I have grown quite fond of the Yoga 11

by Volker Weber

When I agreed to test the Yoga 11 for four weeks, I was wondering what would happen. Would I even like it? Would I get any work done? Could I travel with this machine and a mobile phone, leaving everything Apple behind?

I am now two weeks in and I have grown very fond of the machine. The hardware is gorgeous. I am still adjusting to the keyboard though. I often make typos when a word has a double character like the word still just had. I am often missing the second character since I am not lifting the key high enough to register a second tap. The spacing however is great, the trackpad works well, and I have quickly adopted the touchscreen, even in notebook mode. I often find myself tapping my MacBook screen in frustration.

Having said that, I am never using the Yoga as a tablet, or slate in Microsoft parlance. It would be really interesting to see if I would be happy with a Microsoft Surface. I currently doubt this would be the case. The Yoga often ends up bent over backwards, with the keyboard down. This is a very stable stand, and I can just tap things on the screen.

The other thing that is really great, even more so than on the iPad, is battery life. I could not see myself using the fat Yoga 13, because that isn't only too large, but it is not lasting as long as the Yoga 11. Lenovo says the battery life is half of what you experience on the Yoga 11. The trade-off is simple: you either have a full PC, or you have a Post-PC device. And I am very sure, I don't want a PC. However, I can see many people returning the 11 when they realize that Windows RT is not Windows. There is a slight chance this may become the PC Jr.

As far as Windows RT is concerned, I have expressed my frustrations. I have been told that I have a love-hate relationship with this machine. It turns out to be more love than hate though. Once you know your way around RT, it all becomes very natural. You are unlearning old habits and learning new ones. Since I don't need office, which btw is one of the really big advantages of this machine, I am always in Metro. I am typing this in Notebook Classic, with a very large font. It is displaying just 16 lines with 68 characters each, which makes this as readable to me as my beloved iA Writer on the iPad.

One of the things I did not expect to be so easy is watching TV programs that I downloaded from German stations. I have a Mac program which writes them to my ReadyNAS, and I can easily pick them up from there, either as files, or through DLNA. Yoga does understand most formats and containers, with the notable exception of .mkv containers.

Windows RT does not have a lot of quality apps yet. Not really a problem here, since I mostly live in browser windows anyway on this class of device.

Almost everything is good. What's not to like? Mostly the clunky charger. I don't see it very often since I can go two to three days without a charge. But I would dread traveling with it. The other thing that is sorely missing is connectivity. These days you need more than WiFi access, at least in this country. Tethering is hardly an option since it burns through the phone battery too quickly. And since the Yoga does not know it's on cellular, it would not try to be careful with bandwidth.

Another two weeks until I have to give the machine back. I may be looking for a second lease.


Are you sure the Yoga does not know it's on cellular?

When I used internet sharing on the Nokia Lumia 920 with a Surface tablet, the Surface knew it was on cellular.

Christian Heindel, 2012-12-20 08:35

There is a setting on each network connection that you can check to identify that you are on a metered network. You should be able to set it with a right mouse button click on the network connection icon of the respective network in the wifi network list. (I don't have a Windows 8 machine on hand right now to describe how to get there)

Tim Franz, 2012-12-20 10:04

The VideoLAN project is currently collecting money on Kickstarter for a Windows RT port of the VLC player. It looks like the project will be funded so mkv support is coming.
I tried to "link like a pro" but the feature has been disabled (at least for me).

Henning Heinz, 2012-12-22 12:55

Yes. No HTML, no links. The only way to get rid of SEO spammers.

Volker Weber, 2012-12-22 12:57

How well is the Yoga balanced if you open by lets say 120 degrees? I saw a Dell XPS today which seemed a bit top-heavy. If you open it more than 100 degrees and try to touch.... you have to hold the keybord part down, otherwise its wobbling. Nice looking device which seems to be high quality but a touchscreen which cannot be touched easily... somewhat useless.

Henning Kunz, 2012-12-27 16:38

Very well balanced.

Volker Weber, 2012-12-27 18:27

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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