Lenovo Yoga 13

Created by TheMasterDS on Oct. 9, 2012, 6:20 a.m.
  • I've had my eyes on the Lenovo Yoga 13 since Will and Norm saw it at CES last January. At the time it struck me as a really clever and simple way to handle the laptop tablet hybrid that's traditionally been done with a weird swivel hinge. A handful of months later I started thinking seriously about what I should replace my current 2 and a half year old machine with I sort gravitated towards it. The more I think about it the more I think it's the right machine for me. It's got chips that'll be a massive upgrade for me on a core i3 intel chip from before Sandy Bridge, it's got an SSD which will be loads faster, its got a textured leather palmrest, it's about 70 percent lighter, its a beautiful machine (especially in orange), one USB port is always on making it great for charging things, and if I want to I can use it as a tablet and carry it around with me, which almost feels like a great little bonus to me offering a tiny bit of versatility if I really want it. Like how Vikings can land but they seldom want to.

    Price is a bit unclear as in early interviews around CES they've said around 1000 to 1200 but in a more recent interview I saw a month or so ago I heard 1300 quoted but then I don't think I've seen price mentioned anywhere else recently so maybe it's still being figured out. They've also said in plenty of interviews, including recent ones I believe, that they're launching with Windows 8 so I'm going to assume and hope that means Friday the 26th. Certainly the website says "Available October" so unless they mean the following week... Which they could I guess. Anyway, assuming the 26th and not the 29th or something it comes out day of Windows 8 and the day of the Octoberkast.

    Okay, so I want this Ultrabook as soon as possible, right? As soon as I can get my hands on it I want it. I've been thinking that'd mean I'd just place an order on Lenovo's website and wait but now I'm thinking maybe it'd be significantly faster if I went into a Best Buy or whatever on the 26th long before OCTOBERKAST started and pick one up off the shelf. That way I could set it up, get everything going, before Octoberkast started and go into it using a brand new Ultrabook. It wouldn't just be nice to have, it'd make OCTOBERKAST easier to watch since the Yoga is much more mobile than the laptop I currently use. I could bring it from room to room without much thought. I could fold it into a tablet and take it downstairs when I eat. It'd make going from my bedroom using speakers to the room with my 360, Wii & 360 trivial. It'd just make viewing the show for as long as possible a lot easier.

    Anyway, I sort of rambled a bit in writing this post. The 13 Inch Lenovo Yoga is an ultrabook I'm very interested in buying. Is anyone else very interested in buying it? Also does Best Buy tend to have new hardware on day 1? Is that a good road to go down? I don't know!

  • I just absent mindedly searched Twitter for "Lenovo Yoga" and discovered apparently there's a launch event going on today for the device. Neat. I guess more solid info is about to happen. Lovely.

    Edit: Pictures from said event from Lenovo's Twitter. Or maybe it's not the event because it doesn't look like a press event to me. Maybe that was a publicity stunt and the press event takes place in an "event hall" like a previous tweet suggested. Unless the event hall is outdoors. I guess I don't know what's up with New York, maybe.

    Edit: 1099 dollars, comes in i5 and i7 versions, grey and orange. Preorders start Friday, exclusive to Lenovo's site and Best Buy, delivery on the 26th when Windows 8 launches.

    Also, sidenote, apparently there's a Yoga 11 that's RT and also two other convertible products that are convertible in the more common ways of detachable keyboard and swivel screen. Much less interesting for it if you ask me.

  • @TheMasterDS: Yea, I've been torn between getting either a Yoga or Microsoft's Surface Pro. I like the larger screen on the Yoga, but they haven't yet said anything if they'll have pen digitizer input (I'm assuming it won't), which is what might be the deciding factor between it and the Surface Pro. Been using a first gen ASUS Transformer for school taking notes on Evernote w/ Skitch, and while it's been nice for classes unrelated to my major (computer science), it can be a pain when I want to actually produce. It'll be nice to have a tabtop that isn't as limited as Android is and what my 5 year old laptop's capabilities are.

  • I was pleasantly surprised at the announcement of a Yoga RT. Between these and the ThinkPad Tablet 2, Lenovo is really bringing their A game for the launch of Windows 8.

    Good luck with finding one in a store Master. If not, hopefully early reviews will say it's good, and that'll be enough for you to get it through Lenovo.

  • Apparently I hear way preorders work is you can go into a store Friday and reserve one. So that's what I'm going to do. This Friday I'll go in and reserve one, and then 2 weeks later I'll pick one up and break it in before OCTOBERKAST. Gonna be fun on a bun! Can't wait!

    To clarify @Falcon, I'm not going to a store because I want to try it out, I want to go to a store because I want it as fast as I possibly can. I mean, I don't know how fast Lenovo ships out machines to individual buyers. If they're as fast as Amazon gets out my day of release video games it'd mean around 3 or 4 PM. I'd rather have it sooner, especially considering it'd make me way more mobile during OCTOBERKAST if it's all set up and ready to go.

