The TRT Diaries – 1.5 months on T

TRT method:
AndroGel 1.62% – 2 pump actuations daily (40.5 mg)

Blood test results, taken on September 26, 2014:
Testosterone (T), Total: 1043 ng/dL
Estradiol (E2), Ultrasensitive LC/MS/MS: 20 pg/mL
ALT: 33 U/L
AST: 24 U/L

This is my 1.5 (1 1/2) months (and 6.4 weeks) on T update. Quite a bit has happened over the last 6 weeks and I’ll go over that in a bit. But first, I’m going to discuss the results from my latest blood test.

As you can see above, my T levels have gone up dramatically, while my E2 levels have dramatically gone down. I’m still shocked at the results from the test. For the first time in my life, I have normal hormone levels! I never thought I would get T levels this high, and E2 levels this low, this soon! Before, my T levels were an abysmal 29, now they’re a stunning 1043! My E2 levels before where an astronomical 251, now they’re a youthful 20! These levels are actually normal for a guy my age, and supposedly, compared to my peers, I’m in the 95th percentile in T levels. The average T levels for my peers are around 600 to around 700 (50th percentile), so this means that I beat most of my peers in T levels! (And to think that before I was basically below the 5th percentile!)

I actually made a more modest prediction on where my T and E2 levels where going to be at this point. I predicted that my T levels were going to be around 600-800, and my E2 levels around 40-100. This surpassed my expectations big time and I’m completely ecstatic about it. I really think that my healthy lifestyle habits helped me get to this point, and if that’s the case then it just shows you how much of a difference lifestyle habits can make. A lot of my peers have unhealthy lifestyle habits and I think that explains why the average T levels for them are around 600-700. Because I’m on a low dose of T and my levels are on the high end of normal, this probably shows us all that I’m a hypoexcreter of T as opposed to a hyperexcreter (this means that I metabolize T slowly).

I think that these T and E2 levels are my sweet spot, since I’m not feeling any side-effects. In fact, I feel great! I didn’t realize that I would respond to AndroGel this well – this has also taken me by surprise.

I also got my liver enzymes checked (which you can see above) and they have gone up a bit from the last time. My ALT is actually on the high-normal side now, while my AST is now in the middle. I’m not sure what this all means but I’ll do some more research on it.

Now, on to the other stuff:

Sexual Function
My sex drive seems to have improved over my last TRT Diaries entry. I feel like its at its highest/best yet. It has definitely gotten more consistent. I have gotten morning wood every single day since the morning after I started T. I now wake up every morning fantasizing about sex and itching to have it. Not only that but I also fantasize about sex – as well as great-looking women and their body parts – throughout the day. Before T, I’ve constantly struggled to so (it was inconsistent) and only thought about that stuff occasionally, but now its girls and sex all the time. The mild ED (Erectile Dysfunction) I had while Low T is completely gone now.

Voice
My voice seems to be getting deeper about every two weeks or so. I have noticed a different sound and feel to it from the last time. Not only that but, it also seems to have started cracking (again). I’m recording my voice to keep track of the changes and I have noticed a difference from the past two weeks and a pretty big difference since I first started T. Since my voice is finally starting to deepen, I’m actually feeling more comfortable with it and less self-conscious about it – I’m starting to hate it less, which means I’m actually starting to like it!

Facial/body hair
My facial and body hair seem to be getting more numerous and slightly darker from the last time. I’m wondering when I’ll start seeing darker, thicker hairs. Really excited to get more visible facial hair and grow a beard (so I’ll look a little bit older and because I always wanted to grow one)!

Physical Profile
Slowly, maturely, my body keeps increasing in body and lean mass. When I weighted myself at the end of September, I was back to 91 pounds When I went to visit my Endocrinologist on Friday, I found out that I now weigh 97 pounds! I’m really happy about this. This is the first time in my life that I’ve weighted that much. I’m guessing that by the time I go visit my PCP (which will be in November or December), I’m probably going to be 108, 109, or 110 (I’ll no longer be underweight). My guess is that after one year on T, I’ll be anywhere from 135-150 (with most of it being muscle, of course). I’ll finally be able to fill my clothes out! I have recently gotten back to my regular fitness routine, although I’m still easing into it. I’m now “lifting heavy things” (right now, its mostly bodyweight exercises) 3 times a week again.

