The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S - 59385438, available only from Best Buy, overcomes critics' main complaint about the original Yoga 11S: that it was outdated before it debuted. This configuration has the great ergonomics and flexibility of the original but with more power and far longer battery life courtesy of its fourth-generation Core processor.
Haswell-powered. The 11.6-inch IdeaPad Yoga 11S has been extensively reviewed and well received on all but one point. When it debuted, Lenovo burdened it with third-generation Core processors rather than the already available fourth-generation Haswell design, which offers moderately better performance and tremendously better battery life. Lenovo has now introduced a Haswell-powered version, the Lenovo Yoga 11S - 59385438, but in only one configuration for the U.S. market and through only one vendor, Best Buy, at the time of this report.
No professionals have evaluated the Lenovo Yoga 11S - 59385438, but user reviews say that this cheap convertible laptop delivers all of what Haswell technology is capable of, including a battery that "lasts forever" along with plenty of power for everyday productivity and more. The hardware lineup includes a fourth-generation Intel Core i5-4210Y processor, an 11.6-inch multitouch display with a 1,366 by 768 resolution, integrated Intel HD Graphics 4200, 4 GB of RAM and a 128 GB SSD. In addition, versions of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with third-generation Core processors (Est. $750 and up) remain available.
The hinge is the thing. The Lenovo 11S sports the Yoga hinge that leaves most critics impressed. "Of all the different ways to create a hybrid, Lenovo's Yoga method is arguably the best, especially if you're interested in a no-compromise laptop experience," CNET says. The Yoga hinge can bend back 360 degrees, giving the convertible laptop four user modes: notebook, stand, tent and tablet.
Notebook and tablet modes are self-explanatory, but it's worth noting that unlike some convertibles, the back of the keyboard and display are flush in tablet mode, leaving the keyboard exposed yet deactivated. Stand mode uses the keyboard as a stand for the touch display, which is "ideal in tight spaces such as on airline tray tables," says Laptop Magazine. Tent mode lets you position the laptop as an inverted "V," which is useful for watching movies, among other things, PCWorld says. Impressions regarding the keyboard vary by reviewer, but most comments are positive. The touchpad is even better liked, and the touch screen is bright and responsive.
Slim and light. The IdeaPad Yoga 11S falls into the Ultrabook category, so portability is first rate. The case has a finish that's cool to the touch and resists fingerprints, Laptop Magazine reports. Connectivity is typical and not overly abundant, but includes USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and HDMI ports.
So-so in surveys. Lenovo is neither the best nor the worst when it comes to tech and customer support surveys. One troubling finding is a downward trend in recent years in Laptop Magazine's tech support testing, although Lenovo claims to be taking steps to turn that around. User satisfaction with the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S - 59385438 runs high at BestBuy.com.
Many birds, one stone. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S - 59385438 isn't the cheapest cheap laptop out there, nor is it the cheapest Ultrabook or Windows 8 tablet or convertible. But you would be hard pressed to find a better combination of power and versatility at this price point. The move to Haswell technology is the icing on the cake, and it puts the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S - 59385438 head and shoulders above other Yoga 11S versions, at least for now.
Nearly 120 owners post feedback on the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S - 59385438, the only current Yoga 11S configuration that uses a fourth-generation Core processor. Satisfaction is high: Users give the convertible Ultrabook an overall rating of 4.5 stars out of 5, and 91 percent say they would recommend it to a friend.
Review: Lenovo - IdeaPad Yoga Ultrabook 2-in-1 11.6" Touch-Screen Laptop - 4GB Memory - 128GB Solid State Drive - Silver Gray, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of January 2014
This review is of a configuration of the Lenovo IdeaPad 11S that uses a third-generation Intel Core processor. Dan Ackerman says that's the only thing stopping him from recommending the device without reservation. His write-up is useful for information on the ergonomics and design of the 11S, or if you are interested in one of the third-generation processor models that remain available.
Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Review: A Smart Hybrid That Puts the Laptop First, Dan Ackerman, June 26, 2013
3. Laptop Magazine
This is another evaluation that looks at the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with a third-generation Core processor. Sherri Smith says that "those looking for an 11-inch system that's more versatile than a traditional notebook or tablet will like the flexibility of the Yoga 11S."
Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11s Review, Sherri L. Smith, June 24, 2013
4. PC World
Brad Chacos finds many positives in the design and ergonomics of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S, but laments its "ho-hum performance and mediocre battery life" in configurations that use a third-generation Intel Core processor. He concludes: "If Lenovo ever decides to update the Yoga 11S with one of Intel's power-sipping fourth-generation Core processors, the result could be convertible perfection."
Review: Review: Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 11S Strikes a Compelling Pose, Brad Chacos, Aug. 7 , 2013