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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!