When the first Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13 debuted, it was a standout among proven tablets. Its unique hinge that allowed the screen to be folded all the way backward gave it a decisive edge over its competitors. Three modes- tent, slate and stand- definitely attached a cool factor to it.
But, as with most gadgets and do-hickeys, the passage of time exposes flaws, and rivals invariably step their game up. Other Ultrabooks offered longer battery life and sharper screens, so it was time for Lenovo to hit the reset button. Enter the Yoga Pro 2. The new cpu is both thinner and lighter than its predecessor, plus it features a 3,200 x 1,800 display, which is a quantum leap from 1,600 x 900 display used in the one form yesteryear. Idle battery life has been cranked up to a whopping nine hours, according to Lenovo. It must be noted, however, that it only offers six-and-a-half hours of video playback.
The Yoga Pro 2 is inviting to the touch. It has a rubberized keyboard that’s smooth and fingerprint resistant, and the hinge motion is smooth and seems built to last, as it should be. A rubber rim along the edges of the screen protect the display when it’s standing upside down in tent mode.
The new Yoga is about a third of a pound lighter than the one before it at 3.06 lbs. Its width is comparable to other Ultrabooks, but is slightly shorter than most. The Yoga Pro 2 hasn’t changed the keyboard much besides backlighting, which is a good thing. The keys are well-spaced, and though the Enter, Caps and Tab keys could be bigger, it still is an easy and comfortable keyboard to use.
One possible drawback about the whole package could be the display; it’s incredibly sharp, and, at times, too sharp. Not all apps have been optimized for displays above 1080p. During an engadget test, even the Windows Media Player, which is a built-in Windows app, featured controls that were impractically tiny. Many websites through Google Chrome suffered the same fate, although they were fine through Firefox and Internet Explorer 11.
Lenovo has thrown in Yoga Chef, which enables you to use motion control to move through menus and recipe pages. Yoga Camera man comes with a bevy of filters to improve photos. Yoga Photo Touch takes editing a bit further, as it enables you to create collages or add bubble text to pictures.
Lenovo offer a Yoga Pro 2 with a Core i5 processor and 256 GB SSD for $1,399. Stepping it up to an i7 processor will cost you $1,499, currently on sale for $1,299. The best-equipped model has i7, 8GB of RAM and 512GB solid-state drive costs $1,749, currently on sale for $1,599.
The Yoga Pro 2’s competitors cover a wide range of price points and brand names. The Dell XPS 12 starts at $1,000. It has a cool carbon fiber design and a 1080p display matched with a hinge that allows the screen to be bent back away from the keyboard. The Sony Vaio Duo 13 employs a slider-style that has been improved since the Duo 11. The mechanism to prop the screen up and expose the laptop must be learned, but it’s a seamless operation once you get the hang of it. The Sony Vaio Duo 13 starts at $1,400.
Photo via shop.lenovo.com