Energy/mood
My mood is still good and my energy is still high. Its definitely gotten more consistent. I definitely feel more motivated to do stuff now and its only going get better over time. I also seem to be more of a morning person now, whereas before I wasn’t.

Cognition
My cognition just keeps improving – and I just know that its only going to get better over time. I can definitely retain information much better now and I can also focus much easily now. Brain fog also seems to be completely gone now. I’m actually now back to making and learning more about music (as well as design and other stuff) and its going along great! I feel like my confidence in all sorts of stuff is slowly, maturely going up.

Appetite
Appetite is still up! Still not really experiencing any bloating (major bloating, at least).

Other
My acne seems to have modestly increased. The good news is that its not a huge issue (at least yet).

I’m very pleased by how all of this is going. This is definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m very excited to see what’s up ahead.

I guess that’s all for now. I’ll see you all next time!

P.S. Before I left my endo’s office, I got new prescription for AndroGel (same dosage and delivery method) for the months of November and December. However, hours after I left my endo’s office, I realized that I will need a new prescription for T in December for the months of January and February (I will be filling it out somewhere at the end of December – before New Year’s). I’m not going to see my endo again until January 9, and I’m hoping that I can get a new prescription without going to his office (by doing it electronically or by fax, or by my PCP prescribing it under my endo’s direction). This is something that’s going to have me anxious come December because I will be out of T by the time I go see my endo, and I really don’t want to go back to being Low T. Hopefully, everything will work out just fine – we’ll see what happens. Also, my next blood draw will be in December, and this is where I’m going to get my blood cells checked.

Lastly, I will be uploading my first video blog on YouTube hopefully by the end of the month. I’m currently busy shooting it. I will share that video (along with future videos) here when I upload it.

End of an Era

Wednesday was a big day. I went to my local courthouse for my hearing on my name and gender change in the morning. After some time waiting for my turn, I got the petition approved. I am officially Ryan now.

There was a lot of thoughts and feelings going through my head (good ones, for that matter). I felt very happy (obviously). I felt relieved. I felt like a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I felt like a curse had been undone. I felt like I had a better sense of security. I felt free and liberated. I felt validated. And most of all, I felt like myself.

My new (legal) name? Ryan Eli Torres Turner.

I actually added a second last name and I added a middle name. I added “Eli” as my middle name. I found out about the name through one of my favorite motocross athletes. His name is Eli Tomac. I though he was a great rider (and person), that I was able to relate to, with a really cool (and pretty unique) name. I tried it out for myself and it ended sticking around – I really became attached to the name. I was originally going to add a second middle name – “Ethan”, which I felt really suited me (and still do) – but I was afraid my (full) name would get too long (but it will always be a part of me. You can all use it as a nickname for me).

I also added “Turner” as a second last name (“Torres” is my birth last name). The reason for this was because I thought it would look unique and I really liked the name. There’s actually a long history behind it: I began using this name back when I was a teen. I was growing up in a pretty dysfunctional family and I just wanted to get away from them. I was going through some pretty though times back then. I found out about the name from watching the Fairly Odd Parents growing up. I thought the name was cool and began using it. Little did I know it would really stick. I originally was going to drop “Torres” from my name (to disassociate from them) but I eventually ended up forgiving my parents. I have long forgiven them but the name has stuck – it has become such a big part of my life that I just had to keep it. (The other reason I wanted to keep “Torres” was so I can have a piece of my Latino heritage – and also because two of my closest cousins have it.) I feel like this is also going to be useful for separating my public life from my private life, but we’ll have to wait and see how its going to play out in the long run.

The next and final step in this transition of mine is to (of course) update/fix my legal/identity documents. First up is Social Security, then Medi-Cal, the DMV, the Department of Vital Statistics (to fix my birth certificate), and my doctors (PCP and Endocrinologist), and then everything else. Once this is all completed, my transition and Rite of Passage into manhood will be completed. I should be completing all this stuff by the end of the year and before the start of the new year. This means that I will enter 2015 with a fresh, brand new start!

