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Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro review

A welcome upgrade to Lenovo's flagship Ultrabook

Our Verdict

A super sharp display, Haswell chip and gorgeous flexible design make this ultrabook easy to recommend despite its lackluster lasting power.

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 3200 x 1800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Unique flexible design
  • Top-notch QHD IPS display
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Aesthetically appealing

Against

  • No 802.11ac wireless adapter
  • Keyboard complicates tablet mode
  • Disappointing battery life
Scores in depth

 Introduction Lenovo has been breaking ground in the convertible ultrabook world with its Yoga line  In our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review we found ourselves surprisingly pleased with this versatile hybrid laptop and its solid performance  Even if we didn t use the Yoga as a tablet  we often flipped the keyboard back to poke through Windows 8 live tiles or watch some Netflix  What we didn t like were mostly minor complaints  The keyboard  the trackpad  and the screen were all winners  The absence of a backlit keyboard was a mild annoyance  while the lack of a true 1080 display was a read missed opportunity  At the time  we also expressed concerns that the Yoga was actually exposing some of Windows 8 s weaknesses With the Yoga 2 Pro the IdeaPad moniker is nowhere to be found now mdash Lenovo produced a noteworthy refresh to a device that increasingly looks like it will be a mainstay of the PC maker s lineup for the foreseeable future  A 3200 x 1800 display  known as QHD   or WQXGA for the truly in the know  is the most significant enhancement  but the new hybrids also have a Haswell processor  some subtle enhancements to the chassis  and a few extra touches in the bundled software All things considered  these are all welcome enhancements  although once again  Lenovo s forward thinking design exposes some surprising flaws in Windows 8 s ability to handle super HD resolutions on a portable form factor  What could possibly be bad about a QHD  3200 x 1800 display  We ll get to that in good time  For now  let s start at the top  One final note before we dive in  there aren t a great number of competitors in the super high resolution ultrabook category  Samsung s Ativ Book 9 Plus is one mdash it sports near identical specifications to the Yoga 2 mdash and the 13 inch MacBook Pro is another  Both cost 40  to 50  more than this system  Sleek  modern hellip and versatileAs the saying goes  you don t fix what isn t broken  In addition to its unprecedented flexibility  the original Yoga s sleek  rubberized chassis was one of the laptop s most remarked upon attributes  Smartly  Lenovo has changed barely a thing  aesthetically speaking  Part of the joy of reviewing this new Yoga Pro 2 was putting it in people s hands  Everyone remarked on its nice it look and feel  thanks to a thin profile  sturdy chassis  and that grippy  rubberized surface that we mentioned  which coats the entire device Just like last year  the most striking and still unique aspect of the Yoga 2 Pro is the fact that you can flip the screen back 360 degrees until it rests flat against the backside of the keyboard  This permits four operating modes Laptop mode is your standard 90 degree angle  with the advantage that the Yoga 2 Pro s flexible hinge allows you to lay the screen completely flat  which is actually quite handy for situations where you re standing up and need access to the keyboard  The most useful mode next to laptop mode would be tent mode  By setting the tablet on its top and bottom edges  the devices functions like a tablet in a stand  The new rubberized bevel edges earn their keep in this mode  The old Yoga would sometimes slide a bit on slippery surfaces  Not anymore  It s perfect for glancing at a recipe while cooking or setting the Yoga 2 Pro up on cluttered tablet tops  Stand mode is essentially tent mode  but with a little more sturdiness and support  The key difference is that it has a bigger footprint  so you ll need to clear off more of your desk before touchdown A special hinge on the Yoga 2 allows you to fold the screen all the way back for tablet mode  Unfortunately  just like the original Yoga  the 13 inch Yoga 2 Pro is a little too large to use comfortably in tablet mode  Also a repeat of the original  the presence of the keyboard on the backside of said tablet is obstructive and annoying  This said  the notion of playing full fledged  touch optimized PC games like Civilization V in this mode is fairly joyous  even if the device is too heavy to hold in your hands SpecificationsLenovo did make a few minor adjustments to the chassis itself  including a new backlit keyboard mdash an increasingly essential feature of any modern laptop  The new rubberized rim around the top bezel is welcome  since it prevents sliding when in tent mode  Furthermore  the power button is now located on the right side of the device  making it less likely that you ll turn the system on when it s in your bag  Finally  at 3 06 pounds the Yoga 2 Pro is about a half pound lighter than last year s 3 4 pound model  And at 13 x 8 7 x 0 61 inches in size  W x D x H   it s a shave thinner mdash  05 inches to be exact mdash than last year s model This year  in addition to the standard silver color  the Yoga 2 Pro also comes in a lovely electric orange trim  A fairly wide number of different configurations insure that you will be able to find an ideal price performance ratio ThinkPad Yoga vs  Yoga 2 ProIt s worth comparing the Yoga 2 Pro to Lenovo s new ThinkPad Yoga  Both systems have the same 360 degree hinge  and the same set of CPU  memory  and drive configurations  minus the 512GB option on the ThinkPad Yoga   The big differences between the two are that the ThinkPad Yoga only has a standard HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display in comparison to the Ultimately  these distinctions feel like arbitrary lines in the sand  It would be easy to argue that more productivity minded version of the Yoga would benefit more from the QHD  display than the more consumer minded Yoga 2 Pro  Similarly  you could also make the case that the fold away keyboard would be of equal benefit to consumers sitting on the couch than it would be to work oriented road warriors One final difference  at 12 46 x 8 70 x 0 76 inches  W x D x H   the ThinkPad Yoga is a little trimmer width wise  but a little thicker  At 3 52 pounds  it also weighs a little under a half pound more than the Yoga 2 Pro  SpecificationsThe system specs of the review unit Lenovo sent us were   bull  CPU  1 6GHz Core i5 4200U bull  RAM  4GB of DDR3 bull  Screen  3 200 x 1 800 IPS multi touch display bull  Storage  128GB SSD bull  Ports  1 USB 3 0  1 powered USB 2 0  headphone mic jack  micro HDMI out  SD MMC card reader bull  Webcam  720P front facing camera bull  Weight  3 06 pounds bull  Size  13 x 8 66 x 0 61 inchesThe major upgrade here is the inclusion of Intel s new Haswell architecture in the form of the Core i5 4200U processor  A dual core part built specifically for ultrabooks  the 4200U appears to be an ideal fit for the Yoga 2 Pro given its solid CPU performance  Each core operates at 1 6GHz  but the presence of Turbo Boost means it can throttle up to 2 3GZ with both cores active  and 2 6GHz with a single core active  The key advantage