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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 Laptop
For a few months now, I have a part of the Windows Champion bloggers program. This is such a great program for a tech geek like me. As an early adopter of all things Windows, I am getting to try out some really fun things and connect with people who love technology like I love technology.
One of the latest items I have been trying out is the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11.
ABOUT THE IDEAPAD YOGA 11 FROM LENOVO
With an innovative design and relatively low price, Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 11 tries to put the best of both a tablet and a laptop in the smallest form factor still suitable for real work. The Yoga 11 is a success, but only in the narrow terms afforded by Windows RT.
When Microsoft smudged the already blurred lines between tablet and ultrabook with the Surface RT, its main claim to fame was the detachable, flexible keyboard which doubled as a cover. While this combination made it attractive compared to the more rigidly aligned tablet and ultrabook offerings from Apple and others, the flexible keyboard undermined the portability aspect–allowing users to touch type, but only on a desk.
Enter Lenovo with their cleverly named and even more cleverly designed IdeaPad Yoga series. Understanding that a laptop needs to be usable on a lap, the Yoga has dual hinges that turn on both ends, allowing a full 360 degrees of movement between the screen and the permanently attached keyboard. Use it in a standard laptop configuration, or rotate the keyboard back until it rests flat against the back of the screen, making it a thick tablet (with exposed keys on its back). Stranger, but surprisingly useful positions angle the Yoga like an easel or a regular tablet on a stand. Owing to the sturdy construction and smooth flexibility of the hinges, the Yoga 11 is completely stable in all of these positions.
Being thicker and heavier than any tablet at 2.6 pounds and 0.7 inches at its thickest point allows the Yoga 11 to have a nice complement of full size USB ports (2), HDMI, an SD card slot, and a standard headphone jack. Unfortunately, this comes at the price of being too heavy to comfortably hold with one hand for any length of time. Even two-handing the Yoga 11 can get tiresome if unsupported by a desk or your lap. A replacement for your favorite e-reader this is not.
Windows RT also presents its own set of limitations. Essentially a stripped down version of the full Windows 8 OS designed to run on less powerful ARM-based hardware, Windows RT is geared toward simplicity and battery life. Sadly, that limits users to installing apps they can find on the Windows Store, as opposed to the huge variety of apps old and new supported by the full Windows 8. Microsoft has done a great job making touch-friendly versions of its Office Suite and Internet Explorer 10 finally supports Flash out of the box. That said, if you rely on third-party apps like Photoshop, you'll have to wait for a Windows RT port that may never come.
Performance on the Yoga 11 is good, generally on par with the Surface RT. The screen is responsive to swipes and compatible games run well on the Tegra 3 graphics. The front facing 1-megapixel camera is good for basic video chatting. There is no rear-facing camera.
For the consumer with a very specific list of wants, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 is a perfect fit.
CHECK OUT THE LENOVO IDEAPAD YOGA 11 IN ACTION
As a Windows Champion blogger, I do not receive compensation, but I do receive resources, information and tools in order to test and use Windows-based services.