Its been a long two and a half years, with a lot of big ups and downs. I am so glad to finally be able to put all this behind me. The lessons I’ve learned from this experience have definitely shaped me into a better person and these lessons learned will be sticking with me for life and will translate into other areas of life – like my emerging music career (which is why this is such a great Rite of Passage).

Never in a million years did I think I would be where I am right now. I always acted like and saw myself as male but I didn’t think I would actually be one (both biologically and psychologically). Even more so, I never thought I would actually turn out to be and find out that I was intersex this whole time, with a gender misassignment at birth. I never thought I would end up (legally) transitioning into my true self (from female to male).

It is the end of an era, and the start of a new one!

The TRT Diaries – 2 weeks on T

It’s been 2 weeks since I started T (this is my 15th day) and I have seen quite a bit of changes. Most of the changes have been neurological. I haven’t really seen any physical changes. I’ve only seen a few and they have been minor (at least most of them), compared to the neurological changes (all of this is expected during this time). My guess is that that will change during the 3rd week. For the record, I’m on Androgel 1.62% and I take 40.5mg (2 pumps) daily (every morning).

With that said, here are the following changes that I’ve noticed since first going on T:

Sexual Function

My sexual function (libido and potency) has made a big improvement. My sex drive is much more consistent. Whereas back then I only thought about sex occasionally, I’m now thinking about sex much more frequently (as in everyday). I seem to be taking greater pleasure in it (that is, I seem to be feeling it more), I seem to be more “ready” (if you know what I mean), and I seem to be paying even greater attention to visual stimuli. I first started to notice an elevation in my libido about an hour after I took my first dose of T – when I had my first sexual urge in weeks. The following morning, I noticed a return of my morning erections (which I had not had in a few months until then), and they have been consistent since then (I’m now waking up with morning wood everyday). My penis has also grown a bit – it looks a little more thicker than before, and its more sensitive than it was before. I’m very curious to see how much it grows after a few years go by. Lastly, my orgasms are more intense and my semen seems to be increasing in volume. I’m really surprised by how quickly my sexual function has improved. This is something that I didn’t expect to happen so soon – and I’m enjoying it!

Voice

My voice hasn’t changed yet – I still sound like Justin Bieber. My guess is that it’ll start changing very soon. I’m nearing the point were I’m going to start seeing changes in my voice. This is something that I’m most excited about and the most impatient about. I’m very self-conscious about my voice – which is the reason why I tend to avoid talking to people – because its not the manly voice I should have, so I’m really, really eager for it to start changing (or should I say, resume changing).

Facial/body hair

My facial hair seems to be growing back a bit quicker. It seems like there’s some more hair starting to grow in certain parts of my body (although its still scanty). I also seem to have increased peach fuzz. I’m assuming that I’ll start seeing thicker, darker hairs growing in during the 3rd or 4th week. I can’t wait to finally have visible facial hair!

Physical Profile

My muscles seem to have gotten more firmer than before. They seem to have gotten a tiny bit bigger and I seem to be filling out some areas of my body that were just skin and bones before. I seem to have gained a little weight – I checked myself on a scale and I’m almost back to being in the 90s (supposedly, I’m 89 ibs now). My weight has always been unstable (its always been mostly in the 80s), and supposedly it won’t start stabilizing until I’m anywhere from 6 to 12 months on T. I really can’t wait for that to happen, I’m tired of being underweight and looking like a weakling. My strength also seems to have increased (I tested myself out). I am, however, going to a wait a little bit before I resume my fitness routine (about 3 months). My goal is to get bigger and stronger, as that is more of my thing (it’ll make me look like I mean business). I’m really excited to be able to put muscle on more easily, as well as getting back to my regular fitness routine.

