• CPU: NVIDIA Tegra T30 processor
  • RAM: 2GB
  • OS: Windows 8 RT
  • Display: 11.6-inch high-definition display (1366 x 768)
  • Storage: 64GB SSD
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, 2 x USB 2.0, HDMI
  • Extras: HD Webcam, Card Reader, Beats Audio
  • Pros:
  • Small, sturdy chassis
  • Unique flip-screen design
  • Neat keyboard
  • Long battery life
  • Cons:
  • Tablet mode feels odd to use

Bend It Like Yoga

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 is the smaller, more compact version of the Yoga 13; it’s essentially “stripped-down”, if you think about it, when it comes to specs and size. But, strangely enough, the size reduction does allow the Yoga to shine a little brighter.

One thing’s for sure: the Yoga 11 is impeccably designed. The device feels solid, sturdy and looks fantastic. It is a little heavy, though, which is something you don’t quite realise until you try to use it in tablet mode. The screen is also nicely bright, displaying crisply with good colours. The keyboard is also fantastic; it’s the great-to-type-in concaved keys that Lenovo often uses, and it’s nice to have it on board.

And yes: the unique flip screen design is here. You can bend the Yoga’s screen until it closes over the back, turning it into a tablet. You can also use it in tent mode, standing the Yoga like a baseless pyramid. It’s an interesting way to use a hybrid, and the smaller size works to the Yoga 11’s benefit, making it much nicer to hold. Still, it’s also a little odd to use and this is mostly because, in tablet mode, you’ll be meshing you fingers with the keyboard and there’s no way to cover it.

The Yoga 11 is powered by a quad core Tegra 3 processor, contrasting the Intel Core processors the Yoga 13 houses. The Windows running here is also the RT version. But don’t discount it entirely just yet. The processor is more than capable of running Windows RT, allowing you to run apps, Microsoft Office and watch HD videos with only slight hitches.

Battery life is also impressive. In our video loop test, with Wi-Fi on and brightness set to 70%, the Yoga 11 lasted a good 10 hours and 24 minutes. Very good if you’re constantly on the go, and it does put the Yoga 11 among the best battery performers out there.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 can easily be surmised as the smaller, stripped-down version of the Yoga 13, but the smaller size, long battery life and unique design makes it a good hybrid notebook if you’re looking for one.

(previously published in issue April 2012)