Slim & fit

by Volker Weber

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At the very high end of Windows devices there are currently two interesting machines: Surface and Yoga, both christened 3 Pro. Surface is a tablet that aspires to be a notebook while Yoga is a notebook that can be used in many configurations, including a tablet. I have seen but not used Surface and I have used Yoga now for more than a week. It's time for a few first impressions.

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Yoga is slim. It's so slim that Lenovo hat to invent a new hinge. Slim enough to fit the Yoga and flexible enough to bend 360 degrees, so that you can fold the notebook the wrong way to get a tablet. As with previous Yoga devices you get two more modes: tent and stand. Tent has the display facing your way and the hinge on top and stand has the hinge at the front. Both let you use Yoga in very cramped spaces.

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If you want to see whether something is beautifully designed, just turn it over and look at the bottom. Yoga passes this test with flying colors. Ten equally spaced screws, four feet, two speaker grills.

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This makes Yoga a serious notebook: a great backlit keyboard and a soft surrounding surface. The keyboard is recessed so you can rest Yoga in stand mode with the keyboard facing down. The extra column of keys to the right of the Enter key makes it very hard for me to switch from Apple keyboards, but that will not be a problem if Yoga is your main computer which it aspires to be.

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This is the on/off key on the right side of the Yoga. And it's not recessed. It forces me to change a habit: when I put a notebook down on the floor, I don't close it but just put it down with my left hand and rest the notebook on its right side. This way I can pick it up in a second without waking it up. If I do that on the Yoga, it will sit on the off key and turn itself off completely. In the future I will need to use my right hand and rest the Yoga on the left side.

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This is the rotation lock key. It toggles screen rotation on/off. I also found out that it corrects an error I ran into quite frequently. Sometimes Yoga does not switch off the keyboard and trackpad when folded backwards. Or it fails to turn them back on when returning to Notebook configuration. Hit this key and everything is back to the way it should be.

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Yoga's problem here at vowe's magic clying circus is my MacBook Pro Retina. It cannot be used in tablet, tent or stand mode. But it's absolutely perfect as a notebook and runs on OS X instead of Frankenstein 8.1. And it supports iA Writer, the essential tool to get my job done. It may appear you could replace it with any plain text editor, but that is not the case.

But that's just me. If you don't rely on OS X or iA Writer, you will find the Yoga 3 Pro to be fast and versatile machine, easy to carry, incredibly thin and light. It's foremost a notebook but it has many uses.

There is one thing I still need to evaluate and that is battery life. Windows 8.1 has no accurate battery meter on the modern start screen. You have to go to the old desktop. And when I go there, I find the battery symbol telling me things like 71% charge, 2:18 left. That would mean less than four hours battery life. I will need to find out how screen brightness affects battery life.


Comments

Besten Dank für Dein Review - kannst Du eventuell einschätzen ob das Arbeiten mit PS CS 6 oder CC auf dem Yoga möglich ist oder ob es dazu zu schwach ist? Ist ein Stift im Liegerumfang enhalten?

Claude Lehmann, 2014-12-30

Das Yoga ist ein sehr schönes Gerät. Hatte es und das Surface Pro 3 in die engere Wahl genommen, mich aber am Ende knapp für das Surface entschieden.
Ein Grund war das Keyboard Layout (keine F-Tastenreihe beim Yoga).

Aus Neugierde: In einem der Amazon Reviews gabs folgenden Kritikpunkt:
"Auf der rechten Seiten des Gerätes befindet sich ein Knopf, mit dem man im ausgeschaltet Zustand an diverse Systemoptionen kommt, wie beispielsweise Bioseinstellungen und Bootmenü. Aber eben auch an Systemwiederherstellung. Der Start erfolgt dann unabhängig vom Betriebssystem und umgeht auch dessen Schutz."
Ist das tatsächlich so und lässt sich besagtes Verhalten ändern?

Tobias Hauser, 2014-12-30

Frankenstein 8.1 made my day ... ROFL

Axel Koerv, 2014-12-30

Claude, das Yoga ist sauschnell. Ich habe nicht die geringste Befürchtung, dass es nicht für CS taugen könnte. Und nein, kein Stift.

Tobias, das muss One Key Recovery sein. Noch nicht probiert. Aber Bitlocker kriegst Du nur geöffnet, wenn Du auch den Key dazu hast. Ich weiß nicht, wie One Key Recovery das umgehen können sollte.

Volker Weber, 2014-12-31

So ein mist ich dacht ich könnte getrost das Macbook nehmen - mal schauen was Apple diesbezüglich im ersten Halbjahr zeigt :) Guten Rutsch!

Claude Lehmann, 2014-12-31

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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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