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Hands-on with the Lenovo Yoga 11S

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 7 comments

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.

Lenovo Yoga11S

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  • -9 Hide
    Anonymous , February 6, 2013 5:05 PM
    The physical dimensions are too big for a tablet, and the screen resolution is too small for good laptop. The Surface Pro is more appealing IMO at 1080p with a detachable keyboard. Yoga's not for everyone, I guess.
  • 1 Hide
    jacobdrj , February 6, 2013 6:35 PM
    notforeveryoneThe physical dimensions are too big for a tablet, and the screen resolution is too small for good laptop. The Surface Pro is more appealing IMO at 1080p with a detachable keyboard. Yoga's not for everyone, I guess.

    I like the idea of the Yoga, a LOT. Wish it were lighter. Wish it had even better battery life. Wish it had the equivalent of a 'retina' display. But it doesn't. The big problem is, the Yoga is about twice the price I would expect for what it is. Were it to have the things I just mentioned, it might be worth the price...

    I would also have preferred that they use an APU over an Intel offering, but apparently I am on a bit of an island there...
  • 2 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , February 6, 2013 9:53 PM
    jacobdrjI would also have preferred that they use an APU over an Intel offering, but apparently I am on a bit of an island there...

    Not at all. Not only are AMD's chips cheaper, which should lend to less expensive end-products, but I'd take the more-than-adequate CPU performance and much superior GPU performance of AMD's APUs. Unfortunately, it seems most OEMs are sold on the idea that being able to advertise "powered by Intel" makes for good marketing and/or are getting generous kickbacks.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , February 7, 2013 12:12 AM
    I can understand a hidden feature not to work or be buggy, but the flip-image in one of the main positions (one of the main selling points of the device, actually) is not something that should be missed by the manufacturer.
    The "tent" mode made a fool out of the presenter.
  • 0 Hide
    liquidchild , February 7, 2013 3:26 AM
    I wont buy it.... for the name alone. Let the apple goons buy crap that shines I want it to work well.
  • 0 Hide
    amdwilliam1985 , February 7, 2013 12:53 PM
    I too like the Yoga idea a lot. I recently played with it(Yoga 13) side by side to an Asus TAICHI, the experience is so much better(the touch experience, the build quality and the feel of Yoga). The only shortcoming is the weight(in tablet mode, you don't want to hold it for an extensive period of time). Yoga 11S is a good idea, it should come with Haswell cpu and have to have close to ~8 hours normal usage battery life.
  • 0 Hide
    bouda , March 4, 2013 12:32 PM
    It seems from the picture that there is an SD card reader that the presenter didn't mention. Am I wrong. I like the concept. And the weight is ?