- Screen: 11.6-in. multi-touch display; 1366 x 768 resolution
- Memory: 2GB DDR3L RAM
- Storage: 64GB SSD storage
- CPU: Nvidia Tegra 3
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n; Bluetooth
- Physical Dimensions: 11.7in. x 8.0in. x 0.61in. (W x H x D)
- Weight: 2.8lbs
- Screen and audio
- Battery life
- Thickness as a tablet
- Windows RT as its OS
- Too expensive
- The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 is a device that is promising, given its ability to transform from a tablet to a laptop in an instant, but its primary flaw is that it uses Windows RT as its OS instead of Windows 8. It may not be evident at first, but that detail makes a world of difference.
If you remember the IdeaPad Yoga 13—the 13-inch notebook/tablet convertible device from Lenovo that can fold up to 360 degrees—you might just be excited to hear about its little brother, the IdeaPad Yoga 11, which is a smaller and lighter version of its predecessor.
The IdeaPad Yoga 11 runs on an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor clocked at 1.30GHz and holds 2GB of RAM and 64GB embedded flash memory. The device has a full chiclet-type keyboard, a five-point multi-touch screen, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port and a full-sized SD card slot.
Overall, its hardware specs are rather impressive, although unfortunately I really can’t say the same for software. Unlike the first IdeaPad Yoga, which runs on Windows 8, the Yoga 11 uses Windows RT as its operating system. It was a bit of a crippling encounter because I felt that the desktop computing experience was lacking. Having Windows RT means that you can’t download traditional or legacy apps to the desktop. For instance, I was unable to install trusty ol’ Google Chrome on the desktop because of the limitations of the OS. I was thus forced to use Internet Explorer, and words will never be enough to describe how I frown upon Internet Explorer. Luckily, my other necessity, Microsoft Office, was already pre-loaded on to the system.
Like the Yoga 13, the Yoga 11 can be used in four ways. When the two slates of the device are bent at an angle from 90 to 180 degrees with keyboard facing upward and the screen facing the user, you can use the device as a laptop. When, however, the keyboard is folded so that it is tucked underneath the screen, you can use it as a tablet. In the tablet setup, the keyboard faces outward, but there’s absolutely no reason to worry that you might accidentally hit the keys when you’re holding it or setting it on a surface. The keyboard is automatically disabled when the device is folded in such a manner.
From tablet mode, you can also set up the device to make it ideal for multimedia viewing and for presentations. You can use the keyboard as a flat stand, with the keyboard facing down and the screen propped up at 90 degrees, or you can set up the device in a tent-like shape, where the keyboard and screen are facing opposite sides.
The hook of the device is its portability. It is only half an inch thick (when folded) and weighs 2.8-lbs. It’s like carrying an 11.6-inch paperback book. Its size and weight compared to ultrabooks is impressive, but compared to tablets, I don’t think it will have the same appeal. Nevertheless, I had no hesitation in bringing the device to work and taking it home everyday. I even packed it in my rucksack and took it along on our road trip to Subic.
The general performance of the device can be described as inconsistent. Sometimes it was fast; sometimes it lagged. Fortunately, the instances of the former outnumbered the latter. It takes almost a minute, however, to boot the device, as well as shut it down, which is why for the majority of the time that the device was in my custody, I opted to never shut it down and put it into Sleep Mode instead.
The multimedia experience that I had with the Yoga 11 took me by surprise. I watched some HD videos on YouTube, hit full screen, and I was left more than satisfied with the intensity of colors and detail that I was able to get from the 11.6-inch 1366 x 768-resolution screen. What surprised me more was the powerful audio that the device could produce. The sound that it pumped out was magnificently loud and surprisingly well-balanced; not once did I feel the need to plug in my speakers or headphones. Notably, the audio didn’t sound distorted when I played music at full volume.
There’s a reasonable amount of keyboard travel on the Yoga 11’s keyboard. My only complaint would be that the keys aren’t backlit.The touchpad is thankfully spacious and responsive, but I was a bit disappointed when I discovered that it lacked palm rejection. There were a few instances in which my palm grazed the edge of the pad and suddenly I was in a different part of the word document I was typing. It was a distressing experience.
Battery life is one of the important features that add to the usefulness of the device. Throughout my time with the Yoga 11, I was able to use the device for at most 11hours of moderate use that involves web browsing, typing, and listening to music at full brightness without having to reach for the charger. It also takes a reasonable amount of time to get a full charge.
Is the Yoga 11 worth the investment? I think PHP 44,995 is too much for a device like this. But let’s say you just won the lottery and you’ve got oodles of cash to spare: is it worth buying? The appeal of the device depends greatly on the perspective through which it is looked at. It is definitely on the losing end when it is compared to other tablets because of its size and thickness. Using the Yoga 11 is like carrying around an 11-inch tablet and an attachable keyboard with you, except the keyboard stays on—forever. Its edge over most laptops, though, is that it is slim and it weighs like nothing, making it extremely portable. However, with Windows RT on board instead of Windows 8, I doubt if anyone would really consider it as a replacement to their current laptops no matter how chunky they are. Ultimately, I would say that if I needed to go to press events and had post stories to our site while I’m there, I would have no qualms in taking the Yoga 11 as my companion, but apart from that, I can see no other use for it.
Words by Racine Anne Castro