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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S review

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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
  • Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Pros

  • Ultrabook and tablet in one
  • Smart design and build quality
  • Generous size SSD and 8GB of RAM

Cons

  • Gets a little warm and noisy
  • Touchpad is only so-so
  • Battery a little too weak for all-day use

Key Features

  • 11.6-inch 1366x768 touchscreen display; 1.4kg; Intel i7-3689Y 1.5GHZ processor; 8GB RAM; 256GB Solid State Drive; 360-degree hinged screen
  • Manufacturer: Lenovo
  • Review Price: £1,099.00

What is the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S?

The Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S is an ultrabook, first and foremost. It’s a powerful one at that thanks to 8GB RAM and a generous 256GB of solid state storage, but the Yoga part of its name refers to the extra flexibility it offers. Like the larger 13-inch Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13, its screen flips a full 360 degrees to create a tablet – albeit one with a dormant keyboard and touchpad on its backplate.

As such, this is aimed at someone looking for something ultra-portable, who isn’t quite prepared to lose the keyboard completely, but is open to the flexibility a tablet provides. But how does it stack up in the real world?

Want a standard laptop? Read our top 10 best laptop round-up.

Lenovo Yoga 11S 11

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S – Design & Build Quality

Lenovo has a reputation for distinct, stylish design and the IdeaPad Yoga 11S follows this tradition with a tasteful two-tone colour scheme. The outside has a chrome silver finish, while the inside has a very dark grey and black design. The keyboard side feels slightly rubberised, which is actually quite comfortable, but is presumably also designed with practicality in mind when this is the backplate of the device in ‘tablet mode’.

The screen itself moves to a glossy black colour scheme, with a second Windows Home button there too, so you’re never far away from the controls when you’ve parked the keyboard. The bezel is quite thick for a laptop, but looks like what we’ve come to expect from tablets.

Connectivity-wise, the IdeaPad keeps things simple: two USB ports, a headphone jack, an HDMI-out port, an SD card slot and the AC point. On top of that, there are a few extra buttons on the side: a volume control and a rotation-lock button, only available when held in tablet mode.

Lenovo Yoga 11S

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S – Screen Quality

As you’d hope with a device that wants to be a tablet as well as a laptop, the screen quality is, for the most part, excellent. The colour temperature, at 6595K is almost spot on (6500K is the ideal), and the contrast of 1059:1 is also pretty impressive. Icons appear sharp on the 11.6-inch screen, and day-to-day usage is a pleasure.

Two areas slightly let it down: firstly, the brightness isn’t very impressive at all; the peak brightness as measured using our Xrite i1 Display Pro is a distinctly average 202 nits, a long way short of the fantastically bright Sony Vaio Pro 13 that managed 372 nits at its brightest. This, combined with the glossy finish, means the Yoga 11S is difficult to use in bright light as the screen is very reflective and the it’s not bright enough to compensate.

Lenovo Yoga 11S 10

The second weakness is that viewing angles are merely okay. The screen is just too reflective for angled viewing. Neither is too serious in a laptop, but in tablet mode when it’s designed for more use out-and-about these aren’t areas you want to be at all disappointed in.

On the bright side, as a touchscreen it works very nicely. It’s a 10 point touch interface, although on an 11.6-inch screen, you’ll struggle to get all 10 fingers on it at a time. As with all Windows 8 touchscreens, we have the usual issues: the big buttons on the start menu work well, but the desktop mode gets a bit fiddly.

John Donaldson

May 13, 2013, 7:38 am

This is the one I'm waiting for.

Peter Smith

May 15, 2013, 11:21 pm

Did they fix the wifi issue on this model? I had the 13inch but returned it do to very slow wifi (as I read many people do).

AndreaBGO

May 24, 2013, 7:37 pm

Is it possible that the Yoga has a poor WiFi antenna compare with iPad?

Jordan

July 12, 2013, 2:01 pm

As a long-time IBM/Lenovo fan, the lack of the TrackPoint nubbin is a real disappointment for me. While maybe not a definite deal breaker, if it had one it'd pretty much mean competitors don't get a look in.

Jedibeeftrix

July 13, 2013, 8:31 am

great chassis, needs a 15W haswell.

James Billiard

July 14, 2013, 12:02 am

I've had the i7 version for about 3 weeks now, and this is a FABULOUS product. It is small, thin, light, beautiful, and everything works wonderfully. The wifi is fantastic, and the screen is beautiful. My only minor complaints are the glossy screen, the keyboard (which does have some annoying flex), and the lack of a track point. But this is an idea pad, not a thinkpad, so I guess that last one is unfair. The battery has worked out fine for me, and overall, I am just very, very happy with this machine.

Other ultrabooks are either the wrong size or price or something - this has an 11.6 inch screen, and is super portable, and is powerful as heck. The lack of a Haswell chip does not affect me since I wont be trying to do multiple video renderings or anything like that. Also, I rarely need more than 5 hours of battery life, so no issue whatsoever for me.

My biggest complaint, actually, is this stupid Windows 8 - but that's not a problem with the machine, is it?

MattMe

July 15, 2013, 8:25 am

It seems a strange decision to release this model now with an Ivy Bridge. I'd have thought waiting, if necessary, and then releasing a Haswell would have made much more sense. They could end up a year behind everyone or having to release a new model quite soon. I know the lack of Haswell would put me off any machine this year, even if you don't think you'd benefit from the newer tech yet, I think it makes a sensible investment long-term. Especially if you're paying these prices...

Brian O'Neill

July 18, 2013, 11:27 am

Hmm I am not convinced by these merge products. It sounds like you just end up with a mediocre laptop and tablet. For the same price you could get a pc ultrabook and an ipad.

colt24

August 21, 2013, 1:02 am

Hi James. just curious where you bought your lenovo from. was it at lenovo.com for 1099.00 havent read very good reviews about the company.

James Billiard

August 23, 2013, 7:29 am

I got it on Lenovo.com. I've now had it almost two months, and it is awesome. Honestly, it really is just a great ultrabook, I mean super, and the touch screen capability makes it a little better. The trackpad is a little soft and annoying, but that's my only complaint. The rest of the hardware is tough as nails, as I'd expect from Lenovo.

This issue of why it is no Ivy Bridge is really over blown. Battery life is great (circa 6 hours with regular productivity usage).

And honestly, the yoga positions are great to have, but I use them only once in a while when my daughter wants to watch youtube videos.

PogmoThoin13

October 26, 2013, 3:42 pm

When Lenovo can bring this down to a $500 price tag, I'll think about getting one. All these ultrabooks are overpriced (presumably because they're the latest tech toy to gain popularity)

Chris Litton

February 20, 2014, 3:12 pm

Just to inform you that picture 10 is in fact a different product. You have shown a picture of an Asus tablet and docking station. Looks like TR standards are slipping.

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