back to article Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 Windows 8 convertible Ultrabook

To be fair to Lenovo, reviewing the IdeaPad Yoga shouldn't really be all about Windows 8. After all, this touchscreen Ultrabook – that bends over backwards to become a fully fledged tablet – is a well crafted piece of hardware with engineering merits of its own. So what, if it runs Windows 8? So do a lot of PCs these days. The …

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Interesting but...

I still have great difficulty taking any computer seriously that has those massive, brightly coloured Windows-for-toddlers-with-sticky-fingers icons on the screen.

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JDX
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Re: Interesting but...

If touch-screen PCs take off then OSX and Linux distros will suddenly be rushing to do something similar to create a touch-friendly UI.

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Meh

Re: Interesting but...

My issue with it is that, according to the photos, when folded into tablet mode, the keyboard becomes the base.

I see an issue with that, as the keys may just inhale dust, fluff and other matter when placed on anything other than a very clean, flat surace.

Other than that it's not a bad concept and Lenovo in their true manner have not tried to emulate any other brand's design.. which in itself gives it kudos with me..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting but...

Can we please get over it, they're just large icons. It's XP all over again, whinging on and on about how it's fischer price and not "proper" in some way. Why do people need to let everyone know that they don't like Win8 again and again and again and again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Interesting but...

@Eadon: YAWN

Please change the record, it's very, very tedious. I'm actually starting to wonder if you're really a bot - it's day in day out, all times of day and night the same formulaic "everything MS does is rubbish" comments that suggest you are.

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Re: Interesting but...

"If touch-screen PCs take off then OSX and Linux distros will suddenly be rushing to do something similar to create a touch-friendly UI."

There is nothing wrong with making a UI touch friendly. There is everything wrong with making an existing UI mouse and keyboard hostile.

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Interesting but...

>I see an issue with that, as the keys may just inhale dust, fluff and other matter when placed on anything other than a very clean, flat surace.

Maybe, but I can image that turning the keyboard upside down will help dislodge debris, compared to a conventional sky-facing keyboard. Add to that the vibration from the speakers (which play through the keyboard, according to the review), which may help expel dust.

(Shudders at memories of turning keyboards upside down when working in a hot-desking call centre)

(Mine's the laptop with the as-of-yet untested spill-proof laptop keyboard. Sod's Law dictates that if I didn't have a spill proof keyboard, I would have spilt coffee on it by now)

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FAIL

Re: Interesting but...

"... remains to be seen". Isn't that what a review is for?

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Re: Interesting but...

@JDX - "If touch-screen PCs take off then OSX and Linux distros will suddenly be rushing to do something similar to create a touch-friendly UI."

Haven't we seen Microsoft try this twice before with XP and Windows 7 on touch-screen PCs? One of the Universities I did my Cisco course at bought a whole load of machines for a IT suite that had an intergrated touch-screen layers built into the monitor. Trying to use a desktop OS with a 27" monitor... useless. As Jobs rightly said, "who would want to use a touch-screen interface on a conventional monitor?" You definately get tired arms if you continuously did that.

I'm quite surprised Microsoft or any other OS making haven't clocked onto making flat touch-screen enabled keyboards that can change keyboard layout depending on application etc and offer features that can interact with the main OS on the screen infront of you instead.

M$ have tried to be clever and become an opportunist to embed both desktop and tablet ideologies into one OS. Personally, they've been stupid about it. Apple and Linux Distro's will never to react in such a way because Windows 8 will die harder than M$ it tried to get it off the ground.

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@ the-it-slayer

While the Jobs argument is valid enough on vertical screens, the problem there is completely unrelated to the software, but rather in the hardware vendor implementations - so while on an iMac, touch would be bad, on a Macbook, it would be slightly better and a tablet better still.

This, of course, is not Microsoft's problem, more the hardware vendors not being terribly imaginative. Of late, there have been some attempts to innovate here, such as the Yoga, and (for those who don't want to waddle with Penguins or eat the Apple), Microsoft, with 8, finally have a tablet interface that is pretty friendly. To balance that last comment though, I do agree with a comment made earlier - this doesn't mean that Microsoft should be applauded for making the user suffer when using a keyboard and mouse. A simple option 'Touch or Mouse' would have been marvellous - perhaps with driver support so if you convert a laptop to tablet it switches. Perhaps Win8 SP1...?

