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Review of Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro: ‘Striking-asana’!

R Dinakaran | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on March 18, 2015

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Can the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro take on the Macbook Pro with sheer flexibility?



When Lenovo took on Macbook Air in the ‘Laptop Dance Off’ commercial for the Yoga 3 Pro, many wondered if it was overdoing the comparison. However, when the hybrid laptop-tablet was unveiled, the doubts vanished - Lenovo had come out with a product that had the capability to take on the Macbooks of the world - at least in design and specifications.

The Yoga 3 Pro - the latest in Lenovo’s Yoga series of hybrids - is targeted at the premium segment customer and costs over ₹1 lakh. Is it really worth the price and the hype?

The device is just the slimmest 2-in-1 ever and is quite comfortable even as a tablet considering the size. It is also surprisingly light for a laptop, but on the heavier side for a tablet. And it is definitely not optimal to be used while holding in our hands.

Design and build

Lenovo has ensured that the ‘watchband’ hinge (Lenovo claims there are over 800 pieces in the hinge) is problem-free. (The hinge gets its name from the design which resembles that of a watch band) It remains sturdy at any angle (tablet, ‘tent’ or laptop) and takes on the taps and swipes without a problem. There were no uncomfortable creaks at any angle, including when folding fully into tablet mode.

The keyboard is disabled while being used in the tablet mode, but when the Yoga 3 Pro is held in the hand with the screen flipped over, the keyboard is at the bottom, and this gives you a funny feeling. There is an inevitable, subconscious feeling of caution about the keyboard, though we are fully aware that nothing will happen since it is automatically disabled. There is also the constant, genuine fear of damaging the keyboard on tablet mode when we have to keep it down on hard surfaces.

The Yoga 3 Pro is one of the thinnest hybrid devices available and it has largely been achieved with the help of Intel’s Core M chip, which eliminates the necessity of heat venting fans. And obviously, the absence of the fan also helps in reducing the weight. The micro-HDMI port is on the left, along with an SD card reader and a USB 3.0 port. Lenovo has chosen a micro-HDMI port because of the thin form factor, but not having a full-sized HDMI port could be an issue as we will have to hunt for adapters or micro-HDMI to HDMI cables. Also on the left is the power socket that also doubles up as a USB (2.0) port. The advantage here is a single port, but on the flip side, we will have to go in for the proprietary Lenovo power adapter when we need a replacement as there is no standard power socket.

On the right are the power key, volume rockers, one more USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack and an auto-rotate button. The keyboard is shallow, and the lack of enough travel takes some time to get used to. Otherwise the spacing is good and comfortable. The smooth trackpad is perfect and all gesture controls work flawlessly.

Viewing angles have to be exceptional in hybrid devices like this. The 13.3-inch, 3,200 x 1,800 IPS display does a brilliant job and there is no distortion from any viewing angle. With the size, the tent mode is more comfortable than the flat mode as we can angle the screen any way we want. We have been used to tablet sizes of 7, 9 or at the most 10 inches. The 13 plus size is not really comfortable as a tablet. It is difficult to work holding it in our hands. The tablet mode is best when kept on a table or angled in the tent mode.

If we switch to tent or tablet mode when you are typing something, the virtual keyboard pops up automatically. It is a little disconcerting when you do this as we start looking for the trackpad in this mode. The touchscreen is very responsive and we found no lag at all. The only thing we had to ensure was to keep the screen at the optimum angle to touch.

Specs and performance

The Yoga 3 Pro comes with 8 GB RAM, which combined with the Intel Core M processor, gives a fairly zippy performance, even with multiple apps open simultaneously.

There is an integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300 that is offered with the Core M processor. Though the performance was above par, there are doubts whether integrated processors can match separate ones in performance. One major chink in the Yoga 3 Pro armour could be the battery. We could get just 5-6 hours of juice with heavy web browsing, and intensive use in the tablet mode. It would have been okay for a laptop at a lesser price, but for a ‘premium’ device costing more than ₹1 lakh, this is a dampener.

Verdict

The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro can take on the Macbooks in the size and weight departments. The Core M processor and the 8 GB RAM combine to give a smooth performance, but may not be enough for modern day games that suck power.

The well-designed hinge makes the conversion from laptop to table-top easy and also enables the ‘tent’ mode without leaving you wondering if the hinge will snap.

₹1.15 lakh

Love: Weight and slim form, brilliantly designed hinge, touchscreen

Hate: Battery, poor audio, power adapter

Published on March 18, 2015

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