enabled)
Manageability
  • Intel vPro technology
Ethernet
  • None
Wireless LAN
  • Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, 2×2, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth® 4.1, no vPro
Wireless WAN (optional)
  • Huawei ME906S (4G LTE/WCDMA/HSPA/GSM/GPRS/EDGE/GNSS), M.2 Card
SIM card
  • None
NFC
  • None
Ports
  • 3 x USB 3.0 (1 x Always On)
  • Mini DisplayPort™
  • HDMI
  • Onelink+ connector
  • MicroSD, supports UHS-I SD card
  • Combo audio/microphone jack
  • Security keyhole
  • Optional Card Reader

This is all pretty standard with good options these days, nothing underpowered or missing in my opinion. Here’s some interesting points:

Stylus Pen

This is a very nice to have, a discreet stylus hidden in the chassis of the Yoga X1. It’s a bit larger than the one I found in the Yoga 260, but still much smaller than a Surface Pro 4 pen. It also charges while docked, and won’t go flat in a year like the Surface Pen :) For more details on the pen, check out this YouTube review

penX1 Yoga Pen

Battery
We’re really getting into good devices with a working day’s battery life. This device was left on a desk for two weeks with frequent but short usage, but always in at least standby mode and still had half it’s battery left. Nothing unique to this particular laptop, but it’s a compelling consideration to upgrade if you’ve got something that hasn’t got an Intel 6th Gen CPU in it.

Storage
We’re now seeing more devices having hte PCIe NVMe SSD option – a lot faster than SATA3. For an idea on the difference, read this review. For most people you won’t ‘need’ a faster SSD, but if you’re doing work with lots of local IO, it’s going to be a worthwhile upgrade.

Weight
1.36kg – that’s 0.05kg heavier than the X1 Carbon Gen3, but  0.18kg heavier than the 1.18 kg X1 Carbon Gen4. Keep in mind, the X1 Carbon Gen4 doesn’t have touchscreen, and as a comparison the Apple MacBook Air 2015 13″ weighs 1.35 kg, so these are all really light laptops. Lenovo have managed to design enough toughness into the hinges for the full flipped Yoga experience, which previously was really clunky.

It’s a lot less chunky too than older X1 Carbons, here’s a comparison with the X1 Carbon Gen1 where there’s quite a bit of height difference (the Carbon is designed to appear thinner, but is perfectly flat on the table):

20160404_165953Left to right: X1 Yoga, X1 Carbon Gen1

Ports
On the left side, we have power, OneLink+ dock connection (which will only take a OneLink+ dock connector, not the older OneLink), Mini DisplayPort and USB 3.0:

20160404_165814X1 Yoga Left Side

Right side has stylus pen, power, volume up/down, 3.5mm audio jack, 2x USB 3.0 and full size HDMI:

20160404_165847X1 Yoga Right Side

The back has the fan out slot, and a panel that hides a MicroSD and SIM card slot:

20160404_165910X1 Yoga Back

Keyboard
It’s very similar to the X1 Carbon keyboards in layout and feel, but also the keys will retract when folded into Yoga mode to protect them against wear. You can see the little rubber mounts pop out in the top corners too, which will touch the table when this is face down:

20160404_172241Keyboard in Yoga Mode

20160404_165612Laptop Mode

Hardware aside, why do I think this is the best in the X series now? This is around my personal tastes, but everyone has their own requirements. Here’s the standout reasons for me:

X1 Yoga vs X1 Carbon 4th Gen – Carbon is lighter and thinner, but doesn’t fully flip around. There’s also no touchscreen option anymore!

X1 Yoga vs X1 Tablet – Tablet has some awesome additions like a projector, but personally I don’t like the more flimsy style of keyboard (similar to Surface 4, but a bit better). Tablet mode is cool, but the X1 Yoga flipping around is light and thin enough already without taking away the proper laptop experience. Just wish I could have a projector in it! On top of that, the tablet is using the m7 series of Intel CPU which isn’t going to be as powerful as the i series.

