Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Lenovo recently launched its latest Ultrabook, the IdeaPad Yoga 13, into the South Africa market, and while this seems like a normal laptop, it has one special function. The unit possesses the ability to be folded over completely and double-up as a tablet. While it might sound like a nifty idea, what did we think about it?

Lenovo's latest Ultrabook, the IdeaPad Yoga 13 (image: Lenovo)

What we like about it

With the Core i5 processor, this compact unit boots up and shuts down in record time. There is nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes minutes to startup, but with the IdeaPad, users will hardly have time to leave their seats before the unit is ready for business!

It also makes use if 4GB RAM, which can be upgraded to 8GB, while having a 120GB solid state hard drive. The 13-inch screen (1600×900) could seem a bit small to some users, but it is actually the perfect size for someone on the go who needs quick access to their files and information. It is a work-horse Ultrabook for sure, but the screen size is definitely not holding it back.

Another great thing about the IdeaPad is the extra long battery life. On a full charge (under certain conditions) users will be able to get up to 8 hours’ of working time, but even with functions activated such as Wi-Fi and a USB wireless mouse plugged in, user can still comfortably work for around six hours.

Being a Lenovo product, it also comes with a host of Lenovo-specific services, such as Accidental Damage Protection, Sealed Battery Warranty Extension, and Warranty Upgrades.

What we do not like about it

The keyboard is responsive and features all the buttons that one would expect, but one thing that is lacking is a backlight. Since there is no backlight, it is incredibly hard to work the IdeaPad in the dark. The screen that flips over and doubles as a tablet is also a bit of a gimmicky function, but used in the correct context, it could be an added bonus.

And with that comes a touch-sensitive screen – which is useless when used in the laptop mode, yet it remains active. It turns out to be quiet a challenge to clean the screen without your work flying all over the screen. While its size could be a reason, the IdeaPad only has 2 USB ports – adding an extra one would have been great.

Shipped with Windows 8, the operating system works great when used in conjunction with the tablet functions, but the OS still does not handle very well with desktop functions. From here, it is better a write a script so that it boots directly to the desktop from startup.

But the biggest problem we had was opening the unit – it might seem like a silly thing to say, but, when closed, the edges of the laptop do not provide a firm grip or area for flipping the lid open.


The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 is a great little laptop that is fast, easy to use and surprisingly light to carry around. While there are a few shortcomings, these should not put users off while searching for a hard-working laptop that will get the job done. It has been well designed, and everything is where it should be. However, the screen doubling as a tablet might just be a bit too much for some users – although it could work in the right environment.

Overall, it is a great piece of hardware.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor