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US$999 Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro is a quirky Windows 8.1 Ultraboook with an Ultra-HD Screen

Looks like I’m in love again with yet another bargain deal of a Laptop. At US$999 for a Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro, once you get used to the tongue-twisting name, really grows on you when you realize what you’ve just bought. With Windows 8 Laptops apparently popular with Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals, I suspect I’ll start encountering this quirky Hybrid Laptop/Tablet Computers on the road pretty soon, so why not review one?

I’ve been scoping out Laptops online and this one impresses the hell out of me as for some reason as it reminds me of the HP Chromebook 11 in terms of its build quality. At this low price of US$999 for an Ultrabook, it’s an amazing deal as Ultrabook are usually is priced in the US$1499 to US$2999 Price range.

Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro i8.1 Ultraboook - 2

Although it’s on a bit on the pricey side, this clamshell design came from its Ultrabook cum Tablet flipping predecessor, the US$1000 Lenovo Ideapad Yoga. That previous Laptop back then impressed me with its unique 360 Degree Laptop-to-Tablet transformation feature that transformed this Ultrabook, Transformers style, from a Laptop into a Tablet in seconds. Takes a bit of skill though to fold and even think it can do it. But seeing is believing when you flip the original into this Mode.

But back to the current Model, which sports the following specs:

  • OS: Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

  • CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U

  • Screen: 13.3-inch 3,200×1,800 touch screen

  • RAM: 4MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz

  • Graphics: 1,792MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 4400

  • Hard-Drive: 128GB SSD

  • Networking: 802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0

This is clearly an Ultrabook, sporting no Optical Drive and instead relying on a USB Thumb Drive to revive it in case it dies of a sudden death as noted in How to install Microsoft Windows from your USB Drive.

This hardware innovation is what’s also impressive in this Laptop, given the US$999 price tag. It’s especially impressive when you compare it with similar Laptops in its class, the 13.3” Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus and the 13.3” Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch which are much pricier. Compared side-by-side with similar Laptops with similar specs, it all comes into focus:

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 2 Pro

Samsung Ativ Book 9 Plus

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (October 2013)

Price

$999

$1,399.99

$1,499

Display size/resolution

13.3-inch, 3,200×1,800 touch screen

13.3-inch, 3,200×1,800 touch screen

13.3-inch, 2,560×1,600 screen

PC CPU

1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U

1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U

2.4GHz Intel Core i7-4850HQ

PC memory

4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz

4,096MB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz

8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz

Graphics

1,792MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 4400

1,749MB (shared) Intel HD Graphics 4400

1GB Intel Iris Graphics

Storage

128GB SSD

128GB SSD

256GB SSD

Optical drive

None

None

None

Networking

802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0

802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth 4.0

802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.0

Operating system

Windows 8.1 (64-bit)

Windows 8 (64-bit)

OS X Mavericks 10.9

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga Pro 2 – Touch is everything for this Windows 8.1 Ultrabook

Once in Tablet Mode, the keyboard, still exposed on that backside, become deactivated and the Windows 8.1 kicks into Tablet Mode once it detects that the Laptop is in this configuration. You can then use it like any Apple iPad and when ready, flip it back around for easy usage as a regular Ultrabook.

In Laptop Mode, it’s akin to the Macbok Pro, sporting a backlit keyboard and a very sensitive yet ample Touchpad that works well with multi-touch gestures. The keyboards is pretty roomy, with easy to reach keys and softer curved edges and softer clickable keys that are less rigid than the original Lenovo Ideapad Yoga. Not so crazy about the name “Pro”; the Ideapad, just by that part of the name alone, is geared to wars Creative types, not Business or Corporate users such as the ThinkPad, a lot like Apple’s Macbook Pro Line.

It’s folding routine from an Ultrabook to a Tablet, albeit a bit gimmicky, is useful. It’s great for presentations, where the bright 13.3 inch screen can be folded into a stand shape to display running graphics. Once folded all the way around in Tablet Mode, it makes for a fairly hefty Tablet, but it transitions well and does a great job of making Windows 8.1 feel like it’s an improvement on the problem prone and very unpopular Windows 8.

Pricetag is amazing at US$999 – Brings the sexy back  in windows 8.1

So how did they achieve this price, with touchscreen, somewhat similar to the HP Chromebook 11 in their Chromebook Category, which is cheaper but has Google Chromebook Pixel Stylings?

Naturally a few things are missing:

  • 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 USB 2.0 one

  • Wi-Fi is IEEE 802.11n and IEEE802.11ac

  • 1 Micro-HDMI for video OUT

  • No Ethernet connection, which requires a separate dongle

Certainly explains the price as those add-ons albeit necessary for a Laptop, are pointless in a Tablet form. They are more likely to ruin the aesthetics of the Laptop and may not be missed, as if you like the power in Laptop Modem in Tablet Mode that 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U Processing Power will totally blow your mind.

Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro i8.1 Ultraboook

The US$999 Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro will satisfy those customers wanting a dual-function Laptop/Tablet Hybrid that has the Power of a Laptop and can transfer that level of Computing Power into a Tablet Format. Never mind the annoying keyboard on the backside; I just hope I don’t bump into this Laptop on the road, as it’d be hell to fix if it has a broken screen.

I’m willing to bet that this form factor will become very popular in a few months and marks the transition of Hybrid Laptops from CES Sideshows to mainstream Consumer Trend. Best of all, it’s bring the sexy back into Windows 8.1 as if this trend of Laptop/Tablet Hybrid catches on in the US of A, then we’ll be seeing more variants of this nature coming to Jamaica by Christmas 2014 aside from just Laptops with Windows 8.1!

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.

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