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Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 11 is convertible, portable, and...it runs Windows RT

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | April 19, 2013
This laptop-tablet hybrid would be a lot more tempting if it ran Windows 8.

Impressively good keyboard compared to other laptop-tablet hybrids

The Yoga 11's biggest advantage over other laptop-tablet hybrids is its built-in keyboard. Not only is the keyboard built-in (so that's an inherent advantage over plain tablets), but it's actually a really, really good keyboard. It's full-sized, with island-style keys and a small glass touchpad. The keys offer excellent tactile feedback, and they're very comfortable and easy to type on for long periods of time. For a small system, the keys have just enough weight to ensure accurate typing. I honestly like this keyboard better than the one on the 11-inch MacBook Air (and that's my primary laptop, at the moment).

It's also got great battery life: In our tests we managed just shy of nine hours.

The Yoga 11 has a couple of disadvantages worth noting (aside from Windows RT). Our review model comes with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, both of which are a little weak in this era of computing. You already know it runs on an ARM processor (an Nvidia Tegra 3, to be exact), and its speakers are a little on the quiet side. It's also got only two USB 2.0 ports--no USB 3.0 in sight. So it's still more tablet than laptop in some ways.

Windows RT has limitations that can't be ignored

I've been a big fan of Lenovo's Yoga series from the start, and I love laptops that can fit in my purse...so the Yoga 11 is pretty tempting. But it's not thin enough (0.61 inches) or light enough (2.8 pounds) to justify its tablet OS, and Windows RT has too many limitations for this to be a viable work computer. So, unlike its big brother (which was too heavy to be a tablet, but powerful and usable enough to be a laptop), the Yoga 11 is stuck somewhere in the middle.

The Yoga 11 has a unique, easy-to-use design and a great keyboard. The Windows RT and its dwindling app selection, however, will make me wait until Lenovo decides to release a full Windows 8-equipped 11-incher.

 

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