Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
Manufacturer: Lenovo Part number: 59343898
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CNET editors' review
price range: $1,099.00
- Reviewed by: Dan Ackerman
- Reviewed on: 11/06/2012
The good: The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 looks as good as any 13-inch ultrabook, with the added attraction of a 360-degree screen and a laptop body that can fold into a tent, stand, or slate.
The bad: Tablet mode leaves the keyboard exposed, and the Yoga 13 costs more than standard ultrabooks with similar components.
The bottom line: The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 is a convertible touch-screen laptop/tablet that most importantly doesn't compromise the traditional laptop experience.
Best Convertible Laptop Currently on the Market!
by RRBaird on August 29, 2013
Pros: + Very bright screen with IP, 1600x900 resolution works very well for a 13 inch screen
+ Tablet mode has worked great, with no problems
+ Trackpad is great (I updated to latest drivers)
+ Expandable SSD slot is amazing
Cons: - Sometimes the device doesn't recognize the change of orientation, and keeps the keyboard locked when in laptop mode
- Lacking in ports, which is a compromise for most ultraportables
Summary: The Yoga 13 is an excellent computer, which works (almost) exactly as it should (with one minor wifi fix). My real rating would be 4.5 stars, but I'm ...
Summary: The Yoga 13 is an excellent computer, which works (almost) exactly as it should (with one minor wifi fix). My real rating would be 4.5 stars, but I'm rounding up because this is a 1st-Generation device, so small bugs are usually common. I've compared it extensively with the Dell XPS 12 and opted to keep the Yoga 13, even though I got the Dell for the same price ($1,000 for a Dell-refurbished unit + a coupon).
Design (9 out of 10)
The 360 hinge works as it should, with one minor complaint. The screen is a little bit "bouncy" when you have the laptop open at all and try to write on it with a stylus, which means you need to either have the screen "open" all the way and flat on a surface or you need to stabilize it with your other hand to use a stylus well. The Dell XPS 12 hinge does not have this same problem. However, overall, I slightly prefer the Yoga 13 design to the Dell XPS 12 design. In fact, I now find it silly to have a laptop with a touch screen that doesn't open all the way. The double joint feature that allows the fold back really can't cost more than $20 or $30; every laptop should have it. The criticism about the keys being exposed is blown way out of proportion. It feels a little funny at first, but that's it. Don't set your laptop down on a dirty, wet, or sticky surface and the keyboard will be just fine.
The one main advantage of the Dell XPS 12 design is that you can leave the base completely stationary and flip the screen. If the laptop is plugged in, this is handy. Still, the flip screen design on the Dell feels a little gimmicky (although it's still a fine alternative design to the Yoga 13 and much better than the Twist, in my opinion).
The overall feel of the Yoga is nice. It is not "premium" like the Dell XPS 12 carbon fiber, but it's not worth paying extra money for a slightly nicer texture, in my opinion. I actually prefer the interior texture on the Yoga 13 -- very comfortable typing handrests that don't get cold or hot.
Screen (9 out of 10)
The screen looks very nice; the 1600x900 resolution works very well for a 13 inch screen. Side by side with the Dell XPS 12's 1080p, it's clear that the Dell has a better-looking screen. However, the resolution on the Dell is a bit high for a 12 inch screen, which means you need to increase font sizes for most text to be readable without squinting.
Touch/Tablet mode (10 out of 10)
This is where the Yoga 13 demolishes the Dell. If you plan to use a stylus and are considering the Dell please read this, since I've not seen it come up in any reviews. The Dell XPS 12 is unusable in stylus mode. I tried two different Dell units with the exact same results: jagged lines, missed lines, and illegible text if I tried to write anything small. This occurred in every program (One Note, Word, Corel Draw, Note Anytime), and 6 hours with tech support could not fix it (new OS, new drivers, etc.). The Yoga 13, on the hand, works quite well (although I would pay an extra $150 for a active stylus with digitizer -- Lenovo, are you listening?).
Tablet mode has worked great, with no problems. With the Dell, I had problems with auto-rotate and auto-keyboard pop-up failing to work on two different Dell units. The only fix was a complete re-install of windows.
