Introduction

In January of this year, my wife and I were in need of a new laptop. A well-documented hinge issue with our Alienware M11x R2 meant that the screen was pretty much ready to fall off. While this issue was covered by a recall, the laptop was getting long in the tooth anyway so we decided to get something newer.

The Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro seemed to be an ideal machine for our use case. With a 13.3” screen, it was only slightly larger than the Alienware’s 11.6” size which had worked well for us. At just a hair over 3 lbs, it was far lighter than the outgoing machine, and we expected a longer battery life due to the upgrade to the Haswell processor. As someone who has used Windows 8 and 8.1 extensively, I also wanted a touch screen with an IPS panel (well – anything but TN!), a decent size solid state drive, and nothing too expensive.

After doing some research on several different devices, we purchased the Yoga 2 Pro and the device I purchased in February will be the subject of this review. This was to be primarily a laptop, but one of the key points of the Yoga series is the hinge that opens a full 360° allowing the laptop to transform into a tablet. We thought this might be nice to allow some different use cases with the machine, but the primary intention for the device was to be a laptop.

The original Yoga 13 was first announced at CES in 2012 by Lenovo, and then launched in October 2012. The smaller Yoga 11 version was a Tegra 3 powered Windows RT version, but the Yoga 13 was a true Ultrabook with typical for the time Ultrabook internals – an Intel Core series processor, SSD, and 1600x900 IPS touchscreen. The original Yoga 13 was a capable Ultrabook, with its Ivy Bridge Core i5-3337U, and was later upgraded to the Yoga 2 Pro with the introduction of the fourth generation Intel Core processor.

The Yoga 2 Pro was launched as a successor to the Yoga 13 in October 2013, but it isn’t just a CPU refresh. The Yoga 2 Pro is thinner and lighter, has a backlit keyboard, and a QHD+ 3200x1800 resolution display – double the original Yoga’s resolution in both axis, to go along with the Haswell CPU refresh.

Specifications for the Yoga 2 Pro echo the usual Ultrabook template. There are options for Core i3, i5, or i7 U series processors, with Intel HD 4400 processor graphics. Storage comes via an mSATA Solid State drive in 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of NAND versions. The screen resolution is one of the key differentiators from most Ultrabooks, with the Lenovo having 276 pixels per inch, rather than 166 DPI for 1080p at 13.3" in devices such as the Sony Vaio Pro.

Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 2 Pro Specifications
Processor Intel Core i3-4010U
(2C/4T, 1.7GHz, 3MB L3, 15W)

Intel Core i5-4200U
(2C/4T, 1.6-2.6GHz, 3MB L3, 15W)

Intel Core i7-4500U
(2C/4T, 1.8-3.0GHz, 4MB L3, 15W)
Chipset Haswell-ULT
Memory 2x4GB DDR3L-1600 11-11-11
Graphics Intel HD 4400
(20 EUs at 200-1100 MHz)
Display 13.3" Glossy IPS 16:9 QHD+ (3200x1800)
(Samsung SDC424A Touchscreen)
Storage 128GB/256GB/512GB SSD (Samsung mSATA)
Optical Drive N/A
Networking 802.11n WiFi (Intel Wireless-N 7260)
(2x2 300Mbps capable 2.4GHz only)
Bluetooth 4.0 (Intel)
Audio Realtek HD
Stereo Speakers
Headset jack
Battery/Power 4 cell 55Wh
65W Max AC Adapter
Front Side N/A
Left Side Flash Reader (SD/MMC)
1 x USB 3.0
1 x Micro-HDMI
AC Power Connection
Right Side Power Button
Battery status indicator
Novo button (Used to enter Recovery or BIOS)
1 x USB 2.0 (Sleep Charging)
Headset Jack
Volume
Screen Rotation Lock
Back Side Exhaust vent
Operating System Windows 8.1 64-bit
Dimensions 12.99" x 8.66" x 0.61" (WxDxH)
(330 mm x 220 mm x 15.5 mm)
Weight 3.06 lbs (1.39 kg)
Extras 720p HD Webcam
Backlit Keyboard
Colors Silver Grey
Clementine Orange
Pricing $929 (i3, 4GB, 128GB)
$1099 (i5, 4GB, 256GB) as configured
$1199 (i5, 8GB, 256GB)
$1299 (i7, 8GB, 256GB)
$1699 (i7, 8GB, 512GB)
note - not all models available in all markets

