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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  • SanX - Friday, August 8, 2014 - link

    What is actually very BAD and no one noticed

    - Crazy 97C temperature of processor cores. Intel must speed up its 14nm technology

    - Because matrix is pentile its PPI=195 or may be a bit better due to RGBW. This makes this screen actually even worse then in Microsoft Surface 3 PPI=216. You can see all its gargantuan pixels on both. How tech people are sooooooo damn fooled by the fake 3200 numbers? Large tablet screens ***must be 4K***
    Reply
  • Rdmkr - Sunday, August 10, 2014 - link

    your PPI math is off; the number of subpixels matches that of a 225 PPI 13.3 inch non-pentile screen. I thought pentile was a disaster until I learned that the human eye almost completely ignores color information in registering pixel-level detail. The wikipedia page for "Chrominance" has a good picture to demonstrate this, as does the one for the "YCbCr" color space. Another piece of evidence towards this is that blue-ray content has heavily undersampled color information and hardly anyone ever notices or mentions that it is less than "true" 1080p. Reply
  • mitchellvii - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Sorry dude but I've owned both the Surface Pro and the Y2P and I'm here to tell you, the Surface Pro comes nowhere close to the clarity of this screen. You honestly have no idea what you are talking about. Reply
  • mitchellvii - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    97C? Lol, really? My Y2P i7 rarely even gets warm. I could bake bread on my Surface Pro. Reply
  • Bateluer - Sunday, August 10, 2014 - link

    I almost bought this same model a few weeks back, but ended up going for the older 11s model instead. The Yoga 2s were definitely nice, but that un-upgradeable RAM is a real buzz kill. Reply
  • medi02 - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    I wish they'd do it with one of AMD's APUs. The one with discrete GPU is way to expensive and Intel HD is a no thanks, not to mention the higher price. Reply
  • petwho - Monday, August 11, 2014 - link

    I bought a Lenovo laptop last year. But its performance was so slow that I decided never come back with this brand. Reply
  • venkman - Monday, August 18, 2014 - link

    Good write up. I bought a Y2P in November 2013 and pretty much agree with everything you said here. Thankfully the yellow issue was resolved with a firmware update because I was about to take the dang thing back just for that. Other than that, the WiFi is a joke and a lot of people on the lenovo and notebookreview forums have taken to manually upgrading the wifi cards themselves. The screen resolution is nice but completely unnecessary considering the impact it has on battery life. Not many programs fully support it anyways. I feel like Lenovo got some kind of crazy deal from their supplier on these 1800p screens that actually saved them money by going this route instead of a 1080p screen. Other than that, I love my Y2P and I fly with it regularly. It is a dream in cramped economy with tablet and tent mode. Flight attendants ask my GF to put her Macbook Air (which I believe weighs less) away when the door closes but never bother me with my Y2P in tablet mode. Reply
  • mitchellvii - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    If you want deeper blacks, just turn down the gamma. Everyone knows that. Geesh. Blacks on my unit with gamma at .5 are as inky as on a super amoled display. Reply
  • mitchellvii - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    You blame the Y2P for having poor black levels when the fact is YOU are the one with NO clue how too adjust black levels on a PC. It's called "Gamma" and it's in the HD Control Panel. Honestly, if you are going to be a reviewer, please get some rudimentary computer knowledge. Reply

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