Lenovo’s Yoga series has become a category unto itself. Not only does it encompass the ultrabook but also the tablets segment. Yoga as the name implies, lets you arrange the ultrabook in around four modes. The Yoga series is in its third generation this time around and the Yoga 3 Pro is the flagship multi-mode ultrabook in the series.
Build and Design: 8.5 / 10
One of the main conditions to fulfill, for a laptop to be categorised as an Ultrabook, is that it should be slim. The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro fulfills this condition with aplomb, measuring just 12.8mm when closed. And it weighs just 1.19kg which makes it convenient to carry around in your backpack.
The other most interesting feature of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro has to be its hinge. Considering the Yoga 3 Pro laptop goes all the way back, thereby giving you modes such as laptop, stand, tablet and tent, the hinge mechanism has employed around “813 individual pieces of aluminum and steel.” It seems to have certainly taken inspiration from metal watch bands.
The Yoga 3 Pro comes in three colours orange, silver and gold on the outside and black colour on the inside. Opening up the laptop reveals a textured, rubberised palm rest which covers the entire portion around the keypad. The texture has a great feel to it. The trackpad is located in the centre and has a single slab of clickable plastic. There aren’t any buttons or indicators on the top of the keypad.
The left hand of the Yoga 3 Pro has the power charging port up top followed by a USB 3.0 port, a mini HDMI port and an SD card slot. Coming to the right hand side, you have the USB 3.0 port at the top followed by a 3.5mm audio jack, a volume rocker button, an auto-rotate button (for use in the tablet mode), a reset button which is hard to press and finally the power/standby button with the indicator light inside it.
Keyboard and Trackpad: 8/10
The 5-row chiclet keyboard is a pleasure to use. The keyboard is backlit and you can control the brightness of the light with a simple function switch. For someone used to the full keyboard, the placement of the Home/End and Page up/Page down buttons can take some time getting used to. Personally I’d have preferred Page up and Page down as Function keys rather than the other way around.
The buttonless trackpad is located in the centre and it has an audible click. It works with touch responses as well and supports Windows 8 gestures as well as pinch to zoom, multi-finger scrolling and so on.
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro comes with the multi-mode branding which lets you set up the laptop in four different modes of use cases. It houses an Intel Core M 5Y70 processor which is a dual-core hyper threaded part, clocked at 1.1GHz with the Turbo frequency going up to 2.6GHz. Thanks to the low power processor, the Yoga 3 Pro does not have any fan cooling mechanism, another reason for its slim form factor. It comes with 8GB RAM and has a 256GB storage capacity.
There are a lot of software flourishes on the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro. For starters there is the Harmony settings app, which can be set to change display settings depending on the mode you set your Yoga 3 Pro in. For instance, if you switch to a reading mode, the display gets a warm tinge to reduce strain on your eyes. ‘My Favourites’, section makes most frequently used apps easier to find. You also have certain applications which are Harmony compatible and you can optimise settings for the same.
The Yoga 3 Pro features JBL speakers which are sufficiently loud and clear for most use cases. Apart from this you also get utilities such as McAfee Livesafe, Amazon Kindle, Evernote, Lenovo Photo Master among others, pre-installed.
One of the high points of the Yoga 3 Pro is its display. At 3200 x 1800 pixels the 13.3-inch display looks gorgeous. You get an LED backlit LCD display with an IPS panel and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. Viewing angles are great, the colours appear vibrant and one hardly sees any pixillation on the text. Website logos that aren’t high resolution will show some jaggies naturally. Black levels are pretty good.
In the Lagom.nl tests, the display performed well in most tests. The contrast test shows all the different bands of colours going from brightest to darkest. The white saturation test was one of the best I’ve seen on a laptop display, showing all the checkerboard boxes. Gradient banding test also shows a gradual change of colour from black to white. All in all a wonderful display.
Watching movies on the display is a joy, provided you have at least an HD quality movie. Upscaling standard definition content will show jaggies. The experience is best when you are watching a movie in a dark room, but you can also enjoy it with ambient lighting, just ensure that there aren’t any direct light sources behind you. The tent and stand modes are ideal for watching videos.
Battery Life: 6/10
Considering this is an Intel Core M processor based ultrabook, one thing I was really looking forward to was a long lasting battery. The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro houses a 4-cell 44Wh battery. But the battery life performance of the Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 was certainly not upto the mark. Getting a 3 hours 43 mins on high performance mode and 5 hours 14 mins on Balanced mode are definitely no indicators of ‘Epic Battery Life’ of around 7.2 hours as promised on its product page. For an ultrabook which comes with a low power processor, one really expects longer lasting battery. But if you cannot even pull in a day’s worth of usage without plugging in the charger, then that is just defeating the purpose.
Verdict and Price in India
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro is a beautifully designed ultrabook and the slim form factor along with the light weight is a boon if you are the kinds who have to carry a laptop to work daily. The 3200 x 1800 pixel display is one of the best we have seen on a laptop. Touch response and using the Yoga 3 Pro in various modes, specially stand and tent mode for movies and presentations is really cool. In terms of performance, the Yoga 3 Pro can do most of the regular tasks such as surfing the web, watching HD movies, working on office suites, even working with Adobe Lightroom for photo editing. Now, only IF these factors appeal to you does it make sense to shell out Rs 1,14,990 for the Yoga 3 Pro.
But this is not a workhorse in the traditional sense of the word. You cannot do heavy lifting such as video editing. Granted this laptop is not meant for that kind of work. If you are planning to transcode video, again it will be really slow on this. The battery life, something which should have been at least the promised 7.2 hours, is nowhere close. That is the biggest drawback. The whole premise of using a low power processor such as the Core M is to have a long lasting battery. And this is where the device seems overpriced at Rs 1,14,900.
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