Lenovo Edge 15 is almost a Yoga (hands-on)

With a hinge that bends back 300 degrees, the Edge falls between laptop and hybrid.

Dan Ackerman

Dan Ackerman

Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a semi-regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times

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Lenovo's Yoga series of hybrids seems to be everywhere these days, from 13-inch Windows 8 systems to 11-inch Chromebooks . But the company thinks there's still room for something that's not quite a laptop and not quite a hybrid.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Edge 15 looks and feels like a clamshell 15-inch laptop, but the hinge bends back 300 degrees, allowing you to put it into a kiosk mode. Lenovo calls this a dual-mode laptop, and if the idea sounds familiar, that's because it originally appeared in 2013's Lenovo Flex line. Those were budget-minded midsize laptops with 300-degree hinges that worked well enough, but the not-quite-Yoga design always felt like a bit of a tease.

The Flex design has been transferred to the premium Edge line, so you now get the same flexibility with a slimmer, more upscale-looking aluminum body. The Flex version was stuck with a low-res 1,366x768-pixel-resolution display, while the 15.6-inch Edge has a full-HD 1,920x1,080 IPS multitouch screen.

Sarah Tew/CNET

In our brief hands-on time with the system, we found it to be a well-built slim 15-inch aluminum laptop, with a great-looking touchscreen and good component options, including current-gen Core i5 or i7 processors from Intel, up to 1TB HDD or 256GB SSD storage, and 8GB of RAM. Optional Nvidia graphics, up to the GeForce GT 840M, will be available in some regions, but not in the US.

As we said about the similar Flex version last year, the halfway hybrid hinge feels like a feature you'd use occasionally, but not overly rely on.

Full Yoga-style 360-degree hinges are showing up in a few 15-inch laptops now, but not yet from Lenovo (HP and Toshiba have midsize hybrids with fold-back hinges). That means you'll have to drop down to a 13-inch screen for the full Yoga experience, or else limit yourself to 300 degrees in the new Edge.

The Lenovo Edge 15 will be available in October, starting at $899. We don't have international pricing information yet, but converted, that's about £545 or AU$960.