I know this sounds like a lot of caveats and, well, it is. But, for me, none of them are real deal breakers or are so frustrating that it prevented me from using or enjoying the Yoga 3 14. The screen brightness would be the biggest issue, especially if you plan to frequently use it outside.
Ports and connections
|Audio||Stereo speakers, combo headphone/microphone jack|
|Data||2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, SD card reader|
|Networking||802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0|
Connections, battery and performance
Despite being bigger and thicker than the Pro version, Lenovo used the same port assortment for the two models. This includes a Micro-HDMI video output that will require either a male Micro-to-full-size HDMI cable or a dongle with a male Micro-HDMI and female full-size HDMI.
The Yoga 3 also has a USB 2.0 port that doubles as the power input, which is both good and bad. It gives you more functionality than a standalone laptop power jack and, since the cable is removable from the power adapter, the adapter can be used for charging other USB devices. A special USB cable is needed for charging, however, and the included one is just 6 feet long; plan on packing an extension cord for longer reaches.
Battery life came in at 8 hours and 5 minutes on CNET's video playback drain test. I was able to get through a full work day on a single charge, which mainly consisted of working inside of Google's Chrome browser while streaming music, with no worries. The harder you drive the system and the brighter you set the display, the less your battery will last.
Taken alone, that's some pretty good battery life. But when next to the similarly configured Dell XPS 13 (non-touch) and HP Spectre x360, it falls way short, with each getting 12 hours on CNET's drain test.
As for system performance, the Yoga 3 14 basically matched those two systems on CNET Labs benchmarks. The non-touch version of the Dell was slower at Photoshop, but that model has only 4GB of RAM, versus the 8GB in the other Broadwell systems.
If you don't run computer benchmarks as part of your daily routine, you'll be happy to hear that the Yoga 3 14 performed very well when doing real-life day-to-day tasks including web browsing with more than a couple dozen tabs open, light photo and video editing, streaming video or music and casual mobile games.
It might not have the style of the Yoga 3 Pro, but the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 more than makes up for it in battery life, system performance and price.
|HP Spectre x360 13t||Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.2GHZ Intel Core i5-5200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 3,839MB (shared) Intel HD 5500 Graphics; 256GB SSD|
|Dell XPS 13 (2015, non-touch)||Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.2GHZ Intel Core i5-5200U; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 2,000MB (shared) Intel HD 5500 Graphics; 128GB SSD|
|Dell XPS 13 (2015, touchscreen)||Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.2GHZ Intel Core i5-5200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 3,839MB (shared) Intel HD 5500 Graphics; 256GB SSD|
|Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2014)||Apple OS X 10.9.3 Mavericks ; 1.4GHz Intel Core i5-4260U; 4GB 1,600MHz DDR3 SDRAM; 1,536MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 5000; 128GB SSD|
|Lenovo Yoga Pro 3||Windows 8.1 (64-bit); 1.1GHz Intel Core M-5Y60; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 3,839MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 5300; 256GB SSD|
|Lenovo Yoga 3 (14-inch)||Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 2.2GHZ Intel Core i5-5200U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 3,839MB (shared) Intel HD 5500 Graphics; 256GB SSD|