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aqk
WTF?

Re: Interesting but...They already HAVE, you dummy!

Various "mini-laptops" have had these "large" icons for years. And they were, most of them, touch-friendly.

In fact, someone I know asked me to install Ubuntu (10.4? 10.10?) on her ASUS eee, just to get rid of these big icons.

Hello? Don't understand? Windows HAS copied the linux /Android touch-screen of yore.

Just like they did with copying the early Mac screens. And now, Ballmer &co. will put them out of business. Well, maybe not Google...

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose... Good god. You kiddies.

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Windows

@GitMeMyShootinIrons RE: "A simple option 'Touch or Mouse' would have been marvellous -

.....................perhaps with driver support so if you convert a laptop to tablet it switches. Perhaps Win8 SP1...?"

There I agree 110% despite the fact that I am nowhere near as hostile to Win8 as many here are. That type of change and at the very least a decent tutorial with the os is the absolute minimum as far as I am concerned. In addition of course the capacity to boot directly to desktop and to use "apps" in window form in desktop such they can be used like any other program when one is in "keyboard and mouse" mode.

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Bronze badge

Re: Interesting but...

Don't forget the innovative, amazingly overpriced and underselling GriD Convertible, with Windows for Pen. I have a GriD/Tandy/AST prototype (I worked on these) somewhere, bought as scrap when the factory was closed down. I even have the pen. Wonder if it still works... Hmm. Might need to repair the battery pack.

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Paris Hilton

Re: @ the-it-slayer

@GitMeMyShootinIrons - "A simple option 'Touch or Mouse' would have been marvellous - perhaps with driver support so if you convert a laptop to tablet it switches. Perhaps Win8 SP1...?"

Would be nice to see an OS be complete for whatever interface you throw at it. I personally think any attempt at including such a mode switcher in SP1 would be too late. Microsoft are throwing everything they've got at us at the moment. Hints of imaginative practises in their adverts to ramming the Surface as a "cool and trendy" device that shows us no practical use for the tablet. Microsoft is totally confused. That's my worry as the direction will be all over the place unless someone high up there takes charge and sorts it out.

Apple have tried to do some sort of cross-over with the App Store in a desktop environment (it works) and adding elements of App Launching via a collabrative grid with larger icons (not so sure as we still have the main row at the bottom that acts as a shortcut to apps). I can only imagine they looked to merge OS X and iOS together at some stage. At the moment, that's not possible with the different chipsets (ARM and Intel) to work around. Only if Apple are brave enough to ditch Intel at their low-end desktops/laptops (Mac Mini and MacBook Air) might we see a slow merge.

Linux... I dare to think if any distro creator will be brave enough. I'd like to see an open source demo of a UI that works with both.

Maybe Paris knows the answers.

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As we all knew, windows 8 is suffarable when used with a touch screen. The bigger issue for MS is what happens when there is no touchscreen.

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Silver badge

Re: Win-8 is Hideous

Oh go away, gimpy.

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K
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FAIL

Re: Win-8 is Hideous

Eadon

Your title is correct - but your reasoning is BS! Windows 8 is surprising fast and secure...

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Re: Win-8 is Hideous

>Secondly why use a virus-susceptible, resource-hungry OS that is four years behind the curve?

Because, as has been stated before, it runs the software that we need it to. No Windows user will claim that Windows is perfect- far from it - but Linux, despite its virtues, isn't without a few headaches of its own. True, some of those headaches are imposed upon it externally (e.g. driver support), but some are its own (e.g. naming conventions)

I genuinely hope that that Linux does get to the point that most people can choose to use it*, but in the mean time don't suggest that cures all ills. If you want Windows users to take your advice, don't tell them that Windows is not fit for purpose, because they know that to be demonstrably untrue, and thus it damages your credibility.

*(though ultimately, if every OS was solid, reliable and ran everything they wanted it to, then the user wouldn't care which OS they used, and therefore the only meaningful choice would be between GUIs)

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Megaphone

Re: Win-8 is Hideous

I have no idea who would want to own a computer (of whatever form) with such a ghastly UI.

I agree, Ubuntu with unity is butt fuck ugly.

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Re: Win-8 is Hideous

Technical? You?

Thanks, been a while since I laughed that hard.

