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Date First Available
December 12, 2012
Warranty & Support
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You may return any new computer purchased from Amazon.com that is "dead on arrival," arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Amazon.com reserves the right to test "dead on arrival" returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product. Any returned computer that is damaged through customer misuse, is missing parts, or is in unsellable condition due to customer tampering will result in the customer being charged a higher restocking fee based on the condition of the product. Amazon.com will not accept returns of any desktop or notebook computer more than 30 days after you receive the shipment. New, used, and refurbished products purchased from Marketplace vendors are subject to the returns policy of the individual vendor.
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Let's get the obvious out of the way first: This laptop/tablet hybrid does not run Windows 8.1. Instead, it runs the ARM variant of Windows which is called Windows RT. Windows RT cannot run traditional Windows apps such as Photoshop, iTunes, or VLC. Instead, it can only run apps that are downloaded from the built-in Windows Store. If you need to use apps that extend beyond the basics of web browsing, casual gaming, or Microsoft Office, this is not the device for you. You would be better served by purchasing the Ideapad Yoga 11S, which retains basically the same look/feel of this model but runs full Windows 8.
All that being said, if you are a student or someone who is a light computer user that doesn't need all of the bells and whistles of a full-fledged operating system, the Yoga 11 is a brilliant device that you'll be exceedingly happy with. The recent Windows 8.1 RT update breathes new life into this device by improving boot time and making it feel "zippy" with none of the lag that plagued the original Windows RT release. While many reviewers pan this device for running Windows RT, they constantly neglect to mention all of the BENEFITS that the Yoga 11 offers to the end user:
1. Super long battery life. I easily get 10-13 hours on a single charge on my Yoga 11 depending on what I'm using it for. More importantly, this thing can charge to about 90% full battery in as little as one hour. This alone makes it the perfect travel companion. The included AC charger is small and compact, but knowing that you won't have to frantically pull it out every few hours gives you peace of mind. If you're on a long flight, you'll be able to get at least 2 full movies in before worrying about your battery.
2. Thin, silent, and fanless. By the definition of an "ultrabook," this device fits the bill. At 2.8 lbs. it is only slightly heavier than the Samsung Chromebook, but it can do twice as much as that device (more on that later) making this a great value. It's extremely well-built and has a nice soft touch finish, and it feels very sturdy when you're holding it. You won't hear any creaks from cheap plastic here; this is meant to be a high-quality product. Furthermore, because it uses an ARM chip, it is fanless and completely silent when it's running, and it doesn't get hot! You can place it on your lap (or stomach if you're laying down) for extended periods without searing your flesh off.
3. Sandboxed desktop environment. Sure, lots of people will complain that Windows RT can't run legacy Windows apps and doesn't have as many apps as Android or iOS (although I'd argue that that's a GOOD thing), but THIS is the future. I'll say it again: Windows RT is the future of where Windows is headed. While that seems like crazy talk, think about this: It's a Windows that doesn't get viruses. It's a Windows where if one app crashes, it doesn't bring down your whole system with it. It's a Windows fully committed to touch without the need for a traditional desktop, even though it has one anyway. With the recent news that Microsoft plans to merge Windows RT with the Windows Phone OS, these benefits will be even more realized on mobile devices. In fact, I predict that Windows RT will eventually do away with the traditional desktop altogether. It might not be with the next update, but mark my words...it'll be sooner rather than later.
4. Microsoft Office INCLUDED. How's that for value? Full disclaimer: The RT version of Office is missing some features that the full desktop version includes, but once again, students and casual users won't miss those features at all, much less realize they were missing in the first place. You can still do about 95% of everything that you'd be able to do on the regular version of Office, meaning that the Yoga 11 can be as much of a productivity device as a casual one. Need to edit that Powerpoint presentation while you rent and watch a movie at the same time? Done. Even better: With the Windows RT 8.1 update, Outlook is now included in the RT Office Suite!
So I've told you all the reasons why this device is awesome, but no single product is perfect. The Yoga 11 does have a few minor flaws, none of them being dealbreakers, but just some things you should be aware of:
1. No USB 3.0. Bummer, I know. Still, if you're buying this device, you probably don't care how fast your USB is anyway, and 2.0 is sufficient enough. It also comes with HDMI and an SD card slot to make up for the absence of USB 3.0.
2. Not so great as a tablet. Lying in bed with the Yoga propped on your stomach or using it in tablet mode while sitting at a table is fine, but it's a little on the heavy side to use as a tablet on a regular basis. Also, while in tablet mode, you can feel the keyboard keys on on the back, which is a little weird. Not uncomfortable...just weird. If it bothers you that much, Lenovo does sell a case for $29.99 that covers either just the keyboard or the entire tablet.
3. Not likely to receive another update. The Tegra 3 chip powering the Yoga 11 is going on 3 years old, so we'll be lucky if the Yoga 11 is able to upgrade to the next iteration of Windows RT. As I mentioned earlier, the Windows RT 8.1 upgrade really does give the laptop a new lease on life, so time will tell if Microsoft and Lenovo continue to support it. At this point, I'm not feeling optimistic.
