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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 Ultrabook

The smaller version of the convertible in the series, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11, has made it to us just in time before the end of the year. The new concept from the Chinese manufacturer was a highlight at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 (CES 2012). The patented hinge design allows for 360 degree swiveling of the display. Lenovo themselves describe the Yoga as a multimode PC, which can be either a notebook or a tablet that can be used in an L- or V- shape. This multifunctionality is currently being actively advertised by Lenovo, which begs the question whether Lenovo has managed to bridge the gap between the two device classes without any adverse side effects. Replacement battery for Lenovo IdeaPad G575E

Despite the identical case design, the configurations of the two Yoga notebook/tablet hybrids are significantly different. The IdeaPad Yoga 13 on the one hand has an Intel CPU, runs Windows 8, and has a 13.3 inch display (1600 x 900 pixels). The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 we have for review meanwhile has an 11.6 inch IPS touchscreen (1366 x 768 pixels), 64 GBs of eMMC memory, 2 GBs of RAM, an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core SoC (system on a chip) with an integrated graphics unit, and runs Windows RT.

At a price of 800 Euros our expectations for the device are correspondingly high. Does the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 combine the advantages of both device classes, or do compromises have to be made? These and other questions will be answered by this review.

The smaller version of the convertible in the series, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11, has made it to us just in time before the end of the year. The new concept from the Chinese manufacturer was a highlight at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012 (CES 2012). The patented hinge design allows for 360 degree swiveling of the display. Lenovo themselves describe the Yoga as a multimode PC, which can be either a notebook or a tablet that can be used in an L- or V- shape. This multifunctionality is currently being actively advertised by Lenovo, which begs the question whether Lenovo has managed to bridge the gap between the two device classes without any adverse side effects. Toshiba PA3757U-1BRS Battery

Despite the identical case design, the configurations of the two Yoga notebook/tablet hybrids are significantly different. The IdeaPad Yoga 13 on the one hand has an Intel CPU, runs Windows 8, and has a 13.3 inch display (1600 x 900 pixels). The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 we have for review meanwhile has an 11.6 inch IPS touchscreen (1366 x 768 pixels), 64 GBs of eMMC memory, 2 GBs of RAM, an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core SoC (system on a chip) with an integrated graphics unit, and runs Windows RT.

At a price of 800 Euros our expectations for the device are correspondingly high. Does the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 combine the advantages of both device classes, or do compromises have to be made? These and other questions will be answered by this review.

An Ultrabook on the outside, but more of a tablet on the inside. The heart of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 is the famous Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core system on a chip (SoC) with a clock speed of 1.2 GHz. For this reason the device is also not allowed to be called an Ultrabook, since this description is reserved for devices with Intel processors, and all the current Windows RT tablets are fitted with the ARM chip code named Kai-El. Among these are the Microsoft Surface RT, as well as the already reviewed Asus Vivo Tab RT TF600, and the Samsung ATIV Tab for which the review will follow shortly.

Graphics processing is handled by the integrated Nvidia GeForce ULP in the SoC, which is manufactured using the 40 nanometer process. Further features of the convertible include 2 GBs of DDR3L RAM, and 64 GBs of eMMC flash memory of which only 44.7 GBs are available for use though (net: 70 percent). Exchanging these components is not possible, although it is possible to expand the storage capacity relatively inexpensively via the integrated card reader.

The benchmark course is relatively straightforward with Windows RT, since only applications available in the Windows Store can be installed. Following an extended search came disillusionment: None of the popular test tools are available for Windows RT. For this reason our tests were limited to the current browser based benchmarks.

The results achieved with the IdeaPad Yoga 11 confirmed the performance from previous tests completed by Notebookcheck. Mobile Internet Explorer 10 is very weak with Browsermark 2.0 and the current version of the Google V8 benchmark. Merely the Samsung ATIV Smart PC is an exception to this rule with a score of 2000 points with Browsermark 2.0. Otherwise the browsers from Apple and Google take the lead throughout, whereby the difference with both of the benchmarks almost always lies at over 100 percent.

With the JavaScript benchmark Sunspider 0.9.1 Internet Explorer 10 is once again able to contend with its rivals. In this case the smallest score wins, whereby the browser from Microsoft outperforms in this benchmark, followed by the Apple iPad 4 with Safari and the slightly trailing tablets with Google's Chrome browser.

