Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga review: a good (if slightly heavy) Ultrabook for business users
The ThinkPad Yoga's self-flattening keyboard is a neat idea, butit would make more senseon a smaller machine. All told, you can easily find Ultrabooks that offer sharper screens, longer battery life and comparable performance -- sometimes for about the same price. If pen input is important, though, the ThinkPad Yoga is by far your best option, and it happens to be a solid performer in its own right.
- Well-built, versatile design
- Low-glare screen offers good viewing angles
- Comfortable keyboard and trackpad
- One of the few Ultrabooks to support pen input
- Fast boot-up time, good all-around performance
- Relatively bulky
- Self-flattening keyboard seems less useful on a machine that's this cumbersome to use in tablet mode
- Base model has a fairly low-res screen
- Battery life is on the short side
It's pretty clear that Lenovo made a bit of a mistake with its original Yoga laptop. Don't get us wrong, we liked -- no, loved -- it, but we could never get over how awkward it was to use in tablet mode: Every time you folded the screen over, you had your fingers pressed against the loose keys on the back. It was enough of an oversight that even other companies took note: first Sony with its Flip line and now Toshiba with its 5-in-1 convertible that has a reversible keyboard.
Lenovo also seems to have learned its lesson: The new ThinkPad Yoga has a "Lift 'n' Lock" keyboard that flattens out as you flip the screen back into tablet mode, making exposed buttons a thing of the past (mostly, anyway). It also allows for pen input -- something you still won't find on the consumer version. Even then, the ThinkPad Yoga introduces some trade-offs of its own: It's thicker and heavier than the new Yoga 2 Pro, which doesn't have a self-flattening keyboard, and it makes do with a not-quite-as-sharp screen. Those compromises aside, could this be the Yoga you've been waiting for?