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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga bendy Windows 8 laptops rip off Britain

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 and 13 folding Windows 8 hybrids look very cool, but are hundreds of pounds more in the UK than the US.

Andrew Lanxon headshot
Andrew Lanxon headshot

Andrew Lanxon

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Lenovo's bendy new-age tablet-laptop hybrids -- the 11-inch IdeaPad Yoga 11 and the 13-inch Yoga 13 -- will arrive in the UK in November, packing brand-new Windows 8. Neither are exactly cheap, however, especially compared to their US prices.

From the outside, you wouldn't immediately separate the Yoga 13 from any other 13-inch laptop. It has a trick up its sleeve though -- the touch-sensitive screen can be folded all the way over for you to poke around at the big Windows 8 tiles like a tablet.

Inside it's running on the latest Intel Ivy Bridge Core-series processors, although Lenovo didn't specify exactly which models would be on offer. It's likely the base model will come with a Core i3 chip, boosted up to an i7 if you need some serious power.

With prices starting at £1,000 though -- presumably for the lower-end Core i3 model -- it's not what you'd call bargain-basement, and that price is likely to skyrocket if you whack in an i7 chip.

Frustratingly, the US prices start at $1,100, which even including VAT equates to a UK price of only £825, which would be much more palatable. It's possible the US models have a lower base spec, but it would be unusual.

The Yoga 11 suffers from similar pricing differences. Starting in the US at $800, it should be offered here for £600, but it will actually start from £700. I've asked Lenovo exactly why there's such an enormous premium on its products this side of the pond, but at the time of writing I'm yet to hear a response.

The 11.6-inch Yoga's lower price is down to the fact it's running on an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, which is the same chip you'll find in tablets and beefy smart phones such as the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity and the HTC One X. While it certainly won't offer the same level of power as its Intel Core-based brother, it's running on the tablet-specific version of Windows 8 -- Windows 8 RT -- so it shouldn't be as demanding as the full-fat version.

It should provide plenty of juice for the essentials of Web browsing, social networking and tackling some of the apps from the Windows 8 store, but we'll have to see just what both models are capable of when we get them in for a full review.

The Yoga 13 will be available from Comet, PC World, John Lewis and Currys from early November, with the Yoga 11 following towards the end of the month. In the meantime, check out our gallery of photos above.

What do you think of the Yogas? Are they the perfect combination of tablet and laptop, or is the flipping method simply too awkward? Would you buy one if it came in at the US price? Contort your thoughts into the comments box below, or strike a pose over on our Facebook page.

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Here's the Yoga 11, just a normal laptop, nothing to see here...
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...wait a flippin' minute! Now it's a touchscreen tablet, propped up on its keyboard.
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The Yoga 11 does not have this many screens in real life.
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You can flip it this way and Windows 8 RT will spin round.
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Here's the Yoga 13, the 11's big bro.
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A jauntier angle, but that's serious big-boy Windows 8 up there.
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The Yoga 13 does backflips too.
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And handstands.
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Extra screens not included.

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