Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch sleek ultraportable laptop starting at $679

Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch ultraportable laptop

Announced during CES 2015, the Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch is a convertible laptop that features four different ways to work. You can work in laptop mode, or in stand, tent, or tablet mode. This gorgeous ultraportable device landed on our doorsteps not too long ago, so let’s take a look at it and see if it is worth our hard-earned money.

The Yoga 3 features a touchscreen display that can flip around 360 degrees, allowing you to utilize the device in various modes. The display itself is vivid, featuring an IPS touchscreen Full-HD resolution. Powered by an Intel Core M processor (5Y10c at 0.80GHz), this ultraportable device is just 2.6 pounds and 0.6 inches thin. In fact, as I was unboxing the device, I actually thought to myself “there doesn’t seem to be anything inside.” 2.6 pounds is really lightweight for a laptop!

The device also features JBL speakers and Maxx Technology by Waves Audio. The Yoga 3 11-inch is also available in either white or black (we’ll be reviewing the white color option, obviously). The device can go up to 256GB SSD for storage, and features up to 8GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM.

The device also features an Intel HD Graphics 5300 chip, as well as runs Windows 8.1 64-bit (I cant wait to install Windows 10 on this baby!). The Yoga 3 11-inch promises 6.5 hours of battery life and features Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi connectivity, as well as 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x USB 2.0 with DC-in function, 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC), Micro-HDMI, and an Audio Combo Jack.

Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch ultraportable laptop

Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch ultraportable laptop

Impressions

So far, I am quite impressed at the esthetics of this device. It really is gorgeous. The touch screen seems responsive, the keyboard is nice to use, and the system seems snappy. 

“a new level of sleekness to an already sleek device”

The top and bottom of the device features a polyamide and 50% glass fiber design, making the Yoga 3 11-inch look aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. The silver-colored hinge design looks amazing, adding a new level of sleekness to an already sleek device. The device weighs a mere 2.65 pounds, feeling light to the touch. The 11.6-inch display is tiny but features a 1080p resolution, so items appear small on screen but you can easily adjust the DPI scaling if needed. Multi-touch is also present, making it easier to tap on screen rather than using the trackpad.

The Yoga 3 11-inch also features four different configurations as mentioned above — You can work in laptop mode, or in stand, tent, or tablet mode. You can rotate the screen a full 360 degrees to have the laptop in tablet mode with the keyboard facing the bottom of the device. I didn’t like this mode all that well, as it felt weird having my fingers on the keyboard as I held the device making me feel that I might damage the keyboard. Imagine replacing the back of your device with a keyboard — kinda weird.

You can also adjust the device to a tent or stand mode to give a presentation but I doubt people will use these modes on a small laptop like this. Instead, it works well for having your device set up to watch Netflix, which by the way is a fantastic experience thanks to the immersive sound experience.

The keyboard is designed well and feels natural when typing. In fact, I absolutely adore the keyboard on the Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch. I felt comfortable typing and made very little mistakes, coming from a desktop keyboard. Typically, I tend to make lots of typos when switching from a desktop keyboard to a laptop keyboard, but the Yoga 3 11-inch features a fantastic keyboard that works well and feels great — thanks to the AccuType keyboard with full-sized, 6-row multimedia Fn keys.

It’s no secret that the Yoga family was created for those who value functionality, portability and design. The family’s latest member is available with an 11-inch screen size and comprised with the latest Intel Core M processor. The Yoga 3 11 is an affordable – for the mainstream – multi-mode notebook with a design that can fold back 360 degrees, providing flexibility for the consumer. This machine also offers different configurations and price points to fit user’s needs,” Lenovo explains.

Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch ultraportable laptop

Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch ultraportable laptop

Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch ultraportable laptop

Performance

We ran PCMark 8, a computer benchmark tool developed by Futuremark, which gave us a Home Conventional score of 1648.  The test lasted close to two hours. In comparison, this score is lower than the average Office PC score of 2498, Gaming laptop score of 2521, Ultralight notebook score of 2633, and is no where near the high end gaming PC score of 4908. This Home Conventional test measures the performance of the CPU, GPU, RAM, and more, offering a well rounded score of the device.

The PCMark Work test gave us a score of 2257. The Work benchmark test measures the system’s ability to perform basic office work tasks, such as writing documents, browsing websites, creating spreadsheets, and using video chat. 

Not the best performance in the world, but still a decent and fast device. Just don’t expect to do any video encoding on the Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch or extract a large .RAR file.

We also ran 3DMark RT, an app from Futuremark available in the Windows Store, and achieved a score of “maxxed out” for the Ice Storm test. We also ran the Ice Storm Extreme test, which is a test is for high performance mobile/portable devices and received a score of “maxxed out”. The Ice Storm Unlimited test scored 13624, which makes chip-to-chip comparisons of different chipsets, CPUs and GPUs without vertical sync, display resolution scaling and other operating system factors affecting the result.

Comparatively, the Surface Pro 3 has a 47191 score for the Core i5 model. The Apple iPad Air 2 has a score of 21652, The Asus Transformer Book T100TA scores 13171 and the Dell XPS 10 scores 4899. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 has a score of 3265. The first-generation Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 has a score of 2530.

Interestingly, the Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch scored better than the Yoga Tablet 10 and the IdeaPad Yoga 11. It even beat out the Dell XPS 10 and the Asus Transformer Book T100TA. This basically means the graphics chip is a tad bit better than the mentioned devices.

Battery life was quite impressive for a small ultraportable device. I went from a 100% battery charge to 50% with 2 hours of constant use (while running the PCMark benchmark). Keep in mind that running a benchmark causes the system resources to be used in full during the test. While using the device in average situations (web browsing, document reading, and watching various videos), I was able to last all day long.

Review: Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch ultraportable laptop

Final Thoughts

Starting at $679.00 and going all the way up to $849.00, the Lenovo Yoga 3 11-inch is a fantastic device at a decent price. If you are in the market for an ultraportable device that helps you browse the internet, or work on some documents while on the go, I definitely recommend this device. However, if you are looking for a device that comes packed with higher-end specifications, I would recommend looking at another device. It all depends on your need.

In my opinion, I would purchase this ultraportable device due to its decent price (~$700 will not hurt my wallet) and ability to edit documents or browse the web while on the go or on the couch. Featuring a sleek and light-weight design, I am able to easily carry this device around and get work done.

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