Energy/mood

My energy has increased, and my mood has improved. My mood swings are gone and I have become more patient with things and people. All of these things seemed to have happened during the first day. Not only that but the mild anxiety I was dealing with also seems to have disappeared (I noticed my anxiety lifting shortly after taking my first dose). I actually now feel like talking to people a bit more. I seem to have less social anxiety and feel more confident in talking to people, and I seem to be more open to socializing. The only thing holding me back would have to be my voice (again, I’m self-conscious about my voice).

Cognition

My cognition has dramatically improved. My reaction times are quicker, I can remember things better, I can focus more better and more clearly, and I have more energy and patience to do intellectually-demanding tasks. Perhaps the best part of all is that my creativity seems to have gone up. Things are coming to me much more easily than before. Right now, I’m getting back into the groove of making/playing music, designing, and the like. I must say that I’m having more fun making/playing music and designing than I did back when I was Low T. I seem to be getting more ideas now, I’m getting ideas more easily, and are more motivated to organize them and act upon them. I seem to be able to improvise more easily now, whereas back then I had a really hard time doing so. It seems like learning/practicing my skills while being Low T is starting to pay off. The cognitive changes/benefits is something that I’m really enjoying as well.

Appetite

My appetite has increased. I’m getting hungry more often and my portions have grown in size. I noticed this change on the evening of my first dose. I’ve also noticed that the bloating I used to have after every meal seems to have subsided. I guess this just shows that high Estrogen causes bloating (and it also shows that my E levels have decreased).

Other

My Gynecomastia seems to be improving, but its just the beginning. We’ll have to wait and see how much its reduced in several months (or a year from now).

All of these changes happened during the first week (the first 5 days it seems). I haven’t really seen any more changes during the second week (its become pretty boring now). I’m sure (and I’m hoping) that I’ll be seeing more changes during the third week.

I’m guessing that my T levels are now anywhere from 500-700. My goal is to get my T levels in the optimal range, between 700 and 1,000. For my E2 levels, my guess is that they’re now in the 40-100 range. My goal is to get them anywhere between 20 and 40, with 25-30 being my preferred spot. I have my next blood draw on the 26 and my next appointment with my Endocrinologist on October 10, so I won’t know until then (I might need to increase my dose by one pump on my next appointment). I also won’t know if I have to increase my dose until then.

One thing I’m trying to do to further improve my health and aid my recovery from Low T is to incorporate (more like re-incorporate) more good dietary fats into my diet, as I’m am pretty deficient in them. This has always been a trouble spot for me since I’m not buying my own food and I need to scrap up the money to buy them, but I’m going to work towards that. I’m also going to work towards getting back to being fully Primal (I’m partly Primal right now – because of my financial situation). Getting more good dietary fats will further increase my energy levels and make them more sustained.

I’m very happy with the changes I have seen. I’m even more amazed at how fast the expected first changes happened. I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen next. I feel great and, like I said before, I’m never going back to being Low T ever again!

I’ll be posting another TRT update either in 2 more weeks or on the last day of this month or the first day of October. I’ll see ya’ll again next time!

Finally Got T! – Part 2

I finally got my first prescription of Androgel on Friday. It took longer than I expected but at least I finally got it. I would’ve had gotten sooner but my Endocrinologist did not have the Prior Authorization form ready to submit until Monday. The following day, I got word that it was approved by my insurance. I tried to pick up my Androgel on Wednesday but the pharmacy ran out again and didn’t have any in stock until Thursday afternoon. I would finally pick it up on Friday.

Saturday was my first day on Testosterone (T). Right away, I was able to feel the effects. I felt my anxiety subsiding not long after the first application, then my well-being and happiness went up, I then noticed my brain fog was starting to clear up, my cognition was starting to improve (I even felt my creativity go up), I felt my libido go up about an hour after, and my spontaneous erections started making a return throughout the day. My appetite seems to be increasing and I’m getting way less (read: little to no) bloating (supposedly, high Estradiol can cause bloating – and I think this might be right). The next morning, I got my first morning erection in possibly months.