For some who have noted that there is sometimes a lag in the touch screen if you haven't used it for a while, follow these steps (found on a message board):
- Open device manager
- Expand Human Interface Devices
At the bottom of the HID list are two devices labeled "USB Input Device" On my system, the one we're concerned with is the second one, so the last item in the list, but just to make sure it's the right one:
- Open the device properties
- Click the Details tab
- In the drop down menu, select Hardware Ids
The one we want will say USB\VID_04F3&PID_000A on the second line
- Move to the Power Management tab
- Uncheck "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power"
Keyboard/Trackpad (9 out of 10)
Trackpad is great (I updated to latest drivers). Not sure what the mixed reviews are about. The Dell XPS 12 was not good. Keyboard on the Yoga is also great. I liked the feel of the Dell's keyboard a bit more, but I've had no missed keys on the Yoga.
I don't understand the criticism of lack of keyboard backlight. I've never had a scenario where I needed keyboard backlighting. In completely dark room, the computer screen illuminates the keyboard enough to see the keys. But if you really love keyboard backlighting, be aware that the Yoga 13 doesn't have it!
Wifi (7 out of 10)
While it sounds like some people are having bigger problems with wifi, my failure-to-reconnect on log-on issue was solved with this simple fix: Go to Device Manager (Charms Bar --> search for "Device Manager" in settings), Go to Network Adapter, Right Click on the RealTek, Click on Advanced Tab, Then set Selective Suspend to "Disabled."
Since I did that, I've had zero problems. It annoys me that Lenovo could ship a product that needs a fix for wifi that automatically reconnects at log-on, but the range issues people have been reporting are non-existent for me. In fact, for both my home network and work network, I have 3-4 bars of wifi in places where my Dell XPS 12 had 1-2 bars and would fail to connect at times. Since my fix, I've had zero wifi problems in the past 3 weeks.
Ports/Other Features (10 out of 10)
I like the full-size HDMI port. While DisplayPorts might be the future, everything in my house has HDMI (and HDMI to DVI cables are $6 on Amazon, if you have a monitor without HDMI). No VGA port, though, which is fine for me since it is no longer 2005.
SD card slot is nice. Seems silly that Dell left it out of the XPS 12.
Expandable SSD slot is amazing. I have a 128GB Yoga now, but it's nice knowing I'll be able to add a second SSD in the future as prices drop (see YouTube for instructions). Also, I plan to expand to 8GB of ram, although I've had no problems with 4GB for the time being.
Not happy about the charger (the unique style means I have to pay top dollar for a replacement, since I like to have two), but it works fine.
The upcoming Helix could rival the Yoga in terms of design (detachable screen, 10 hours of batter life, stylus), but if you're like me and do a decent amount of typing, an 11-inch screen is just too small. The Yoga 13's 13-inch screen is just right for productivity, and in tablet mode works really well on your lap. No, you can't hold it with one hand comfortably, but you can prop it up in a variety of ways. I find the 9-11 inch tablet size to be nice, but also too large for one-handed use. I hope the next version of the Yoga has an active stylus.
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I hope it helps, good luck everyone!
6 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
What a perfect fit for business professionals!
by gotti1183 on November 7, 2012
Pros: -Very fast processing speed and excellent functionality
-Excel, power point, word, and all other platforms perform flawlessly
-Just as CNET states, great tool for full time laptop part time tablet.
-Starts up and shuts down fast.
Cons: They need to fix the power point tablet mode. There is not function on the screen to go back a slide. (not a big deal)
Summary: If you are in a position to review data or information with individuals or small groups of people, this is the device for you. Incredibly portable but yet amazingly powerful. ...
Summary: If you are in a position to review data or information with individuals or small groups of people, this is the device for you. Incredibly portable but yet amazingly powerful. I am a sales manager and plan on rewarding my top sales guys with this device. I have reviewed several proposals and reports with my customers in the temple mode and every single one was extremely impressed with the functionality and presentations. If you travel this will also dramatically help lighten the load.
5 out of 7 users found this user opinion helpful.
Why didn't Apple think of this flipping design?
by yukon30305 on October 30, 2012
Pros: Flipping this PC to different positions -- tablet, keyboard, stand (great for long hours of usage), and tent mode (for viewing at a table) is extremely useful.
IE -- switching btw. webpages is a breeze + it predicts what you want to view next!
Cons: Wish it had a pen for use on legacy apps, to more easily click on small points.
Hard drive is small.
I really wanted the orange color, but BB didn't have it.
