The purpose of my trip was to meet with a couple of Southern California startups I’d like to write about early next year and simultaneously test a new convertible notebook, the ThinkPad Yoga 3 Pro,my companion on the trip was the new Lenovo hybrid convertible
the top line takeaway on the new Thinkpad Yoga Pro is that once again Lenovo’s emphasis on the user experience pays off.
Yoga 3 Pro stretches the hybrid convertible platform by adding a 3200 by 1800 pixel, 13.3 inch screen and a new keyboard that locks in a when the screen is flipped over and this hybrid is used as tablet. Called Lift and Lock the new keyboard provides a solution to a serious problem with many hybrids-- inadvertent key strokes when the notebook is ing used as a tablet. The Lift and Lock keyboard is available only on the ThinkPad Lenovo Yoga 3. the backlit keyboard on this notebook is delightful. It’s island style keys have just enough tactile feedback to make most users happy. I wish this keyboard were available on the economical IdeaPad Yoga line.
The Yoga 3 Pro I used on this trip was an entry-level unit with: an Intel Pentium M 1.1Ghz processor, 8GB of memory, a 512GB SSD, an Intel 5300 graphics controller and Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro. It cost about $1,400 when it was purchased recently at a local computer store by its owner.
Overall system performance was better than I expected, given this notebooks use of a new Intel 1.1 Ghz CPU. But, the Yoga 3’s graphics performance, which is critical to a user’s perception of any hybrid notebook is better than other hybrid convertibles I’ve reviewed. Intel’s new graphics core logic and the Yoga 3 Pro’s 13.3-inch screen are a great match.
The overall measurements of this new flagship product are 11.8 x 9 x .5 inches and it weighs only 2.6 pounds, much lighter than virtually all convertible hybrid notebooks.
There are no surprises in the construction of the thinkpad yoga 3 Pro. It’s well built and designed to slip in and out of a carrying sleeve or carrying case without snagging.
the basic build ensures great performance and versatility. For example, the 512GB SSD is big enough for a Microsoft Office install or custom corporate or professional applications.
The sole criticism I have of the new Thinkpad is its battery life. I made sure the yoga 3 Pro was fully charged before I left for LA on the train. I reviewed two extensive powerpoint decks and wrote my questions on the way up, which took about 1.25 hours. My meetings lasted five hours and by the time I reboarded the train, I had burned through most of the batteries’ charge in less than 6.5 hours of real world usage.
For most corporate uses, 6.5 hours of battery life should be enough, but for field service workers (who represent one of the biggest markets for this type of notebook, an eight-hour battery life may be required.
Makes Lenovo’s Yoga 3 remarkable is its construction and size. The case is incredibly sturdy and there are no rough edges on the case to snag in a book bag or carrying sleeve. Its overall measurement are 11.8 x 9 x .5 inches and it weighs only 2.6 pounds.
The performance of Lenovo’s newest Yoga is well above average, and I think many users will appreciate its large and sparkly 3200 by 1800 pixel, 13.3 inch screen.
Coming home to San Diego, plugged into a power outlet on the train, I liked that the Yoga 3 Pro had enough stereo volume to do justice to my collection of Doobie and Allman Brothers music. Judging from the sly smiles of fellow passengers, I think they may have noticed the audio quality too.
At first, I thought the Yoga 3 Pro might be the convertible hybrid I could load up with digitized maps and use on my exploratory trips to California Mining districts. However, the absolute requirement I need for my specific usage model is an eight-hour battery life.
I keep hoping to find a convertible notebook I can carry in my backpack and use for at least eight hours as I explore 19th century mining communities. I have a feeling the notebook of my dreams will appear soon, but for now, I could make do nicely with a Yoga 3 Pro.---Jim “still searching for old diggin’s” Forbes, December 09/2014.