Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 review
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 13 has done its bit to revitalise the appeal of Windows 8, and now its pint-sized sibling, the Yoga 11, is ready to work that magic on Windows RT. With the same ingenious double-jointed design shrunk down to an 11.6in chassis, the Lenovo Yoga 11 is the most intriguing Windows RT device we’ve seen so far.
It would be a stretch to describe the full-sized Yoga 13 as cute, but it’s an appropriate description for the Yoga 11. And even though the novelty has worn off somewhat since we first saw its big brother, this little hybrid retains a spark of individuality. With a plain, all-black interior contrasting vividly against the intense shade of matte orange coating its exterior, the Yoga 11 will be enough to send many people reaching for the credit card.
It’s also available in silver – if this is more to your taste – but whichever colour you choose, this 1.19kg hybrid oozes luxury. Its desirability is matched with sturdy build, and, with a chassis that measures only 16mm thick, the Yoga 11 feels every inch the classy, cutting-edge hybrid.
It doesn’t just look different, either. Where other Windows RT devices are mere tablets with clip-on keyboards of various shapes and sizes, the Yoga 11 is an ultraportable laptop that happens to double as a bulked-up tablet.
The hybrid design is immensely flexible. Prop the Yoga 11 up in “tent mode”, and the touchscreen can be angled just so. Lay the keyboard facing the desk, and the screen can be tilted back and forth while sturdy-feeling hinges keep the display from flopping backwards. Fold the screen all the way back, and hidden magnets hold it clamped shut against the underside, transforming it into a tablet
Although the exposed keyboard and touchpad on the rear feel a little odd in this mode, it’s no deal-breaker: they’re both disabled as the keyboard sweeps past the 180-degree mark, so there’s no danger of accidentally typing or jogging the cursor.
It’s when it comes to working in tight spaces, such as the confines of an economy-class plane seat, or sitting on the sofa, that the Yoga 11’s flexibility comes to the fore. Indeed, although the Yoga 11’s 1.19kg weight is heavy compared to dedicated tablets, the integrated stand means you’ll rarely need to support its full weight in everyday use; it’s easy to prop it up on a desk or lap and use it just as effectively.
As a laptop, the Yoga 11 isn’t far behind the best 11.6in Ultrabooks. The Scrabble-tile keyboard has a spacious layout, and the crisp, light action of the keys makes for comfortable typing. The touchpad works well, too, and there’s support for two-fingered zooming and scrolling as well as Windows’ edge-swipe gestures.