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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga: Ultrabook & Tablet in One Beautiful Package

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Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga ultrabook has all the features and specs you’d expect from the category: a 17mm thin chassis, around 3 pounds, and a smooth, streamlined design. It’s beautiful as well, following on the aesthetics we saw in the U Series notebooks that eschew the MacBook Air clone approach and go distinctly Lenovo.

However, there’s more to this ultrabook than all the usual news. There’s a clue in the name: Yoga. From that name you’d expect the laptop to be able to sun salute and downward dog. Well… it can.

Thanks to an innovative hinge design the Yoga can not only open 180 degrees to lie flat, it also bends around all the way so you can use it easily as a tablet.

Lenovo Yoga IdeaPad ultrabook

What good is that without a touchscreen? It has one of those, too. A 10 point touchscreen, in fact. A sweet feature on a 14-inch display for sure.

Now you’re probably thinking: that’s all well and good, but Windows 7 isn’t so great with touch. And you’re right. That’s why the Yoga is a Windows 8 machine.

I know, the good news just keeps coming, right?

Trust me when I say that the Yoga is as neat as it seems, just take a gander at our hands-on video of the Yoga in tablet mode.

 

The key to the design is the hinge. The double actuated design acts like a traditional hinge from 0 to 180 degrees so you won’t have to change the way you open and close the laptop. Once it hits that 180 degree mark the keyboard and touchpad shut down and the second hinge action kicks in. From here you can fold the screen all the way back so it lies flat against the bottom part or even stand it tent-style or rest it at any angle with the deck facing down.

Lenovo Yoga IdeaPad ultrabook

Since the keyboard and touchpad don’t work in this mode you can set it on your lap without messing up what you’re doing on the screen. It’s probably better on a table. And since the keyboard is recessed, when it’s on a flat surface the keys don’t even get pressed.

With Windows 8 users can navigate completely by touch, and having 10-finger touch on the Yoga means users can not only paint and draw and swipe but also play advanced games or take advantage of piano apps and the like.

Inside the IdeaPad will come with several configuration options including Core i3, i5 and i7 processors, SSDs up to 256GB, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, full SD card slot and full HDMI port.

When can you get your hands on this beauty? The sad news is that the release date isn’t set in stone yet. When Windows 8 is ready the Yoga will ship. The ball’s in Microsoft’s court. Pricing will be around $1,000.

Once the Yoga does launch Lenovo promises more nice surprises with this ultrabook.

Lenovo has also promised us that this is not another U1 Hybrid, it’s really coming to the U.S. as soon as Windows 8 is ready.

So… Microsoft?

 

K. T. is a lover of technology, gadgets, and all things geek. She has the enviable job of playing with evaluating mobile tech and apps all day. Follow K. T. on Twitter @KTBradford, on Google+ and Tumblr or email her via her website, KTBradford.com.

22 Comments

  1. Curious

    01/09/2012 at 8:08 pm

    Cool, but does it have an active digitizer for digital ink?
    Thanks!

  2. Anonymous

    01/11/2012 at 9:25 am

    Same thought here – any pen & ink goodness to this badboy?

  3. DNel

    01/11/2012 at 11:08 am

    Tableteers (as GBMers used to be known as) are looking for active digitizers. I’m waiting for today’s “tablets” to incorporate digital inking with enough power to run Window’s Onenote, Journal, etc (the Samsung slate PC comes close). I figure in a couple of years the “tablet revolution” will catch up with my old Fugitsu T2010. With active digitizers and productivity software, consumers will think it’s all brand new (Apple will probably claim digital inking was all its idea and try to patent it too)

    • Xavier Lanier

      01/12/2012 at 3:07 pm

      This is a consumer notebook and does not have a digitizer like you’d expect from Lenovo’s ThinkPad line. 
      I’m hoping this kind of form factor finds its way over to the ThinkPad X series line with a top-notch digitizer. 

      • David Neuschulz

        07/16/2012 at 6:05 pm

        Amen, brother.

        I’ve been using the ASUS EP121 for over a year now for heavy note taking (and lots of other MS Office aps), and aside from a few quirks (freezes suddenly about once a month, requires a reboot, which is quick enough with the SSD), I love it.

