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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 – Connectivity, Usability, Touch and Tablet

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers


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Review Price £999.00

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 – Connectivity and Controls

Connectivity is fairly straightforward for this Windows 8 hybrid. On the left you’ll find HDMI, USB 3.0 and a headphone jack, along with an ergonomic volume rocker. The front houses a tiny, recessed Reset button and white-backlit power button.

The right, meanwhile, offers a rotation lock button, full-size SDXC card slot, USB 2.0 port and the USB-like power connector in its yellow livery. While we’re on the topic, it’s nice to see that Lenovo hasn’t forgotten the Yoga’s power brick when it came to attractive design, as it’s a slim and sleek, shiny affair.

As per usual, wireless duties are handled by Wi-Fi N and Bluetooth 4.0, with no mobile broadband option. Our only real complaints here are that many rivals give you twin USB 3.0 ports rather than just a single high speed one, and that there’s no USB to Ethernet adapter in the box.

It’s also worth mentioning Lenovo Motion Control, which does what it says on the tin – for a select number of apps. It allows you to control Windows Photo Viewer, Media Player, and some document software, with simple waves of the arm using the Yoga’s single HD webcam. This works remarkably well, but only offers a range of around a metre and a half.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 – Keyboard & Typing

Lenovo, who took over IBM’s legendary ThinkPad line many moons ago, consistently provide the best keyboards going in laptop land. While the 13-inch IdeaPad Yoga doesn’t quite live up to that tradition, it’s still nice to type on.

First let’s get the niggles out of the way. As already mentioned, there’s just a bit of flex, especially on the “AccuType” keyboard’s left side. Thankfully, it’s not really noticeable during typing. Then too, key travel is shallower than we’re used to from Lenovo laptops, and the right-shift key is smaller (though we rarely pressed the up cursor key right next to it by mistake).

Keys have the curved “smile” shape we know and love from Lenovo’s Chiclet keyboards, but they don’t offer the little concave dip that cradles your fingers so nicely on the likes of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon. And last but not least, the keyboard on the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 is not backlit, which you might expect on a £999 laptop.

If all this is starting to make the typing experience offered by this convertible seem poor, it’s actually by no means bad. Despite some narrow keys, layout is pretty much spot-on, and they’re well-spaced and nicely sized. Also, even if it’s on the shallow side, key feedback is still crisp. It’s just that the Lenovo Yoga 13 doesn’t quite live up to our high expectations here.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 – Touchpad

As with nearly every high-end Ultrabook, the touchpad is glass and has its buttons integrated into its surface. And unlike Lenovo’s earliest efforts at buttonless pads, it’s an absolute pleasure to use. Its smooth, cool surface is responsive, while its ‘buttons’ offer a nice click sans dead zone.

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 – Touch & Tablet

As you’d expect from a convertible running a Core i7 and fast SSD, everything ran buttery smooth on the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13. Touch was generally very responsive, though we did have a few rare occasions where a touch wouldn’t register. It must also be said that using a ‘tablet’ this large is definitely on the awkward side, and this makes touches towards the centre of the wide screen somewhat difficult to pull off.

The 13-inch Yoga is definitely more of a laptop than a tablet, and anyone who compares it to an iPad is kind of missing the point. Trying to hold the 1.54kg machine up with both hands can get positively painful after a while, and if you want more of a tablet experience, the 11-inch Yoga (of the Windows 8 variety that’s about to hit the market, not the RT one) will doubtless serve you better.

On the other hand, if properly supported it can be fantastic to have this much space to let your fingers roam over, and the 1,600 x 900 resolution helps to ensure that few elements are too small for dainty digits. Lenovo’s use of soft-touch materials throughout also helps to make this convertible more comfortable to hold than many whose screens don’t detach.

If we have any other complaints it’s that the keyboard feels a little odd as the ‘tablet’s’ rear. Worry not though, the keys deactivate as soon as you go past 180 degrees. We wouldn’t recommend putting the Yoga in a bag with its keyboard side out, but once you get used to feeling the keyboard round the back in tablet mode, it stops being an issue.

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January 11, 2012, 6:50 pm

I don't think it's a fail, if they come up with a version of it where it actually retracts the keys in (and keys would be flushed with the body), when flipping the screen it might be quite an attractive choice for me..


April 11, 2012, 11:29 pm

I've been waiting for something like this for AGES! Looking to get a decent laptop for my final year as i've been using a desktop pc at uni for the last 4 years (SHOCK! I know, uni student with no laptop!).

I consider myself a "heavy" user of OneNote (fantastic program) and would think this is IDEAL for taking notes...as the other option would be laptop with wacom tablet...but not too sure about that. Transformer prime would be great, but i'm not a fan of Andriod, and own a windows phone 7 (another shock!).

