These days it is fairly common to find people invest their hard-earned money in the latest mobile phone or a tablet available in the market. For the simple reason that these mobility devices are compact, very lightweight and extremely easy to carry. Let us face it, few sink their money in a conventional laptop nowadays. But if you thought that the personal computer is dead, think again. On the contrary, it is rapidly evolving to match changing consumer needs.
For evidence, take a look at the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, a design marvel and showstopper at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Its maker, Lenovo, claims that Yoga 3 Pro is the world’s thinnest convertible laptop, it is exceptionally light, yet brilliantly intelligent, with a revolutionary new hinge design and comes loaded with intuitive software that responds to its user. It carries a hefty price tag R114,990.
Come to think of it, despite the deluge of mobile phones and tablets these days, many among us still prefer to work on laptops—a device on which you can perform all the tasks available on a desktop but in a mobile, light, compact fashion. Laptops have become lighter and smaller over the years, but have made significant strides in power, functionality and performance. For many users, including this reviewer, laptops have become their preferred computing device because it allows them to complete all the tasks they would need on a desktop but with the convenience of mobility and flexibility.
Tablets too are compact, lightweight and easy to carry, however, they do not possess the processing power of a laptop. Their functionality as a computing device is very limited, although sufficient for some people’s uses. Tablets can be ideal for those who browse the Web casually, such as read the news or popular websites, and those who play “lightweight” games, or want to watch TV or films while travelling.
Lenovo’s Yoga line of hybrid laptops kicked off a major trend in mobile PC design, starting with the original version from 2012. Since then, the idea of a clamshell laptop with two 360-degree fold-back hinges has appeared on not only several subsequent Yoga products from Lenovo, but also systems from other vendors.
Plainspeak, Lenovo is a leading player in multimode devices and their Yoga 3 Pro, the flagship product of the Yoga franchise, is proof of this. It’s a perfect blend of style, performance, entertainment and versatility. The Yoga 3 Pro is the thinnest and lightest notebook PC that Lenovo has ever made. This 13.3 inch device weighs a light 1.19 kg and is just 12.8 mm thin with a unique ‘watchband’ hinge made from 813 individual pieces of aluminum and steel. Its keyboard is pretty good with a little bit of a plastic clack to the keys. There’s a backlight behind the keyboard too, which is a very welcome feature. And, the new Intel Core M chip allows the Yoga 3 Pro to be 17% thinner than its predecessor, not to mention 15% lighter. More on this part later.
Besides being visually striking, the Yoga 3 Pro is an intelligent notebook that adapts to a user, literally. Whether for work or play, this Lenovo device adapts to you with four ways to do almost anything: Laptop, Stand, Tent or Tablet. Let me elaborate a little bit here. Laptop is the classic experience for notebook PC. Featuring an integrated keyboard and touchpad, it is easy to do a range of productive activities in this mode. Stand is designed for touch usage and socialisation. It is easy to video chat with your friends through the Yoga’s integrated 720p camera and dual array digital mic. Tent is an innovative usage mode for convertible notebook PCs, and the screen is very stable for touch use, making it great for entertainment. Lastly, the Yoga 3 Pro can quickly and seamlessly transit to tablet mode by rotating the screen back 360 degrees. Its bigger screen and more powerful processor makes it a much more engaging experience compared to a traditional tablet.
Some other innovative features of the Yoga 3 Pro include a QHD+ touchscreen for incredibly high-definition (3200 x 1800) display with paper-like effect for reading; great user experience with intelligent settings for all your applications; features YOGA Harmony to easily launch your most used apps in each mode, and discover new apps popular with other Yoga users; all-day battery power (7.2 hours), courtesy of its built-in 44 Whr Li-Polymer battery; JBL Stereo speakers bring immersive sound when playing music, gaming or watching videos.
Once the Yoga 3 Pro is switched on, its bright 13-inch screen comes alive with a good HD display which has a native resolution of 3,200 x 1,800 pixels. The screen looks great, even from extreme side angles, which is especially important when using this as a kiosk or a tablet. It runs on Windows 8.1 OS and comes with 8 GB LP-DDR3 memory and 512 GB storage. For connectivity, it has the standard BT 4.0, 802.11 A/C Wi-Fi.
In terms of actual usage, the Yoga 3 Pro’s high-resolution screen looks fantastic and the device impresses in terms of its performance and specs. It is good for gaming, Web browsing and office-related work in its various modes. Most important, the Yoga 3 Pro has all day battery power, courtesy of its built-in 44 Whr Li-Polymer battery. This lets you take your Yoga out to a coffee shop, business meeting or friend’s house without fear of running out of power.
Overall, the Yoga 3 Pro is a versatile device and is recommended for those looking for a new productive and creative experience in a unique form factor!
Dimensions: 330 x 228 x 12.8 mm
Screen: 13.3 inch, 10-point multitouch IPS
Operating system: Windows 8.1
CPU: Intel Core M 5Y71
Memory: 8 GB LP-DDR3
Storage: SDD 512 GB
Weight: 1.19 kg
Estimated street price: R114,990