Customer Review

137 of 145 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed review from a techy, March 16, 2013
This review is from: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 13.3-Inch Convertible 2 in 1 Touchscreen Ultrabook (Gray) 2013 Model (Personal Computers)
I am a big computer enthusiast, and I have went through a lot of laptops/ultrabooks over the past few years. I have owned:

-Macbook pros and airs
-Asus Zenbook ux31a
-Dell XPS 13
-Dell Latitude
-netbooks and other lesser known notebooks.

My favorite out of the bunch was the Asus zenbook ux31a, and it still is if I am talking solely about ultrabooks. I prefer the yoga because of the touchscreen and future-proofing Windows 8 OS. I never really owned any powerful gaming laptops because I have a very powerful desktop sitting at home.

So now you know my techy background, here is my list of pros and cons for the Lenovo Yoga 13 after using it for about a week.

PROS:

1. Windows 8 on a touchscreen. I used Win8 on my XPS 13, which does not have a touchscreen, and I absolutely hated the experience, especially considering the XPS has a subpar touchpad. I think Win8 gets a lot of hate because people use it on a non-touch laptops. Using Win8 on a touchscreen laptop is very fluid and natural. Even in the traditional desktop mode, I can tell they made a lot of adjustments in the OS to make it work well. I do have some problems with the virtual keyboard not popping up sometimes when I needed it to. At rare times, it would even pop up when I don't need it.

2. Screen. 900p IPS glossy display. Not as good as the zenbook's 1080p IPS matte display, but the difference is not noticeable.

3. Touchpad. Some reviews say the touchpad is terrible. I actually like it quite a lot, and this is coming from someone who used the Macbook's touchpad for years. I like the zenbook ux31a's trackpad more, but just by a hair.

4. Construction. There are cons in the build quality (listed in cons section), but overall, it is a solid design. The entire laptop scheme of the construction is rubber. You can feel the rubbery friction on the top and bottom of the laptop, as well as inside on the trackpad and even between the letters of the keyboard. I am guessing they went with rubber instead of aluminum or some other metal is because the laptop is already heavy enough, and they did not want to add more weight to it especially since it's an oversized tablet. Also, the rubber makes for a good grip in tablet mode, something necessary for such a large tablet.

5. Battery life. Yoga 13 has the best battery life out of all the ultrabook/tablet hybrids to date (according to my knowledge at least). This is one of the main reasons I bought this over the XPS 12. HOWEVER, the battery life is still subpar compared to non-touchscreen ultrabooks like the zenbook or macbook air. I get about 5-6 hours, but I have pushed it to close to 7 hours if you use it very conservatively.

CONS:

1. Construction. As I said in the PROS section, there are pros and cons about the construction. I like the rubber scheme design, but there are some flex in the keyboard, making the overall product feel less premium. The size of the screen bezel is thick for my taste (I am spoiled by the XPS 13 thin bezel). The bezel size also increases the overall size of the laptop, and the width and length makes it much larger than my old xps 13, and is also actually larger than my old macbook pro 13. The size combined with the the thickness makes it noticeably heavier than my old zenbook and macbook air.

2. No backlit keyboard. The keyboard itself is alright, I am typing this review on it right now. The top of the keys are straight while the bottom is curved, which feels kind of weird to me, so my touch typing feels slightly off, but no biggie.

3. Bad factory partitioning, easy/automated fix can be found online. Google "Yoga 13 hotfix"

4. Fan. It does seem to be on all the time, but you won't notice it because it's a quiet hum. I only noticed it when I'm alone in my room, and even then it never bothers me. There may be a "fix" online, but I never looked into it.

5. Hard for User Upgrades. This can be argued to be a PRO considering a lot of ultrabooks doesn't even give you the option to upgrade anymore. Anyways, It's kind of complicated to upgrade the SSD. I haven't read too much into it, but I think it's doable, just not your traditional HDD/SSD swap. Also, it only has 1 RAM slot, so the max you can upgrade to is 8gb right now.

6. Hard to open! This is probably my biggest everyday gripe about it. I'm not sure what Lenovo was thinking. When the yoga is closed, there's a strong magnet to hold it in place. You definitely can't open it easily with one hand like you can with macbooks and the new zenbook. You'll probably have to use 2 hands. Furthermore, there is no LEVERAGE for you to hold onto! You basically use one hand to try and keep it down while using your other hand to pry it open, except they didn't make any sort of space you can get your fingers under for a good grip. It's a very slipper experience. This might be the hardest laptop I have ever used to open, mainly because of the strong magnet. I actually have to give a little attention to and focus whenever I want to open it up.

*I did not experience any bad wifi problems.

OVERALL, I do enjoy this Yoga. The PROS still outweigh the cons. The 2 biggest thing I look at in a laptop is the trackpad and screen because that's what people use the most, both are outstanding on the Yoga. While in laptop mode, it looks like a normal 13inch laptop, kind small and portable. But as soon as you use it in a tablet mode, its perception becomes a super huge tablet with tons of screen real estate...mind tricks. Anyways, I do like the machine a lot. I picked the yoga over the microsoft surface because I believe the keyboard and trackpad is an essential part of using a full-fledged windows machine. I can't see myself playing games or doing real work on the Surface even with the keyboard cover, too small and cramped.

Do I recommend you to buy this? I never recommend buying a first generation product. They are usually glitchy and highly priced. If you know you want a touchscreen laptop, get this. Buy the Surface if you really want portability with less battery life and screen estate. Otherwise, I would say to wait for the 2nd or 3rd generation. I can see Yoga 13 #2 having a thinner bezel, and a thinner body, lighter design, and longer battery life, maybe even a higher res screen. Hopefully, retail pricing will also start below 1k.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 16, 2013 1:57:16 PM PDT
Thank you for your balanced review. Very helpful. What do you think of its performance for tasks such as photo-editing (e.g. Photoshop) and gaming?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2013 10:06:35 AM PDT
Y. Zhou says:
The HD4000 holds its own in photo-editing. You can easily upgrade the ram to 8gb if you do a lot of photo/video editing. For gaming, it is similar to any other laptop with ivy-bridge and HD4000. Good for an integrated graphics machine but you won't be doing any hardcore gaming. Games like League of Legends, Left 4 Dead, World of Warcraft should run on it with no problem.

Posted on May 11, 2013 7:46:18 PM PDT
vanessa says:
Im looking for a computer that i can use the tablet form to take hand written notes on it in class, do you know if it works well for that? Using a stylus and a app/ program

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 4:15:08 PM PDT
RiverCity says:
Look past the first page of the Reviews to realize the truth about this product. The 123 people found this helpful is truely a scam and are using it to you do not see any of the real reviews.
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Y. Zhou
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