X1 Yoga vs X260 – Has 25 hours battery life!! But, Smaller 12.5″ again with no touchscreen, or ability to Yoga. Weighs the same despite this. It is hard to get past the 25 hour battery life, but only needed if you’re not near a power point for a very long time.

The X1 Yoga will also soon have an OLED option for the screen – that should be a big jump in screen quality. As I haven’t seen this yet I’ll refrain from making further statements around it, but expect to be impressed.

For a high end laptop, the X1 Yoga is an all rounder that I’d strongly recommend anyone to consider. It’s definitely one of the best all rounder business grade machine available.

If you have any questions or comments please post below!

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Review


I recently reviewed the Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 which I tink is a really awesome laptop. Now, I’ve had a chance to check out the newer Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 which is a bit different again, while being another solid laptop. This will be a mix between looking at the Yoga 3, and comparing it to the Yoga 2. Here’s my thoughts:

Firstly, the model I received was silver. It’s a nice silver, but the Clementine Orange colour of the Yoga Pro 2 which is also available for the Yoga Pro 3 really grew on me, which I was surprised about. Given the choice, I’d pick orange – but the silver probably looks a bit more professional. My other slight disappointment was that Ashton Kutcher, Lenovo Product I Engineer wasn’t featured on my laptop as per the picture:

I moved on fairly quick from that. Here’s the specs of the laptop I have:

DESCRIPTION LENOVO YOGA 3 PRO MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK
Processor Intel® Core™ M-5Y70 Processor (4M Cache, 1.1GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.6GHz)
Operating system Windows 8.1 64-bit
Display 13.3″ QHD+ (3200×1800), 300nits, 16:9 aspect ratio, with Gorilla glass
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 5300
Memory 8GB, PC3-12800 1600MHz LPDDR3, soldered to system board
Webcam 1.0-megapixel, 720p HD Camera, fixed focus, with dual array microphone
Storage 256GB
Dimensions 330 x 228 x 12.8 mm
Weight 1.19kg
Case colour Platinum Silver
Battery life Up to 9 hours
Audio support Integrated JBL® stereo speakers
Wireless LAN 802.11ac, with Bluetooth 4.0
Ports 2 x USB 3.0
DC-in with USB 2.0 function
Combo audio/microphone jack
4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC)
Micro-HDMI

There’s several interesting points here, especially when comparing to the Yoga Pro 2 specs.

The CPU is an Intel Core M model, rather than the i series in the Yoga Pro 2. In a generel performance shootout, the i7 that I had slightly beats the Core M in terms of speed and performance, but the Core M has much more efficient power usage. The Yoga Pro 3 is very quiet when running (there is a fan, but quieter than the Yoga 2 Pro’s). The Yoga 2 Pro gets rather hot when under full load, where as the Yoga Pro 3 only gets slightly warm; a big difference between the two.

This smaller, more power efficient Core M CPU also means the laptop itself can be thinner. Keep in mind that the lower end Yoga Pro 2 comes with an i5 CPU which seems to be so close on performance vs the Core M, you’d notice no difference. There’s also a higher end Yoga Pro 3 than what I have, with the Intel Core M-5Y71 Processor (4M Cache, 1.2GHz), Turbo Boost 2.0 (2.9GHz) CPU which will give you a little extra performance if needed.

There’s not that much difference grunt wise between all these options though, and unless you’re doing really intensive CPU work, they’ll all be more than fast enough for your requirements. The real benefit of the Yoga 3 is the lowered power consumption.

Display is the same between both models, with the very high QHD resolution. Both laptops have amazing screens. Not much else to be said here!

WP_20150325_17_05_41_ProLenovo Yoga Pro 3 Screen

Keyboard wise, it’s very similar to the Yoga Pro 2. Keys are spaced nicely and it’s nice to type on. The trackpad is a little nicer – I’d still prefer having a separate right click button, but haven’t found any issues with clicking the wrong part.

