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!
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 just completed a detailed review of the Dell Venue 11 Pro 5130. This is the Atom-based version (there’s a Core-based version too) and it comes with 4GB of RAM, a full USB 3.0 port and the high-end, full 64-bit Z3795 CPU. The difference in usability between this and 2GB Z3745-style Windows 8 tablets was marked. Here’s a summary.
Dell Venue 11 Pro 5130 Z3795-9356
The Dell Venue range all have good screens with some of the blackest blacks in the Windows tablet market. The 5130 here has an impressively high max brightness too so the contrast is way over 1000:1. The 11. 8-inch 1920 x 1080 screen punches, but it’s also heavy and I found the 770 grams to be too heavy, especially as it’s a very wide tablet.
The 11-inch Yoga got a significant upgrade when Lenovo launched the Yoga 3 11 this week. It’s a fanless Core M based convertible that now has a Full HD screen, a redesigned casing and hinge, has a power connector that doubles-up as a third USB port and it weighs just 1.1KG (2.4 pounds.) The starting price is $799 which, as we all know, means is will probably sell for a street price of $750 or even $699 with promotions. There’s no backlit keyboard and the battery is relatively small but for a convertible ultralight the Yoga 3 11 has to be high on the list.
The Lenovo Flex 3 11 is now official (it leaked earlier) so we’ve got more information for you. This 3.08 pounds / 1400 gram 360-degree (yes it folds back as a tablet. Don’t ask me why on a 1.4KG device without a digitizer) convertible will retail with a Pentium CPU inside for $399.
Lenovo Flex 3 11
3 pounds / 1.4 KG
11.6-inch 1366×768 screen
Up to Intel Pentium Quad Core (Baytrail-M 64-bit unconfirmed)
Up to 8GB RAM
Upto 64GB eMMC
Availability is said to be May. At $399 it’s more expensive that the HP Stream 11 360 that i’m testing for Notebookcheck.net right now. That’s coming in at 299 Euro which would equate to about $350 in the USA. Expect the street price for the Lenovo Flex 3 11 to be a little less than RRP.
A hands-on video of the three new Flex 3 products is shown below.
For those looking for netbook-style sizing and laptop-style performance, the 11.6” category of Ultrabooks is the place to be. It’s not the most active category, that belongs to the 14” segment, but it’s an important one for many. To make an 11.6” Ultrabook though takes skill, leading-edge components and some trade-offs. Battery capacities are generally smaller than in the 13.3” Ultrabooks and screen resolutions must be kept to sensible levels to avoid having to boost font sizes. One the other hand screen backlights take much less power making the 11.6” Ultrabook one of the most efficient there is. In this article I take a look at the options.
While Monday’s big news was definitely Apple’s new MacBook Pro with retina display, a thin and powerful new Ultrabook alternative, Apple also refreshed the even lighter and thinner MacBook Air with Ivy Bridge and a few other goodies.