Haswell provides over the Ivy Bridge Core i5 3317U part from last year s Yoga is power savings  We ll get into that a bit more in the performance section  but without Haswell  we shudder to think what kind of battery life the Yoga 2 Pro would have In addition to the 1 6GHz Core i5 4200U we reviewed  Lenovo offers two other CPUs for this system  including an upgrade to the 1 80GHz Core i7 4500U part  and a lesser 1 7GHz Core i3 4010U  Both of these processors are also Haswell based  The former offers a little more power under the hood with very little additional power consumption  The latter provides a more affordably priced configuration  but with no CPU throttling Turbo Boost support  If we had our druthers  we d choose the higher end Core i7 part for this system  Intel s integrated HD Graphics 4400 provides the pixel pushing muscle for the display and 3D graphics  It s par for the course  and is integrated into all three of the CPUs available for this device  At press time  the price for the configuration above was US 999 00  That s a pretty solid price point  given the blend of modern parts mdash especially the high quality QHD display  In addition to the CPU options noted above  buyers can also choose less memory  2GB vs  4GB   or double the RAM to 8GB  In addition to the 128GB drive our review unit shipped with  two other hard drive configurations are offered  at 256GB and 512GB  Prices range from  949 to  1 499 fully loaded  Technophiles who want more future proof PC computing will be disappointed that the Yoga 2 Pro does not have a built in 802 11ac network adapter  It currently only supports b g n standards  While it is true that the specification yet to be finalized  and probably won t be completely locked until early 2014  there are already a number of pre 802 11ac routers on the market  and a select few laptops mdash including Apple s newest MacBook Air mdash have integrated 802 11ac adapters  High speed junkies  please note that there is no built in Ethernet jack on this system  you ll have to buy a separately sold dongle for that  PerformanceIt didn t blow us away  but the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro performed quite capably in most of our tests  The tale  as they say  lies in the tape  BenchmarksCinebench   9 125  4 016 with 1x CPU 3DMark   Ice Storm  23 032    Cloud Gate  3 397    Fire Storm  545PC Mark  ndash  Home  2 471    Work  3 309PC Mark Battery life   190 minutesWhat do the numbers tell us  First  that this is a reasonably configured device  capable of holding its own against other systems in the  1 000 or more ultrabook category  For this category  that s fairly common  and on par with other Haswell based devices Truthfully  unless you play games  an SSD and Windows 8 are a great equalizer for price and performance in today s PC market  so it is no surprise that in real life we were satisfied with the Yoga 2 s overall performance  The only thing you don t want with a Windows 8 ultrabook is an experience that is demonstrably slow  and that is definitely not the case here  Boot times and all app launches are pretty much instantaneous thanks to the SSD  And while the integrated HD graphics aren t going to allow you to play Call of Duty Ghosts at any level of respectability  you can play most of the mid tier Steam games mdash including new releases like The Wolf Among Us mdash at moderate settings  As we noted at the top  there aren t very many ultrabooks with QHD  displays  The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is one such system  and it put up superior numbers across the board by 20  to 30   In the Yoga 2 s defense  it does cost  400 less than the ATIV Book 9 Plus  and  500 less than Apple s newest  and quite awesome MacBook Pro  Battery performance is a concernThe biggest weakness of the Yoga 2 Pro is its mediocre battery life  In PC Mark s built in battery benchmark  we realized just over three hours of performance  That s actually not a bad result for a conventional laptop s synthetic test  But for a Haswell equipped ultrabook  We expected  or at least hoped for more  When you consider the 5 8 million pixels the system is pushing around  the middling battery life becomes a bit more understandable  In real life  what do these synthetic results mean  In real work mode  you ll likely get just around five hours of battery life mdash if you keep the screen fairly dim  And in a more work and sleep mode  you ll get maybe six hours  depending on your battery settings  While writing this very review  we watched with dismay as the Yoga 2 Pro s battery drained to zero in about five and a half hours at full screen brightness  Mouse and keyboardThe Yoga s keyboard hasn t changed since last year s model except that now the keyboard is backlit  The first Yoga sorely lacked this feature  which always comes in handy when working on a plane or late into the night  As far as key presses go it s fine  and offers decent response The trackpad has something of a learning curve  Out of the box  it had what felt like a slightly gritty  film over the pad itself  and the end result was that we struggled to throw the mouse around the screen  After about 10 days  we broke through whatever barrier was slowing us down  and it began to feel like we expect a touchpad to feel like  smooth  sleek  and responsive  The display has it mdash mostly Without a doubt  the Yoga 2 Pro s 13 inch screen is a remarkable feat of engineering  At 3200 x 1800 pixels  it out Retina Displays the MacBook Pro series  We know this much  QHD  is a whole lot of pixels  it literally doubles the 1600 x 900 screen density of last year s Yogas like Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Resolution is only part of the win here  Lenovo s use of a high quality IPS panel also makes for a very crisp  viewable screen  The Yoga 2 is bright  350 nits  and offers excellent viewing angles  For a portable like this that will often be used in kitchens and living rooms  both of these attributes are important  At just  1 000 USD  it s a sure sign that in 2014 we ll be entering a laptop display war  By January 2015  we bet that more than half of all laptops in the  1 000  range have hyper HD screens Unfortunately  not all is perfect with the Yoga 2 Pro s screen  Last November  in our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review  we felt that it because it was such a forward thinking laptop  it actually exposed some of the flaws of Windows 8  Unfortunately  the same can be said here Time after time  we found that Windows 8 struggled with the super high resolution  which created some odd inconsistencies and unpredictable behaviors in day to day operations  Most of these frustrations occurred in desktop mode  but some oddities did crop up in Metro as well  The short version of our difficulties boiled down to a conflict between such a high resolution display on such a relatively small screen  As an example  in Outlook  the main inbox calendar window used an oversized cursor  but when we switched to the composition window  the cursor would shrink in size  Similarly in Chrome  the browser tabs suddenly became microscopic in size  even though there was plenty of real estate to display web site names in each one   This occurred in both desktop and Metro modes   Over and over again  we experienced these frustrations  until we finally figured out a solution that addressed most of these issues  In Windows 8  navigate to Display  gt  Screen Resolution  and then click

