Lenovo's Yoga 3 Pro gets lighter and thinner, adds watchband hinge
To say Microsoft's 2-in-1 approach to Windows 8 (and 8.1) didn't go as planned would be a colossal understatement. But it did spawn a few success stories, including the Lenovo Yoga. The company is back with the 2014 version of its Windows flagship, the Yoga 3 Pro.
If you missed the Yoga train the first two times around the bend, here's a quick recap. The 2-in-1 has a hinged design that lets the device rotate 360 degrees. Imagine the last standard laptop you used – only with its screen stretching all the way around, folding into a tablet (with keyboard tucked on its backside).
One of the downsides to this form factor is that, with the keyboard folded back, it's going to be thicker than most standard tablets. The Yoga 2 Pro helped to cut down on that, but the Yoga 3 Pro moves farther in that direction.
When closed, the new model is 12.8 mm (half an inch) thick. That's going to make for a very thin laptop, and a tablet that's 17 percent less beefy than the last Yoga. Just remember, though, that it's still going to be roughly 71 percent thicker than an iPad Air.
At 1.19 kg (2.62 lb), it's also 14 percent lighter than the Yoga 2 Pro. That is, however, 154 percent heavier than the iPad Air.
Unlike an iPad, though, you get a full desktop operating system (either Windows 8.1 or 8.1 Pro) with an Intel Core M 5Y70 processor (say hello to Broadwell). RAM is set at 8 GB, and you can choose from 256 GB and 512 GB storage options.
Lenovo is pushing the new model's "watchband hinge," which looks about how it sounds. The company says that the hinge is made of over 800 pieces of steel and aluminum, and played a part in shaving so much thickness off of last year's model. It also gives the Yoga 3 Pro six hinge points, instead of the two found in earlier Yogas.
The new Yoga retains the same impressive screen specs as we saw in last year's model. The 13-in display has QHD+ (3,200 x 1,800) resolution, which comes out to 276 pixels per inch (PPI). By comparison, the 13-in Retina MacBook, which also has a very sharp display, comes in at "just" 227 PPI.
Starting at US$1,350, though, the Yoga 3 Pro is a bit more expensive than Apple's professional 13-in laptop. The device is up for pre-order now, with Lenovo listing it as shipping "within three weeks."
You can get a glimpse of the new 2-in-1 in Lenovo's brief launch video below.
Product page: Lenovo
Updated 10/11: We originally said the Yoga's 12.8 mm depth was when it's folded open, but the measurement appears to be when the device is closed.