Just days after announcing that UMPCPortal would be closing down I’m sitting here with a 690 gram 10 inch convertible with LTE. It’s 9mm thick and will go down as one of those brave products that pushed the UMPC boundaries. Bill Gates will happy to see this. Or will he?
As Microsoft push pen capability, Lenovo are levering this to give the mobile productivity market another go with the Lenovo Yoga Book 10. It’s available in Windows and Android versions. It’s exciting and annoying.
Naturally I’m trying to write this post on it but after this paragraph I will be connecting my keyboard. The capacitive keyboard is terrible; slower than an on-screen keyboard in classic laptop mode and useless in any other usage scenario. The haptic feedback lags like it’s 2006 and there’s audio feedback that is worse than that. Yuck!
As a tablet it’s too heavy. The hinge gets in the way when you hold it. Yuck!
Oh but wait. There’s a new usage scenario forming here and it’s something unique. Very unique. If Lenovo work on this product it could be something special.
Lenovo Yoga Book
Summary: Lay a piece of paper on the keyboard, write on it with a real pen and watch it copy your notes in real-time.
Why Lenovo bothered to bring out a version of this with Windows I’ll never know. The ultra mobile market is niche, at best, and if you want productivity on the go there’s a lot more value in an iPad Pro 8.9. Apps are missing. The software isn’t tailored for the hardware. It’s runs on an Intel Atom X5 which is slower than some of the Atom CPUs that were out in 2014. The Lenovo Thinkpad 8 I also have here is faster, and it was available in 2014. The eMMC based storage is slow. Recent smartphones have way faster storage. This is a product that doesn’t use any of the advances in mainboard technology from the last 2 years. It needs a Core M / Core i5 ULV processor.
Why, Lenovo, Why?
The Yoga Book 10 has a trick. It’s a confusing one, but might attract some One Note fans because you can draw, with a real pen, on real paper, and One Note will track and record everything. Accurately. It’s cool. It’s efficient, if that’s the sort of think you’re into.
There’s an Android version too and although the keyboard just gets in the way, it’s probably a more coherent version of the product.
The Lenovo Yoga Book is well-engineered with a great screen and good 9 + hours battery life but it’s built on a generic OS with a generic, and old, SoC. I enjoyed it, and moved on.
I often get the chance to handle PCs before they are released but it’s rare that I take such a liking to a product after so long testing it. After three months with a production sample the Lenovo Yoga 710 has become my buddy in-home and on-the-go and it has proven to me how much I like single-unit convertibles over separable tablet 2-in-1’s like the Surface Pro 3. The fanless (silent) light (2.3 pounds) and small (11 inch full HD IPS screen) Lenovo Yoga 710 is now available for pre-order at $549 in the USA (Lenovo) which is an excellent price assuming it has the same fast SSD as the one I’m using here – a Core m5 version with 4GB and 256 GB of SATA SSD. I hope and pray that Lenovo don’t drop an eMMC storage module into the [80TX000BUS] entry-level model.
Here’s a bullet-point review of the Lenovo Yoga 710 that I’m using now. [80TX000CUS]
Keyboard – Great but no backlight
Touchpad – single-unit integrated buttons. 7/10.
Performance – Solid. Up with the best Core m5 implementations.
Battery life – 40 Wh battery is providing 4 – 5 hours in my sample. Expect +20% in the retail version.
Screen – Excellent. This isn’t ‘reference’ quality but it’s got good contrast and color to my eyes.
Ports – Basic. 1 X USB 3.0 1 x Micro HDMI. 1 X headset. No removable storage slot. (SD.)
WiFi – Strong AC but not multi-channel. I have 5 Ghz band support here. That could change in the retail version.
SSD speed – Very fast. I note that the 128 GB version I tested at CeBIT had even better SSD performance.
Watch the overview video of the Lenovo Yoga 710 (90 seconds done for the UMPCPortal Facebook channel – please subscribe) below which might get you into the mood to ask questions. Please do.
