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Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S - Performance, Heat & Noise and Battery Life

By Alan Martin



Our Score:


Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S – Performance

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.

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S – Heat & Noise

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.

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 11S – Battery Life

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.

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).


May 24, 2013, 7:37 pm

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


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.


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?


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.


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.


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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