Lenovo Yoga 3 11″ Review – A Great Laptop Plagued By A Lack Of Power

Lenovo has added yet another product to their extensive Yoga line this time is the form of an 11” inch ultrabook. The Yoga 3 11” brings a frankly awesome looking, thin design along with the new Intel Core M processor and a 1080p display. Is it worth your purchase? Let’s take a look.

Specs

  • Intel Core M 5Y10c Processor – 0.80GHz
  • 11.6” Inch 1080p IPS Display
  • 4-8GB RAM
  • 180-256GB SSD Storage
  • 2.65lbs

Note: The unit tested here is a white model with 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM

Hardware & Design

When I first laid eyes on the Yoga 3 11” inch immediately fell in love. I’m not sure if the design itself caught my eye, or the design along with the color. Either way, this is one seriously awesome looking laptop.



The Lenovo Yoga 3 11" has a striking design in it's white variant.

The Lenovo Yoga 3 11″ has a striking design in it’s white variant.

While it is made up entirely of plastic, it feels fairly sturdy. However the real appeal is how light and portable this laptop is. Weighing in at only 2.65lbs is weighs less than any other laptop I use and it’s great for bringing on road trips and to your local coffee shop.

Despite being a thin laptop, the Yoga 3 11” doesn’t give up hardly anything to achieve a thin design unlike some other laptops. It still has a full array of USB, SD, and HDMI jacks along with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Yoga 3 is designed with a versatile hinge that allows the screen to be flipped around as far as 360° to become a tablet. You can also prop it up at almost any angle you like, or use it in “tent” mode which is great for multimedia.

Software & Performance

On board this laptop is Windows 8.1 in it’s native form. Lenovo hasn’t made any changes and their included software is somewhat minimal. There are a handful of Lenovo apps including SHAREit, Harmony, VeriFace Pro and a few more. There are also pre-loaded apps like Evernote and McAfee Internet security (comes with 30-day free trial).

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When it comes to performance, don’t expect anything much out of this machine. The processor is very lightweight and in my usage could only handle the lightest of tasks. Some light web browsing, writing documents, watching online videos, and using a small handful of apps shows off what this laptop is meant for, but you won’t be able to do much else. Some light gaming or lightweight photo editing is possible, but it’s not a smooth experience.

To help make the most out of the performance, you can focus on optimized apps. For example, use Internet Explorer rather than Google Chrome. The difference in performance in phenomenal.

Display

The 11.6” inch 1080p display on the Yoga 3 11” is pretty good. It has good viewing angles along with great touch response. I could use a bit more brightness in the display, but it gets bright enough for use at home or in the car, but it’s not so hot in outside in the sun. To help with that the screen does have an anti-glare coating that does help at least to some extent.

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Keyboard & Trackpad

As always with Lenovo’s keyboards, this one is pretty easy to type on and provides a pleasant experience. The keys are well space a provide a good amount of travel. However I did notice that while typing out long documents on this laptop the software would miss a letter or repeat one. It’s easy to compare this issue with that of a Bluetooth keyboard when the connection skips a little bit. I’m not 100% sure  what causes this issue, but I did find it noticeable.

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As usual, Lenovo’s keyboards are easy to type on and provide plenty of tactile feedback.

The trackpad located beneath the keyboard, while a bit small, definitely gets the job done. It’s easy to use and provides a decent amount of click without being too loud.

Battery Life

The battery life on this laptop was actually surprisingly good. I never ran any drain tests on it, but in my everyday usage it was pretty good. On a long trip I had the device fully charged before leaving and on standby for about a day and a half. I then used it periodically for the next two days before even getting close to needing a charge. I can’t personally speak on how long the battery will last during one continuous session of use, but Lenovo does rate it at about 6.5 hours.

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to it the Lenovo Yoga 3 11” is a very awesome portable laptop with many great features, but is taken down a notch by a serious lack of power. I’d like to see Lenovo update this machine with a stronger processor in the next iteration. Otherwise, this laptop is certainly a winner for it’s target market.

The hinge on the Yoga 3 11" is one of it's best hardware features.

The hinge on the Yoga 3 11″ is one of it’s best hardware features.

The Yoga 3 11” is available through Lenovo and several other outlets starting at $679 in either Black or White (I highly recommend the white). Let us know down in the comments if you have any thoughts on this machine!