Late last year, we took a look at the Lenovo Yoga 13 Ultrabook, one of the first Windows 8 convertibles to hit the market. The system performed decently in our tests, and while it was cool to use the device as an oversized tablet with Windows 8 touch capabilities, the size and especially the weight (3.4 pounds) made it an experience that wasn't particularly practical.
To this end, Lenovo's youngest entrant in the hybrid market is trying to solve some of these problems and is also replacing the humble and not very successful Windows 11-based Yoga 11.
The Lenovo Yoga 11S is described on the company's website as a groundbreaking multimedia mini-ultrabook. It measures just 11.6 inches and is slightly lighter than the Yoga 13 at 3.08 pounds (though not by much). What it lacks in size when compared to the larger Yoga 13, however, is reflected in the price tag, as it starts at just $ 749.99 – a full $ 150 cheaper than the starting price of the larger system when we reviewed it.
Our evaluation unit is equipped with an Intel Core i5-3339Y with 1.5 GHz (maximum turbo frequency of 2.0 GHz), 8 GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and a 256 GB Samsung Solid State Drive. As previously mentioned, the Yoga 11S has an 11.6-inch IPS display that is 1,366 x 768 in size. Our price tested here today is $ 999.99.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S – $ 750 – $ 999
- 11.6-inch IPS multi-touch display (1366 × 768)
- 3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3339Y CPU (1.5 GHz – 2 GHz)
- Intel HD Graphics 4000
- 8 GB PC3-12800 DDR3 SDRAM 1600 MHz
- Windows 8 64-bit
- 256 GB Samsung SSD
- 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
- Integrated 720p HD camera
- HDMI output, 1 x USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, SD / MMC card reader
- 3.5mm audio in / mic jack combo
- 4-cell lithium-ion battery (~ 6 hours)
- 11.73 "x 8.03" x 0.67 "
- 3.08 lbs
Aesthetically, the Yoga 11S is practically identical to its bigger brother, which isn't a bad thing. The outside of the lid feels like a semi-soft plastic and is silver-colored. The name Lenovo is engraved in the corner and it still looks very clean and modern.
On the front edge of the system is a lighted power button, battery indicator, and a small recessed button that launches OneKey Recovery – a suite of software that allows you to back up or restore your system from a previous state. There is a lock screen orientation button on the right side of the Yoga 11S, a speaker on the right side, a single UBS 2.0 port, and an SD / MMC card reader.
There's not much to see on the back, other than a series of air vents between the screen's two hinges. If you go to the left you will find a combo headphone / microphone jack, a single USB 3.0 port, and an HDMI out.
On the bottom of the Yoga 11S are four non-slip pads and 11 small six-sided screws that would have to be removed with a non-standard screwdriver to gain access to the internals. This would make adding or replacing system memory a little more time consuming, but it seems to be possible.
The screen of this hybrid does not have a colorful plastic bezel as a single piece of glass covers the IPS panel. However, there is a large bezel that frames the actual screen. Normally I wouldn't approve of that, but since this system doubles as a tablet, it's acceptable as you have enough space to actually hold the device without accidentally making contact with the touchscreen.
Lenovo built in a 720p webcam that is centered just above the screen. Next to it is an ambient light sensor and another one on the far right. At the very bottom of the screen is the Windows 8 start button, which you can use to quickly switch from the Windows user interface to the traditional desktop and vice versa.
The Yoga 11S's keyboard features island-style keys that are common on notebooks these days. The board is a bit more compact than the Yoga 13, but I didn't really have any problems with it. My only complaint here is that the buttons feel very mushy (especially near the center of the board). The entire middle area of the keyboard sinks noticeably when pressed. It's certainly not a deal breaker, but I was expecting a bit more solidity given the Ultrabook branding.
The key layout is acceptable, apart from the fact that some keys like backspace and tab are shorter than usual. It's also worth noting that the Page Up / Start and Page Down / End buttons are not in their traditional range. Instead, you'll find them in the lower-right next to the arrow keys.
The Yoga 11S's touchpad is very similar to the Yoga 13's, which is a good thing. I still prefer Lenovo's older style with dedicated physical buttons for left and right clicks, but I could definitely warm up to what they did with this built-in touchpad. The size and position of the pad was just right and I had virtually no problems with it during use. The area around the pad and keyboard was very comfortable and provided just the right amount of movement without my wrists feeling like slipping away.