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
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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  • bullzz - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    the only thing I dont like about the stand mode is the keyboard facing down. it might get dirty easily. but this is better than the flip mechanism other OEMs use. also not sure how the hinge will hold after 2-3 yrs of abuse
  • CaedenV - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    This is the primary reason I went with the XPS12. A little smaller (which is a plus for me), and the display flips so that it hides the keys in tablet mode which seems like a better design. So far I am very happy with it.
  • Rdmkr - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    As a Y2P user I find this a very fair review. I do think it merits mentioning that the wifi card can be replaced, thus mitigating the device's greatest out-of-the-box weakness.
  • Arrgh - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    No, YOU'RE unwieldLy. ;)
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    It's generally more helpful to say, "Typo on page two: unwieldly", but I suppose some prefer snark and sarcasm to simple information. Thanks for the correction. :-)
  • ingwe - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - link

    That was a brilliant response Jarred. I am dying with laughter.

    Anytime some starts with sarcasm in a comment I read every reply with implied sarcasm.
  • Alexey291 - Saturday, August 2, 2014 - link

    Nice sucking up. I totes approve.
  • Egg - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    As a Y2P owner, I'd say this is a fair review, imo. I personally don't use my laptop in bed, so I find stand mode not very useful. I do use tablet mode to read; I sit in a chair and prop it up against the table. Battery life is rather disappointing if I have brightness up.

    I did switch out the wi-fi card myself. You have to order the right one (one with FCC markings) and you need a Torx T5 driver.

    One question: Did you have this issue?

    (Side note: The refurb models on Newegg are a great value. I got the i7 256 GB model for $1000 after tax :D )
  • Brett Howse - Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - link

    After the 8.1 Update came out, I did notice that. 8.1 Update changed the default scaling on the Yoga 2 Pro from 200% to 250%, and it also enabled the 8.1 per display scaling. It's the scaling that causes this for you if you set it back to 200%, the arrow goes back to where it was.
  • Egg - Thursday, July 31, 2014 - link

    For me, it's very off center when it's at 250%, slightly off center when it's at 200% (look closely, it is definitely off center), and perfect at 150%. Sadly, I prefer it at 250% scaling...

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