Really can't wait to get my hands on this though! What do you reckon?


April 13, 2012, 3:59 am

IPS screen, 1600 x 900 resolution? Finally a Lenovo with a decent screen and resolution!


April 14, 2012, 3:51 pm

Too expensive


November 19, 2012, 3:47 am

I have been demoing this laptop for a week now and I don't think there is a better laptop convertible out there. It's very well built and I have been using the touch screen constantly. I love how thin and light it is, and the processor speed is quick and snappy. I think the entire design is great although is does take a couple days to get use to feeling the keys on your lap in tablet mode. The ram is expandable to 8gb and the hdd expandable to 256gb. The overall pricing is also very fair. I'd score it a 9-10, Its all you need in a windows 8 touch device.


November 19, 2012, 3:49 am

Oh and the screen quality is fantastic and you cant go wrong with an 8 hour battery life.


February 20, 2013, 3:58 pm

Not really, it's the same price as a 'regular' Ultrabook with comparable specs...


February 20, 2013, 4:34 pm

Sorry for the late reply, just noticed this comment as the review went live.

Just BTW, I also used a desktop PC throughout most of Uni :)

Why not check out our roundup on Win 8 laptops and convertibles?


It sounds like the Asus Vivo Tab (http://www.trustedreviews.com/... might be ideal for your needs.

Robert Anderson

February 23, 2013, 7:52 am

If only it had Wacom styus support...


February 24, 2013, 8:46 pm

Wouldn't the Asus Taichi be an even better choice? I know I'd rather have one of those (Taichi 21 with 11,6" screens). When will TR have a full review of the Asus Taichi??


March 8, 2013, 4:14 pm

Couldn't agree more.


March 8, 2013, 4:20 pm

Not necessarily - for one thing it's considerably more expensive, for another we doubt its battery life would hold up as well, and we're not convinced that the 'inner' screen not offering touch is a great idea. Also, there will soon be an 11-inch Yoga that runs 'proper' Windows 8.

Of course, the Taichi is very innovative and does come with a (non-Wacom) stylus.
We'll try to get the review up as soon as :)


March 11, 2013, 12:45 am

"Decent keyboard" in Pros and "Keyboard not up to highest Lenovo standards" in Cons - something one. Keyboard in this notebook is awesome (at least by my feelings).


March 12, 2013, 8:20 am

Lenovo IdeaPad stands out most because of its physical design.


March 14, 2013, 10:22 am

The keyboard is pretty good, but it's not up to that found on Lenovo's ThinkPad range, like the http://www.trustedreviews.com/...


March 14, 2013, 10:23 am

Yep :)


May 5, 2013, 2:53 pm

I recently bought this laptop, and I have no problems at all! It runs all my apps beautifully, and I love the touch screen. Its perfect for watching movies in your bed in the "Theatre Mode". I highly recommend this laptop for people who stay at home, do some basic gaming, some work, but not to much. So ya, overall I give this laptop 5 stars!


May 15, 2013, 2:20 pm

But it's too big for me and the 11 is only Windows RT... Could do with a hybrid of these hybrids! Need full Windows but under 12" Very limited in choices and Lenovo only has the Twist...


August 1, 2013, 3:45 pm

I traded in a high-end T400 for this model and LOVE it. Can't find any complaints. Tested a similar ASUS and MacBook. Lenovo quality can't be beat.


September 30, 2013, 7:15 pm

The ideapad 13 freezes completely at unpredictable times - sometimes several times a day and can only be restarted by turning it on and off again. Check Google to find out that several users voice that complaint. Lenovo doesnt seem to care. I am surprised none of the reviewers noted that.


October 3, 2013, 10:30 am

I never faced this problem. I have using it for the last 1 year now! and I do my development on it. !

Lenovo Online India

October 5, 2013, 6:01 am

It's the best category laptop, I ever seen in my life.
Really, it's the best laptop model to buy for 2013.
Hoping Lenovo will come with another drastic change in coming 2014..


October 5, 2013, 2:38 pm

I have been extremely disappointed with my Lenovo Yoga13. Only six months old and sending it in for a second repair. While still under warranty, I was told the issue would be covered until it reached the service center, then $300.00 or they wouldn't fix it. Tech support feedback is "textbook" dialogue and non-supportive, screen protector was not returned with laptop upon repair and it took three times as long to fix the issue. Now my touch screen doesn't work and keyboard is having issues. Not sure how much this will cost once it reaches the service center. I should have stayed with a Mac.


April 7, 2014, 3:02 am

When you purchase something in a food library you get a print out on a piece of paper that is called a receipt you get a certain amount of time to take things back

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