As I’m likely to keep this pre-production sample of the Lenovo Yoga 710 for a while longer I can answer any detailed questions you might have apart from really detailed performance test although I’ll have a go at those too and give you the results with a disclaimer. Don’t forget to check out these posts first though. There’s a ton of information in there for you.
Here’s the quick video. A longer video is embedded below. Note that I have a sample Lenovo Yoga 710 on loan from Intel. Performance and specifications can vary between pre-production samples and retail. I am not permitted to do a full review on this production sample. That makes sense!
The Lenovo Yoga 710 that I’m writing on now will be available in 3 weeks for and entry-level price of $549. Pricing appears on the Lenovo USA website. A Lenovo Yoga 710 for $549 will include a Pentium 4405Y CPU which is effectively a cut-down Core M CPU at 1.5 Ghz and a low-end GPU (HD 515) and it allows Lenovo to keep the price down. You’ll still get 128 GB of SSD (not eMMC) and 4 GB of RAM along with Windows 10 and the full HD touchscreen.
I like the Yoga 710 and can tell you with some level of confidence that it will fit well into a home scenario because I’ve used a prototype since March. Battery life is great, the screen is great and it’s incredibly mobile. 2.3 pounds.
The keyboard is great (no backlight though) and it’s silent. Screen brightness is good and it feels like it’s got reasonable color spread and accuracy. Contrast isn’t extreme, but it’s good enough for an excellent video experience.
On the downside there’s only a single full-size USB port and micro HDMI. No microSD expansion.
Add another $100 and you’ll get the Core m3 and 256 GB of SSD and if you want to go up to the Core m5 with 8GB of RAM then you’ll be paying $799 which isn’t bad considering some of the 2-in-1’s running on the same platform are well over $1000.
I like the Yoga 710 a lot. You can read my Yoga 710 first impressions (of the pre-production sample) and if you have any questions please ask below and I’ll do my best to answer.
Shipping is said to be in three weeks.
You can find out more on the USA versions of the Lenovo Yoga 710 here. For those in Germany you’ll find the Yoga 710 listed on Amazon.de for a much higher price.
Here’s my hands-on Lenovo Yoga 710 video from CeBIT.
Keep an eye out for more low-cost laptops and Chromebooks based on this ‘Core M’ CPU because it looks like it’s going to drive prices down. Is there any space for Atom-driven PCs now?
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I’ve just posted detailed hands-on information about the excellent Lenovo Yoga 710 11-inch 360-degree convertible and as I read my colleagues review of the Yoga 300 11 I wonder why they bothered. This 360 convertible weighs about 40% more, has less battery life and a very poor screen. Granted, it’s got a useful choice of ports but hey, when the screen is this bad, who’s going to want to use them?
At 400 Euro the Yoga 300 11 (Lenovo Yoga 300-11IBR) with Intel Celeron N3050 and 4GB RAM isn’t even that cheap. The whole package is wrong and will damage the Yoga name. Or perhaps Lenovo are using the Yoga name to try to push through some profitable sales?
The Yoga 300 11 scored 78% at Notebookcheck with the screen score coming in at 72%. In my opinion it should be marked down further than that because the contrast of just 376:1 is the worst I’ve seen since I’ve worked with NBC. [Do yourself a favor and look for a contrast of 1000:1 or more when you buy a laptop.] The colors are inaccurate and limited and there’s a center rightness under battery usage of just 210 cd/m2. I haven’t seen figures like that since the netbook days!
My recommendation: Don’t buy the Lenovo Yoga 300. Even if it’s on offer. And while we’re at it, where’s the alternative. The ASUS, Toshiba and Acer offers in this segment aren’t that good either. I say wait and save up for the one I’m using right now Even if it’s a 4GB / 64 GB / Core m3 version of the Lenovo Yoga 710 11 it’s going to be much more usable than the Yoga 300 11.