The changes have been consistent so far and they also seem to be increasing in intensity and quality each day. My confidence is going up and continues to do so, but I probably won’t get to the point were I feel completely confident (at least were the social aspect of things is concerned) until I finally start seeing changes in my voice (I’m pretty self-conscious about my voice – at least for now). Also, It seems like I’m starting to become more patient with stuff and not very easily agitated. Not only that but, this morning I seemed to have had an increase in the sensitivity downstairs when I got a random erection. It was my first time feeling anything that intense (I felt these sensations before – although inconsistent – but this was my first time experiencing anything this intense).

If I had to guess my T levels right now, I would say I’m probably anywhere around the 400-600 range. I would probably not see results like these if they were any lower than that. This is an educated guess based on what I’ve read – which includes experiences from other guys. For Estradiol, I’m assuming its anywhere from 40-100. But I won’t find out what my levels truly are until I get my bloodwork done near the end of the month, and go see my Endocrinologist at the end of the month. My guess is that my levels will keep going up for quite sometime – I’m guessing for the first 2 weeks (it takes 2 weeks for the body to adjust to something new).

I originally said that I would be on 2.5mg of T (2 pumps). It turns out, 2 pumps of Androgel 1.62% is actually 40.5mg! (That’s almost 50mg!) So that means I’m getting more than I bargained for! And so far so good. I’m responding to the treatment very well. It looks like I’m not one of those poor absorbers or anything like that, plus I have not experienced any adverse reactions (it also seems like I’m applying it well). My guess is that 5 pumps (100mg) will be my final dose (but could be something more like 100-130mg), but we’ll have to wait and see.

I’m very pleased with the changes I’m seeing so far. I’m very excited to see what’s ahead. This stuff is truly amazing and I feel great! Going on TRT is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m never going back to being Low T ever again :).

I will post an update for my “The TRT Diaries” series in probably 2 weeks. This will, of course, be my 2 weeks on T update. Additionally, I hope I can get back to work on starting my video blog series – which will include a video blog version of “The TRT Diaries”. I’ll see you all soon!

Finally Got T!

…Well, almost (I’ll get to that a bit later).

On Tuesday, August 19, I went to see my Endocrinologist for the 3rd time. I predicted that this time around I was finally going to get my first prescription for Testosterone (T). I was pretty anxious about the outcome of all this but I knew because I had been preparing for this during these last 2 months, I felt like I was finally prepared enough to finally get T (unlike the other time around, when I was just getting started on fixing my legal stuff) so I felt more confident this time around. I was a little anxious, but at the same time I was excited.

After a humiliating ‘defeat’ last time around (due to a lack of preparedness on my part), and after a very crushing denial to see an Endocrinologist by my former insurance this month last year, I can finally say that I got my hands on T! My endo was very open to giving me T but the legal stuff (not updating my gender with social security, ID, and my insurance sooner) is what made things difficult the last time around – and why he couldn’t prescribe me T. I spend the last 2 months sorting this stuff out and I can proudly say that all that hard work paid off.

When I got my 1st prescription for T, I felt very happy, excited, and pumped. But most of all, I felt a huge sigh of relief. This is has been such a big journey with huge ups and downs. Its been an emotional roller coaster that I can finally and happily say has finally come to an end. I’ve had to face denials of coverage, incompetent practitioners & insurance providers, and inconsistent identity documents, all while dealing with the dreaded symptoms of Low T (which made it even more challenging). Yeah, its not easy being intersex – especially when people don’t really know what intersex really is and when there are little to no protections for intersex folks like myself. It is especially not easy being both intersex and transgender (in my case, an intersex guy who was misassigned female at birth).

My endo prescribed me Androgel 1.62%. The best part? I didn’t even need to ask for it – he just said he was going to put me on Andogel and that’s it! (Love my endocrinologist!) I’ll be on 2.5g (2 pumps) of it initially, afterwards my doctor and I will gradually increase the dose until I finally arrive at a dose that I’m comfortable with (this will take about a year to do). Since T has very profound effects on the brain, it is important to start out with a low dose when starting TRT for the first time, so I’m cool with this initial low dose (the brain is practically the first organ to recover from the effects of Low T).

