Gadgetslab: Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

 

Hybrids are the future of serious mobile computing. Technology has finally caught up and given us laptops that are truly portable, with enough horsepower to well and truly get down to business. At the forefront of this design trend is Lenovo. They have had a history of great computers, and the Yoga 3 Pro is no exception. It combines function, a killer form, and a hybrid solution that is less gimmicky and actually useful.

Design: 4.5/5

Though it might be weird to call it such, the Yoga 3 Pro is sexy. There’s just no other word to describe it. Exquisitely thin, with the slightest bezel, and cool, straight lines, you’re going to have a difficult time looking for a laptop, Windows or otherwise, that outshines this beauty. Our unit came in a gorgeous brushed steel finish, and for the first few minutes it was in my possession, I just stared at it.

The hinge of the Yoga 3 Pro is an interesting feature. Made to mimic a watch bracelet, it allows the screen to fold back all the way over, and both looks and feels sturdy enough for a few hundred thousand actuations or so. It’s made of metal, and holds the screen positively, with no wonky flapping about during use. The Laptop has full-sized USB ports, battery enough for a whole workday’s use, and a huge, beautiful 13.3 inch screen.

Hardware 4.5/5

The heart of the Yoga 3 Pro is an Intel M processor running at 1.1GHz, 8GB of RAM(!) and either a 512 or 256GB SSD. It might look dainty, but it really is a powerhouse. The large screen has a tack-sharp, 3200×1800 multi-touch display that’s just so pleasant to look at.

Apart from the touchscreen, the device also has a trackpad for when you’re using it in conventional laptop mode, and the usual 3.5mm headphone jack, in case you want to plug in and tune out while you’re getting some work done.

User Experience: 5/5

The Yoga 3 Pro has got to me one of my favorite devices of the year. Using the laptop was extremely pleasant, given its svelte dimensions. I would easily be able to pop it into my bag and head off without it weighing my down unnecessarily. Since I had no qualms about taking it with me, I ended up using it much more than my office-issued laptop. When I did find a place I could camp to get some work done, the experience was always top-notch. Windows 8.1 is a difficult operating system to beat for productivity, and having all my usual apps at hand meant that I hardly noticed I wasn’t at my desk. The Intel M processor and huge 8GB of RAM made sure there was nothing short of hardcore gaming I could throw at the thing to make it stutter. In all realistic working and entertainment scenarios, the Yoga 3 pro is perfect.

Having such a gorgeous screen is a wonderful thing on this device. Combining it with the multi-mode function that allows you to set the laptop down in tent or tablet mode, enjoying all of that gorgeous display, without the hassle of a large laptop footprint. Watching HD movies on a generous, crisp screen such as that on the Yoga Pro 3 can only be described as “blissful,” and something I miss, long after the loaner was taken back. The built-in JBL speakers give great sound quality that is surprisingly loud and present for such a small, think, light device.

Another noteworthy feature of the device is the touch screen. One might not fully appreciate the usefulness of a touchscreen on a laptop, but given the Yoga 3’s multiple modes, it really adds a level of functionality plain laptops can’t match.

While I don’t have a single artistic bone on me, my girlfriend, who is much handier than I with art supplies, used the touchscreen to great effect. Tasked with creating artwork for a book in pursuit of her master’s degree, she used the Yoga 3 Pro to create the illustrations for the story she had written. With the aid of a commonly-available capacitive stylus, and a little time, she was able to paint all the pictures she needed, with the convenience of digital media. I was deeply impressed at how versatile the Yoga is. It’s the perfect machine for both content creation and consumption, with a form factor that approaches that of a lot of the larger tablets in the market.

Value: 3.5/5

The Yoga 3 Pro takes a little hit in the value score just because it’s a little on the pricey side. While it does offer a great user experience, not a whole lot of people can justify shelling out the almost PHP 80,000 cost of admission. Still, it offers an absolutely amazing user experience, for a particular kind of user. If you’re in need of a device that is perfectly mobile, and actually powerful enough to run with more performance-oriented computers, this is a solid bet.

What’s hot:

Beautiful

Powerful

Absurdly convenient

What’s not:

Pricey

Bottomline: If you have the cash to spare, the Yoga 3 Pro is a tough device to beat.

Specs:

Dimensions: 11.8 x 9 x 0.5

Weight: 2.6 lbs

Screen: 13.3 inches, 3200 x 1800, multi-touch

Processor: Intel Core M, 1.1 GHz

Memory: 8GB RAM, 256/512 SSD

OS: Windows 8.1 Pro

Ports: USB 3.0, HDMI

Networking: Wi-Fi b,g,n, 2.4, 5GHz

 

 

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