Some Windows Apps suck -- especially the Mail app and the Flixster app.
Summary: The flipping design is incredibly useful for this touchscreen ultrabook/tablet. Being able to prop this up into stand mode or tent mode is so much more comfortable that having ...
Summary: The flipping design is incredibly useful for this touchscreen ultrabook/tablet. Being able to prop this up into stand mode or tent mode is so much more comfortable that having to hold a tablet for hours on end, and for adjusting the viewing angle.
Internet Explorer for Windows 8 is freakin' awesome. Switching between pages is a breeze, and it can even predict what page you want to view next (it predicts the future!).
Hoping Lenovo will release a pen accessory for this soon.
Hard drive is small, but I have a free cloud service.
Some of the Windows apps either suck (e.g., Flixter and GMaps) or need more work, such as the Mail app (only pushes my Yahoo mail notifications every 15 minutes), and the People app won't import my Yahoo contacts or Gmail contacts.
Overall, though, I love it!
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
by Slimmx on November 23, 2012
Pros: - design
Cons: no keyboard light
Summary: For $999 great machine. I love the touch screen. I see some ppl complain about the sensitivity of the screen, I think its great. I love the form factor and ...
Summary: For $999 great machine. I love the touch screen. I see some ppl complain about the sensitivity of the screen, I think its great. I love the form factor and how it switched to tablet. The exposed keys don't bother me as I only use it in tablet mode when in bed. It rests good on my knee while Im laying down. I have an ipad and I don't use it anymore. The only complain i have is that for $1000 it should have backlid keys. Not a big deal would be nice to have. I think this is the best touchscreen PC money can buy for the price. The res. on the screen is also good, I see some ppl complaining that its not 1080P but once again, this laptop is $1000.
Overall extremely happy with it
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
The Lenovo Yoga is both a great laptop and tablet.
by hannahhannahhannahhannah on December 8, 2012
Pros: -Keyboard is easy to type on, and it feels good to.
-Easily converts from tablet to laptop with no interruption.
-Convenient screen rotation lock on the side that disables when it is in laptop mode.
-Bright, responsive screen.
-It feels very sturdy.
Cons: -Not a lot of apps, and those that do exist are often more expensive then they would be in the App store. (i.e. Fruit ninja costs $5 compared to $1-3.)
-Sometimes gets a little warm.
-Windows 8 touchpad gestures can get a little annoying.
Summary: I use the Yoga for doing school assignments, playing light games (such as fruit ninja), watching Hulu, etc. Nothing too intense. I love the Lenovo Yoga, it's perfect for ...
Summary: I use the Yoga for doing school assignments, playing light games (such as fruit ninja), watching Hulu, etc. Nothing too intense. I love the Lenovo Yoga, it's perfect for me. It's surprisingly delightful to have a laptop with a touchscreen. There are four different positions it has: stand, laptop, tablet, and tent mode.
A lot of reviews for the Lenovo Yoga say they use it mostly in laptop mode. I have not found that to be the case for me, I only have it in laptop mode if I am typing something long. The onscreen keyboard is fairly easy to type on, I can get about 25 wpm, on the regular keyboard I can get about 50. For surfing the web or watching a video, I usually flip it around to one of the other three.
It is heavier then the average tablet. I can hold it, it's not that heavy, but usually I rest it on something. I thought it might be annoying to have the keys on the back, but it doesn't really bother me.
I would definitely reccomend it to someone in the market for a hybrid, from the ones I've tried, it's the best laptop, in part because it is a laptop that happens to have a touch screen and can bend back all the way and be an awesome tablet.
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
It is so light and powerful!
by djmarioalbert on November 25, 2012
Pros: Lightness, Speed compared to other ultrabooks, and the easy that it is to upgrade ssd and memory ram. The graph quality is fine and I can even play some really good games (Black Ops II, Mass Effect, Etc..) in medium settings.
Cons: That only can be upgraded up to 256GB of ssd.
2 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Robust, Convenient & Versatile
by FLWB on March 16, 2013
Pros: Intel core i7 8gb ram
Very functional conversion to tablet.
Motion control for hands free use.
Now Win8 actually makes sense.
Great video resolution.
Good battery life on balanced setting.
Cons: Keyboard not backlit.