I’m predicting that I’ll be back to working on my career – as well as my resuming my regular fitness regimen – in about 2-3 months, or even earlier (like after 2 weeks). I’m very excited to return to work as I am dying to work on and put out new music and designs, as well as start playing live shows! I’m also very excited to return to my regular fitness regimen and finally start bulking up!

I went over to Rite Aid this morning to fill out my prescription but unfortunately they were out of Androgel. The good news is that they will have more in stock by tomorrow at 2pm. But since my insurance doesn’t have Androgel on their drug formulary (or drug list, as its also called), my local Rite Aid has sent my endo a Prior Authorization notice which he will need to fill out and send back to them (hopefully he’s already done it by now), who will then send the form to my insurance so they can cover it. This takes about 24 hours (or 2 days) to process. So if my endo and local Rite Aid fills and sends the notice today, I should be able to pick up my T either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning and start TRT on Sunday morning (if not, then early next week). We’ll have to wait and see how this turns out (I’m sure everything will go well). I’ll keep you all updated!

Nearing the End of My Journey

July was a pretty busy month! Quite a bit happened last month and its not over yet!

First, I went over to my local Social Security office to update my gender from female to male. I handed them my doctor’s letter (as well as a form of identification) and that was the end of that. I had to wait about 1 ½ hours to get service but the wait was well worth it. Two weeks later, and my gender had been updated to male. I went there in mid-July, and on August 1st, I called Social Security to see if the changes went into effect and they told me it did.

On July 18th, I filed my petition at my local court to change my name and gender legally – plus, a fee waiver that was approved. I have my hearing on September 24 in the morning. I’m really excited about this and I’m sure things will go very well.

Finally, I received my new ID on Monday – with a male gender marker!

Like I said earlier, its not over yet! Tomorrow, I’m going to go update my gender with my insurance. Hopefully after this I will be able to get my insurance to cover T. Not only that but I will be making my next appointment with my Endocrinologist tomorrow (which I’m going to see if I can book for 2 weeks from now). Hopefully I’ll finally be able to get T on my next appointment.

I feel like things are finally coming together. I feel as if I’m finally making real progress here. Since the beginning of this month, I’ve felt like my stress levels have gone down significantly – since I now have less hurdles to jump. Once I’m on T (remember, its independent of my transition), get my petition granted, and update all of my identity documents, my Rite of Passage will be completed and I will finally be able to start the next chapter in my life. I’ll no longer suffer from Low T or Gender Dysphoria after this. I will finally be able to live a normal, calm life, where I get to fulfill my potential. It will be the first time (at least since childhood) that I’ve ever felt “normal”. I’m nearing the end of this 2 – 2 ½ year journey. I can’t wait!

Until then, I’m going to go back to enjoying my vacation from almost everything – because once I’m on T (for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months), its back to work!

P.S. I’m planning on launching my video blog series somewhere this upcoming fall or winter, so watch out for that! (I’m currently still in the production stage. And yes, I will still be updating this blog.)

Lenovo Yoga 2 11 review

Image

On Friday, May 23, I got an early birthday present. I got a Lenovo Yoga 2 11 – which I affectionately named Trent. I’ve always wanted to see how its like to use and own a Yoga, and I finally got a chance to get a feel for that back on that day.

Specs
This is what my Yoga 2 11 came with:

Intel Pentium N3520 2.17GHz CPU
4 GB RAM (DDR3L-1600MHz)
Intel Baytrail M GPU
11.6″ HD LED TS LCD
500GB HDD
4 cell battery w/ a 20V, 45W AC adapter
Windows 8.1 64 bit
2 USB ports (one of them 2.0, the other 3.0)
A Micro HDMI 1.4 port
1 PCI Express Mini Card slot
1 Combo audio jack (1/8″)
A 2 in 1 card reader (SD/MMC)
An integrated camera
2 integrated speaker
2 integrated microphones

Feel/built quality
The Yoga 2 11 feels quite solid. It has this very nice feel to it. It does not feel cheap at all. It looks quite elegant and the orange cover is very pleasant to look at. The screen and hinges (which are metal) feel very solid as well.