There are some good points and poor points in this list, and we’ll go through them in detail later on. With the current state of Windows 8.1 devices that can be both tablets and laptops, there are two general distinctions. There are those where the internals are behind the display, and those with the internals in the keyboard. The distinction determines whether the device will be better as a tablet or a laptop, with the Yoga 2 Pro falling into the latter category.

Design and Chassis
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  • room200 - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - link

    Actually, that post was not meant for you (I replied to the wrong person), but to answer your question...yes, I read just fine. Talk about inappropriate levels of anger. Reply
  • room200 - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - link

    And by the way, whether or not the card works has nothing to do with "FCC markings". It specifically has to be on the Lenovo whitelist whether it has FCC markings or not. Reply
  • Egg - Saturday, August 16, 2014 - link

    Regardless to who you were replying to, you were wrong. And I apologize for the anger, but you're the one that replied to me in a way that seemed to directly contradict me... I didn't make you accidentally reply to me.

    I suppose the FCC markings indicate that they will be whitelisted? From reading other forums, it seems that only cards with FCC markings tend to work. Perhaps Lenovo doesn't whitelist other cards.
    Reply
  • fredrikwe - Wednesday, September 03, 2014 - link

    Can confirm the Intel Wireless AC 7260 in my recently bought i7 model Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    I bought one of these about a month ago from Best Buy for $1199. It was the grey model with a Core i7 4510U and the 7260AC wireless card. The CPU is basically just a 100Mhz bump. The CPU model is listed on the outside of the box, so you can make sure you're getting the new rev before purchasing. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    forgot to mention it had 8GB and a 256GB SSD for that price Reply
  • davidber - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    I also got a Y2P from BestBuy. It has the Intel card and CPU bump.

    I have had it for ~40 days so far. My take on it . . .

    1. Battery life - it would be nice if it were longer, but it is not a MacBook Air and I do not expect to charge it once in a blue moon.

    2. Screen brightness - there are times that the screen dims for no apparent reason, then brightens up. I have not been able to figure the rhyme or reason.

    3. The gyroscope sometimes acts wonky. The device tries to determine what mode it is in and will go back and forth trying to figure it out. To me it seems obvious that it is in laptop mode, but the gyroscope doesn't.

    4. If you ever try and get into the bios, be prepared to have a paper clip. No amount of smashing F2 or a F key will work. You need to push in a button then turn the power on for it to actually get into the bios. The Bios also does not save boot order. If you want to boot USB before the SSD, it states it saves it, but it does not.

    5. The trackpad. They need to put some sort of coating on it. Within 5 minutes of using it, it looks like the trackpad is 5 years old.

    6. The device is quick enough for videos and business use.

    7. This is more of a Windows issue than a Yoga issue, but there are some apps that do not scale. Ironically one of them is the Intel drivers update for the WiFi. So bring a magnifying glass or change resolution. Dropbox is the same.

    With all the comments, I would actually buy another one.
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    For #2, turn off the adaptive brightness in Windows. http://lifehacker.com/disable-windows-annoying-ada... Reply
  • Rdmkr - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    The screen is significantly brighter when I have it on Balanced mode than when I have it on any other. Automatic switching between modes might cause your brightness inconsistency, although there is also an auto-brightness setting you can turn off. ps. the reviewer should take note of the difference in brightness level between power modes. Is the maximum brightness that was measured the one in Balanced mode or in another? Reply
  • polacchini - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    My Y2P measures 350nits at 100% brightness with auto brightness off. Maybe the reviewer forgot to turn it off? Reply

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