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June 30, 2013

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S Review

The Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S was announced earlier this year, and it’s not your ordinary day notebook. The Yoga packs an Intel Core i5 CPU with 8GB RAM, Windows 8 and an 11-inch touchscreen that pushes all the way back at 360 degrees, but is it anything special? Is it worth a look at? Read on our full review to find out.

lenovo yoga

“That’s one eye-catching laptop” people would tell me.

Design and Construction

I’m going to put this frankly; be it a health practice, a stress reliever or a laptop, the Yoga is beautiful. Our unit is covered in semi-rubbery orange & black all around, and while a lot of people might consider this too flashy, I didn’t. In fact, the Yoga would succeed very well if it stood in a room full of laptops with plain & boring designs.

Just like laptops like the Macbook, this device stands on its own identity.

yoga back

With the laptop closed, everything is clean and simple. There’s a Lenovo logo on the top left part, and on the bottom are the rubber stoppers along with some labels – that includes the Windows 8 sticker found awkwardly in the middle.

yoga back

Pop the laptop open and you’ll find the keyboard, the trackpad and some labels again, all surrounded by a material that looks like brushed aluminum but actually feels like texturized rubber. We don’t know what Lenovo has done here, but we really like it. Dirt & fingerprints are nowhere to be found, and besides, it feels good to rest your palm on it.

yoga

Now let’s push things a little further – literally. When the back of your display is folded to touch the bottom part of your laptop – the Yoga turns into a heavyweight tablet.

yoga pushed

Not only is the Yoga sexy, but it’s also flexible.

In this form factor, the button placements finally make sense. The power button that was once on the front side of the laptop is now on top. In addition to that, the once inverted volume rocker found on the left part of the laptop now works the way it should (up pushes the volume higher, down lowers the volume).

[From the tablet form factor’s perspective,] a USB 3.0 port,  the 3.5mm audio jack, the volume rocker and the mini HDMI port is found on the left side, while on the right side you can find the port for charging, a USB 2.0 port and a rotation lock button. The speakers are found on both left & right sides of the laptop.

yoga

On the top left part is the power button, while on the bottom you’ll find the vents and the metallic hinge system that works amazingly well; it is not flimsy in any case and it feels solid.

And of course, up front you’ll find the touchscreen that lies on top of the Windows 8 Start button… which is another story.

Display

As you’d expect, the Yoga 11S packs an 11.6-inch display. It runs on a resolution of 1366 x 768 which produces a pixel density of 135ppi. The result? Not so astonishing, but not so bad either.

display yoga

Texts and other details could be sharper, and this specific screen resolution is getting boring on laptops. On the bright side, colors look great and vibrant, and outdoor visibility is quite good.

The touchscreen was great too, as it was responsive all around the system and we didn’t have any problems with it.

Keyboard & Trackpad

If you’re not that into touchscreens, especially on Windows 8, then here is the keyboard and the trackpad.

The keys are chiclet, and they’re easy to press for the most part. When you’re in tablet mode, you’ll be having your fingers resting on the keyboard too, but there’s no need to worry as they’re very soft and friendly to the touch.

keyboard yoga

If there’s one major complaint that we have about it, it’s the lack of backlit keys. Typing in the dark won’t be a good experience for anyone, so keep that in mind.

The trackpad is smooth and accurate on this machine, although there might be times where it is quite jumpy. Gestures, for the most part, work well – however it is not capable of some specific ones such as pinch to zoom.

Apps & Multimedia

Lenovo bundled Windows 8 with a lot of apps here – Kindle, AccuWeather, Merriam-Webster and etc. (seen below). I’m not one of the people who would actually use these apps, but I’m pretty sure a lot of people would appreciate the package.

Apart from these, Lenovo has some more add-ons like SugarSync & Filmon Television. All of these needs a connection to the internet, but when we did try it out, it worked perfectly; FilmOn TV streaming is easily one of our favorites, while Motion Control, however, is something that we didn’t find ourselves using as much.

screenshot yoga

Watching movies & playing music with the Yoga is an absolute joy. There weren’t slow downs and bad viewing angles to be found with video, and music volume and quality was also sufficiently loud and clean with no hissing or whatsoever.

