August 12, 2013
- Attractive, comfortable exterior
- Convertible tablet/Ultrabook design
- Quick boot times
- Good performance
- Some keyboard flex
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S aims to bring some flexible fun to Windows 8 with an Ultrabook design with a flexible display to turn it into a tablet. It's extremely thin, lightweight and comfortable to use.
Typically with today's portable computers, you get to choose from either a laptop or a tablet. With the Lenovo Yoga 11S, you don't have to choose. The lid opens like a regular laptop but if you keep rotating it past 180-degrees, it folds flat against the back and turns into a tablet. When it's in tablet mode, the keyboard does lay outward, so it's against your hands while you hold it, but the keys and touch pad are disabled once the screen goes past 190-degrees.
You can actually use the laptop in four different 'modes', as Lenovo calls them. Laptop and tablet modes are self-explanatory, but there is also stand mode, which lets you have the screen facing towards you with the keyboard flat on the bottom. Tent mode lets you stand the keyboard and display on end to use while cooking or working on a project.
The whole thing is very comfortable to hold thanks to the rubberized finish on the bottom and inside of the keyboard deck. The exterior lid has a silver finish that is also rubberized. The dimensions are 11.7 x 8.0 x 0.7-inches (wdh) and weighs only 3.1-pounds. It's definitely one of the lightest and thinnest Ultrabooks that we've tested.
The keyboard deck is all black with a 'brushed' texture. The keyboard has fairly shallow keys, but they are comfortable to use. As we mentioned before, the palm rests have a leather-like touch which is very comfortable to use. We did notice some flexing with the keys, but overall it was a good experience. The keyboard is also backlit too. The touch pad was nicely sized and has a smooth surface for frictionless movement.
The 11.6-inch display has a resolution of 1366 x 768-pixels and is an IPS display. It has nearly 180-degree viewing angles and has good color accuracy and text clarity. The display is also a touch screen with support for 10 simultaneous touch points. We found the touch screen to be quite responsive and accurate too, which is important for the tablet mode to be usable and work well.
You get one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, HDMI-out, a headphone/microphone combo jack and an SD memory card reader. There is also built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Our review unit included a configuration with a third-generation Intel Core i5-3339Y (1.5GHz) CPU, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state hard drive and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. We do wish the processor was a newer, fourth generation 'Haswell' processor, however, performance was decent with this one.
In a PCMark 7 benchmark, it earned a score of 3,735, which is right on target with the Windows 8 Ultrabook category average. Due to the solid-state hard drive, boot-up times were very speedy at around only 10 seconds. In real-world use, performance was also good. It definitely has good performance for a tablet device and average performance for an Ultrabook laptop.
Battery life lasted 5.25-hours, which is on-par with an Ultrabook but below average for a tablet device, but this makes sense for the Yoga 11S.