For commuting professionals that like a device that is flexible and offers extreme usability, Lenovo has released an upgrade from the Yoga 2 Pro, but will it prove to to be a worthy successor?
When the original Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga laptop was first introduced on the market, other companies soon followed suit with similar devices that tried to imitate the flexibility and functionality of the Yoga model.
The newest model in the line of Yoga laptops is the Yoga 3 Pro, which sports a stunning appearance (an opinion backed up by everyone else in the office) and a lightweight slim design that has a thinner profile than its predecessor, the Yoga 2 Pro. The slimmer design does not mean that Lenovo skimped on performance, because the Yoga 3 Pro is also designed with more power and improved functionality.
The new Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro sports a very modern design with a classy gold aluminum chassis, which is a rare design when compared to other devices of this caliber. Lenovo abandoned the soft touch finish of its previous Yoga models for the sleek new gold finish only seen on Apple devices such as the iPad Air 2. When you first open the Yoga 3 Pro, the interior has an upscale design, which is continued with a professional looking textured black surface that surrounds the keyboard and touchpad. The finish is pleasant to touch when you use the responsive keyboard and touch pad to complete computing tasks.
If a gold chassis does not appeal to your tastes, the Yoga 3 Pro is also offered in two other colors. The colors include Platinum Silver if you like a modest profile or, a flashy orange color for those that prefer a little vibrancy in their lives.
Personally, I think that the Yoga Pro 3 is one of the nicest looking laptops I have ever used (and definitely the best looking hybrid device). Many random strangers commented on its appearance when I was commuting into work on the tube.
The Watchband hinge.
In addition to the classy new finish, the Yoga Pro 3 sports brand new hinge technology called watchband. The hinge resembles the functionality and flexibility that you typically find in high end metal watchbands, hence the name! Lenovo has increased the number of hinges to six, which is four more than the Yoga 2 Pro. In addition, the hinges are crafted from more than 800 aluminum steel pieces which makes for an extremely durable hinge that can withstand hundreds, if not thousands of twists and turns.
The hinge on the Yoga 2 Pro wasn’t exactly flimsy. However, the Yoga 3 Pro is designed with a hinge that is even stronger and allows you to easily manipulate the screen position to four different modes without having to worry about breakage. The modes include Stand, Tent, Tablet, and the standard Laptop mode.
Introducing tent mode.
The Tent mode is specially designed to make working with Windows 8.1 apps easier. In addition, the Stand and Laptop modes make the Yoga 3 more usable to accommodate the computing tasks you want to perform. And because of the thinner design, using the Yoga 3 Pro in Tablet mode is a much more pleasant experience. Thanks to the super strong hinge, you can also rotate it 360 degrees to use the Yoga 3 Pro as an impressive presentation device.
Yoga Pro 3 Technical Specifications.
One of the outstanding features in the Yoga Pro 3 is the new and improved display with higher resolution and better processing performance. I will talk about the display in a moment, meanwhile the technical specifications include:
The Yoga 3 Pro featured improved processing performance and is equipped with an Intel Core M 5Y70 processor running at 1.10GHz with a whopping 8GB of DDR3L RAM running at 1600 MHz. This provides more than enough processing performance for conducting business on the go and engaging in daily multitasking. This isn’t a device for the gamers, but for business use, there is more than enough horsepower under the bonnet to complete daily tasks with ease.
Hard Drive and Storage
The Yoga3 Pro is equipped with a 256GB Solid State Drive, doubling the storage capacity of the previous generation device. Internal storage can be expanded to 512GB when you choose one of the upgraded models. A Solid State Drive is more durable since there are no moving parts like conventional hard drives in other devices. If required, you can also expand the upon this by using utilising the built-in SD card slot.
The Yoga 3 Pro is average when it comes to input/output (I/O) capability. This is a compromise that enables Lenovo to deliver the thinner design. All of the ports are located on the left and right hand side of the device to allow for the new hinge functionality.
The left hand side of the Yoga 3 Pro offers a power port which also serves as a USB 2.0 port. To prevent damage, the power connector is designed in a way that inhibits inadvertent damage in the event that you to try and plug it into another USB port. Simple, but effective!
Additionally, on the left hand side of the Yoga Pro 3 is a full sized SD card slot along with two additional USB 3.0 ports. Because of the new thin design, the HDMI port is absent but this may not be a deal breaker since you can use an adapter with a microHDMI port output. There is also a 3.5mm audio port that doubles as a headphone/microphone jack.
The Yoga 3 Pro is equipped with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, utilising the newest wireless communication protocol of 802.11ac which accommodates new technologies. This feature was not included on the Yoga Pro 2. There is also access to Bluetooth 4.0 for connecting Bluetooth-enabled devices.
On either side of the Yoga 3 Pro, you will find two integrated stereo JBL stereo speakers which produce a relatively decent sound quality which is average for most convertible devices. The speakers have been certified with Waves Audio certification. Overall, I thought that the sound quality was quite impressive for a device of this size.
The audio also includes an integrated dual digital array microphone for effective videoconferencing and video calling. There is also a built-in 720p webcam which delivers acceptable quality for conducting video calls.
