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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11

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The Good Slim, portable design; Converts from laptop into tablet; Enough power for essential tasks; Good battery life.

The Bad Needlessly expensive; Unimpressive screen resolution; Windows 8 app store is still very sparse.

The Bottom Line The Yoga 11 is slim, portable and transforms from a standard laptop into a tablet for swiping around Windows 8 RT. Sadly, it's a lot more expensive than Microsoft's Surface RT, making it very difficult to recommend.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.5 Overall

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Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 13 showed its face late last year, delighting us all with its unique ability to bend backwards onto itself, transforming from a regular laptop into a tablet. 

The Yoga 11 is the smaller, 11-inch brother of the Yoga 13. It's a Windows RT device, meaning it runs on mobile processors. Lenovo is asking for a whopping £700 for it -- but is the transforming feature enough to justify the cash?

Should I buy the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11?

With its ability to take several shapes, the Yoga 11 is a very handy way of enjoying the delights of Windows 8 on a touchscreen, switching to the keyboard when you have to type out those long emails.

It's a Windows RT laptop meaning it runs on the low-powered Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, typically found in tablets like the Google Nexus 7. You won't be able to install your own software so you'll be relying solely on what you can find in the still rather sparse Windows 8 app store.

It provides enough power for the essentials, but you won't be able to push it far. As a portable, touch-enabled Windows 8 device the Yoga 11 is a good option, but it's sadly let down hugely in one key area: the price.

It costs a whopping £700, putting it right alongside the Asus VivoBookS400E -- a touchscreen full-fat Windows 8 laptop that runs on a super-charged Intel Core i7 processor. If power is your concern then the Asus is the way to go. If you just need a lightweight device then take a look at Microsoft's own Surface RT tablet. It has the same processor as the Yoga 11 and can be used like a keyboard with the keyboard cover.

With a starting price of £400, the Surface tablet, which also runs Windows RT, is considerably cheaper than the Yoga. The cheaper Surface offers the same power as the Yoga -- or for the price of the Yoga, you can get a much more powerful Surface. This shows there's little reason to buy the Yoga 11 unless you're really hankering after that convertible design.

Design and build quality

The Yoga 11 is immediately recognisable as the little brother to the Yoga 13. Its design is identical, albeit a little smaller. That's not necessarily a bad thing though. The even thickness across the chassis, together with the silver edging make the Yoga look rather like a lovely hard-back book.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11
Bend me, shape me, anyway you want me.

The illusion would be complete if Lenovo were to clad a model in leather. And I really think it should consider it, as my review model looked extremely dull. The lid and base are entirely covered in a yawn-inducing matte grey colour -- a shade I decided to call 'Basingstoke paving slab grey' -- with only the small Lenovo logo on the top breaking the monotony.

If you like bright colours and fancy patterns it's certainly not for you. Mercifully, it's available in a bright orange colour too. This retains the smart, professional aesthetic required for the boardroom while injecting enough colour to remind you that life does exist outside of accounts presentations.

It measures 298mm wide, 204mm deep and 15.6mm thick, making it small enough to slide into the most diminutive of briefcases or backpacks without any pushing and shoving. Weighing in at a meagre 1.27kg, you won't need to employ a host of burly companions to haul it around town for you.

Around the edges you'll spy two USB 2.0 ports, a combined headphone and microphone jack, an HDMI out port and an SD card reader. There's no Ethernet port so you'll have to rely on wireless networks for your Internet and you only get 64GB of storage. SSD drives might not be cheap but I'd have liked to have seen 128GB of storage for the price.

The Yoga gets its name from its flexibility and talent for bending itself into various poses. In normal laptop mode, you can swipe around the live tiles of Windows 8, using the keyboard to type when you need to. The screen is stiff enough not to fold back under your touch.

Fold the screen back and you can prop it up in 'tent mode', or have the keyboard keys facing down and the screen pointing up. Both these modes serve the same basic function -- propping the screen up to let you watch videos or give presentations more easily -- so it's up to you which you prefer to do. Alternatively, flick the screen all the way around and hold it like a tablet.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11
While in tent mode the Yoga 11 won't keep you dry from the rain, but it will allow you to view videos more easily.

It's chubbier than a normal tablet and you do of course have the keyboard on the underside, which isn't at all pleasant to hold. Thankfully though the keys themselves are deactivated, so you can't accidentally type a string of nonsense letters into your company-wide emails.


The 11-inch display has a resolution of 1,366x768-pixels which is fairly standard for a device of this size. It would certainly have been nice of Lenovo to cram in 1,600x900-pixels, or even Full HD -- as you get on Dell's 12-inch XPS 12. It's easy to forgive lower resolutions on cheaper machines, but with such a large price tag I'm surprised we're not being offered something more exciting.

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