Lenovo introduced its original Yoga back in late 2012, which we were impressed with its ability to create an ultrabook that is able to have multiple functions, such as its ability to be used as a tablet or a stand. Since then, Lenovo re-introduced its Yoga as the Yoga 2 Pro, which improved on many of the ultrabooks internal specs, such as including Intel’s new 4th-generation Haswell processor, offering a QHD+ 3200 x 1800 display and some other fancy bells and whistles to make this appeal to fans of the original Yoga. We were able to go hands on with the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro just a few months ago, and after our short time with the tablet, we were left pretty impressed with some of the company’s improvements to the Yoga. With that said, let’s just see how impressed we’re left with the Yoga 2 Pro after we throw it to our hungry review wolves. I’m not sure what that meant. Let’s just get on with your review without the use of wolves, shall we?
Ultrabooks seem to be quite popular these days as I’ve had my fair share of reviews involving them. I’ve seen a number of ultrabooks that can be used as just a notebook as well as others that offer multiple uses from a single product. Both offer their own pros and cons, and ultimately, it’s up to you, the consumer, to dictate what kind of ultrabook you want on the market through the power of your wallet. My personal tastes in Ultrabooks may differ from yours, so this is an area where we’d like to give the reader a look into our preferences prior to getting into the review.
Much of my time while working is spent typing, so a comfortable keyboard that is more clicky than it is spongy is just my personal preference. An ultrabook’s weight always plays an extremely important role in my opinion as I tend to travel quite a bit, so the lighter my backpack is, the happier I’ll be at the end of the day. Power isn’t very important to me as ultrabooks I use tend to be used just to write stories, handle emails and publish articles. I just need it to be able to keep up with a moderate amount of multitasking without crawling as a result.
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Specs
- 13.3-inch QHD+ (3200×1800) IPS wide screen display
- 10-point multi-touch, 350 nits 1.60GHz Intel Core i5-4200U Processor + Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400
- 4GB PC3-12800 DDR3L SDRAM 1600 MHz
- 128GB SSD 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, micro HDMI-out, Audio Combo Jack (headphone and mic)
- 2-in-1 (SD/MMC) card reader
- 330mm x 220mm x 15.5mm (12.99in x 8.66in x 0.61in)
- 1.39kg (3.06 pounds lbs)
- 4-Cell Li-Polymer Battery Full specs of the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro can be found on Lenovo.com
Industrial Design (very good)
Unlike the Lenovo Flex 14, the Yoga 2 Pro is able to offer more than just the ability to extend its display back to 300 degrees. Instead, the screen can reach all the way to the bottom of the ultrabook’s base, which allows a wider range of uses for the Yoga 2 Pro as it can be used in the standard Laptop mode, to then extend the display back so it can either be used in Stand or Tent mode, or having the display reach all the way to the bottom of the base for Tablet mode.
When you maneuver the display to use the ultrabook in a new mode, the hinge offers a bit of resistance when attempt to move it. This resistance isn’t too hard and is just hard enough where the Yoga 2 Pro can be used in its multiple positions without the screen suddenly moving during use. Each mode is presented in a logical way, although when it comes to the Tablet mode, we found it a bit strange to hold the Yoga 2 Pro at its rear to get a handful of keys.
The keyboard and touchpad are inactive in Tablet mode, which should allow you to rest a bit easier as accidental key presses will not be possible, but if you tend to hold your tablets from behind the display rather than at its sides, then you could find this also a bit strange. Lenovo should possibly consider some kind of cover for the keyboard when using the next Yoga in tablet mode, or possibly make the display able to turn so the keyboard could be covered, similar to its ThinkPad Twist.
Now that we’ve taken a look at what we felt works and doesn’t work with the Yoga 2 Pro’s multiple modes, let’s take a look at what you can expect from the overall design of the ultrabook. When you first flip open the Yoga 2 Pro’s display, you’ll be presented with its 13.3-inch QHD+ 3200 x 1800 display, which we’ll get into later on in our display portion of our review. Surrounding the display is a strong black bezel which looks to measure in at around 1 inch at its sides, an inch and a ½ at the top and a little over 2 inches at the bottom.
The top bezel features the Lenovo logo at the top left, while the middle is where the ultrabook’s webcam is located. The bottom bezel has a touch-based Windows symbol. The display itself is connected to the base by two silver hinges that help guide the display when you’re moving it to use the Yoga 2 Pro in one of its additional modes, or if you’d just like a different viewing angle when using it in its laptop mode.
The underside of the Yoga 2 Pro has a magnesium look to it, although it feels rubberized when running your fingers across it. At its four corners, you’ll find four rubber stumps that help elevate the ultrabook when it’s being used in its Laptop mode as well as to help the rear of the display from smacking into the underside of the notebook directly when it’s being used in its Tablet mode. A total of eleven screws can be found all around the edge of the Yoga 2 Pro, with one sitting right in the center. Close to the two front rubber stumps are two speaker ports found at both side of the Yoga 2 Pro’s underside. As for vents, there’s only one large vent located close to the ultrabook’s hinge. The keyboard on the Yoga 2 Pro feels nice when in use as they give a comfortable mix between being clicky and squishy as neither can be considered favored on this keyboard. After typing on the keyboard, I’d say the squishiness of the keyboard kicks in around 50% of the full keypress, which means this keyboard should make fans of both kinds of keyboards happy.