I’ll probably have a video review of the Yoga 300 11 for you by the end of this week. (For Notebookcheck,)
I’ve had some time with a production sample of the Lenovo Yoga 710 and while I can’t bring you a full review there’s a lot I can tell you about it. The Yoga 710 is an 11.6-inch ultramobile Windows convertible (laptop-style with 360-degree hinge) running on a Core M CPU. Bloggers had unlimited access to it at CeBIT earlier this month and were able to draw a lot of conclusions. Here’s my summary review.
The Lenovo Yoga 710 is incredibly slick, has a great screen and the keyboard is working very well, at least for me. It’s Macbook-like for sure but not quite the fasion-piece and it’s likely to be offered at a lower price, according to reports. For me it’s one of the most important subnotebooks of the year.
Note: All information here based on the pre-production sample shown at CeBIT.
I’ve been looking for an Android product and although the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact is at the top of my smartphone list I’m still hanging in with a Microsoft Lumia phone, mainly because I’ve been offered a long-term test on the Lumia 950 XL. If you’re into cameras and ultramobile PCs that’s an offer that’s difficult to refuse.
The problem is that I need Android too. There are apps I need to test and an increasing number of smartwatches and IoT devices passing through my hands. A Samsung Gear S2 Classic 3G I’m testing is unusable under Windows, for example. When the Lenovo Yoga Tab Pro 3 turned up this week I was excited to see the bright screen, long battery life figures, LTE and that projector, which of course no-one needs…but everyone can somehow justify. Here’s a summary review of this interesting and well-designed 10-inch Android tablet.
Yes the Lenovo Yoga Tab Pro 3 is the one with the projector that you’ve probably heard about already. This isn’t a laptop or 2-in-1 mind, despite the Yoga branding.
My daughter already loves the Yoga Tab Pro 3 more than the Samsung Gear VR now that she knows she can lie on her bed and watch Germany’s Next Top Model with and I’m finding it very useful as a test-bed for Android apps. The family watched Shaun The Sheep yesterday and despite it being only 480p resolution it’s fine for family entertainment. I did a few productivity tests too. It’s working out well across a number of scenarios.
As mentioned, there’s no keyboard included with the Yoga Tab 3 Pro so I connected a USB keyboard and mouse and used it for about an hour as a ‘PC.’ There’s no HDMI output (not even MHL over USB) so it’s not comfortable as a long-term desktop screen. 11.6-inches is the smallest screen I would recommend for productive mobile work.
There’s an Intel Atom X5 inside which drives good web-loading times using Chrome but Tweetdeck on as a tab seemed slow. Atom X5 on Windows tablets isn’t exactly speedy either so that’s no big surprise and an indicator that the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro isn’t a barrier-free web-worker.
As you know, however, there’s an app for almost everything you need to do on the ‘web’ and most of them are fast and efficient. It makes-up for the so-so raw Web experience and that’s not something you can say about Atom-based Windows tablets.
The ergonomics are good if you’re hand-holding. You’ve got a solid and comfortable gripping point (housing the battery, DLP projector and hinge) if you’re looking for a portrait mode reading pad and the stand works both in upright mode and as a kind-of landscape mode easel which works really well if you’re drinking a coffee at a table.
I resisted looking at the price until I could make an educated guess about its value and had 499 Euro in my head. That’s based on the style, LTE and projector. This model is actually 549 Euro with LTE. 429 Euro without the LTE ($499 in the USA.) Maybe we’ll see 499 offers soon though because the delta between the WiFi and LTE versions is more than it should be. A 50-80 premium is more like the going rate.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro problems.
I’m a bit miffed that the Yoga Tab 3 Pro won’t pair with a Galaxy Gear S2 Classic 3G that I’m testing. Bluetooth 4.0 LE doesn’t seem to be supported. Periscope crashes on startup, the camera isn’t that good and it isn’t running the latest Marshmallow version of Android. There’s no fingerprint reader (Hey, if the Honor 5X can offer it at half the price, why can’t this Lenovo ‘pro’ tablet include it?) Yes, there are issues.
Rear projection on a frosted Window.
