Channel 5

Lenovo Yoga 11S

Friday 12 July 2013


Rating of 4

The basics

Say hello to the Lenovo Yoga 11S, the smaller and more portable version of the Yoga 13 and the follow-up to the original Windows RT Yoga 11. It fits right into the family, being a double-jointed Ultrabook that can fold up into multiple positions. Is this souped-up 11-incher the convertible full-fat Windows 8 hybrid you've been after? We put it to the test to find out.

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The good

The Yoga 11S shares the same solid build quality as its bigger brother. The keyboard is nice and firm, it has thin chassis lines, and it comes in two colours, making it an attractive Ultrabook. (Ours was bright orange, but a more understated silver-grey version is also available.) We've seen it before in the rest of the Yoga family, but the transforming element is still impressive. Bored of using it as a laptop? Fold it back and use it as tablet. Want to watch a film? Prop it up in tent mode. It's much more wieldy than its 13-inch brother, not to mention easier to sling in a bag and take with you.

Ours was equipped with a third-generation Intel Core processor, which you can configure as either a Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 machine. So it's very nippy, and will serve you well in Windows 8. Storage wise, you can equip the 11S with either a 128GB or 256GB SSD, giving you fast access and plenty of storage.

The spacious touchscreen has a 1,366 x 768 resolution, which is perfect for a device of this size. It's responsive, sharp, and looks great at a wide range of angles, making it ideal for sharing films with friends.

The bad

While Lenovo has crammed in faster components, it does mean that the 11S gets quite hot. It's not really a problem when you're using it as a tablet, or if you've got it propped up on a desk, but use it as a laptop and your lap could get uncomfortable pretty quickly. Battery life is also a concern - the Yoga 11S's third-generation processor doesn't have the same energy-saving smarts as Intel's fourth-generation chips. We got four and half hours out of it, which isn't bad, but it won't last you a whole working day.

Just like its 13-inch brother, it's a little on the thick side when in tablet mode. The keyboard design isn't ideal either: put it in stand mode, and the keys will touch the surface you rest it on, which could mean you find a few crumbs lodged in between the buttons.

While the keyboard feels solid, the trackpad was not at the same level. We found it annoying to use: multi-touch gestures didn't always work, and two-finger scrolling through web pages and documents was more frustrating than anything. Luckily, Windows 8 works a treat with a touchscreen, which saved the day when the trackpad refused to play nice.

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The bottom line

Lenovo has kept the same fun transforming form factor as its original 11-inch wunderkind, but has pumped up the processing power, making the 11S an attractive purchase and a better Windows 8 hybrid than Microsoft's own Surface Pro. It's not cheap, starting at £699, but if you're after a small convertible Windows 8 ultrabook that can do it all, the Yoga 11S is for you. Just make sure you take the charger with you.

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Lenovo Yoga 11S is tagged with Lenovo, yoga, Yoga 11, Ultrabook and Windows 8. Select a tag (Lenovo, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

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