Spotlight on: Yoga 13 by Lenovo
Hey there guys, I’m back to finish my review on the Yoga, my brand new laptop. I have had it for a week now, and I have to admit that I am in love with it. Let’s go over some really cool features and discuss the pros and cons of having an ultrabook versus a conventional laptop.
What I Like
The form of this machine first and foremost, is great. Not just because it is thin and light, because it is smaller and lighter than any textbook that I had to lug around, but because of how seamless the entire thing fits together. Folding the screen around is solid and it stays where you put it. I did not expect to be using the stand feature as much as I do, but I have to admit that having a small pop-up TV that follow me around while I’m working with the tablet is really great. The recessed keys make me feel better about propping it up, and the sleeve that I have for the machine alleviates that worry altogether.
The keyboard layout is also spot-on. If you do a lot of typing, then you need not only the keys, but easy access to the delete key, home key, end key, and the arrows. They have managed to include these functions without being intrusive to the design, and the keys feel responsive and easy to type with. It’s no mechanical keyboard, but I have high standards. I appreciate the function key row as well, as it has simple computer functions like volume and brightness and external projectors, and holding the function key will give you access to the traditional F1-F12 keys. This makes a bunch of sense because of the infrequency of pressing them in the first place, and I hate the help menu popping up every time I accidentally find F1.
Windows 8 also makes tablet mode pretty simple. The navigation through the home screen makes a lot more sense now than it ever did on a desktop system, and I am happy to have access to the app store where before I was wondering what the point was. I now have a Kindle and notebook and sketchpad, all I have to do is fold the screen over. Taking a whole library of books is going to be much simpler now.
My battery life is sitting at 26% right now, and the machine tells me that I have 2 hours of life left. I am really happy with that too, powerhouse machines are great when plugged in, but the ultrabook is the way to go for mobility and battery life. The solid state hard drive performs as expected, you open the book and it is ready to go.
What Could Be Better
There are a few things that I would consider to improve upon. Using the machine as a tablet leaves a lot of fingerprints on a glossy screen, so I am thankful that I have access to microfiber cleaning cloths, and I will be carrying one with me. The screen finish is very bright and clear, but could use some work is the cleanliness retention. I am also not as much a fan of the trackpad, they placed a marker to show right click versus left click, but there is no tactile response when you cross the marker, so you are forced to look down to make sure that you are choosing the right click. I will be experimenting with the settings more to see if I can make it a bit more like Apple’s second click for right click. It is a very minor concern, and can easily be chalked up to user learning curve. I will be used to it in another week. There is a volume slider on the side of the machine that is quite nice, but it could be moved closer to the headphones port, and it feels a little clunky when not in tablet mode. This is offset by the function keys which allow for easy control of the volume when using the keyboard.
Windows 8 Connectivity
The one other feature that I think that I will be using regularly is the ability to connect to my desktop and access all of my files there, right from Windows. I have tried it a few times on LAN, and it seems great. Windows 8 Pro on my desktop allows me to remote access from any version of Windows 8, so I don’t have to worry about lost files ever again, especially if I forget to throw them into my Dropbox folder.
Do I recommend this…
Yes! This is a great laptop so far, and I am very pleased. Lenovo did a great job with the design and preinstalling all of the software. I did a fair amount of setting up everything that I need on the first day, but the machine was fully functional right out of the box. The RAM and processor are great in a package this small, and I am glad to have a mobile platform added to my tech arsenal again.
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