The layout of the keys feels nice as well, until you get to the right portion a we once again find Lenovo has squashed the Home, End, PgUp and PgDn keys at the end of the keyboard and have also reshaped the Shift key in order to squeeze in arrow keys.When attempting to use this area without looking, my fingers often hit the wrong key, so expect the learning curve if you’re not used to Lenovo’s newer keyboards to be a little long. The palm rests share the same rubbery material found at the bottom of the Yoga 2 Pro.
The entire base has this black-rubberish material all over it, which we’re sure helps keep the Yoga 2 Pro stationary when it’s being used in its Stand mode. As far as how it feels in Laptop mode, the wrists don’t glide as well as they would on smoother palm rests, but they’re still comfortable to keep your wrists sitting on for hours if need be. The edges are also smooth, so no need to worry about nearly cutting your wrists on the rough edge of the palm rests.
Lenovo has been offering some pretty nice trackpads in its recent ultrabooks, and the Yoga 2 Pro trackpad continues this tradition. The trackpad’s smooth surface gives a nice contrast to the rubber base that surrounds it, although its color blends a little too well with the overall black color of the laptop. "THE TRACKPAD'S SMOOTH SURFACE GIVES A NICE CONTRAST TO THE RUBBER BASE THAT SURROUNDS IT" If you’re staring at the screen and decide to look down to find the trackpad, it’ll take you a few seconds for your eyes to find it, although trusting your fingers will often help you find the trackpad a little easier. The trackpad could also benefit from being a few inches larger as it feels a bit small when compared to the keyboard and the rest of the base. Ports: Lenovo was a little more conservative with its ports for the Yoga 2 Pro as you’ll find a USB 3.0, micro HDMI-out and a 2-in-1 card reader along with its AC power port on the left side of the base, while the right side only has an additional USB 2.0 port and a headphone / mic combo jack. The further down the right side you’ll find a volume rocker, a button to control the display’s auto-rotate feature and at the corner is where you’ll find the Yoga 2 Pro’s power button.
We’re not strangers to checking out ultrabooks with ultra-high resolutions as our eyes were certainly in for a treat when we reviewed the Toshiba KIRAbook earlier this year. Since then, ultrabooks have continued to improve and push the envelope in both their power as well as their displays. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro offers a 13.3-inch QHD+ display, which offers a resolution of 3200×1800, and it looks absolutely stunning. Colors look very vibrant, text looks crisp and there’s also a really nice contrast to images viewed on the Yoga 2 Pro’s display.
13.3 inches seems to be a great size for the Yoga 2 Pro’s display as well as it neither feels too small nor too large for the overall feel of the ultrabook. Best of all, it’s at a size that still feels comfortable to use when the Yoga 2 Pro is being used in its Tablet mode. "THE LENOVO YOGA 2 PRO OFFERS A 13.3-INCH QHD+ DISPLAY AND IT LOOKS ABSOLUTELY STUNNING" As far as outdoor use, the display of the Yoga 2 Pro was easily readable, even while being used in direct sunlight. You’ll probably have to raise the Yoga 2 Pro’s brightness to its highest setting, which will certainly eat at your battery a bit, but at least you’ll be able to get a breath of fresh air while you’re finishing up a TPS report.
The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro features a 720p webcam that is located right at the center above the display. For the purpose of our review, we’re putting the Yoga 2 Pro’s webcam up against the webcam of the ASUS Zenbook, which also features a 720p webcam, although it also has a CMOS module attached to the camera. As you can see from the two sample images taken with both the Yoga 2 Pro and the ASUS Zenbook, the Yoga 2 Pro favors a more crisp image, but as a result, it lacks the vibrant colors that can be found in most webcams. The Yoga 2 Pro does a fairly good job picking up dark colors as well as some more minor details, altogether giving it a solid webcam experience that should makes it easy to figure out what’s being shown.
Performance (very good)
The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro features a number of improvements over the original Yoga , one of which is the inclusion of the extremely popular 4th-generation Intel Haswell processor as well as an improved integrated GPU. As a result of these inclusions, we expect it to easily outperform the original Yoga, but how well does it do against other recently released Haswell-equipped ultrabooks? Let’s take a look. One of the first benchmarks we like to run for PCs is PCMark 7, which is a benchmark used in order to simulate real-world tasks such as opening applications, booting up your computer and doing some mild graphical tasks. The Yoga 2 Pro performed very well in our PCMark 7 benchmark, but it was slightly less powerful than some of the most recent Haswell-powered ultrabooks we’ve reviewed. In total, the Yoga 2 Pro scored a 4247 in our PCMark 7 test. This shouldn’t mean that you can’t expect a good experience out of the Yoga 2 Pro as with this score, it’ll still be able to keep up with many work-related tasks you’ll be throwing at it, such as corresponding to emails, shopping online or even watching a YouTube clip every so often.
