Hand-on with the beautiful Lenovo Yoga

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Remember last year’s Lenovo Yoga? It was one of the barmiest-looking new designs inspired by Windows 8’s touchscreen abilities. At first glance, a normal laptop, but with a 360 degree hinge that allows the screen to fold flat on its back turning the laptop into a very thick tablet. Or, open it into a tent to prop the screen up for watching movies. Or, fold the screen back to prop it up for watching movies at a slightly different angle.

That got launched a year ago at the IFA trade show. Twelve months on, it looks like Lenovo and its customers really warmed to the idea, because there’s three new models available, and it looks to be taking over the entire laptop range.

The first two, in typical Lenovo fashion, take the Yoga design and respin it for budget prices and business use. The Lenovo Flex – the low cost one – is a fairly bulky design which I doubt anyone would use in any manner other than a traditional tablet. The Ideapad Yoga is the business spin – very similar in look and feel to the X Carbon ultrabook (which is ace) and with a Gorilla Glass HD screen. It also has a nine hour battery life and, in Europe at least, costs less than R10 000 (prices in SA aren’t set yet).

The Thinkpad Yoga has the hardwearing and durable keyboard of all Lenovo’s business laptops – which is great, but adds a bit of bulk.

The real star, though, is number three. The Yoga 2 is simply beautiful. At 1.39kg it’s thinner and lighter than the original Yoga, and much more likely to get used as a tablet as a result. Plus, it has a claimed nine hour battery life thanks to that Haswell CPU.

What’s truly outstanding, though, is the screen. After years of being stuck at 1080p resolutions (if you were lucky) Lenovo’s 3200×1800 13.3inch display is eye-meltingly nice. I could use that all day, every day and stay happy. Naturally it also supports 10-point touch and comes with Windows 8.1. All of the new Yoga’s are built around Intel’s Haswell chips.

I wasn’t convinced by the original Yoga at all, but unless there’s some major flaw with the sequel that won’t be revealed until we get it in for a full review, this could genuinely be the next must-have laptop and leaves even Apple’s Air.

Piccies below.

And the Thinkpad Yoga.

And as your special bonus, here’s Lenovo’s latest wheeze, the tabletop touch screen. Remind you of something?

Lenovo Surface Table

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar, Wired.co.uk, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.