 Introduction Lenovo has been breaking ground in the convertible ultrabook world with its Yoga line  In our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review we found ourselves surprisingly pleased with this versatile hybrid laptop and its solid performance  Even if we didn t use the Yoga as a tablet  we often flipped the keyboard back to poke through Windows 8 live tiles or watch some Netflix  What we didn t like were mostly minor complaints  The keyboard  the trackpad  and the screen were all winners  The absence of a backlit keyboard was a mild annoyance  while the lack of a true 1080 display was a read missed opportunity  At the time  we also expressed concerns that the Yoga was actually exposing some of Windows 8 s weaknesses With the Yoga 2 Pro the IdeaPad moniker is nowhere to be found now mdash Lenovo produced a noteworthy refresh to a device that increasingly looks like it will be a mainstay of the PC maker s lineup for the foreseeable future  A 3200 x 1800 display  known as QHD   or WQXGA for the truly in the know  is the most significant enhancement  but the new hybrids also have a Haswell processor  some subtle enhancements to the chassis  and a few extra touches in the bundled software All things considered  these are all welcome enhancements  although once again  Lenovo s forward thinking design exposes some surprising flaws in Windows 8 s ability to handle super HD resolutions on a portable form factor  What could possibly be bad about a QHD  3200 x 1800 display  We ll get to that in good time  For now  let s start at the top  One final note before we dive in  there aren t a great number of competitors in the super high resolution ultrabook category  Samsung s Ativ Book 9 Plus is one mdash it sports near identical specifications to the Yoga 2 mdash and the 13 inch MacBook Pro is another  Both cost 40  to 50  more than this system  Sleek  modern hellip and versatileAs the saying goes  you don t fix what isn t broken  In addition to its unprecedented flexibility  the original Yoga s sleek  rubberized chassis was one of the laptop s most remarked upon attributes  Smartly  Lenovo has changed barely a thing  aesthetically speaking  Part of the joy of reviewing this new Yoga Pro 2 was putting it in people s hands  Everyone remarked on its nice it look and feel  thanks to a thin profile  sturdy chassis  and that grippy  rubberized surface that we mentioned  which coats the entire device Just like last year  the most striking and still unique aspect of the Yoga 2 Pro is the fact that you can flip the screen back 360 degrees until it rests flat against the backside of the keyboard  This permits four operating modes Laptop mode is your standard 90 degree angle  with the advantage that the Yoga 2 Pro s flexible hinge allows you to lay the screen completely flat  which is actually quite handy for situations where you re standing up and need access to the keyboard  The most useful mode next to laptop mode would be tent mode  By setting the tablet on its top and bottom edges  the devices functions like a tablet in a stand  The new rubberized bevel edges earn their keep in this mode  The old Yoga would sometimes slide a bit on slippery surfaces  Not anymore  It s perfect for glancing at a recipe while cooking or setting the Yoga 2 Pro up on cluttered tablet tops  Stand mode is essentially tent mode  but with a little more sturdiness and support  The key difference is that it has a bigger footprint  so you ll need to clear off more of your desk before touchdown A special hinge on the Yoga 2 allows you to fold the screen all the way back for tablet mode  Unfortunately  just like the original Yoga  the 13 inch Yoga 2 Pro is a little too large to use comfortably in tablet mode  Also a repeat of the original  the presence of the keyboard on the backside of said tablet is obstructive and annoying  This said  the notion of playing full fledged  touch optimized PC games like Civilization V in this mode is fairly joyous  even if the device is too heavy to hold in your hands SpecificationsLenovo did make a few minor adjustments to the chassis itself  including a new backlit keyboard mdash an increasingly essential feature of any modern laptop  The new rubberized rim around the top bezel is welcome  since it prevents sliding when in tent mode  Furthermore  the power button is now located on the right side of the device  making it less likely that you ll turn the system on when it s in your bag  Finally  at 3 06 pounds the Yoga 2 Pro is about a half pound lighter than last year s 3 4 pound model  And at 13 x 8 7 x 0 61 inches in size  W x D x H   it s a shave thinner mdash  05 inches to be exact mdash than last year s model This year  in addition to the standard silver color  the Yoga 2 Pro also comes in a lovely electric orange trim  A fairly wide number of different configurations insure that you will be able to find an ideal price performance ratio ThinkPad Yoga vs  Yoga 2 ProIt s worth comparing the Yoga 2 Pro to Lenovo s new ThinkPad Yoga  Both systems have the same 360 degree hinge  and the same set of CPU  memory  and drive configurations  minus the 512GB option on the ThinkPad Yoga   The big differences between the two are that the ThinkPad Yoga only has a standard HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display in comparison to the Ultimately  these distinctions feel like arbitrary lines in the sand  It would be easy to argue that more productivity minded version of the Yoga would benefit more from the QHD  display than the more consumer minded Yoga 2 Pro  Similarly  you could also make the case that the fold away keyboard would be of equal benefit to consumers sitting on the couch than it would be to work oriented road warriors One final difference  at 12 46 x 8 70 x 0 76 inches  W x D x H   the ThinkPad Yoga is a little trimmer width wise  but a little thicker  At 3 52 pounds  it also weighs a little under a half pound more than the Yoga 2 Pro  SpecificationsThe system specs of the review unit Lenovo sent us were   bull  CPU  1 6GHz Core i5 4200U bull  RAM  4GB of DDR3 bull  Screen  3 200 x 1 800 IPS multi touch display bull  Storage  128GB SSD bull  Ports  1 USB 3 0  1 powered USB 2 0  headphone mic jack  micro HDMI out  SD MMC card reader bull  Webcam  720P front facing camera bull  Weight  3 06 pounds bull  Size  13 x 8 66 x 0 61 inchesThe major upgrade here is the inclusion of Intel s new Haswell architecture in the form of the Core i5 4200U processor  A dual core part built specifically for ultrabooks  the 4200U appears to be an ideal fit for the Yoga 2 Pro given its solid CPU performance  Each core operates at 1 6GHz  but the presence of Turbo Boost means it can throttle up to 2 3GZ with both cores active  and 2 6GHz with a single core active  The key advantage Haswell provides over the Ivy Bridge Core i5 3317U part from last year s Yoga is power savings  We ll get into that a bit more in the performance section  but without Haswell  we shudder to think what kind of battery life the Yoga 2 Pro would have In addition to the 1 6GHz Core i5 4200U we reviewed  Lenovo offers two other CPUs for this system  including an upgrade to the 1 80GHz Core i7 4500U part  and a lesser 1 7GHz Core i3 4010U  Both of these processors are also Haswell based  The former offers a little more power under the hood with very little additional power consumption  The latter provides a more affordably priced configuration  but with no CPU throttling Turbo Boost support  If we had our druthers  we d choose the higher end Core i7 part for this system  Intel s integrated HD Graphics 4400 provides the pixel pushing muscle for the display and 3D graphics  It s par for the course  and is integrated into all three of the CPUs available for this device  At press time  the price for the configuration above was US 999 00  That s a pretty solid price point  given the blend of modern parts mdash especially the high quality QHD display  In addition to the CPU options noted above  buyers can also choose less memory  2GB vs  4GB   or double the RAM to 8GB  In addition to the 128GB drive our review unit shipped with  two other hard drive configurations are offered  at 256GB and 512GB  Prices range from  949 to  1 499 fully loaded  Technophiles who want more future proof PC computing will be disappointed that the Yoga 2 Pro does not have a built in 802 11ac network adapter  It currently only supports b g n standards  While it is true that the specification yet to be finalized  and probably won t be completely locked until early 2014  there are already a number of pre 802 11ac routers on the market  and a select few laptops mdash including Apple s newest MacBook Air mdash have integrated 802 11ac adapters  High speed junkies  please note that there is no built in Ethernet jack on this system  you ll have to buy a separately sold dongle for that  PerformanceIt didn t blow us away  but the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro performed quite capably in most of our tests  The tale  as they say  lies in the tape  BenchmarksCinebench   9 125  4 016 with 1x CPU 3DMark   Ice Storm  23 032    Cloud Gate  3 397    Fire Storm  545PC Mark  ndash  Home  2 471    Work  3 309PC Mark Battery life   190 minutesWhat do the numbers tell us  First  that this is a reasonably configured device  capable of holding its own against other systems in the  1 000 or more ultrabook category  For this category  that s fairly common  and on par with other Haswell based devices Truthfully  unless you play games  an SSD and Windows 8 are a great equalizer for price and performance in today s PC market  so it is no surprise that in real life we were satisfied with the Yoga 2 s overall performance  The only thing you don t want with a Windows 8 ultrabook is an experience that is demonstrably slow  and that is definitely not the case here  Boot times and all app launches are pretty much instantaneous thanks to the SSD  And while the integrated HD graphics aren t going to allow you to play Call of Duty Ghosts at any level of respectability  you can play most of the mid tier Steam games mdash including new releases like The Wolf Among Us mdash at moderate settings  As we noted at the top  there aren t very many ultrabooks with QHD  displays  The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is one such system  and it put up superior numbers across the board by 20  to 30   In the Yoga 2 s defense  it does cost  400 less than the ATIV Book 9 Plus  and  500 less than Apple s newest  and quite awesome MacBook Pro  Battery performance is a concernThe biggest weakness of the Yoga 2 Pro is its mediocre battery life  In PC Mark s built in battery benchmark  we realized just over three hours of performance  That s actually not a bad result for a conventional laptop s synthetic test  But for a Haswell equipped ultrabook  We expected  or at least hoped for more  When you consider the 5 8 million pixels the system is pushing around  the middling battery life becomes a bit more understandable  In real life  what do these synthetic results mean  In real work mode  you ll likely get just around five hours of battery life mdash if you keep the screen fairly dim  And in a more work and sleep mode  you ll get maybe six hours  depending on your battery settings  While writing this very review  we watched with dismay as the Yoga 2 Pro s battery drained to zero in about five and a half hours at full screen brightness  Mouse and keyboardThe Yoga s keyboard hasn t changed since last year s model except that now the keyboard is backlit  The first Yoga sorely lacked this feature  which always comes in handy when working on a plane or late into the night  As far as key presses go it s fine  and offers decent response The trackpad has something of a learning curve  Out of the box  it had what felt like a slightly gritty  film over the pad itself  and the end result was that we struggled to throw the mouse around the screen  After about 10 days  we broke through whatever barrier was slowing us down  and it began to feel like we expect a touchpad to feel like  smooth  sleek  and responsive  The display has it mdash mostly Without a doubt  the Yoga 2 Pro s 13 inch screen is a remarkable feat of engineering  At 3200 x 1800 pixels  it out Retina Displays the MacBook Pro series  We know this much  QHD  is a whole lot of pixels  it literally doubles the 1600 x 900 screen density of last year s Yogas like Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Resolution is only part of the win here  Lenovo s use of a high quality IPS panel also makes for a very crisp  viewable screen  The Yoga 2 is bright  350 nits  and offers excellent viewing angles  For a portable like this that will often be used in kitchens and living rooms  both of these attributes are important  At just  1 000 USD  it s a sure sign that in 2014 we ll be entering a laptop display war  By January 2015  we bet that more than half of all laptops in the  1 000  range have hyper HD screens Unfortunately  not all is perfect with the Yoga 2 Pro s screen  Last November  in our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review  we felt that it because it was such a forward thinking laptop  it actually exposed some of the flaws of Windows 8  Unfortunately  the same can be said here Time after time  we found that Windows 8 struggled with the super high resolution  which created some odd inconsistencies and unpredictable behaviors in day to day operations  Most of these frustrations occurred in desktop mode  but some oddities did crop up in Metro as well  The short version of our difficulties boiled down to a conflict between such a high resolution display on such a relatively small screen  As an example  in Outlook  the main inbox calendar window used an oversized cursor  but when we switched to the composition window  the cursor would shrink in size  Similarly in Chrome  the browser tabs suddenly became microscopic in size  even though there was plenty of real estate to display web site names in each one   This occurred in both desktop and Metro modes   Over and over again  we experienced these frustrations  until we finally figured out a solution that addressed most of these issues  In Windows 8  navigate to Display  gt  Screen Resolution  and then click