I haven’t worked in an office in over seven years, but I assume that’s pretty much what everyone does all day. The second benchmark we like to run on our test machines is 3D Mark 11, which is a benchmark that is more demanding as its primary focus is how well it’ll perform as a gaming machine. This, of course, doesn’t mean Facebook or Flash-based games as most computers can run those. Instead, we mean games like the latest Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed or any other graphic-intensive game. As with most ultrabooks with integrated GPUs, the Yoga 2 Pro doesn’t perform well when graphic-intense applications are thrown into the mix. The 3DMark 11 score for the Yoga 2 Pro was P634, which is pretty low to even attempt to play games that require intense graphics, but you can still expect to be able to play flash-based games or titles that don’t require much from a computer’s graphics, like Papers, Please.
The final benchmark we like to run on our test machines is Geekbench, which isn’t a benchmark that tests the laptop with real-world applications, but instead squarely focuses on the CPU’s raw performance score by throwing mathematical equations at it. In other words, this test simply tests out the machine’s processor and nothing else. The results of our Geekbench benchmark finds the fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4200U processor does a very good job in being able to churn out some impressive raw computing. The Yoga 2 Pro delivered a Geekbench score of 5400, which is pretty high when compared to other previously released ultrabooks, and even some that have been released recently.
Value for weight, price (good+)
As important as it is to see just how powerful a portable computer is, we also like to take into considering its weight versus its power. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro weighs in at 3.06lbs, which seems to be the sweet spot for most ultrabooks released these days. At this weight, it can easily be handled with one hand, which is even more important when you’re using the Yoga 2 Pro in one of its different modes. The results of our performance relative to weight equation has found the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro to be worth its weight based on what you get out of it, but not by a lot. When you consider how many other methods of use you’ll get out of the Yoga 2 Pro, such as its ability to be used as a tablet, then we can easily recommend the ultrabook based on its ability to adapt to the user’s needs. But as an ultrabook on its own, it still gets a thumbs up from us in this category, but it’ll be a slow thumbs up with a slight shrug thrown in.
Battery Life (very good)
The battery life of any mobile device is something we all need to consider as what’s the point of purchasing a brand-new notebook that meets all your requirements, to only learn it can last for only 10 minutes at a time. The Yoga 2 Pro features a 4-cell Li-Polymer Battery, although Lenovo doesn’t give the exact amount of juice the ultrabook can hold. To test how well a battery will perform, we run two tests based on what most people do on their computers.
One of the first tests we perform is a simple local video test, which involves us playing a 1080p video stored locally on the ultrabook’s hard drive for a total of one hour. For our test, we keep the display’s brightness down to 50% of its full potential, in this case, 175 nits, as well as keep the Wi-Fi turned on. After our test was complete, we noticed a drop of battery life by 14%, which means under these circumstances, you can expect a little over seven hours of battery life.
Streaming videos on our computers has become extremely popular these days, which means you’re probably going to want to know just how much juice you can expect out of a machine after watching some videos online. For this test, we stream a YouTube video set at 1080p for an hour, once again keeping the screen’s brightness to 175 nits, or 50%, while keeping the Wi-Fi on. At the end of our test, we noticed a drop of 16%, which means under these circumstances, you can expect a little over six hours of battery life.
Battery Charge (very good)
In addition to seeing just how lunch a battery lasts, we also like to make a note of how long it takes for the battery to charge since you’re probably going to be doing a lot of this once your battery runs dry. For this test, we have the Yoga 2 Pro charging with its lid closes, forcing it into sleep mode. After an hour of leaving the ultrabook charging, we noted a 48% increase in the battery’s charge, which means you should expect the Yoga 2 Pro to charge to 100% in just a little over two hours.
Conclusion (very good)
Lenovo has certainly improved on its original offering of the Yoga series. The Yoga 2 Pro has a sleek design, is packed with a killer display and has a healthy amount of battery life to last you quite a long time on a single charge. It may not be at the top of the heap in terms of its performance, but it still performed solidly in our benchmarks to earn it a recommendation from us. "THE YOGA 2 PRO HAS A SLEEK DESIGN, IS PACKED WITH A KILLER DISPLAY AND HAS A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF BATTERY LIFE" We didn’t find many faults with the Yoga 2 Pro in our review, but if we had to nitpick, we’d say its webcam could use some slight improvements to make it perform better.
The only other thing we could recommend for a follow-up Yoga is adding one more USB port considering having only two tends to keep your options of what to connect to them pretty slim. The Yoga 2 Pro is a great addition to Lenovo’s line of ultrabooks that has us excited to see what the company does next with the line. As long as they continue to churn out more ultrabooks like the Yoga 2 Pro, and less like the Flex 14, we’ll happily continue to recommend them.
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- 2013-11-01: Lenovo Yoga Tablet Review
- 2013-10-29: Lenovo Flex 14 Review
- 2013-04-11: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 Review
- 2013-04-11: Lenovo ThinkPad Twist Review (S230U)
- 2012-12-05: Lenovo Yoga Review