And how about that projector? It’s low resolution (480p) and weak (50 lumens. Office and home projectors are usually over 2000 lumens) but it’s a lot of fun. You can watch videos in a dark room without any problem but I’m not sure there are many other uses for it unless you’re looking for some creative way to project some advertising on a shop Window. I tried that and might run it on my studio windows overnight. The scheduled power-off feature will allow me to run videos on the frosted part of the Window for a few hours after dark.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab Pro 3 is an interesting tablet and if you’re looking for a 10-inch mobile device I advise you to take a closer look at it. The design is good and the screen is sharp and punchy. There’s a 23 Wh battery inside (some sites refer to a bigger battery capacity but I think that’s for the non-Pro version of this tablet that doesn’t have the projector) and my colleagues at Notebookcheck got over 9 hours in their WiFi surfing test (150 nits brightness.) There’s no MHL-over-USB (HDMI output via an adapter) but it’s OTG capable so you can connect keyboard, mouse and storage. Miracast is supported, there’s dual-band AC WiFi, GPS and compass too there’s an IP21 dust and splash resistant rating.
The projector doesn’t seem to take a huge amount of energy and might give you more battery life than on the screen. That surprised me.
Good design, quality screen, LTE and projector. IP21 protection, good speakers, great battery life and good performance. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro LTE is a really interesting 10-inch Android tablet and I’d really love to have it as part of my ultra mobile PC kit.
Compared to Windows tablets there’s less flexibility at the OS level but a huge choice of apps the make up for it, including Office Mobile. Don’t expect laptop performance here because the Atom X5 isn’t much better than the 2014 Baytrail-T platform.
The price for the LTE version needs to come down a bit but if you do buy it at full price I doubt you’ll be regretting the purchase.
Next up on UMPCPortal. The Yoga 710 Core m Windows convertible which is also working out as a great productive 2-in-1. (First impressions of the Lenovo Yoga 710.)
I don’t know how Lenovo did it but they have. The Lenovo X1 Tablet keyboard is amazing, and an engineering highlight. It’s got that classic Thinkpad feel of silky key-tops and solid, confidence-inspiring mechanics. There’s a touchpointer, mechanical mouse buttons and a touchpad. There’s even a backlight. Video overview, including the Lenovo X1 tablet itself, below.
What a nice surprise! The Lenovo Yoga 710, announced last month and not due on the market for a while, is here on the desk in front of me at CeBIT. At first glance I wasn’t sure what it was. Thin, light, great screen, good keyboard and a Core m5. A look into the hardware revealed the Lenovo 710. Take a look at the images, the video and the notes below.
Cinebench R11.5 multi CPU 1.52 points.
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 14.35
Max sequential disk read speed: over 450 MB/s
The keyboard is quite good, as is the screen. The only issue I can see now is the lack of ports. You’ll need to carry a bunch of USB adaptors!
I’m a fan of the Lenovo Miix 700 but this Yoga 710 might be better. I’ll be doing some more testing over the next few days so stay tuned.
Look at the keyboard. Look at the keyboard! The new Miix 700 tablet is a 12-inch tablet running on the new Core m processor. It’s targeted directly at the Surface 3 and Pro 3 audience but might be a better fit than either of them.
I bought a Thinkpad 8 last week. Why? This high-end Windows 8 tablet with LTE and 4GB got an update to the Z3795 CPU, has much improved performance over the original and was retailing in the UK for an absolute bargain price. Since I bought it I’ve done a lot of testing and a lot of travelling with it. I’ve also treated it to a hard case and a USB 3.0 OTG adaptor which says a lot about how I plan to use it.
Having done some research into casting under Windows recently (it’s improving a lot in Windows 10 – read more here) I was interested to read about the new Lenovo Cast product. According to the spec sheet (below) it’s just a DLNA and Miracast unit which is a flexible choice for Windows 8 users but as a heavy Amazon Fire TV user I know that on-stick apps/streaming and a remote control can be easier in many cases. There’s DIAL too. Windows 10 supports this remote-app startup protocol so why doesn’t the Lenovo Cast have Lenovo apps (or Windows 10 IoT + apps?