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.
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 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.)
Going into this review I had a very clear idea of what it was that I wanted out of the Yoga. I wanted something with great battery life, lightweight, moderate computing power and good “lapability”. I hate that word but it does cover that attribute quite well. Those of you who have read my first impressions will know that I was pretty chuffed with the device from the get go. Now a week later have things changed or am I am still in the honeymoon period? Read on to find out more.
The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro launched last week and has been handled by enough people now for us to get an idea of the performance of the Core M platform and the quality of the product. It’s the worlds-thinnest 2-in-1 and weighs just 1.19 KG which, for a 13.3-inch convertible is quite impressive. Lenovo have squeezed in a reasonably sized battery and there are a few other highlight features too.
I can’t get the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 off my mind.
What has the Surface Pro 3, the Flex 10 and the Samsung Q1u got in common? A stand! The Lenovo Yoga tablet 2 8 (and 10-inch) has a stand too and at under 1 pound / 426 grams it’s the lightest self-standing PC in the world. That makes it interesting for me, especially as it’s got a 1920×1200 screen, a big battery, an LTE option and a starting price of just $299 (dual-band WiFi version.) According to a retailer in Germany that has it up for pre-order there’s a digital compass and GPS. This is too good. I hope not though because I’ve just ordered it. I’m expecting an early November delivery.
The other interesting aspect here is the battery. This isn’t the lightest 8-inch Windows PC because it’s got a huge 24Wh battery inside. In comparison to the Lenovo Miix 2 8, which is one of the lightest, it’s got 35% more capacity. [The capacity is quoted at 6500 mAh. We can assume that it’s based on a 3.7V battery. Anything else would be too much for this weight.]
Take a look at some of the images and imagine the use cases here. Bluetooth keyboard, kitchen, seat-back, car, armchair…
Wolfson® Master HiFi™ audio processing and Dolby® surround sound
Don’t forget that Lenovo are touting good speakers too so the Yoga Tablet 2 8 could end up being your hotel-room best friend.
The camera could be the best camera yet on a Windows tablet…8MP rear camera with f2.2 wide-aperture lens, advanced glare-reducing glass and a BSI 2 sensor.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (Windows) issues.
Here are the trade-offs you’ll have to consider. 1) It’s not the lightest. The Dell Venue 8 Pro remains the best ‘reader’ Windows tablet on the market. 2) The stand/battery might improve the portrait reading experience but it might cause problems when thumb-typing. 3) There’s no HDMI port. You’ll get Miracast for video-mirroring but it’s not good enough for an interactive experience in my opinion. DisplayLink over USB 2.0 works for basic office use though. 4) The SoC isn’t going to be any more powerful than those of the first-generation Baytrail tablets although there’s a possibility that the eMMC could be faster as it is on the Toshiba Encore 2 8 tablet. 5) Still no USB 3.0 and the charge+data issue remains. There may be hacks for the latter issue.
If you’re not feeling it for the Yoga tablet 2 yet, take a look at this video from Mobilegeeks. I’ll add more to this playlist.
4 weeks to wait for my hands-on. Can you wait that long or are you pre-ordering?
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 specs and information in our database here.
The Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S in review here is a current Ultrabook, in previous generation form. The new Haswell versions are feeding-in but this Ivy Bridge version is on offer at $699 so it makes an attractive hybrid of great quality and mobility even more interesting. Ben reviewed the Core i7 version in July but we have the Core i3 version with 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, 11.6-inch version here now. It’s mostly a great experience but there are, as always, considerations. Read on to see if the Lenovo Yoga 11S fits your requirements and check out the Core i7 vs Core i3 Yoga 11S comparison.
The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro has launched. It’s lighter, it runs Haswell and it’s still got a nice big battery inside. Weight is down to 1.39 Kg which isn’t incredibly light but seeing as the Yoga 13 was heavier, the Yoga 2 Pro could improve on its popularity. A very high resolution screen (3200×1800) tops the specifications. We’ve had some hands-on time. Check the video out below.
The Yoga 13 is a truly exiting form factor and a well-made device. It’s a good Ultrabook and yet there are serious issues to be considered. The Yoga 13 is missing a few features and fails on a few aspects related to the convertible form-factor and convergence. Read on for a full review of the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13.
This review written on the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13.
The new Lenovo Yoga 11S seen at CES yesterday has been confirmed to have a Core i3-3229Y CPU running at 1.4Ghz. That’s the same clock and CPU power as the early Core i3 Sandy Bridge Ultrabooks in 2011 and just about half of the max performance you can get out of a Core i5 which can Turbo for short periods to 2.7/2.8Ghz.