Stylus not included
Needs one more USB port. (the external DVD drive requires both ports, one for data and one for power)
Lenovo has a driver update for their Wi-Fi issue but isn't shipping with it preloaded.
Summary: The hinges are nice and stiff.
Tent mode is great especially for video chat or watching videos. It makes it very portable. Makes for great business presentations. Hdmi connection for ...
Summary: The hinges are nice and stiff.
Tent mode is great especially for video chat or watching videos. It makes it very portable. Makes for great business presentations. Hdmi connection for external monitor and Bluetooth. Full windows operating system so you aren't stuck with using mobile apps. Office 2013 Pro installed and linked to SkyDrive. (Would have been nice if Lenovo offered a larger SSD.)
For personal use for example, my home group is set to share my music collection and have Media Monkey installed so I can share my catalog notes between my yoga upstairs and my desktop downstairs.
Might be a bit pricey for some folks, but I don't have kids. ;)
Word of advice, buy your copy of office locally, Lenovo will just ship you an activation card and separately at that.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Premium feel, and a useful convertible feature.
by nfrankson on February 17, 2013
Pros: 1) Premium look and feel
2) The convertible feature is very useful, especially when flying coach (tablet mode), or watching a movie at home or viewing a slide show (tent mode).
Cons: 1) Exposed keyboard in tablet mode.
2) It's a pain in the butt to upgrade the memory from 4Gb to 8Gb. Why didn't they just pre-load the machine with 8Gb and raise the price $30 if they had to, and call it a day?!
Summary: There are three complaints that most consistently get mentioned in reviews of the Yoga. Wifi connectivity issues (an issue I don't understand, but many say something about the yoga ...
Summary: There are three complaints that most consistently get mentioned in reviews of the Yoga. Wifi connectivity issues (an issue I don't understand, but many say something about the yoga supporting 2.4ghz but not 5.0Ghz), the exposed keyboard, and a bouncy keypad. Again, I do not fully understand the wifi issues other are making note of, but I can confirm that I have had none. My Yoga has connected to wifi networks in the airport, hotels, home and work. The signals have all been strong with staying power. Maybe I've been lucky, but I've had no wifi issues. I agree the exposed keyboard is less than idea. But I would rather deal with an exposed keyboard than I would with a lack of convertibility. I actually didn't think I would use the convertible feature much, but I recently took a flight (economy class) and found the convertible feature to be very useful in such tight quarters. I could read books on my kindle app much easier than if this were a standard clam shell laptop. Also, the tent position is very good for viewing slide shows or movies. So while the yoga does not make for a true tablet, its convertible feature is very useful. This machine is really for those who NEED a laptop, but would like at least some tablet functionality. The exposed keyboard and its overall size however, makes it less than idea for a tablet. The Dell XPS 12 is probably the most clever design I've seen for a convertible ultrabook. It's more expensive, however, and isn't quite as good an overall machine as the Yoga, based on what I've read. Lastly, the bouncy keyboard some refer to is a function of people upgrading the RAM and not reinstalling the keyboard correctly. There are hooks one has to be mindful of to reconnect when putting the keyboard back in (yes, you upgrade the RAM on this ultrabook by getting underneath the keyboard).
Look, I'm no tech geek, and I haven't owned a laptop in ages, but this is an awesome device. The only complaint that I consistently read that I would cosign on is the awkwardness of the exposed keyboard. Which by the way, that awkwardness is 100% mental. If you can ignore it, it does not compromise the usability of the device.
1 out of 1 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great Design, wifi Issue probably a deal-breaker
by jbailey895 on December 30, 2012
Pros: speed, SSD,design, touchscreen
Cons: wifi is a ridiculous downfall that should be easily remedied, but Lenovo seems to be turning its back to the many pleas for a fix from disgruntled purchasers that must be returning a lot of product.
Summary: I bought an open-box, and it has the wifi problem. I was hopeful Lenovo would come up with a fix, but no. Its going back (again) unless they get on ...
Summary: I bought an open-box, and it has the wifi problem. I was hopeful Lenovo would come up with a fix, but no. Its going back (again) unless they get on the ball. Fatal flaw with easy resolution, but will Lenovo support an otherwise great product? Not looking good.
2 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Purchase a couple of weeks ago. It has performed well
by 3sonmac on October 1, 2013
Pros: Great operation as a tablet and laptop. Works well in both forms.