 Introduction Lenovo has been breaking ground in the convertible ultrabook world with its Yoga line  In our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review we found ourselves surprisingly pleased with this versatile hybrid laptop and its solid performance  Even if we didn t use the Yoga as a tablet  we often flipped the keyboard back to poke through Windows 8 live tiles or watch some Netflix  What we didn t like were mostly minor complaints  The keyboard  the trackpad  and the screen were all winners  The absence of a backlit keyboard was a mild annoyance  while the lack of a true 1080 display was a read missed opportunity  At the time  we also expressed concerns that the Yoga was actually exposing some of Windows 8 s weaknesses With the Yoga 2 Pro the IdeaPad moniker is nowhere to be found now mdash Lenovo produced a noteworthy refresh to a device that increasingly looks like it will be a mainstay of the PC maker s lineup for the foreseeable future  A 3200 x 1800 display  known as QHD   or WQXGA for the truly in the know  is the most significant enhancement  but the new hybrids also have a Haswell processor  some subtle enhancements to the chassis  and a few extra touches in the bundled software All things considered  these are all welcome enhancements  although once again  Lenovo s forward thinking design exposes some surprising flaws in Windows 8 s ability to handle super HD resolutions on a portable form factor  What could possibly be bad about a QHD  3200 x 1800 display  We ll get to that in good time  For now  let s start at the top  One final note before we dive in  there aren t a great number of competitors in the super high resolution ultrabook category  Samsung s Ativ Book 9 Plus is one mdash it sports near identical specifications to the Yoga 2 mdash and the 13 inch MacBook Pro is another  Both cost 40  to 50  more than this system  Sleek  modern hellip and versatileAs the saying goes  you don t fix what isn t broken  In addition to its unprecedented flexibility  the original Yoga s sleek  rubberized chassis was one of the laptop s most remarked upon attributes  Smartly  Lenovo has changed barely a thing  aesthetically speaking  Part of the joy of reviewing this new Yoga Pro 2 was putting it in people s hands  Everyone remarked on its nice it look and feel  thanks to a thin profile  sturdy chassis  and that grippy  rubberized surface that we mentioned  which coats the entire device Just like last year  the most striking and still unique aspect of the Yoga 2 Pro is the fact that you can flip the screen back 360 degrees until it rests flat against the backside of the keyboard  This permits four operating modes Laptop mode is your standard 90 degree angle  with the advantage that the Yoga 2 Pro s flexible hinge allows you to lay the screen completely flat  which is actually quite handy for situations where you re standing up and need access to the keyboard  The most useful mode next to laptop mode would be tent mode  By setting the tablet on its top and bottom edges  the devices functions like a tablet in a stand  The new rubberized bevel edges earn their keep in this mode  The old Yoga would sometimes slide a bit on slippery surfaces  Not anymore  It s perfect for glancing at a recipe while cooking or setting the Yoga 2 Pro up on cluttered tablet tops  Stand mode is essentially tent mode  but with a little more sturdiness and support  The key difference is that it has a bigger footprint  so you ll need to clear off more of your desk before touchdown A special hinge on the Yoga 2 allows you to fold the screen all the way back for tablet mode  Unfortunately  just like the original Yoga  the 13 inch Yoga 2 Pro is a little too large to use comfortably in tablet mode  Also a repeat of the original  the presence of the keyboard on the backside of said tablet is obstructive and annoying  This said  the notion of playing full fledged  touch optimized PC games like Civilization V in this mode is fairly joyous  even if the device is too heavy to hold in your hands SpecificationsLenovo did make a few minor adjustments to the chassis itself  including a new backlit keyboard mdash an increasingly essential feature of any modern laptop  The new rubberized rim around the top bezel is welcome  since it prevents sliding when in tent mode  Furthermore  the power button is now located on the right side of the device  making it less likely that you ll turn the system on when it s in your bag  Finally  at 3 06 pounds the Yoga 2 Pro is about a half pound lighter than last year s 3 4 pound model  And at 13 x 8 7 x 0 61 inches in size  W x D x H   it s a shave thinner mdash  05 inches to be exact mdash than last year s model This year  in addition to the standard silver color  the Yoga 2 Pro also comes in a lovely electric orange trim  A fairly wide number of different configurations insure that you will be able to find an ideal price performance ratio ThinkPad Yoga vs  Yoga 2 ProIt s worth comparing the Yoga 2 Pro to Lenovo s new ThinkPad Yoga  Both systems have the same 360 degree hinge  and the same set of CPU  memory  and drive configurations  minus the 512GB option on the ThinkPad Yoga   The big differences between the two are that the ThinkPad Yoga only has a standard HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display in comparison to the Ultimately  these distinctions feel like arbitrary lines in the sand  It would be easy to argue that more productivity minded version of the Yoga would benefit more from the QHD  display than the more consumer minded Yoga 2 Pro  Similarly  you could also make the case that the fold away keyboard would be of equal benefit to consumers sitting on the couch than it would be to work oriented road warriors One final difference  at 12 46 x 8 70 x 0 76 inches  W x D x H   the ThinkPad Yoga is a little trimmer width wise  but a little thicker  At 3 52 pounds  it also weighs a little under a half pound more than the Yoga 2 Pro  SpecificationsThe system specs of the review unit Lenovo sent us were   bull  CPU  1 6GHz Core i5 4200U bull  RAM  4GB of DDR3 bull  Screen  3 200 x 1 800 IPS multi touch display bull  Storage  128GB SSD bull  Ports  1 USB 3 0  1 powered USB 2 0  headphone mic jack  micro HDMI out  SD MMC card reader bull  Webcam  720P front facing camera bull  Weight  3 06 pounds bull  Size  13 x 8 66 x 0 61 inchesThe major upgrade here is the inclusion of Intel s new Haswell architecture in the form of the Core i5 4200U processor  A dual core part built specifically for ultrabooks  the 4200U appears to be an ideal fit for the Yoga 2 Pro given its solid CPU performance  Each core operates at 1 6GHz  but the presence of Turbo Boost means it can throttle up to 2 3GZ with both cores active  and 2 6GHz with a single core active  The key advantage Haswell provides over the Ivy Bridge Core i5 3317U part from last year s Yoga is power savings  We ll get into that a bit more in the performance section  but without Haswell  we shudder to think what kind of battery life the Yoga 2 Pro would have In addition to the 1 6GHz Core i5 4200U we reviewed  Lenovo offers two other CPUs for this system  