An update to one of our favorite products from Lenovo.
Last month, Lenovo surprised everyone with its IdeaPad Yoga Windows 8 prototype, a widely praised unique take on the convertible notebook form-factor. Instead of a screen that rotates on a central pivot in order to turn the notebook into a tablet, the Yoga's screen simply flips all the way back to the underside of the notebook to achieve this. With the screens wide range of motion, the Yoga can also be used in two other modes, the functionally similar “Tent mode” and “Stand Mode”.
The production models of the Yoga, which were announced later in 2012, come in two sizes: a 13.3” Windows 8 model, and an 11.6" model. The smaller IdeaPad Yoga 11, unlike its Intel powered bigger brother, has an ARM based Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, just like the Surface tablet, and runs Windows RT. This makes it the only RT based convertible notebook (since all other RT running models are tablets with optional add-on keyboards). However, since Windows RT's popularity isn't quite there yet, and the fact that Lenovo still wants to capitalize on the Yoga's unique design in a smaller model, it has now decided to release an updated Yoga 11, the 11S, which is an Intel-powered version that runs Windows 8.
We got a chance to look at this new version of the Yoga concept, which, as you can see in the video below, doesn't look much different on the outside from the RT running Yoga 11. However, since we do think that the smaller model is a better size for the Yoga concept (it is certainly more practical when in tablet mode), it is nice that you can now get a model that runs proper Windows 8.
The Yoga 11S will can be configured with up to an Ivy Bridge Core i7 CPU, up to a 256GB SSD, to up 8GB of RAM, and an optional 1600 x 900 screen (a nice step up from the 1366 x 768 screen on the Yoga 11). It will ship later this year, starting at $799.