Microsoft ad pits Lenovo Yoga convertible against MacBook Air

In this "epic dance-off" between the Windows-based Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and Apple's MacBook Air, which device proves superior? It's a Microsoft ad, so the outcome isn't hard to guess.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

Microsoft/YouTube/screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Microsoft launched a new video spot this weekend that challenges the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro convertible against Apple's MacBook Air to see which one comes out on top.

The caption for the video states: "It's an epic dance-off between the new Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and the MacBook Air . But does the MacBook Air stand a chance against the sleekness and multi-mode flexibility of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro? Nope. And once you add the touchscreen, it's game over. The Yoga 3 Pro proves there's more than one way to do what you want."

So, yeah, we know the result before even watching the video. But let's see what features the video offers to crown Lenovo the champ.

In the spot, the Lenovo Yoga comes through as sleeker as it measures 13 millimeters (half a inch) thin, while the MacBook Air measures 17 millimeters (0.66 inches). The Lenovo is a convertible device, so it doubles as both a noteboook and a tablet. The MacBook Air can't convert to anything beyond a notebook. The Yoga can also turn into "tent" mode where you can fold it to watch the screen, while the MacBook Air can't perform that trick.

Like other Windows 8.1 devices, the Lenovo Yoga 3 also offers a full touchscreen. Apple, already tapping into the touchscreen market with its iPad tablets, has shown virtually no interest in outfitting its MacBooks with touchscreens. In an interview with CNET following the iPad and Mac launch on October 16, Craig Federighi, Apple senior vice president of software engineering, said that introducing Macs with touchscreens is something Apple has no plans to do.

"We don't think it's the right interface, honestly," Federighi said. "Mac is sort of a sit-down experience."

So, the Yoga wins in the touchscreen challenge in Microsoft's video spot. And then it's "game over," according to the software giant.

Obviously, the ad focuses just on features unique to convertible devices. Consumers who want a notebook that can double as a tablet may like what Microsoft has to show and what Lenovo has to offer. Diehard Mac fans are unlikely to be swayed.

In 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook dissed convertibles, saying that devices looking to act as tablets and laptops end up "compromising in both." So it's unlikely we'll ever see an Apple convertible. But overall the ad does do a slick job of touting the versatility of Lenovo's latest Yoga, which will be available around the end of October.