The Yoga 3 Pro is a luxury device with a unique hinge inspired by the metallic straps on watches.
The Yoga 3, the more affordable variant of the Lenovo Yoga series of convertibles, looks more mundane. Its lid and base are in matte black plastic, although the palm rest is brushed aluminium.
The device flexed slightly when I tried to bend it, but overall, the construction feels durable.
Because it has a larger screen, the Yoga 3 is slightly heavier than the other ultrabooks in this round-up. Its chassis is not as thin as those of its more expensive rivals.
In short, you probably would not give it more than a passing glance if you saw it in a store.
Switching the computer from clamshell laptop to tablet is as simple as rotating the screen till the keyboard ends up at the back.
To accommodate its multiple modes, the power button is at the side. Next to it is a button that toggles the automatic screen rotation, and also, a volume rocker.
The 14-inch touchscreen has a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel resolution that is more than acceptable for its size.
Viewing angles are good, though the glossy screen picks up smudges all too easily and the screen is too dim for my liking. Colours are subdued.
It is comfortable typing on the Yoga 3, though key travel could be improved.
The keys are well spaced and of the proper size - there are no tiny directional keys. The backlight looks just right and is not too glaring.
The Yoga 3 has three USB ports. The lone USB 2.0 port serves as the charging port. I am not a fan of the laptop's micro-HDMI port, which requires an adaptor to connect to external displays.
Lenovo sells this laptop in varying hardware configurations. The base model, which starts at $1,499, has an Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB hybrid hard drive. This is quite reasonable for a mainstream laptop.
The Intel Core i7 version that I tested costs $1,799. The processor was the only component that was changed. I do not recommend upgrading to the Core i7 version because $300 is too much for what is probably a slight performance boost.
In fact, for about that price, you can probably get more out of the Core i5 versions of the Dell XPS 13 ($1,699) or the HP Spectre x360 ($1,899).
While their specifications (Core i5, 4GB RAM and 128GB solid-state drives) are inferior to the Yoga 3, they look and perform better.
Take, for instance, the battery life of the Yoga 3. It lasted under five hours compared with the six hours or better achieved by its rivals.
Despite its relatively affordable price tag, this Yoga convertible is poor value. Battery life is also disappointing. The Core i5 version may be a better option.
Battery life 3/5
This article was first published on Apr 22, 2015.
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