Lenovo's just launched a troupe of shape-shifting laptops here at IFA 2013 – but we only had eyes for the Yoga 2 Pro.
An update to last year's 13in Yoga, this year's flexible friend arrives with some champion specs, from fourth gen Intel Core processors to the scene-stealing 3200 x 1800 screen. So far, so good – but how does it handle?
Design and Build
There isn't too much innovation here on the modes front – Lenovo seems to think it did a bang-up job on the last model and we'd tend to agree. So, like its predecessor, the Yoga G Pro can be used in laptop mode with the screen flipped all the way around as a hefty tablet, or in tent/stand modes for presentations.
One of our problems in our test of the original Yoga is that you can still feel the keys underneath – and that hasn't changed on this model. On the business-friendly ThinkPad Yoga, though, the keys lift up and flatten out. We're not sure why Lenovo didn't kit out the 2 Pro with this feature and it's a shame.
The keyboard is backlit, though – handy in shady press conferences, we're sure – and it'll come as no surprise to find that the Yoga 2 Pro is thinner at 15.5mm and lighter at 1.39kg than the original. To be honest, at this size it's much of a muchness but we suppose every little helps. In our short play, we did find the Yoga 2 Pro to be as heavy as a regular laptop so we can't see too much movie-watching in bed happening. In stand mode in the kitchen, though? Yes sir.
Hi-res laptop screen
IFA's chock full of hi-res screens – and Lenovo's really giving laptops a shot in the arm with the 13.3in 3200x1800 screen on the Yoga 2 Pro. Other than the expensive Retina Display MacBook, niche Google Chromebook Pixel and models like Toshiba's US-only Kirabook we haven't encountered too many laptops with such eye-caressing screens. And it's about time – smartphones and tablets have been having way too much pixel-per-inch fun for far too long.
Windows 8 looks gorgeous at this resolution with crisp text, vivid colours in built-in apps like Yoga Chef (full of recipes). Plus the screen's very bright too, maxing out at 350 nits which is four times brighter than the old Yoga.
We weren't able to load up any hi-res images or video to really see the difference – but viewing angles were decent for films with a friend and swiping through Live Tiles was responsive too.
Screen Modes and OS tricks
No new screen modes then but Lenovo has thoughtfully added some rubber to the edge of the display to protect the Yoga 2 Pro when in tent mode. On the software side of things, Yoga Picks is also pretty nifty – it recognises what screen mode you are in and suggests apps to open though we did have a bit of trouble switching it to tent mode in our time with it.
Voice control is now built in – a useful touch if swiping gets too tiring – so with Yoga Camera Man you can tell the Yoga 2 Pro to take a photo without any prodding. And with basic gesture controls you can swipe through recipes in the aforementioned Yoga Chef without getting chilli oil on that beautiful screen.
We're looking forward to spending some more quality time with the 2 Pro back home. It will be launching this October for €1300 – which will probably equate to over £1000 – but we'll update Lenovo fans with UK pricing as and when we get confirmation.