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Lenovo has enjoyed a huge wave of success with the introduction of the Yoga 2 Pro, and when the Yoga 3 Pro was announced some time ago, we were really curious to see how it would fare in a real-world situation. On paper, it looks pretty amazing, with a 0.5” thickness and a weight of 2.62. This is thinner than Apple’s new 12″ Macbook, and lighter than the Macbook Air 13.

The latest Dell XPS 13 (ModelXPS9343) would be very close, although not better,in both weight and thickness, but it doesn’t turngo into tablet mode.

The 3200×1800 IPS display is the second thing that jumps out when reading the specs since it promises to deliver a very nice viewing experience. The Core M processor was somewhat of a concern, but the 8GB of RAM was reassuring. In the end, we took it for a spin and here’s our full Yoga 3 Pro review.

Design (exquisite)

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The external aspect of the laptop is without a doubt a very powerful attractor. Laptops have thinned out on a regular basis over time, but there is no question that being thinner -and lighter- is still seen as a major “plus”, as long as performance and battery life remain in check (more on that later).

The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro uses the same Multi-Mode design which allows it to bend over at 360 degrees to turn into a tablet, and adopt a couple of “Viewing” positions, in addition to the traditional “Laptop” position that people need to be truly productive.

lenovo-yoga-3-pro-review-15Obviously, it is not iPad-thin when in “Tablet Mode” but it goes a very long way to make the experience more comfortable for simple reading or viewing, thanks to the 13.3” display. I used it to read or watch movies in planes and it’s just way better than a simple laptop: you can set it up at an angle and distance that will media consumption much more pleasant.

lenovo-yoga-3-pro-review-13"THE HINGE DESIGN IS CRAZY GOOD"The versatility and thinness are made possible by Lenovo’s new hinge design. Typically, a 360-degree hinge would make the laptop a little thicker in the back. The Yoga 2 Pro already did very well, but the Yoga 3 Pro takes it to the next level and puts the MacBook Air to shame in that regards (My MacBooks hinges have a limited range). It is certain that Lenovo will continue to invest and leverage this new design in upcoming products.

The Lenovo design team has done a great job building a super-thin & light laptop, which does not feel flimsy. It’s not very hard to build a light laptop made of cheap-looking plastic. Build one that feels solid and rigid is much more difficult.

Keyboard

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The keyboard resembles the one found in the Yoga 2 Pro’s except that the function key row has been removed. The tactile feel is quite decent, but the thinness of the design is probably starting to put some pressure on the keyboard design. Of course, the keyboard is backlit and well-tuned to emit a soft light: you can comfortably type in the dark.

It is not perfect, however. For one, I don’t think that removing the function keys row is a good idea. There are a lot of PC apps that have keyboard accelerators based on those keys, and I don’t think that productivity should be messed with, in the name of Design. You may or may not use these keys as much, but I wish that Lenovo made them come back going forward.

The Lenovo Carbon X1 series remains the best one as far as keyboards are concerned, and I wish that all Lenovo laptops would feature that particular keyboard. Butit’s also fair that the super-thin design cannot accommodatelarge key-travel designs.

Trackpad

The trackpad is pretty decent and works well. It is not gigantic, but is large enough to be worked on with relative comfort. I typically don’t use fancy gestures, but if you like doing things like edge scrolling, whirl motion, etc.… you may wish to have a slightly larger trackpad. I just move the cursor and scroll up and down with a double-finger scroll.

I found the trackpad “click” to be quite stiff. Again, there’s pressure from the ultra-thin design to make things move as little as possible in the vertical axis, but I really prefer having a bit more of a physical feedback when I click. People who like “tapping” will probably not mind at all.

Filed in Computers >Reviews. Read more about Laptops, Lenovo.

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