With a 1.5GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, the Ideapad Yoga 11S is certainly speedy, despite the fact it's still using an 'Ivy Bridge' processor rather than the latest Haswell ones. Regular tasks fly by, and boot up times are as snappy as you would expect, with 18 seconds for a restart and just eight for a start from cold.
PC Mark 07 gives it a score of 4,181: very good, albeit a little behind recently reviewed Ultrabooks like the Sony VAIO 13 Pro (8.5 per cent faster) and indeed the Microsoft Surface Pro (12 per cent faster) if you’re more interested in its tablet credentials.
Indeed, if top-end performance is not a concern it's probably worth considering the cheaper £949 version of the 11S. It uses an 1.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor that has a lower 'Turbo Boost' (2.0GHz vs. 2.6GHz) and less cache (3MB vs. 4MB). This version is undoubtedly faster, but if you're sticking to basic productivity tasks then it will probably suffice and save you £150 into the bargain.
Putting the Ideapad through its paces in 3DMark 11 is throws up few surprises. It cleared the Ice Storm test easily with a score of 26,381 and also dealt comfortably with the extreme version scoring 18,860. In the tougher Cloudgate test, however, it struggled to a score of 2,861. For a little perspective, the dedicated ATI graphics in the Samsung Series 7 Ultra NP740U3E scored 18% higher in the same test.
Tests can only get you so far, though, and it’s no substitute for real world examples. We tried Saints Row The Third and Fallout New Vegas, and found that while the five year old Fallout 3 engine ran fine even in expansive environments, Saints Row 3 was like running through treacle.
While not a noisy laptop by any means, the fan was audible during everyday usage in a silent environment. Unfortunately, the fans don’t seem to make the laptop particularly cool to use. Even during mild ‘office use’ we found that the top end of the laptop’s base got uncomfortably hot to the touch. You might want to use a desk.
The good news is that this part is covered up in tablet mode, so you won’t get uncomfortable holding the Yoga 11S in this form.
We found the battery life on the Ideapad Yoga 11S to be pretty good but not outstanding. The battery lasted five hours and 26 minutes in the Powermark, which mixes web browsing (50%), video (25%) and productivity (25%). That’s around 25 minutes less than the Samsung Series 7 Ultra mentioned above and nearly 50 minutes less than the Sony Vaio Pro 13.
A half hour charge refilled the battery by just over a quarter, adding 26% to the meter. This is an hour and 26 minutes of real world time, which isn’t too shabby and means that a full charge should be complete in less than two hours.