including an upgrade to the 1 80GHz Core i7 4500U part  and a lesser 1 7GHz Core i3 4010U  Both of these processors are also Haswell based  The former offers a little more power under the hood with very little additional power consumption  The latter provides a more affordably priced configuration  but with no CPU throttling Turbo Boost support  If we had our druthers  we d choose the higher end Core i7 part for this system  Intel s integrated HD Graphics 4400 provides the pixel pushing muscle for the display and 3D graphics  It s par for the course  and is integrated into all three of the CPUs available for this device  At press time  the price for the configuration above was US 999 00  That s a pretty solid price point  given the blend of modern parts mdash especially the high quality QHD display  In addition to the CPU options noted above  buyers can also choose less memory  2GB vs  4GB   or double the RAM to 8GB  In addition to the 128GB drive our review unit shipped with  two other hard drive configurations are offered  at 256GB and 512GB  Prices range from  949 to  1 499 fully loaded  Technophiles who want more future proof PC computing will be disappointed that the Yoga 2 Pro does not have a built in 802 11ac network adapter  It currently only supports b g n standards  While it is true that the specification yet to be finalized  and probably won t be completely locked until early 2014  there are already a number of pre 802 11ac routers on the market  and a select few laptops mdash including Apple s newest MacBook Air mdash have integrated 802 11ac adapters  High speed junkies  please note that there is no built in Ethernet jack on this system  you ll have to buy a separately sold dongle for that  PerformanceIt didn t blow us away  but the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro performed quite capably in most of our tests  The tale  as they say  lies in the tape  BenchmarksCinebench   9 125  4 016 with 1x CPU 3DMark   Ice Storm  23 032    Cloud Gate  3 397    Fire Storm  545PC Mark  ndash  Home  2 471    Work  3 309PC Mark Battery life   190 minutesWhat do the numbers tell us  First  that this is a reasonably configured device  capable of holding its own against other systems in the  1 000 or more ultrabook category  For this category  that s fairly common  and on par with other Haswell based devices Truthfully  unless you play games  an SSD and Windows 8 are a great equalizer for price and performance in today s PC market  so it is no surprise that in real life we were satisfied with the Yoga 2 s overall performance  The only thing you don t want with a Windows 8 ultrabook is an experience that is demonstrably slow  and that is definitely not the case here  Boot times and all app launches are pretty much instantaneous thanks to the SSD  And while the integrated HD graphics aren t going to allow you to play Call of Duty Ghosts at any level of respectability  you can play most of the mid tier Steam games mdash including new releases like The Wolf Among Us mdash at moderate settings  As we noted at the top  there aren t very many ultrabooks with QHD  displays  The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is one such system  and it put up superior numbers across the board by 20  to 30   In the Yoga 2 s defense  it does cost  400 less than the ATIV Book 9 Plus  and  500 less than Apple s newest  and quite awesome MacBook Pro  Battery performance is a concernThe biggest weakness of the Yoga 2 Pro is its mediocre battery life  In PC Mark s built in battery benchmark  we realized just over three hours of performance  That s actually not a bad result for a conventional laptop s synthetic test  But for a Haswell equipped ultrabook  We expected  or at least hoped for more  When you consider the 5 8 million pixels the system is pushing around  the middling battery life becomes a bit more understandable  In real life  what do these synthetic results mean  In real work mode  you ll likely get just around five hours of battery life mdash if you keep the screen fairly dim  And in a more work and sleep mode  you ll get maybe six hours  depending on your battery settings  While writing this very review  we watched with dismay as the Yoga 2 Pro s battery drained to zero in about five and a half hours at full screen brightness  Mouse and keyboardThe Yoga s keyboard hasn t changed since last year s model except that now the keyboard is backlit  The first Yoga sorely lacked this feature  which always comes in handy when working on a plane or late into the night  As far as key presses go it s fine  and offers decent response The trackpad has something of a learning curve  Out of the box  it had what felt like a slightly gritty  film over the pad itself  and the end result was that we struggled to throw the mouse around the screen  After about 10 days  we broke through whatever barrier was slowing us down  and it began to feel like we expect a touchpad to feel like  smooth  sleek  and responsive  The display has it mdash mostly Without a doubt  the Yoga 2 Pro s 13 inch screen is a remarkable feat of engineering  At 3200 x 1800 pixels  it out Retina Displays the MacBook Pro series  We know this much  QHD  is a whole lot of pixels  it literally doubles the 1600 x 900 screen density of last year s Yogas like Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Resolution is only part of the win here  Lenovo s use of a high quality IPS panel also makes for a very crisp  viewable screen  The Yoga 2 is bright  350 nits  and offers excellent viewing angles  For a portable like this that will often be used in kitchens and living rooms  both of these attributes are important  At just  1 000 USD  it s a sure sign that in 2014 we ll be entering a laptop display war  By January 2015  we bet that more than half of all laptops in the  1 000  range have hyper HD screens Unfortunately  not all is perfect with the Yoga 2 Pro s screen  Last November  in our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review  we felt that it because it was such a forward thinking laptop  it actually exposed some of the flaws of Windows 8  Unfortunately  the same can be said here Time after time  we found that Windows 8 struggled with the super high resolution  which created some odd inconsistencies and unpredictable behaviors in day to day operations  Most of these frustrations occurred in desktop mode  but some oddities did crop up in Metro as well  The short version of our difficulties boiled down to a conflict between such a high resolution display on such a relatively small screen  As an example  in Outlook  the main inbox calendar window used an oversized cursor  but when we switched to the composition window  the cursor would shrink in size  Similarly in Chrome  the browser tabs suddenly became microscopic in size  even though there was plenty of real estate to display web site names in each one   This occurred in both desktop and Metro modes   Over and over again  we experienced these frustrations  until we finally figured out a solution that addressed most of these issues  In Windows 8  navigate to Display  gt  Screen Resolution  and then click

