What do you look for in a tablet/laptop hybrid? Great design? A slim form-factor? Performance? Creative input from Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher? Well, you’ve certainly got some oddly specific tastes, but as it should happen we have just the device for you.
The Lenovo Yoga 3 is here, and at a glance it looks like it could be one of the best devices on the market. Hybrids aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but there’s no denying that its laptop functionality makes it infinitely more powerful when used as a tablet.
The big selling point, in case you couldn’t tell from the name, is the Yoga 3’s flexibility. The screen can be folded all the way back on itself until lying flat against the base of the device. You can hold it as a tablet, or even invert it into the ‘tent’ position so it stands up on its own. It’s a nice feature, and made all the more eye-catching by the unusual manner in which it’s achieved.
The hinge on the Yoga 3 is what Lenovo call ‘watchband’ style, and it’s easy to see why. It looks just like its namesake, and is composed of 800 individual pieces of aluminium and steel at six articulation points. It looks quirky, but it provides an excellent amount of strength.
Moving up the device you have the screen, which Lenovo calls ‘QHD+’. Measuring 13 inches diagonally, it has a rather unusual resolution of 3,200 x 1,800. When the numbers are that high though we couldn’t care less how unusual they are – it makes for an incredibly vivid display.
The processor on the inside of the Yoga 3 is an Intel Core M which can reach speeds of 2.6GHz, and quickly too. It has 8GB of RAM backing it up, complete with a 256GB solid-state hard drive. Needless to say, it’s a very capable machine. Running Windows 8.1 it can handle anything your ordinary laptop would, whilst tablet usage is supremely smooth. That said, fully-fledged PC gaming is something you probably won’t be doing much of. Due to the Yoga 3’s size it’s only equipped with NVIDIA’s on-board graphics, so many games will be out of its remit.
It’ll be considered a worthy trade-off for most though. The Yoga 3 is unbelievably streamlined – at just 1.19kg it’s lighter than a MacBook Air, and it’s exactly half an inch thick at its thickest point. For comparison, the MacBook Air is 0.69 inches deep at the same point. Not bad.
There’s other nice little design touches too, like how the area surrounding the keyboard and mousepad has been changed to dimpled, rubberised plastic (compared to brushed metal on the Yoga 2) for greater levels of grip when holding the device as a tablet. They keyboard itself has a MacBook-ish quality to it, and is brilliantly backlit. Internally the device is fanless so you get a much quieter experience than, say, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – the Yoga 3’s most obvious rival.
And just like its main rival, the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro will cost you. There’s no UK pricing yet, but it’s set to start at $1,299 in the US, so expect it to be around the £1,000 mark when it lands ashore here. There are multiple storage variants of up to 512GB SSD if you should so desire, so expect the price to scale accordingly. All three colour variants, silver, gold and orange, should cost the same.