Performance & Battery Life

Running on a 3rd generation Intel Core i5 CPU & 8GB RAM, we didn’t find any lags or slow downs with the Yoga. There were some bugs here and there, but none of which caused a big problem (browsing with Chrome and etc. needs improvement).

yoga perf

The Yoga 11S lasts for a sharp 5 hours on our battery test. We looped a video on 50% brightness and 50% audio, and it managed to drain an exact 20% every hour. It’s not the 6-hours that Lenovo promised, but it’s still close enough and that isn’t bad at all.

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S specs:
11.6-inch 1366 x 768 IPS display
1.5GHz Intel Core i5-3339Y CPU
Intel HD Graphics 4000
8GB RAM
128/256/512GB SSD
720p HD webcam
WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0
micro HDMI port
1x USB 3.0 port
1x USB 2.0 port
1x SD card slot
29.8 x 20.4 x 1.7 cm (dimensions)
1,387g (weight)
Php44,995

*Core i3 / i7, Silver colored & 4GB RAM versions are also available at different prices

Conclusion

Having to depart with the Lenovo Yoga 11S, I felt somewhat attached. The Core i5 CPU, the 8GB RAM, the display or the design might be major plot elements that have led to this conclusion, but the real story here is the form factor.

yoga 270

I have handled touchscreen laptops before, and even the Microsoft Surface RT, but the Yoga just speaks out. As an ordinary laptop, the idea of having a device that could push all the way back just to hide the keyboard and the trackpad is amusing.

However, on the flip side, we’re pretty convinced as well that the Yoga is having an identity crisis – the button placements are convoluted, and the Yoga isn’t the most beautiful thing either on tablet mode.

Windows 8 still can’t live on itself without a dedicated keyboard and a trackpad, and we think Lenovo did the right thing in going through this path.

All-in-all, the Ideapad Yoga 11S has the makings of an outstanding laptop-tablet hybrid, and it’s one of the best buys out there if you can live without a 1080p HD display or a backlit keyboard.

What we liked about it:

  • Great form factor for Windows 8
  • Bright & vibrant display
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Unique & outstanding design
  • Fast & smooth due to CPU + 8GB RAM

What we didn’t like about it:

  • 1366 x 768 resolution
  • No backlit keyboard
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9 Responses to “Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S Review”

  1. Boo says:

    I’m pretty sure we’ll get a deluge of Yoga users with scratched keypads and non-working trackpads after prolonged usage of this device.

  2. Grotto says:

    Asan na yung grotto pics? Namimiss ko na yon hahahahaha! Pero atleast anjan padin ang low def video ni frek hahahahah!

  3. galaxy says:

    lufet ng review! sana may video card at haswell

  4. Raul says:

    Where is this available? I can’t seem to find retailers that carry the unit. I scoured Megamall, SM Marikina, Robinson’s Galle, Virra, and SM North…

    Please advise

    • Daniel Florendo says:

      I also have been calling up each of the Lenovo exclusive stores and its not yet available, but they have some units on the way. However most of the stores say that its the i3 version that is coming (SRP ~ 45k), i don’t know where I can get the i5 one here in the philippines:(

  5. Amabelle Cape says:

    Kindly sent us quotation of Lenovo Ideapad 11S Yoga. The telephone number and contacts whom we can coordinate in buying this. Kindly send asap. Thank you.

  6. Cherry says:

    hi everyone!

    i have 5 units of silver lenovo yoga pad 11.. they are all brand new from the USA.. however, no boxes since it was carried together with the luggage.. so to save space, we had to discard the boxes..

    im selling for only 24k each.. do contact me po at 0926-844-5133

  7. keen says:

    where did you buy the i5 version of the 11s? can’t seem to find one anywhere :(

  8. Aeron says:

    Hi, Sir! Yung specs (i5 processor) ba na yan is for PHP 45k? Or yung 45k is yung sa lower specs (i3 processor)? Thank you!

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Bob Freking writes, edits, & renders for YugaTech. You can contact, follow or tweet him at @bobfreking. For all his social media links, you can go to https://tinyurl.com/bobfreking

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