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro review

 Introduction Lenovo has been breaking ground in the convertible ultrabook world with its Yoga line  In our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review we found ourselves surprisingly pleased with this versatile hybrid laptop and its solid performance  Even if we didn t use the Yoga as a tablet  we often flipped the keyboard back to poke through Windows 8 live tiles or watch some Netflix  What we didn t like were mostly minor complaints  The keyboard  the trackpad  and the screen were all winners  The absence of a backlit keyboard was a mild annoyance  while the lack of a true 1080 display was a read missed opportunity  At the time  we also expressed concerns that the Yoga was actually exposing some of Windows 8 s weaknesses With the Yoga 2 Pro the IdeaPad moniker is nowhere to be found now mdash Lenovo produced a noteworthy refresh to a device that increasingly looks like it will be a mainstay of the PC maker s lineup for the foreseeable future  A 3200 x 1800 display  known as QHD   or WQXGA for the truly in the know  is the most significant enhancement  but the new hybrids also have a Haswell processor  some subtle enhancements to the chassis  and a few extra touches in the bundled software All things considered  these are all welcome enhancements  although once again  Lenovo s forward thinking design exposes some surprising flaws in Windows 8 s ability to handle super HD resolutions on a portable form factor  What could possibly be bad about a QHD  3200 x 1800 display  We ll get to that in good time  For now  let s start at the top  One final note before we dive in  there aren t a great number of competitors in the super high resolution ultrabook category  Samsung s Ativ Book 9 Plus is one mdash it sports near identical specifications to the Yoga 2 mdash and the 13 inch MacBook Pro is another  Both cost 40  to 50  more than this system  Sleek  modern hellip and versatileAs the saying goes  you don t fix what isn t broken  In addition to its unprecedented flexibility  the original Yoga s sleek  rubberized chassis was one of the laptop s most remarked upon attributes  Smartly  Lenovo has changed barely a thing  aesthetically speaking  Part of the joy of reviewing this new Yoga Pro 2 was putting it in people s hands  Everyone remarked on its nice it look and feel  thanks to a thin profile  sturdy chassis  and that grippy  rubberized surface that we mentioned  which coats the entire device Just like last year  the most striking and still unique aspect of the Yoga 2 Pro is the fact that you can flip the screen back 360 degrees until it rests flat against the backside of the keyboard  This permits four operating modes Laptop mode is your standard 90 degree angle  with the advantage that the Yoga 2 Pro s flexible hinge allows you to lay the screen completely flat  which is actually quite handy for situations where you re standing up and need access to the keyboard  The most useful mode next to laptop mode would be tent mode  By setting the tablet on its top and bottom edges  the devices functions like a tablet in a stand  The new rubberized bevel edges earn their keep in this mode  The old Yoga would sometimes slide a bit on slippery surfaces  Not anymore  It s perfect for glancing at a recipe while cooking or setting the Yoga 2 Pro up on cluttered tablet tops  Stand mode is essentially tent mode  but with a little more sturdiness and support  The key difference is that it has a bigger footprint  so you ll need to clear off more of your desk before touchdown A special hinge on the Yoga 2 allows you to fold the screen all the way back for tablet mode  Unfortunately  just like the original Yoga  the 13 inch Yoga 2 Pro is a little too large to use comfortably in tablet mode  Also a repeat of the original  the presence of the keyboard on the backside of said tablet is obstructive and annoying  This said  the notion of playing full fledged  touch optimized PC games like Civilization V in this mode is fairly joyous  even if the device is too heavy to hold in your hands SpecificationsLenovo did make a few minor adjustments to the chassis itself  including a new backlit keyboard mdash an increasingly essential feature of any modern laptop  The new rubberized rim around the top bezel is welcome  since it prevents sliding when in tent mode  Furthermore  the power button is now located on the right side of the device  making it less likely that you ll turn the system on when it s in your bag  Finally  at 3 06 pounds the Yoga 2 Pro is about a half pound lighter than last year s 3 4 pound model  And at 13 x 8 7 x 0 61 inches in size  W x D x H   it s a shave thinner mdash  05 inches to be exact mdash than last year s model This year  in addition to the standard silver color  the Yoga 2 Pro also comes in a lovely electric orange trim  A fairly wide number of different configurations insure that you will be able to find an ideal price performance ratio ThinkPad Yoga vs  Yoga 2 ProIt s worth comparing the Yoga 2 Pro to Lenovo s new ThinkPad Yoga  Both systems have the same 360 degree hinge  and the same set of CPU  memory  and drive configurations  minus the 512GB option on the ThinkPad Yoga   The big differences between the two are that the ThinkPad Yoga only has a standard HD 1920 x 1080 IPS display in comparison to the Ultimately  these distinctions feel like arbitrary lines in the sand  It would be easy to argue that more productivity minded version of the Yoga would benefit more from the QHD  display than the more consumer minded Yoga 2 Pro  Similarly  you could also make the case that the fold away keyboard would be of equal benefit to consumers sitting on the couch than it would be to work oriented road warriors One final difference  at 12 46 x 8 70 x 0 76 inches  W x D x H   the ThinkPad Yoga is a little trimmer width wise  but a little thicker  At 3 52 pounds  it also weighs a little under a half pound more than the Yoga 2 Pro  SpecificationsThe system specs of the review unit Lenovo sent us were   bull  CPU  1 6GHz Core i5 4200U bull  RAM  4GB of DDR3 bull  Screen  3 200 x 1 800 IPS multi touch display bull  Storage  128GB SSD bull  Ports  1 USB 3 0  1 powered USB 2 0  headphone mic jack  micro HDMI out  SD MMC card reader bull  Webcam  720P front facing camera bull  Weight  3 06 pounds bull  Size  13 x 8 66 x 0 61 inchesThe major upgrade here is the inclusion of Intel s new Haswell architecture in the form of the Core i5 4200U processor  A dual core part built specifically for ultrabooks  the 4200U appears to be an ideal fit for the Yoga 2 Pro given its solid CPU performance  Each core operates at 1 6GHz  but the presence of Turbo Boost means it can throttle up to 2 3GZ with both cores active  and 2 6GHz with a single core active  The key advantage Haswell provides over the Ivy Bridge Core i5 3317U part from last year s Yoga is power savings  We ll get into that a bit more in the performance section  but without Haswell  we shudder to think what kind of battery life the Yoga 2 Pro would have In addition to the 1 6GHz Core i5 4200U we reviewed  Lenovo offers two other CPUs for this