Design and Build
The first thing that will strike you about the Yoga is its high-end design. Before it made its way to The INQUIRER reviews desk, we were worried that with a £1,000 price tag it wouldn't seem worth the cost. Unpacking it, and taking it out of its slick black box, we found this wasn't the case.
The Yoga 13 has a stylish, premium looking design. Its chassis is covered with a soft-touch textured material that allows for a better grip but also gives it a comfortable and luxurious feel. We found that the silvery-grey finish on our model - it is also available in bright orange - was satisfyingly stylish but at the same time simple enough to complement a variety of other devices you might use alongside it.
Build quality is a strong point for the Ideapad Yoga, which is essential here due to its flexibility compared to than other laptops on the market. Both the keyboard and the screen feel robust and sturdy despite their slim, lightweight construction.
One thing worth noting is that although the Yoga feels relatively lightweight when in laptop position, weighing 1.54kg, folding it 360 degrees makes it feel a little too heavy for a tablet. On the other hand, there aren't many 13in tablets on the market, so perhaps it's just the case that there is nothing to compare it to other than the more popular 10in models that dominate the market.
Our main gripe with the Yoga's design is the keyboard. During our tests of writing a full page document, it proved irritatingly unresponsive. The space bar failed to register our keystrokes on many occasions due to its stiffness. It needed to be struck hard in the centre in order to recognise a keypress. This meant that words appeared stuck together in the middle of sentences when we'd failed to type with enough vigour.
The fact that the keys and the trackpad are also made from a really smooth material makes them slippery and difficult to hit. The smaller than average enter, shift and backspace keys on the right hand side of the keyboard also make the typing experience more difficult.
If you're looking to buy a laptop mainly for word processing, the Yoga might not be the best option, as its keyboard issues could be a big problem. It might just be that it takes some getting used to, but we have had a lot of experience using different keyboards in the past and found they are generally much more usable than this.
The Yoga's keyboard problems could be down to our review unit being a pre-production model, and we will have to await the final UK release to see if this issue has been fixed.
Another negative we found with the Yoga 13's keyboard is that there is no backlight to make typing easier in low light conditions. For £1,000, we would expect this and it would have given it that added edge. We were also surprised that there are no shortcut keys for media playback on the Yoga, such as play, pause and skip tracks. We think this is a little odd as the Ideapad range is targeted towards a more entertainment or creative audience. Even Lenovo's Thinkpad laptops, which are geared towards professionals, have media shortcut keys.