The laptop has over the past few years metamorphosed into a thinner, meaner and more stylish machine. I think the biggest milestone in the evolution was the launch of the Ultrabooks in late 2011, because that was the start of the era in which all laptops became easier to handle. It was also the start of the devices that could twist, turn or tear to bring the screen closer to the user. That evolution now seems to have come to a culmination point.
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
I doubt if I have seen a more stylish notebook in recent times. This is definitely the thinnest since the time Ultrabooks were competing among themselves for size zero figures. At 1.27 cm, the Yoga 3 Pro is not much thicker than regular tablets. But since it has a 13-inch screen, it weighs just over a kilo. However, you will not think this device is heavy even for a second.
It comes with a full-size keyboard with backlit keys that have just the amount of travel to keep you happy all the time. The keys are surrounded by a perforated panel with rubber finish and that makes it comfortable to rest your wrists for long hours. The trackpad is efficient and supports Windows 8 gestures despite the touchscreen.
Specs: Windows 8.1 | 13.3-inch QHD (3200x1800p) touch display | Intel Core M-5Y70 processor (4M cache, up to 2.60 GHz) | 8GB RAM | 256GB SSD | Intel HD Graphics 5300 | Bluetooth 4, 802.11 A/C WiFi, Giga LAN, 2 x USB 3.0, 4-in-1 card reader, Micro-HDMI
Price: Rs 1,14,990
What is good?
That is easy. It has to be the stylish design. Lenovo is looking to impress those who are design trendsetters and the Chinese company will have this lot feeding off its palm. Just the superb watch-inspired hinge is enough to get that lot, and even some geeks, drooling. For rivals, it will be a ‘why didn’t I think of that one’ moment.
The display has to be the next big thing. It is a QHD display and you are pretty close to 4K when it comes to shock and awe value. I tried some 4K videos from YouTube and it was pure bliss.
Also, when you are using the device in tablet mode, and reading a webpage in a rather long vertical orientation, there is a sense of power you feel that is difficult to achieve on a tablet.
Then there is the overall performance. This is my first run-in with something powered by the Intel Core M processor and everything seems to be pretty fine. Core M concentrates on delivering better processing power to smaller form factors, relieving Intel of its dependence of Atom processors. So an average user will have no issues with the Yoga 3 Pro and regular tasks will get done the way they should be. In the week or so I had with the device, I did not experience any sort of lag or stutter.
What is not that good?
For a multi-modal Ultrabook that might not be rested on a table at all times and will be more than once used as a tablet, the Yoga 3 Pro produces more heat than desirable. And this happens even when the computer is doing mundane stuff, not high-end processing.
The battery life is the 7-plus hours that Lenovo promises. But I have a feeling that people who will end up buying this top-end device will have use cases that make them seek smartphone-like juice from their devices. Maybe, Lenovo should have thought of pushing the battery life closer to 10 hours. But I know the kind of sacrifices you have to make to achieve a design like this. The good thing is that this one as one of the most compact power adapters I have seen in Ultrabooks.
Should you buy?
Yes, if you can afford it and are currently the kind of user who carried two or more device with you all the time. This will be your tablet as well as laptop without really sacrificing on either end of the scale. If you are looking for a very powerful device, then don’t go on to believe that the high price tag will let you achieve that.