Also on board: Yoga Camera Man, which includes lots of filters for spicing up your photos. Yoga Photo Touch, meanwhile, is a photo editor that also lets you arrange pictures into collages or adorn them with text bubbles (yep, there's an app for that). Moving on, Yoga Phone Companion allows you to share files between your Android phone and PC using either SMS or MMS messages. You can also call phone contacts or play media files on your PC, even if they're actually stored on your mobile. It's all very similar to Samsung's SideSync app, except whereas Samsung's app can only be used with a Samsung phone, Lenovo's will work on any Android device. And whereas we had some trouble connecting Samsung's ATIV Book laptops with our GS4, we had no problem getting up and running with Yoga Phone Companion. Just scan a QR code to download Lenovo's app, and then make sure your PC and phone are on the same network. If for some reason your phone doesn't detect your PC, the PC app will helpfully offer up the IP address for you to enter manually. Easy peasy.
Additionally, Lenovo bundled a small number of third-party apps, including Evernote Touch, Zinio's magazine store, Kindle, eBay, the music-streaming service rara.com and Hightail (formerly YouSendIt). All in all, you guys are getting off relatively scot-free as far as bloatware is concerned.
As for warranty coverage, the Yoga 2 Pro comes with a one-year plan, including 24/7 phone support.
The Yoga 2 Pro starts at $1,049 with a 1.7GHz Intel Core i3-4010U processor, Intel HD 4400 graphics, 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD; for $1,199, you can get it with a 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U CPU. As Lenovo is known to do, though, it's currently offering all of its configurations at a discount: as of this writing, the Core i3 model going for $929 and the Core i5 version going for $999. Meanwhile, Best Buy is selling a Core i5 version (4GB of RAM, 128GB SSD) for just $1,000. If you live here in the states (and miss the sale on Lenovo's site), just bypass Lenovo.com and go with the Best Buy version, assuming Core i5 is what you had in mind.
Then again, that Best Buy model is just one configuration. If you want even better specs, you'll need to head back to Lenovo.com. For instance, the company is also offering a unit with a Core i5 processor and 256GB SSD, priced at $1,399 (currently going for $1,149). Add Core i7 to the mix and the price rises to $1,499, or $1,299 with this sale that's going on. (This configuration also has 8GB of memory and a 256GB SSD, by the way.) Finally, at the top of the line, there's a $1,749 model with Core i7, 8GB of RAM and a 512GB solid-state drive. That's going for $1,599 on sale. The good news is that whichever one you get, that gorgeous 3,200 x 1,800 display comes standard.
Though there are more Windows 8.1 laptops than we could ever find time to review, there are actually only a few convertibles good enough for us to recommend. The Yoga 2 Pro is one, of course, but we'd also encourage you to check out the Dell XPS 12, the Sony VAIO Flip 13 and Sony's second-generation slider, the VAIO Duo 13. Starting with the XPS 12, it starts at $1,000, making it one of the few other high-end Ultrabooks that starts as low as the Yoga 2 Pro. For the money, it boasts an attractive carbon fiber design, comfortable keyboard and a 12.5-inch, 1080p display with wide viewing angles. Though you can't rest it upside down in stand mode, you can flip the screen around in its hinge so that it faces away from the keyboard, basically matching the Yoga in terms of functionality. And though we haven't tested it since it got refreshed with Haswell, Dell is promising nearly nine hours of battery life -- an obvious improvement over the new Yoga. Meanwhile, the Flip 13 ($1,100 and up) has a design that's similar to the XPS 12. It, too, comes with a 1080p display. Since we haven't tested it in that size, though, we can't vouch for the battery life and performance.
As for the VAIO Duo 13, it starts at $1,400 with a 1080p display and a battery that far outlasts the Yoga 2 Pro. Overall, its slider design is less convenient (and less versatile) than the Yoga's, but it does at least support pen input, which might be a requirement for some shoppers. Additionally, there's the ThinkPad Yoga we mentioned earlier. Again, whereas the Yoga 2 Pro dazzles with a super-sharp 3,200 x 1,800 display, the ThinkPad Yoga is all about the Lift and Lock keyboard. Remember, though, that the keyboard mechanism adds to the overall bulk, so you'll have to decide if you'd rather have as thin a machine as possible, or one where the buttons flatten out in tablet mode.
If you can do without the versatility of a Yoga, there are plenty of regular touchscreen Ultrabooks, almost all of which offer longer battery life than the Yoga 2 Pro. These include the Acer Aspire S7 ($1,400 and up), the Sony VAIO Pro 13 ($1,150 and up) and also the HP Spectre 13 ($1,000 and up), though we haven't had a chance to test that yet.
The Yoga 2 Pro addresses many of our complaints about the original: The display is sharper and the overall package has been slimmed down so that it's noticeably thinner and lighter. At the same time, the Yoga 2 Pro is still the most versatile Windows convertible we know of. It's also well-built, with a sturdy hinge and build materials that dutifully hide all your grimy fingerprints. Finally, despite that jump to a much more pixel-dense display, the Yoga is as affordable as ever, at $1,000-plus. Given the price, we can't knock it too much for its imperfections -- namely, a few shrunken keys and relatively short battery life. If that battery life is a concern, we've already named some alternatives, and if you'd rather have a self-flattening keyboard, you'll want to wait for our review of the ThinkPad Yoga. Those caveats aside, it's tough to argue with a machine that offers the same speed, durability and display quality as systems that cost hundreds of dollars more.
Edgar Alvarez and Daniel Orren contributed to this review.