The backlit keyboard on the Yoga Pro 3 is very comfortable to use with well-spaced keys and enough travel room so it doesn’t feel like you are typing on a completely flat surface. The keys are designed with squared edges and a rounded bottom for increased agility.
The only drawback is, Lenovo omitted the F keys on the top row which can be frustrating if you are accustomed to using keyboard shortcuts. However, the touchpad is generously sized and very responsive to swiping gestures with a clicking function that tends to be not as responsive.
Lenovo has previously advertised that the battery life can last for up to nine hours where the official website makes a claim of 7.2 hours using a standard battery. The Yoga 3 Pro is equipped with a 4 four cell 44.8 watt hour Li-Polymer battery which, under conservative use, can probably eke out at least 7.2 hours of use before recharging is necessary.
Under a test for conservative use, which included viewing a few movies, holding a few calls on Skype, browsing the Internet, and working with documents, the battery lasted just over 7 hours. This was including the screen brightness set to 75 percent, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, and the backlighting in use on the keyboard. Of course, with heavier use you are going to get much less mileage out of the battery.
With that in mind, it is comfortable to say that the Yoga 3 Pro will not carry you through a long workday. You will need to be prepared to recharge if you put in long hours on your job. The good news is, the recharging time is relatively quick with just more than two hours in Normal Mode and around four hours when you are using Conservative Mode.
Dimensions and Weight
In terms of dimensions, the Yoga Pro 3 measures in at 13 x 9 x 0.5 inches which is 17 percent thinner than the Yoga 2 Pro at 12.99 x 8.66 x 0.61 inches. The Yoga 3 Pro weighs in at lighter weight at just 2.6 pounds, which is 14 percent lighter than its predecessor at 3.06 pounds.
Pricing for the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro begins around £1,299.99 for the 256GB model and ranges to £1,499.99 for the 512GB model. The Lenovo Yoga Pro 3 is now available in the silver model in the UK on the Lenovo website.
What is the display like?
As mentioned earlier, the display in the Yoga 3 Pro is a big improvement over the previous generation. Although Lenovo has maintained the 13.3 inch display from its predecessor, the resolution has increased to 3200 x 1800 from the previous 1920 x 1080 resolution in the Yoga 2 Pro. The display is also designed with tough Corning Gorilla Glass which boasts durability while providing sharp contrasting color.
The capacitive touchscreen is 10 point and supports a multitude of touch gestures. The screen is also very responsive which makes sailing through Windows 8.1 apps a breeze. Additionally, Lenovo has maintained the 275 ppi (pixels per inch) feature that allows you to enjoy high resolution images with extra clarity. Additionally, the colors are vivid with even lighting and colors that appear less saturated than on the Yoga 2 Pro.
The new display screen also offers a contrast ratio of 421:1 and a higher black level that provides for a pleasant viewing experience. Overall, the viewing experience on the new Yoga 3 Pro display is not disappointing. The viewing angles are exceptional which is truly unique for a device that can be positioned in four different viewing modes.
So what’s it like to live with?
Is it suitable for professionals and commuters?
In terms of portability, the Yoga 3 Pro is convenient due to its thinner design, lighter weight, and versatility. It makes business presentations easy plus, you have a variety of modes that allow you to use it for a broad range of computing tasks.
In terms of software, the Yoga 3 Pro does not contain a lot of bloatware which makes a refreshing change. It does come with a few productivity applications preinstalled such as Evernote, SHAREit, Harmony, and Photo Master, as well as a variety of Lenovo apps that provide you with additional security.
What are the pros and cons?
There is a lot to like about the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, however, it is also important to be aware of the advantages and the drawbacks before you commit to a purchase. To round out the review, here are a few pros and cons bullet points to digest:
- Improved processing performance
- Higher display resolution provides an enhanced viewing experience
- Backlit keyboard is ideal in all types of lighting environments
- Durable hinge allows for flexibility of different viewing modes without worrying about breakage
- Slim, light, and attractive appearance allows for portability without sacrificing style
- Improved Tablet mode makes performing computing tasks a pleasant experience
- Battery life is average for a convertible laptop
- Yoga 3 Pro is a bit pricey!
- Port connectivity provides fewer options
- Keyboard lacks the separate row of F keys
Would you recommend the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro?
Unequivocally, our answer is ‘yes’ on this laptop. As long as you can get past the price, the Yoga 3 Pro should make the perfect device for your daily commutes and business use thanks to its portability, style and functionality. The Yoga 3 Pro provides you with both a pleasant business and personal computing experience that allows you to easily switch between work responsibilities and leisure activities.
Final verdict. Outstanding.
If you can live with the higher price. The Yoga 3 Pro is very suitable for professionals and commuters that are looking for portability, usability, and functionality, in addition to a device that is very portable without having to worry about wear and tear during daily commutes. If you are seeking these qualities, there is nothing else on the market that comes close in similarity.
About the author.
Our IT Department is a London-based IT Services organisation that has been established since the early days of Windows 3.1! Visit our IT support page to find out more about our comprehensive range of IT services and solutions.
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