You just called a working OS "not fit for purpose". You don't even know what that means.

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FAIL

Re: Win-8 is Hideous

What's the purpose?

Running Office 13? If so, your beloved Android is unfit for purpose.

Playing AC3, for example? Oh dear, Android is unfit for purpose.

I could go on but you bore me to tears and it's Friday afternoon.

I don't need a geek card - I have a job. Go away and grow up.

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Silver badge

Re: Win-8 is Hideous

>Pure FUD. Linux is a kernel. Android has a Linux kernel. Android is Linux branded "Android" and owns over 75% >of the mobile market.

>So I reckon that Linux has already got to the point that most people can choose to use it, don't you?

For gawds sake Eadon, you know bloody well I was talking about desktop/laptop OSs (this is the thread about a laptop, I hope you noticed), and don't dodge the point by playing with semantics; nobody can use a a pure kernel, so excuse me if I don't write "Linux-based operating system" or "Linux kernal plus drivers plus GUI" or whatever. I've treated you with respect and given you the benefit of the doubt, but you're just behaving like a prick now.

>Also, on the desktop I would consider it not controversial to wager that Linux Mint is a damned sight easier to >use than Win 8.

Actually, it is easier to just add some 3rd party software (as mentioned in the article) to Win8 to restore familiar functionality than it would be for a user to learn new conventions as they would with a Linux distro. (I've installed Mint on a Thinkpad- and it took a lot of faffing to get the audio working.)

Shit, you tell people that Linux is super easy, but then in the same breath berate them over the use of 'OS' instead of 'kernel'. How is that going to encourage the naively curious to try Linux? It ain't. You're coming across as an agent provocateur.

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aqk
Holmes

Re: Win-8 is Hideous

>> But windows 8 needs a virus checker - no OS that needs one of those is secure, as any fool know. <<

So do the various Mac "feline" op systems as well as Linux. On the latter, I run ClamAV presently. Speaking of fools, what AV do you run?

(silence) Oh. Sorry!

But I'm planning to U/G to Avast for Linux soon.

And as far as my Win-8 goes, I run the enclosed Win-Defender. I know, it's not the best, (lo lectures please) but then, I am not a dummy.

....? Hmm... what are you doing on this website?

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aqk
Facepalm

Re: Win-8 is Hideous. Really?

That's funny... My Win-8 looks just like my Win-7. Or perhaps (many years back) my Win-XP.

But then, you're probably still using Win2000. How in heavens do you manage your upgrades?

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Linux

Re: Win-8 is Hideous

Had a similar experience. Burmese NGO got 20 virus-infected W7 laptops that were unusable. I ran Mint 13 MATE off a USB stick to demonstrate Linux. Sold! Installed it on the director's machine in 20 min. LibreOffice does everything he needs, networking out of the box, printing perfect. He went on the install on other staff kit as dual-boot, just in case. Staff, after two weeks, boot straight into Mint. It's really so easy.

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Anonymous Coward

Lenovo offers a choice of Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 CPUs with the IdeaPad Yoga 13 and I’ve the 1.9GHz Core i7-3517U model with 4GB RAM here. Its smaller 11in Windows RT companion, the Yoga 11 is an ARM-based alternative and can perform the same bendy tricks but has limited software options.

There you are...

ARM = inferior/toy/crap

...just in case anyone in any doubt why MS kneecapped WinRT

The Wintel cartel keeping the sheeple on the Wintel crack.

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@AC,

There was an interesting many-paged article on Arstechnica about the Metro framework being an attempt to atone for past sins... MS hope that it will become the way to write software for Windows machines, GUI aside.

As for ARM vs x86, there was a good article on Tomshardware... basically, ARM is efficient at doing nothing, but consumption ramps up quickly when under load. Intel have a more efficient memory controller (and currently, fab process) and ARM isn't yet fully up and running with 64bit.

Interesting times, but leave your conspiracy-theories and name calling at home, would ya? You won't convince anyone to your views with an attitude like that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Dave 126

@Eadon - I work in backup, I analyse customers' sites and recommend software and hardware to do their data protection. I've not seen a single ARM server deployed in any company ever. Now, I admit that I only work in large enterprises, but as I've seen how many FTSE100/Fortune 500 companies do their backups I would have thought that I would have come across at least one by now, were it being seriously used anywhere.

