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

    Who did you get it from? This is why I ended up getting rid of my Lenovo. Reply
  • scott1729 - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - link

    I also appreciate the review timing. I'm considering buying the Y2P in August.

    Has anyone here considered the ThinkPad Yoga? It costs more than other Yoga devices or even other similar portable laptops, but I read that the display is brighter and at only 1080p perhaps it may be higher contrast and less of a battery drain as well. (and less prone to DPI scaling issues even at 12.5inches?) I would be willing to pay a premium for a laptop-first-convertible with an excellent display that may be somewhat sunlight readable. At the $1200-$1500 price point are there other laptop-first convertibles I should be considering with excellent displays and overall build quality? I think stand mode will be very enjoyable. Does anyone here know if the ThinkPad Yoga display is also RGBW pentile? Thanks for your insight!
    Reply
  • Rdmkr - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    One minor complaint about the Y2P I have that I don't hear anyone else about is the fairly large screen bezels. The device is larger than it could have been in an ideal world. On the whole, though, it is still nice and compact.

    QHD+ is pretty awesome, but probably a step too far in the direction of overambition and specs war bravado. Regular QHD with fewer concessions to other quality aspects would have been the sweet spot afaic. FHD doesn't cut it for me.

    The good thing about having complaints, though, is that we still have something to look forward to when the Y3P rolls around.
    Reply
  • jdrch - Friday, August 1, 2014 - link

    140 Mbps max network bandwidth? Yikes. Pass. Reply
  • SirPerro - Monday, August 4, 2014 - link

    Make this thing dualboot into Android and it'd be the perfect machine
    Proper productive OS and proper tablet OS
    Trying to make this work as a tablet ignoring the "useless tablet OS" part of it sounds a bit stupid
    Reply
  • 7heF - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    Havn't checked if Lenovo have come with new updates the last four months or so. But they had some updates when I tried the Yoga 2 Pro, and the color quality was just terrible - and some power saving features had to be turned off to have something that slightly resembeled yellow.

    In my opinion it was just horrible and the fix Lenovo had wasn't a good one.

    Example on how the Yoga 2 Pro screen can look - even with fixes installed: http://www.idg.no/multimedia/archive/00074/y2p-skj...
    Reply
  • mitchellvii - Tuesday, September 9, 2014 - link

    Juts bought a Y2P i7 model and as far as I'm concerned, ALL of the old issues, color, wifi, etc have been solved. I owned a release date 15 and now the brand new BestBuy exclusive i7 and this one is MUCH better. Reply
  • underseaglider - Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - link

    Lenovo laptops are gaining great success in the market and have launched various models of laptops. And with increasing competition, manufacturers are adding more features and functionalities in their effort to lure the consumers. Reply
  • GraphicDesign - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    May be this is a great notebook for me to work in my website. I 'm adding new designs, I like to work in photoshop cs, indesign, illustrator cs6. Please suggest me if this is perfect for my design profession. Reply
  • GraphicDesign - Thursday, August 7, 2014 - link

    You can contact me www [dot] tunaman [dot] me. In my website you will find lots of Graphic design tutorial. Thank you! Reply

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