system  including an upgrade to the 1 80GHz Core i7 4500U part  and a lesser 1 7GHz Core i3 4010U  Both of these processors are also Haswell based  The former offers a little more power under the hood with very little additional power consumption  The latter provides a more affordably priced configuration  but with no CPU throttling Turbo Boost support  If we had our druthers  we d choose the higher end Core i7 part for this system  Intel s integrated HD Graphics 4400 provides the pixel pushing muscle for the display and 3D graphics  It s par for the course  and is integrated into all three of the CPUs available for this device  At press time  the price for the configuration above was US 999 00  That s a pretty solid price point  given the blend of modern parts mdash especially the high quality QHD display  In addition to the CPU options noted above  buyers can also choose less memory  2GB vs  4GB   or double the RAM to 8GB  In addition to the 128GB drive our review unit shipped with  two other hard drive configurations are offered  at 256GB and 512GB  Prices range from  949 to  1 499 fully loaded  Technophiles who want more future proof PC computing will be disappointed that the Yoga 2 Pro does not have a built in 802 11ac network adapter  It currently only supports b g n standards  While it is true that the specification yet to be finalized  and probably won t be completely locked until early 2014  there are already a number of pre 802 11ac routers on the market  and a select few laptops mdash including Apple s newest MacBook Air mdash have integrated 802 11ac adapters  High speed junkies  please note that there is no built in Ethernet jack on this system  you ll have to buy a separately sold dongle for that  PerformanceIt didn t blow us away  but the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro performed quite capably in most of our tests  The tale  as they say  lies in the tape  BenchmarksCinebench   9 125  4 016 with 1x CPU 3DMark   Ice Storm  23 032    Cloud Gate  3 397    Fire Storm  545PC Mark  ndash  Home  2 471    Work  3 309PC Mark Battery life   190 minutesWhat do the numbers tell us  First  that this is a reasonably configured device  capable of holding its own against other systems in the  1 000 or more ultrabook category  For this category  that s fairly common  and on par with other Haswell based devices Truthfully  unless you play games  an SSD and Windows 8 are a great equalizer for price and performance in today s PC market  so it is no surprise that in real life we were satisfied with the Yoga 2 s overall performance  The only thing you don t want with a Windows 8 ultrabook is an experience that is demonstrably slow  and that is definitely not the case here  Boot times and all app launches are pretty much instantaneous thanks to the SSD  And while the integrated HD graphics aren t going to allow you to play Call of Duty Ghosts at any level of respectability  you can play most of the mid tier Steam games mdash including new releases like The Wolf Among Us mdash at moderate settings  As we noted at the top  there aren t very many ultrabooks with QHD  displays  The Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus is one such system  and it put up superior numbers across the board by 20  to 30   In the Yoga 2 s defense  it does cost  400 less than the ATIV Book 9 Plus  and  500 less than Apple s newest  and quite awesome MacBook Pro  Battery performance is a concernThe biggest weakness of the Yoga 2 Pro is its mediocre battery life  In PC Mark s built in battery benchmark  we realized just over three hours of performance  That s actually not a bad result for a conventional laptop s synthetic test  But for a Haswell equipped ultrabook  We expected  or at least hoped for more  When you consider the 5 8 million pixels the system is pushing around  the middling battery life becomes a bit more understandable  In real life  what do these synthetic results mean  In real work mode  you ll likely get just around five hours of battery life mdash if you keep the screen fairly dim  And in a more work and sleep mode  you ll get maybe six hours  depending on your battery settings  While writing this very review  we watched with dismay as the Yoga 2 Pro s battery drained to zero in about five and a half hours at full screen brightness  Mouse and keyboardThe Yoga s keyboard hasn t changed since last year s model except that now the keyboard is backlit  The first Yoga sorely lacked this feature  which always comes in handy when working on a plane or late into the night  As far as key presses go it s fine  and offers decent response The trackpad has something of a learning curve  Out of the box  it had what felt like a slightly gritty  film over the pad itself  and the end result was that we struggled to throw the mouse around the screen  After about 10 days  we broke through whatever barrier was slowing us down  and it began to feel like we expect a touchpad to feel like  smooth  sleek  and responsive  The display has it mdash mostly Without a doubt  the Yoga 2 Pro s 13 inch screen is a remarkable feat of engineering  At 3200 x 1800 pixels  it out Retina Displays the MacBook Pro series  We know this much  QHD  is a whole lot of pixels  it literally doubles the 1600 x 900 screen density of last year s Yogas like Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Resolution is only part of the win here  Lenovo s use of a high quality IPS panel also makes for a very crisp  viewable screen  The Yoga 2 is bright  350 nits  and offers excellent viewing angles  For a portable like this that will often be used in kitchens and living rooms  both of these attributes are important  At just  1 000 USD  it s a sure sign that in 2014 we ll be entering a laptop display war  By January 2015  we bet that more than half of all laptops in the  1 000  range have hyper HD screens Unfortunately  not all is perfect with the Yoga 2 Pro s screen  Last November  in our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review  we felt that it because it was such a forward thinking laptop  it actually exposed some of the flaws of Windows 8  Unfortunately  the same can be said here Time after time  we found that Windows 8 struggled with the super high resolution  which created some odd inconsistencies and unpredictable behaviors in day to day operations  Most of these frustrations occurred in desktop mode  but some oddities did crop up in Metro as well  The short version of our difficulties boiled down to a conflict between such a high resolution display on such a relatively small screen  As an example  in Outlook  the main inbox calendar window used an oversized cursor  but when we switched to the composition window  the cursor would shrink in size  Similarly in Chrome  the browser tabs suddenly became microscopic in size  even though there was plenty of real estate to display web site names in each one   This occurred in both desktop and Metro modes   Over and over again  we experienced these frustrations  until we finally figured out a solution that addressed most of these issues  In Windows 8  navigate to Display  gt  Screen Resolution  and then click