Don't get me wrong - I like ARM, I run RISC OS and Linux on my R-PI and have fond memories of using Archies when my school got a couple, I've just never heard of it being used in a datacentre.

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Silver badge

Question:

Is there a technical reason Logitech use a proprietary wireless mouse/keyboard interface instead of Bluetooth?

I ask, because it seems that with more devices that have a limited number of USB ports, Logitech should either adopt Bluetooth, or else get OEMs to incorporate their 'nano' dongle inside laptops.

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JJS

Re: Question:

I think it comes down to availability of Bluetooth and easy of use.

The times may be changing, but many consumer laptops traditionally lack Bluetooth chips. Their USB dongle solution goes into any USB port and it "just works". No pairing process required. Bluetooth requires enabling discovery and going through the pairing process which differs by Bluetooth stack installed on the computer.

The other benefit for Logitech is that they don't have to pay for a Bluetooth license. The more they use their own proprietary wireless technology, the more those development costs are spread out so it becomes cheaper per device.

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Bronze badge

Re: Question:

Logitech make bluetooth mice and keyboards but their proprietary stuff is better.

The devices are paired with the dongle, several devices can be paired with one dongle and vice versa. Once you've paired the devices (and if you buy a kit it's done for you) they behave like a wired keyboard and mouse.

Want to move from one computer to another, just unplug the dongle and stick it in the other computer. Doesn't matter what that device is as long as it has support for USB mouse/keyboard it will just work.

Bluetooth pairing depends on the quality of the bluetooth software on the computer. You have to place the device in a discoverable mode then get the computer to search then supply a pin and if you're lucky then it works but the next day it might be working or you might be back to square one.

Also my logitech mouse lasts 18 months on a single AA battery, they keyboard can go for 3 years. Bluetooth devices need charging once a week or new batteries once a month.

The concept of bluetooth is great but I've always found it to be a major let down where HID is concerned.

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Silver badge

Re: Question:

@Fuzz and JSS

Thanks guys!

I was just curious about a possible way to free up a USB port... my current machine has plenty, but the trend seems to reduce the number! I guess a good number of laptop owners make do with the touchpad, though I couldn't do without a free-scrolling wheel and a middle button I can use as a modifier to mouse movement.

I was thinking about the idea of Logitech paying OEMs to incorporate their dongles into laptops - giving the user an incentive to buy Logitech HID instead of MS or Razor- but I don't think the sums would support doing so.

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Coat

Re: Question:

I have been using a Logitech BT M555b mouse for 3½ years now with my ancient HP laptop and it works perfect, especially the fast scrolling function is great. I use two AA rechargeables and replace them every 4 weeks with about 12 hours of work/day. I definitely plan to migrate it to my Yoga

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Anonymous Coward

What a surprise!

"The biggest disappointment was that Ubuntu didn't recognise the Wi-Fi hardware...."

Looks like we're still waiting for that elusive "Year of Linux on the Desktop".

PS I await the apologist(s) who will now appear claiming this issue can be solved by merely trawling through several internet forums followed by a few hours spent at the command line.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a surprise!

Eadon: "Pure tired FUD"

So what's your excuse for Ubuntu's inability to detect a wifi card? I guess tech that's been mainstream for the last decade is just a bit too exotic for linux to cope with!

Linux apologists - delusional, even when confronted with the evidence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a surprise!

Give it a rest RICHTO

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a surprise!

So commentards, which will come first (if at all)

1. the year of Linux on the desktop

2. the year of Windows on the phone

IMO they're both stuck in the same state, tiny share of a market where there are acceptable alternatives.

for completeness and equal-opportunity OS-bashing one could add 3. the year of Apple on the server but that doesn't count as they aren't trying...

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Anonymous Coward

"what's your excuse for Ubuntu's inability to detect a wifi card?"

Oh maybe it is new hardware that Lenovo developed and they have not (yet) opened up the documentation? That is the usual reason.

Damn, I just fed a Troll!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "what's your excuse for Ubuntu's inability to detect a wifi card?"

Lenovo developing wifi hardware? Sadly, no.

The Yoga 13 uses a bog standard Realtek job, which the linux kernel apparently doesn't seem to be aware of.

http://askubuntu.com/questions/139632/wireless-card-realtek-rtl8723ae-bt-is-not-recognized

Ah, the joys of running linux!

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