Keyboard
The Yoga 2 11 is my first laptop with an island-style, 6-row keyboard. When I first looked at the keyboard, I thought the keys were too short to be funstional. I actually questioned its usability, especially since I’m primarily a ThinkPad user – which I have been for almost 10 years – and have gotten accustomed to its keyboard. That all changed when I used it. I found out how responsive and comfortable the keyboard was to type on. Although, I think that if I put it side-by-side with the ThinkPad Yoga, the ThinkPad’s keyboard would (obviously) be more superior, but (at least in my opinion) the Yoga’s keyboard would come very close though. Even though an IdeaPad/Essential notebook can’t beat a ThinkPad’s keyboard, its still pleasant to type on and comes close. Their keyboards are obviously better than the other consumer notebook brands out there.

On the Yoga, the the Ctrl key is placed on the left side while the Fn key is placed on the right side. This is something I’ll have to get used to since I’m more used to the Fn key being on the left and the Ctrl key being on the right (being a long-time ThinkPad user and all). But even with that in mind, I’m actually adjusting pretty well.

Pointing device
This isn’t my first time using a clickpad-style touchpad (I used one before when I demoed a MacBook Pro a long time ago), but this is my first time using one on a daily basis. The Yoga 2 11 is my first notebook with a clickpad. I initially thought it would take me a while to get used to a touchpad with integrated buttons, but I ended up getting used it after just several minutes of use. It has a very nice feel to it and is very responsive – it doesn’t feel clunky at all. The multi-touch function of the clickpad works like a charm – although, it sometimes gets in the way. Touchpads on Lenovo laptops are very easy to use – they aren’t a pain to use as in other brands, which is great for me since my pointing device of choice is the TrackPoint (I rarely use the touchpad on my ThinkPads) and with the Yoga, I have no other choice but to use a touchpad or an external mouse.

Display
My Yoga has an 11.6″ HD LED TS display. Its very crisp and has a nice resolution that’s very suitable for an 11.6″. Using its multitouch functions is a breeze and is comfortable to use.

There are times when I wish I had a larger screen. When I’m doing design (and music) work, I prefer to work on a larger screen, so I wish my Yoga had a bigger screen for that purpose. But I’m doing quite well working on a smaller screen (before this, I was doing my design work on a 14” T60). I think the decent screen resolution, plus the crisp screen compensate for that small drawback.

Performance
The Yoga does what it was made for pretty well. Web browsing, reading, word processing, and social media on the Yoga are a breeze. Watching videos and listening to music are . It can handle light gaming with really no issues, and the integrate graphics card is quite decent – games are really fun to play on the Yoga. Apps run great on it as well.

Since I’m going to be using the Yoga for graphic design for a while, I installed Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver (all CS6). As expected, it can run all of these programs quite well. However, since the Yoga 2 11 has integrated graphics, it won’t be able to take advantage of Photoshop CS6′s 3D feature (it will be disabled by default). In order to take advantage of the 3D feature, you will need to get a computer with a dedicated graphics card – which needs to have at least 512MB of VRAM (which I myself am going to do somewhere in the near future).

Battery Life
I can get up to 5 hours of battery life on my Yoga. I’ve been able to watch about 2 hours of video, plus web browsing, Photoshop, word processing, reading, and other stuff in about 5 hours. Of course, how much battery life you get – and the stuff you can do with that time – really depend on what settings you have on your Yoga, as well as the kinds of tasks you do, so you might end up getting more or less than what I got.

Conclusion
The Yoga 2 11 is great for basic tasks like typing, reading, web browsing, and social media. It is also great for entertainment like watching videos, listening to music, and light gaming. It is great for using apps from the Windows store as well. Additionally, it can run programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver with no issues. The only drawback is if you’re using Photoshop CS6, you won’t get to use the 3D feature, since the Yoga 2 11 does not have a dedicated graphics card. The Yoga 2 11 is also great for (basic/low-intensity) music production, DJing, and drawing.

The Yoga 2 11 is really fun to use. I really love the four modes: laptop, tent, stand, and tablet – which allow me to do different tasks in different modes for a more efficient workflow. Overall, it is great for work and play. I love my Yoga!