Subjectively the integrated SoC doesn't encounter any problems with the demands set by Windows RT. The system operates extremely smoothly with minimal start times and very responsive control. Ultimately it will be a question of personal preference whether only applications from the Microsoft Store will suffice, which admittedly doesn't provide a very abundant selection.

Power Consumption
The power consumption is especially interesting in the case of this device, since conventional subnotebooks and Ultrabooks generally require more power than tablets with a SoC. During office use our test candidate required between 1.7 and 2.5 watts, which makes it surprisingly frugal compared to other rivals: The contender from Asus needs up to 6.1 watts in this case (difference: 144 percent), while the Google Nexus 10 uses significantly more with 9 watts as the new Android top dog (difference: 260 percent). The Asus Zenbook Prime UX21A Ultrabook meanwhile lies on approximately the same level as the Google tablet (idle with a maximum of 9.6 watts).

We simulated a utilized scenario with the 3D game "Hydro Thunder". At its peak we were able to measure a power consumption of 7.7 watts. As before, the aforementioned devices from Asus and Microsoft leave a lot to be hoped for with up to 11 watts (RT TF600, 43 percent). The Google Nexus 10 with its 9.4 watts is therefore somewhat more economical (difference: 22 percent). The Asus Ultrabook is of course significantly more power hungry than our test candidate with its Intel Core i7-3517U dual-core processor - with a maximum of 34.6 watts this leads to a difference of 349 percent. Fundamentally the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 provides the same functionality, although the full-fledged operating system and more potent components make the difference.

In order to satiate the convertible a surprisingly potent lithium polymer battery is integrated, which takes up the majority of the available space, and provides a capacity of 42 watt hours. Comparable tablets and Ultrabooks generally provide batteries with between 20 to 35 watt hours, although this does however also depend on the amount of available space. In the case of a tablet for example, the hardware is usually confined to a much smaller area, while in the case of an Ultrabook the cooling system and space for mass storage also have to find some room.

Battery Life
We simulated the reading of a text document on the IdeaPad Yoga 11 with the minimum display brightness and the flight mode enabled. Only after almost 24 hours did the convertible have to be connected back to the mains power in this scenario. Compared to the Asus Vivo Tab RT TF600 the bigger battery certainly makes itself noticeable. With a result of 16 hours this equates to a difference of eight hours in favor of our reviewed device. The Apple MacBook Air 11 Mid 2012 and other comparable configurations meanwhile also weren't able to match this with a battery life of about 10 hours.

The "surfing via WLAN" test represents a practical scenario whereby a website is refreshed every 40 seconds with a display brightness of 150 cd/m², which represents a reduction of the brightness by two notches in the case of the tested candidate. The end result is a good runtime of 12 hours and 30 minutes. Tablets with a smaller battery, as well as an Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC and Windows RT, aren't serious contenders in the discipline with eight to ten hours. The Google Nexus 10 at least comes somewhat closer with 11 hours. Subnotebooks and Ultrabooks merely manage to last for between four and six hours.

Finally we also tested the runtime during playback of a local Full HD video file (H.264, .wmv, 1920 x 1080 pixels). With the maximum display brightness and WLAN enabled the result was 11 hours and 30 minutes. Considering the usual movie length of 120 minutes the represents enough endurance for about 5 movies.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 reignites the renowned idea of a convertible notebook/tablet, and also succeeds in some respects. The stable 360 degree hinges as well as the pleasant case and the extensive battery life, along with the performance of the Nvidia SoC with Windows RT, all combine to provide a positive impression. The stability of the display lid and stability of the closed case are aspects that do raise some concerns though. The dimensions and the weight meanwhile remain within acceptable limits for an 11.6 inch device, although it is somewhat too heavy and clunky as a tablet at length.

The integrated IPS touchscreen with its good characteristics is able to make a convincing impression, although the convertible isn't able to fully win us over as either a notebook or a tablet. For one the operating system and the connectivity, as well as the lack of configuration options, present considerable restrictions; while a backlit keyboard would also have been a welcome feature. For another, other tablets also offer higher resolution screens, integrated UMTS and LTE modules, and a main camera on the back of the device.

All in all the reviewed device represents a new interpretation of the convertible based on current tablet hardware with Microsoft's new Windows RT, but at a price of 800 Euros there are also several alternatives. Regardless of tablet, no tablet, tablet with a keyboard dock, convertible, subnotebook or Ultrabook; the decision still rests with everyone themselves.

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