Just as soon as Windows 8 is released, Lenovo will come to the rescue of those who simply can't choose between a notebook and a tablet with a new IdeaPad called the YOGA. Claimed to be the industry's first multi-mode notebook with a 360 degree flip-and-fold design, the new portable computing solution combines the ease-of-use of a 10-point capacitive touch tablet with the functionality and slim profile of an Ultrabook, while also bringing the screen closer to the user with a tent/stand monitor mode.

It must be a difficult task for manufacturers to keep coming up with novel ways to prise open our seemingly bottomless wallets and part with our hard-earned cash. Lenovo very nearly managed to release the moths from within the dusty recesses of my money bag with the always-about-to-be-released hybrid tablet/laptop codenamed the IdeaPad U1, and ever since the idea of a combined tablet and notebook has appealed.

It's far from a new concept, of course. We've seen quite a number of ruggedized laptops like the GETAC V100 and Dell's Latitude XT2 XFR offer dual functionality over the years. The handy form factor has even broken out into a less brutish - but just as twisty - form factor in the Latitude XT3 and the swivel-tastic Inspiron Duo. Now Lenovo is about to take the leap into Ultrabook territory with its multi-mode IdeaPad YOGA 13.

In addition to the tablet and notebook modes offered by existing dual systems, the YOGA 13 can also be positioned with the keyboard area flat against the desk, or in tent formation to offer movie viewers and onscreen content readers an adjustable touchscreen monitor. The device is able to achieve its various gymnastic positions thanks to a patented 360 degree dual-hinge flip design, and the keyboard and touchpad are deactivated when the display is flipped over beyond 180 degrees to avoid accidental input.

As the name might suggest, the YOGA 13 features a 13.3-inch, 1600 x 900 resolution IPS panel for wide viewing angles and is said to be the thinnest convertible Ultrabook at just 0.67 inches (16.9 mm) thick. At launch, the 3.1 pound (1.47 kg) multi-mode notebook will come with a choice of the latest Intel Core i3 to i7 processors, up to 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage. It has a chiclet-style keyboard and a promised 8-hour battery life. Beyond these few specs, nothing else has been revealed.

The prototype shown at CES didn't include an orientation sensor to flip the screen image so that it's always the right way up for viewing, but this will appear in the final product.

Lenovo says that its new IdeaPad YOGA 13 will be available from the second half of 2012, but you'll have to dig deep for all this multi-mode convenience as prices start from US$1,199.

Judge for yourself whether it's going to worth your while with a short introduction by Chad Duhon from Lenovo's YouTube channel:

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