Lenovo has been breaking ground in the convertible ultrabook world with its Yoga line. In our Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga review we found ourselves surprisingly pleased with this versatile hybrid laptop and its solid performance. Even if we didn't use the Yoga as a tablet, we often flipped the keyboard back to poke through Windows 8 live tiles or watch some Netflix.

What we didn't like were mostly minor complaints. The keyboard, the trackpad, and the screen were all winners. The absence of a backlit keyboard was a mild annoyance, while the lack of a true 1080 display was a read missed opportunity. At the time, we also expressed concerns that the Yoga was actually exposing some of Windows 8's weaknesses.

With the Yoga 2 Pro Lenovo produced a noteworthy refresh to a device that increasingly looks like it will be a mainstay of the PC maker's lineup for the foreseeable future. A 3200 x 1800 display (known as QHD+, or WQXGA for the truly in the know) is the most significant enhancement, but the new hybrids also have a Haswell processor, some subtle enhancements to the chassis, and a few extra touches in the bundled software.

Lenovo Yoga 2 pro review

All things considered, these are all welcome enhancements, although once again, Lenovo's forward-thinking design exposes some surprising flaws in Windows 8's ability to handle super HD resolutions on a portable form-factor.

What could possibly be bad about a QHD+ 3200 x 1800 display? We'll get to that in good time. For now, let's start at the top.

One final note before we dive in: there aren't a great number of competitors in the super high-resolution ultrabook category. The Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus is one—it sports near-identical specifications to the Yoga 2—and the 13-inch MacBook Pro is another. Both cost 40% to 50% more than this system.

Sleek, modern…and versatile

As the saying goes, you don't fix what isn't broken. In addition to its unprecedented flexibility, the original Yoga's sleek, rubberized chassis was one of the laptop's most remarked-upon attributes. Thinking clearly, Lenovo has changed barely a thing, aesthetically speaking.

Part of the joy of reviewing this new Yoga Pro 2 was putting it in people's hands. Everyone remarked on its nice it look and feel, thanks to a thin profile, sturdy chassis, and that grippy, rubberized surface that we mentioned, which coats the entire device.

Just like last year, the most striking and still unique aspect of the Yoga 2 Pro is the fact that you can flip the screen back 360 degrees until it rests flat against the backside of the keyboard. This permits four operating modes.

Laptop mode is your standard 90-degree angle, with the advantage that the Yoga 2 Pro's flexible hinge allows you to lay the screen completely flat, which is actually quite handy for situations where you're standing up and need access to the keyboard.

Lenovo Yoga 2 pro review

The most useful mode next to laptop mode would be tent mode. By setting the tablet on its top and bottom edges, the devices functions like a tablet in a stand. The new rubberized bevel edges earn their keep in this mode. The old Yoga would sometimes slide a bit on slippery surfaces. Not anymore. It's perfect for glancing at a recipe while cooking or setting the Yoga 2 Pro up on cluttered tablet tops.

Stand mode is essentially tent mode, but with a little more sturdiness and support. The key difference is that it has a bigger footprint, so you'll need to clear off more of your desk before touchdown.

A special hinge on the Yoga 2 allows you to fold the screen all the way back for tablet mode. Unfortunately, just like the original Yoga, the 13-inch Yoga 2 Pro is a little too large to use comfortably in tablet mode. Also a repeat of the original: the presence of the keyboard on the backside of said tablet is obstructive and annoying. This said, the notion of playing full-fledged, touch-optimized PC games like Civilization V in this mode is fairly joyous, even if the device is too heavy to hold in your hands.

Tech Specs

Product TypeUltrabook/Tablet
Green CompliantYes
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD 4400
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time9 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity256 GB
HDMIYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
WimaxNo
Product FamilyIdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro
Keyboard BacklightYes
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli5-4200U
ColourOrange
Operating SystemWindows 8
Brand NameLenovo
Form FactorConvertible
Processor Speed1.60 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size33.8 cm (13.3")
Screen Resolution3200 x 1800
Standard Memory4 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.41 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityTÜV
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyIn-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
WWAN SupportedNo
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
vPro TechnologyNo
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardDDR3L-1600/PC3-12800
Height160 mm
Width330 mm
Depth220 mm
Screen ModeWQXGA+
Memory TechnologyDDR3L SDRAM
Product SeriesYoga 2 Pro
ManufacturerLenovo Group Limited
Product NameIdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook/Tablet
Product LineIdeaPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number59395047
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lenovo.com/uk/en/
Marketing InformationDAZZLING 13.3" MULTIMODE ULTRABOOK™

Introducing the ultimate multimode Ultrabook™. The Intel®-inspired Yoga 2 Pro is a PC, a tablet, and more. Its super-high resolution QHD+ multitouch display flips back 360 degrees to offer four different usage modes: Laptop, Tablet, Stand, and Tent. Life has many modes; so should your technology.
Maximum Memory8 GB
Package Contents
  • IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook/Tablet
  • Standard Battery
  • AC Adapter