LAS VEGAS: Lenovo refreshed its 360-degree hinge laptop range with the Yoga 3 at CES 2015, revealing new 11in and 14in models which claim to be thinner and lighter updates to previous iterations.
The 14in Lenovo Yoga 3 features a similar chassis size as seen on previous 13in Yoga devices but with a 14in display. Weighing 1.6kg, the larger model is powered by Intel's upcoming 5th-Generation Core processor, based on the Broadwell architecture, for a more power.
We got a closer look at the 14in Yoga 3 at Lenovo's Booth at CES to see just how the aforementioned features stand up in reality.
Design and build
What has always made the Lenovo's Yoga devices stand out from many other laptops on the market is its 360-degree hinge. This flexibility makes it superior to many other notebook devices out there, as the Yoga's simple design enables it to be used in a number of positions.
By rotating the display back from 'notebook mode', it can be bent into either 'tent mode', for example, which allows the Yoga to stand on its two parts so it can be watched on uneven surfaces, 'stand mode', which enables the screen to be viewed while being supported by the keyboard, or 'tablet mode', where the bottom of the keyboard and lid meet so it can be used as a tablet.
The Yoga 3 builds on this successful design and like previous models works perfectly well, slipping easily between modes quickly and easily.
Measuring 18.3mm thick, the Lenovo Yoga 3 doesn't feel as thin as it sounds in reality and feels rather clunky. Perhaps this is because we are naturally comparing it with its sibling, the Yoga 3 Pro, which was released late last year and measures just 12.8mm thick.
Nevertheless, the Yoga 3 boasts a bigger 14in display over the Yoga Pro 3's 13in screen. It definitely deserves a medal for premium design and build when compared with many other laptops we've tested recently. It has a smart look about it and feels luxurious as well.
We found that the gunmetal-grey finish is stylish but simple enough to complement other devices you might want to use alongside it.
Build quality is also a strong point for the Yoga 3, which is essential owing to its flexibility compared with other laptops on the market. Both the keyboard and the screen feel robust and sturdy despite the Yoga's slim, lightweight construction.
Twisting the display in opposite directions at both sides gave us no cause for concern, as it felt sturdy and maintained considerable resistance.
The Yoga 3s Qwerty keyboard feels great to type on and was a pleasure to use in our short tests, though we'd have to try it out properly by constructing long documents or complex spreadsheets. The keyboard is also backlit, meaning it's ideal for typing in low light conditions.
The Yoga 3 features a 14in FHD 1920x180 resolution IPS display, which means that all images, whether movie clips, photographs or webpages, look brilliantly clear, sharp and vibrant.
Pixels aren't visible unless you look closely, and viewing angles are good. Moving images appear sharp and, on first tests, the touchscreen commands seem very fluid. We enjoyed using the touchscreen to skip between tabs and apps, for example.
The Yoga 3 we tested had a 5th-Generation Intel Core processor, based on the latest Broadwell architecture, along with 8GB of RAM and running Windows 8.1. Unfortunately, we didn't have long enough to test its performance capabilities during our brief hands-on time.
But it seemed very responsive to commands, probably due to its Intel Core i7 processor, and we found that the device offered an all round fluid experience.
The Yoga 3 offers the same innovative design as previous Yoga products but with a significant performance upgrade. In our short experience with it, we found it fun to use with fast and responsive performance, but it did feel a little too chunky, especially for those wanting a portable machine.
Both 11in and 14in Yoga 3 models are available in the US now in orange, black, white or silver, but UK availability is yet to be announced.