        My daughter now wants a similar device, but doesn’t like the ASUS’s separate blue tooth keyboard (fashion choice, I guess). I was really hoping the Yoga was the answer to that, but I think the answer at the moment is the Lenovo X230t. I’ve used the predecessor to that about five years ago, and it was okay, but heavy to keep in the crook of your arm through a presentation.

        So frustrated Lenovo left WACOM on the shelf when it created the YOGA.

  4. Anonymous

    01/11/2012 at 2:42 pm

    DNel – I’ll bet Apple already has a hadwriting input device in the patent cue that let’s you do near-active digitizer ink on a capacitive screen…that closes a lot of the market…because “they did it right.” I’m using the Samsung Slate (S7S) at this moment, and it has more than enough power to run everything Office, and the inking experience is every bit as good as my HP 2740p – Wacom all the way. It is an incredible device (Core i5, 4gb RAM, 128gb SSD) and when compared to iPad 1, it’s the same thickness, 1/4″ narrower, but 2″ wider (or longer in landscape mode). Microsoft is basically mandating 16:9 and 1366×768 for Windows 8, and it is no doubt that is what the Sammy is built for.

    An interesting note – touch accuracy even in Win 7 is far superior to my HP 2740p, even small elements on a web page can be selected with a little practice, and after 6 days of use, I have not felt the need to recalibrate the digitizer even once!

    • Spas

      03/04/2012 at 2:17 am

      You can find apple based tablet … that is enough big … just view Modbook in google… u can find it is a digitizer pen enabled base using macbook pro components, i like the version from 2011 

    • Peter Steier

      05/12/2012 at 1:02 pm

      I fear no US company will put much emphasis on hand script:
      http://articles.cnn.com/2011-08-24/us/cursive.writing.irpt_1_cursive-handwriting-lessons-penmanship?_s=PM:IREPORT
      By writing print with hand, one is way to slow to make digital ink useful. Maybe it is a good thing for the still hand-writing rest of the world that IBMs laptops are now Chinese…

      I use hand writing quite often, both on my Toshiba Portege M400 and on my Samsung Galaxy Note (rarely on paper now…); But I fear I’m representing a minority of fluent handwriters. Certainly, the Yoga will be my next computer if the promizes are true.

      • Ali

        11/05/2012 at 6:41 pm

        hey Peter, i am also interested in buying a high-performance and light laptop/ultrabook with comfort handwriting screen [for taking notes in my classes]…did u find any laptop/ultrabook that helps u with handwriting?

  5. Willem Evenhuis

    01/11/2012 at 3:18 pm

    inking? ink to text recognition?

    • Anonymous

      01/11/2012 at 3:35 pm

      Yes – it handles text recognition as well as any Tablet PC I’ve owned, but usually just use OneNote for hadwritten notes since it can search them equally well. It is an incredibly powerful tablet in a near iPad 1 form factor. If you are looking for iPad 2/Galaxy Tab 10.1 sveltteness, you’ll have to wait for ARM WIn 8, and I will bet you won’t see active digitizers anytime soon in that form factor.

      • DNel

        01/11/2012 at 5:15 pm

        I think Willem’s (and the others) question about inking is referring to the Lenovo Yoga. If it is an ultrabook with a 360 hinge and only a touchscreen, it is leaving out a major advantage of Windows over any other OS which is ink and handwriting recognition with an active (or dual) digitizer. And yes, it should definitely be Wacom. The Samsung Slate 7 has really piqued my interest, but I’m waiting till Windows 8 comes out and see what all the manufactures have as far as “real” tablet PCs. I hope there are many choices and GBM covers them all.

  6. Lucimar

    02/20/2012 at 5:00 am

    Does it have a discrete gpu ?

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  13. Toni

    09/29/2012 at 10:21 pm

    we can play fifa 2013 on this laptob ?
    we can play delta force or high games on this laptob ?
    we know the graphic card is not the best for the high games ?
    and what about the speakers ? high and clear ?
    how we can play the games without cd

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