Cons: Dealing with Lenovo. I purchased through their online store. Specs stated one configuration including windows 8 Pro. Received basic windows. Getting this straightened out has been one big runaround.
Summary: Fair Warning: If you buy online from Lenovo get a screen capture of the specs. I did when I notice the receipt did not include any specifications. Everyone I talked ...
Summary: Fair Warning: If you buy online from Lenovo get a screen capture of the specs. I did when I notice the receipt did not include any specifications. Everyone I talked with in three different departments said they could not look up the specs on the computer I purchased. Who does business this way??? After numerous phone calls I was told they would be sending me a new computer (doesn't make sense to me, just send me a Pro Key and be done with it!!!). I just received an email offering $33 refund or return my Yoga 13 and receive store credit to purchase something else in their online store.
So in this Lenovo reality I find myself... the screen capture is not helping me much. All I can say is do yourself a favor and stay away from Lenovo online store. It has only been two weeks and I miss Apple's service.
- Manufacturer: Lenovo
- Part number: 59343898
- Description: Yoga 13 combines the productivity of an Ultrabook with the touch experience of a tablet, taking full advantage of the Windows 8 functionality. The screen flips a full 360 degrees into four modes that make it easy to create, share, or consume content. Combine those with its long battery life, and the Yoga 13 provides ultimate versatility.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- System Type Ultrabook
- Mechanical Design 360 degree flip design
- Operating System Microsoft Windows 8
- Notebook type Convertible laptop
Processor / Chipset
- CPU Intel 3rd Gen Core i5,
3 i5-3317U / 1.7 GHz
- Max Turbo Speed 2.6 GHz
- Number of Cores Dual-Core
- Cache 3 MB
- 64-bit Computing Yes
- Chipset Mobile Intel QS77 Express
- Features Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0,
Integrated memory controller,
- RAM 8 GB ( 1 x 8 GB )
- Max RAM Supported 8 GB
- Technology DDR3L SDRAM
- Speed 1600 MHz / PC3-12800
- Form Factor SO DIMM 204-pin
- Slots Qty 1
- Empty Slots 0
- Hard Drive 128 GB SSD
- Interface Serial ATA-300
- Optical Drive None
- Type 13.3 in,
- LCD Backlight Technology LED backlight
- Touchscreen Yes
- Max Resolution 1600 x 900 ( HD+ )
- Widescreen Yes
- Image Aspect Ratio 16:9
- Features One Glass Solution,
Ambient light sensor,
Audio & Video
- Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
- Camera Yes
- Resolution 1 Megapixel
- Capture Resolutions 1280 x 720
- Sound Stereo speakers , Microphone
- Codec CX20672
- Compliant Standards High Definition Audio,
Dolby Home Theater v4
- Type Touch-screen,
- Features Volume control,
- Wireless 802.11n,
- Wireless Controller USB
- Technology 4-cell Lithium polymer
- Capacity 54 Wh
- Run Time 8 hour(s)
- Voltage Required AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
- Output 65 Watt
Connections & Expansion
- Expansion Bays None
- Slots None
- Interfaces USB 3.0,
Headphone/microphone combo jack
- Memory Card Reader 2 in 1 card reader ( SD Memory Card ),
( MultiMediaCard )
- Software Included Intel AppUp Center,
Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync,
Lenovo OneKey Recovery,
Nitro Pro (90-days trial),
Lenovo Motion Control,
McAfee Internet Security Suite (30 days trial),
Lenovo Energy Management,
- Microsoft Office Preloaded Includes a pre-loaded image of select Microsoft Office 2010 suites. Purchase an Office 2010 Product Key Card or disc to activate preloaded software on this PC.
- Color Silver gray
- Case Material Magnesium-aluminum alloy
- Features Hard drive password,
- Compliant Standards RoHS
- Localization English
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 13.1 in
- Depth 8.9 in
- Height 17 mm
- Weight 3.4 lbs
- Service & Support 1 year warranty
- Service & Support Details Limited warranty - Parts and labor - 1 year - Pick-up and return,
Technical support - Phone consulting - 1 year - availability: 24 hours a day / Monday-Sunday
- ENERGY STAR Qualified Yes
- EPEAT Compliant EPEAT Silver
- Greenpeace policy rating (Nov 2011) 3.8
- Greenpeace policy rating (Nov 2012) 3.9