You really owe it to yourself to give this nifty hybrid device a try, especially if you're a member of the intended target audience which I mentioned earlier. Don't listen to the naysayers; try it out yourself. If you're like me and only need a small, light device for basic computing and travel use, I think you'll genuinely love the Yoga 11.
The Yoga 11 is an incredible product for those who can work in the Windows RT operating system (research Windows 8 vs Windows 8 RT if you do not know the difference). After doing my research, I knew my computing needs could be met with Windows RT. I chose the Yoga 11 over the Microsoft Surface RT after much debate.
I am attending graduate school online and needed a comfortable typing device for the long hours of school work I do. I liked the Yoga 11's attached keyboard much better than the touch and type keyboards that are attachable to the Surface RT that I tested out in the store. The two devices have the same internals so the choice really came down to form factor. The Yoga 11's keyboard is one of the best laptop keyboards I've ever typed on.
For schoolwork I have no difficulties accessing my class blackboard website and doing my required work or watching lectures. Microsoft Office 2013 is included with Windows RT devices and is perfect for all the Word, PowerPoint, and Excel work I do. This was a huge benefit because I would have had to still purchase Microsoft Office separately if I had decided to get a standard Windows 8 device. The only thing I wish RT had was a desktop PDF viewer as I read many research articles in this format. The included PDF viewer does get the job done, it just requires you to leave the desktop. I got over it quickly.
For personal use I love the ability to convert quickly between a tablet and laptop. This eliminates the need to have a device for each purpose. Some say this is too heavy to use as a tablet. If the weight of the device bothers you as you are using it as a tablet, you can put it into "stand" or "tent" mode and set it on your lap or a table. Feeling the keys on the back when using it as a tablet is a little weird at first, but I got used to it very quickly and never think twice about it. Also, the keys are disabled once you take the Yoga out of laptop mode so don't worry about accidental key presses in the other 3 modes.
Every once in a while there are some stutters or lag. This happens rarely and is no different than any regular laptop or desktop I've seen stutter from time to time. Some programs load a little slower than they do with the more powerful x86 processors, but we're only talking a few seconds.
As other reviewers have stated, Windows RT cannot run certain "traditional" windows programs like Photoshop or play traditional CD-ROM games. If you need to run specific programs that are not supported, then clearly this device is not for you. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING. Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT (or just Windows RT) are two different, but very similar operating systems. It's sad how many people bought this device without researching the limitations and then frustratingly gave it a low rating because it didn't meet their needs. *Keep in mind you can remote desktop into other computers and access all their programs. I've done this to test it out and it works great for programs, though I have not tried playing a game through remote desktop.
I chose an RT device for a few reasons. --10+ hours of battery life on a single charge while most laptops last only about 4 or 5 with real use --the ability to leave the device on for days without turning off --there are no fans, this does not get noisy after hours of use the way standard laptops do --Microsoft office is included at no extra cost. This is only on Windows RT devices. Buying a standard Windows 8 device will require you to purchase Microsoft office separately. --I do not need to run any x86 programs that would require me to get standard Windows 8 --This has the ability to use Remote Desktop to get into my Windows 8 Pro desktop to run any x86 programs as if they were on this device as long as I am on the same network. That means I can use Google Chrome, Photoshop, or whatever else can only be installed on standard Windows 8.
The one thing that annoys me with Windows RT is the speed at which it loads some websites. Most websites pop up instantly while a few seem to load and reload for 10-15 seconds before I can view them. It seems like it's mostly the ones with a lot of ads. Hopefully this will be fixed in a software update. Speaking of software updates, there have been a ton of them out for Windows RT devices. Before you do anything else on your Yoga, update it. Many of the bugs and quirks have been worked out through these updates.
The Yoga 11 is incredible in looks and performance. Do your research. If a Windows 8 RT device meets all of your computing needs software-wise, then I would definitely recommend the Lenovo Yoga 11.
I bought this because I recently had surgery and am not able to carry anything heavy for a while. I have a great laptop, but it's large and heavy. I decided to purchase this because it had both laptop and tablet functions and because it uses Windows RT operating system, the price is right. If you don't understand what Windows RT is, please do some research and make sure that it will fit your needs. I had actually gone out shopping thinking that I would purchase a Windows Surface tablet, but wasn't terribly impressed. Additionally, the Surface requires you to buy everything separately, keypad, cover, etc. so the cost adds up quickly. It also felt really flimsy. My daughter already had a Yoga 11S with a full Windows 8 operating system so I knew how well made the laptop was. This one runs the same system as the MS Surface, so I was able to get an inexpensive operating system, in a very well made convertible laptop/tablet. I sync my documents to Skydrive so I am able to use them with any computer, anywhere. The handwriting feature works great as well, just choose the right stylus (I reviewed a few from Amazon and Friendly Swede that work well). I was concerned that the keyboard might be too small to be able to type comfortably, but it works great. I love that I have both touchscreen and standard laptop functionality with this. The computer never seems to run hot and the battery lasts all day with intermittent use. It also charges very quickly. This was a great purchase and I'm very happy with it, but I already understood the RT system and knew it would work for me.