Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S review: A smart hybrid that puts the laptop first

  • 28 June 2013
  • 2 replies

Userlevel 7
Are 11-inch laptops, which we sometimes refer to as ultraportables, suddenly in vogue? You'd be forgiven for thinking so, because after a multiyear drought in which only a handful of models were even worth looking at, we've now got the recent flood, including the revamped 11-inch MacBook Air, Sony's Vaio Pro 11, and now the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S.
The Yoga 11S is one of the most anticipated laptops of the year, especially after the very warm welcome its predecessor received. That predecessor, the 13-inch IdeaPad Yoga 13, was one of the most talked-about Windows 8-launch laptops. Though it looked like a standard ultrabook-style laptop, the name "Yoga" hinted at the system's big selling point -- that the display can fold fully over to become a tablet.
At the time, a contemporaneous 11-inch Windows RT version of the Yoga felt like a bit of an afterthought, and the chilly reception Windows RT products have gotten since then proves that point. We all knew a full Windows 8 version of the Yoga 11 was coming, it was just a question of when. With a subtle single-letter addition to the name to account for the RT version, the Yoga 11S (for "super"?) was first shown off at CES 2013 but is only now going on sale, a full six months later.

The original 13-inch Yoga seemed to be everyone's choice for a great Windows 8 ambassador during the 2012 holiday season -- both Microsoft and Intel touted it as a best-in-class example, and Best Buy featured it in a television ad. Shrinking the design down to an 11-inch system creates a product that, in tablet mode, feels a lot closer to an iPad than any of the 13-inch convertible, aka hybrid, laptops we've seen.
If you haven't seen the Yoga in action, the real surprise hook is not the tablet mode (which is perfectly usable but leaves the keyboard exposed, sticking out from the back), it's the stand mode, which I sometimes call the kiosk mode. The screen is folded back about 270 degrees, turning the system into something like a small touch-screen kiosk. It's great for sharing video or presentations in a group setting, or just for getting closer to the screen while keeping the keyboard out of the way.
The 11-inch Windows 8 version of the Yoga runs processors ranging from a Core i3 all the way to a Core i7 CPU, but all are from the now-outdated third-generation of Intel Core i-series chips. The latest so-called Haswell chips, found in Sony's and Apple's newest 11-inch laptops, aren't much faster but offer a significant boost to battery life. Our review unit, with a Core i5 CPU, 256GB solid-state drive, and 8GB of RAM, is currently available for $999 from Lenovo's Web site, although you'll want to look carefully -- Lenovo's site is particularly confusing these days, with coupon codes and nearly identical configurations at widely varying prices.
Read here.

2 replies

Userlevel 5
Nice articles, appreciate it. I like this laptop and what it can do.
Userlevel 7
Thanks Tony.:)