Lenovo has released a whole new line of its Yoga series of ultrabooks. We had a look at the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro and while it was impressive in terms of display and design, the battery life is where we found its biggest weakness. This time around we have the Lenovo Yoga 3 (14 inch), which has more powerful internal specs as compared to the Yoga 3 Pro, but will it be what the Yoga 3 Pro couldn’t, with a better battery life? Let us find out.
Build and Design: 8/10
Considering the fact that the Lenovo Yoga 3 14 belongs to the Yoga family, the laptop offers you the laptop, tent, tablet and stand modes as the hinge lets you rotate the display all the way back. The laptop has a lovely rubbery finish on the top flap and the base, which gives a good grip on the laptop when you hold it. It is 18.3mm thick and weighs around 1.6kg which is reasonably good for a laptop with a powerful processor and discrete graphics solution.
The Yoga 3 has a silver coloured top and base whereas on opening you will get a palm rest with a black brush-metal finish. The hinge mechanism is very good although not as impressive looking as the Yoga 3 Pro, which employed a different kind of design there.
Coming to the edge of the laptop, on the right hand side you have (from the top) a USB 3.0 port, a mini HDMI port, volume rocker buttons, auto-rotate switch, reset button, power standby button and a power indicator. On the left hand side there is the power port, USB 3.0 port, an audio jack and an SD card slot. At the base of the monitor, you have the air vents as unlike the Yoga 3 Pro, the Yoga 3 does not have a fanless design.
Keyboard and Trackpad: 8/10
With the Yoga 3 14, you get a 6-row chiclet keyboard, with the top row having multimedia function keys as default. We would have liked the regular functions keys to be default though. Lenovo keyboards have been a pleasure to use and this one does not disappoint either. The keyboard is backlit and you can turn off the backlight when not needed. For someone used to the full keyboard, the placement of the Home/End and Page up/Page down buttons can take some time getting used to.
The buttonless trackpad is located in the centre and it has an audible click. It works with touch responses and supports Windows 8 gestures as well as pinch to zoom, multi-finger scrolling and so on.
Lenovo Yoga 3 14 comes with a 14-inch full HD display and houses the Intel Core i7-5500U processor. The Core i7-5500U belongs to the U-series of feature rich Ultrabook processors which were released earlier this year. The processor is clocked at 2.4GHz with the turbo frequency going to 3GHz. It is a dual-core hyper-threaded processor and houses the integrated Intel HD 5500 graphics solution. The processor is paired with 8GB of RAM. The laptop also comes with Nvidia GeFore 940M discrete graphics solution as well. It houses 256GB of SSD flash storage.
Windows 8.1 is pre-installed on the laptop. There are a lot of software flourishes on the Lenovo Yoga 3. For starters there is the Harmony settings app, which can be set to change display settings depending on the mode you set your Yoga 3 14 in. For instance, if you switch to a reading mode, the display gets a warm tinge to reduce strain on your eyes. ‘My Favourites’, section makes most frequently used apps easier to find. You also have certain applications which are Harmony compatible and you can optimise settings for the same.
The Yoga 3 14 features JBL speakers which are sufficiently loud and clear for most use cases. Apart from this you also get utilities such as McAfee Livesafe, Amazon Kindle, Evernote, Lenovo Photo Master among others, pre-installed.
Lenovo Yoga 3 14 as the name implies sports a 14-inch display with a full HD resolution. While this may not be as high res as the QuadHD+ resolution we saw on the Yoga 3 Pro, the full HD resolution does looks quite good. The glossy display ensures that colours appear vibrant, although you many not want to have a light on directly behind you as the surface is quite reflective. The power saving mode is a bit too dim for our liking.
In the Lagom.nl tests, we got excellent results with the Black level test and the White saturation test. In the gradient test, we did notice a tiny among of banding although there was no colour tingeing. In the pixel walk test, there was no flickering of the display. Video viewing experience is quite good on the display as well, specially with HD and full HD resolution videos.
Battery Life: 7.5/10
The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro was a disappointment when it came to battery life. The Lenovo Yoga 3 (14-inch) gives a much better output in comparison. While the High performance mode gave around 3 hours 55 mins in the PC Mark 8 battery life test, we managed to get around 7 hours 21 mins in the balanced mode, a good two hours over the Yoga 3 Pro. For a regular workday, these are good numbers. Unless you are gaming or constantly doing some heavy lifting work with the Yoga 3, you can easily get close to 10 hours of on-screen time which is good enough for most users.
Verdict and Price in India
The Lenovo Yoga 3 14-inch model is priced at Rs 86,990 which may seem like a high price. But the appealing factors for this laptop include the slim form factor and light weight, which will come at a premium. This immediately makes it a laptop to consider for business as well as mainstream users. The battery life is good enough to last you through an entire work day and the processor is powerful enough to let you do things beyond just regular web surfing and watching videos.
The discrete graphics solution is good for playing casual games, as heavy games such as Metro: Last Light gave poor frame rates such as 18FPS for HD resolution at Low preset. If gaming is what you are looking at, there are much better options from Asus such as the ROG G551JK which is around Rs 83,000 but comes with 15.6-inch full HD display, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and so on. Of course, this is not a laptop you can carry around everyday without feeling the pain on the back.
So it all boils down to what use case you are looking at. If you are a business user – by all means the Lenovo Yoga 3 14-inch makes a lot of sense if you want more variety than what's offered by the ThinkPad series. If you want to save money and are not sold on the 2-in-1 proposition, then the ThinkPad Edge series is what you should be looking at.
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