WP_20150325_17_05_23_ProLenovo Yoga Pro 3 Keyboard

Onboard graphics has jumped from the Intel HD 4400 model which has become commonplace, to the HD 5300. There’s no huge difference between these, so again you won’t notice much difference. Intel have a list of games that are playable at 30fps or higher with this chipset, which by no means is an extensive list – but gives you an idea of the capability.

8GB of RAM is more than enough these days, unless you’re doing fairly crazy high end work, or trying to run multiple Virtual Machines – not really what this laptop is designed for. Standard photo and video editing is fine of course. The RAM is soldered onto the motherboard itself which is becoming standard in slim line laptops to save on space.

The internal drive for the Yoga 3 is a 256GB SSD, same as what I had on the Yoga 2. If that’s not enough, there is a 512GB option. Plenty for a laptop!

The Yoga 3 is a rather thin 12.8mm in thickness – thinner than the Yoga 2’s 15.5mm. As a comparison, the Macbook Air‘s thickness is 17mm – so both of these are really thin! Weight wise, the Yoga 3 is also 200 grams lighter than the Yoga 2, and 160grams lighter than the Macbook Air.

Battery life is around the same – again one of those things that is hard to measure and dependent on many factors. You generally won’t get a full day’s work out of it (the 9 hours is really a best case scenario if it’s on the dimmest setting and doing nothing), but it’s still pretty decent for a thin laptop. Power plugs are everywhere anyway! One day we’ll have a Windows capable laptop that can run for a full 8 hour working day under load, and not be chunky (Lenovo Helix with it’s second battery in the keyboard falls into the chunky category).

Ports are pretty standard, apart from the power jack. Recently Lenovo has been using a rectangle plug around the size of a USB-A in most their models, including the Helix, Yoga 2 Pro, Carbon X1 and so on – but the Yoga 3 has a different plug. This time it’s USB-A shaped with an angled end:

The angled end plugs into the laptop, and the standard USB-A rectanged end plugs into the power pack. The reason they’ve done this, is to let the port on the laptop double up as a normal USB port. I like the idea of that, but wish they’d done it sooner and standardised – but my guess is that it’s something to do with the new lower power usage of the Intel Core M CPU.

The other benefit of this new cable is the power plug – it will support a normal USB cable and charge your phone or tablet. It gives you a double up on the usefulness of the plug.

The operating system that comes with the Yoga Pro 3 is Windows 8.1 – not the pro version. This may not bother most, but to see if there’s a feature you need have a look at this comparison chart from Microsoft. This OS is not for use in a business environment, as it won’t join a domain – but in saying that, many businesses should have their own licensing agreement with Microsoft and not care about OEM licenses.

I almost forgot – the hinges. The hinges between base and screen are a new style, and look like they’re off a watch. They look pretty classy, and are very functional. The Yoga Pro 2 had a different style which also worked well, but was probably too thick for the thinner Yoga Pro 3.

WP_20150325_17_04_53_ProLenovo Yoga Pro 3 Hinges

@dgaust from Twitter recently bought a Lenovo Yoga Pro 3, so I asked him for his thoughts on the device:

He also mentioned he would have preferred dedicated function keys which is a fair comment, but personally I’m used to just using the function button combo’d with the number keys to get function key usage. I prefer this over the 2nd Generation Carbon X1’s context sensitive panel, which can be frustrating to toggle through.

All in all, the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 is an incredibly light and thin laptop, with low power consumption, good battery life and reasonable power that should make most people quite happy to use.

At the time of writing, the base model which I have been using is $2099 AU including GST and delivery.

If you have any questions about the laptop feel free to ask in the comments.

Thanks to Lenovo for providing this laptop for review, and thanks to both @Ant1958 and @AdrianGHughes for asking extra questions which helped in this review.