    @Butano: I also found Surface Pro appealing but ultimately decided I was best with the Lenovo Yoga. For me it all comes down to this: Yoga is an Ultrabook which has found an ingenious way to have tablet functionality without hurting the core functionality of being an Ultrabook. The Surface is a Tablet which has found an ingenious way to have Ultrabook functionality without hurting the core functionality of being an Ultrabook. In other words the Yoga is a Ultrabook that becomes a Tablet and the Surface is a Tablet which becomes an Ultrabook. The important distinction is which side it butters its bread and, for me, that makes the Yoga the preferable option.

  • @TheMasterDS: Ah, gotcha. I haven't gotten something from Lenovo that was pre-ordered. When I bought my Thinkpad it took... two weeks? for me to get it. Got a couple accessories from them last month and those took 1-2 weeks (including weekends) to get to me. Standard shipping though. I know Best Buy is stocking the Yoga, so if you can get the configuration you want there definitely raid them.

  • @Falcon: If I hadn't already decided to go to a Best Buy and reserve one now that'd seal it. 2 weeks is way too long a wait for shipping for me in a world where I have Amazon Prime. So yeah, Best Buy, day 1, going to preorder one tomorrow at the one closest to my home, can't wait.

  • @TheMasterDS: @Falcon: Unless Best Buy only carries Base Models and not anything else. They only carry i5, 4 GB Ram, 128 capacity, Silver. Fuck. None of those are what I want. What a fucking waste of a trip to Best Buy. I guess the lesson is never go to Best Buy ever. They'll never have what you want. Never. I hope they go out of business. Fuck them.

    Also now I'll have to wait anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks extra to get my Yoga. That's fucked. It's already a 2 week wait! Now it's effectively doubled. What a load of shit. Well, I can try to hit up the website as soon as preorders start. Lenovo's webpage itself updated around midnight to 2 AM last night, presumably around that time in two weeks ordering will open up. Hopefully if I hit it during that initial period I can get as fast shipping as humanly possible.

  • @Falcon: Unless Best Buy only carries Base Models and not anything else. They only carry i5, 4 GB Ram, 128 capacity, Silver. Fuck. None of those are what I want. What a fucking waste of a trip to Best Buy. I guess the lesson is never go to Best Buy ever. They'll never have what you want. Never. I hope they go out of business. Fuck them.

    Also now I'll have to wait anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks extra to get my Yoga. That's fucked. It's already a 2 week wait! Now it's effectively doubled. What a load of shit. Well, I can try to hit up the website as soon as preorders start. Lenovo's webpage itself updated around midnight to 2 AM last night, presumably around that time in two weeks ordering will open up. Hopefully if I hit it during that initial period I can get as fast shipping as humanly possible.

  • @TheMasterDS: Ouch. It looks like they at least have them for $999 for those base models on their website when you preorder, but yea, kinda sucks they'll only carry the one model. I think you've convinced me to get the Yoga, but I'll go ahead and see if they'll have any demo units at my local Best Buy to try it out.

    EDIT: Here's BB preorder page, just in case

  • They've updated their page to have pre orders online at Lenovo. Two issues, one they don't have any models in Orange nor do they have any models with 256 GB SSDs as they've been saying they'd have and two under availability there's a thing that says "will ship in 4 weeks" which doesn't sound right at all. I really hope that's just a massive error on the part of someone writing the site or it's just generic text they put when a product they're selling isn't officially released yet. I talked to the Lenovo reps on their site who (A) say that Orange models are coming soon (the rep suggested checking back next week "after wednesday") but seemed bullish on the whole 4 weeks thing. Well Lenovo's Twitter's way of announcing the page seems to suggest it's coming out next week for online stuff as well so here's hoping that gets sorted out. Here's also hoping they hurry up and put the model I want online.

  • I've played with it. Really nice. Still has some of the Windows 8 jank but overall probably the best Windows 8 laptop I've used (about 3 different laptops and 2 All in One desktops --- all touch screen).

  • I went by a Best Buy just now to check i out as well. Man it is really nice. That leather palm rest feels fantastic. Keyboard will take me some getting used to though and I'm a little miffed to see "Windows 8" and "Ultrabook" stickers on the device. I hate stickers like that! They're informative before you buy one but they're a blight on the machine's appearances after you buy it. I wish they'd remove those fuckers when they sell it to you.

  • @TheMasterDS: Or better yet, just have them on the display units.

  • @Baconbot: @Ben_H: I read somewhere that's what the hardware vendors do in exchange for comarketing money in which case, man, it's kind of sad. I hear that's why you'd never see stickers like that on an Apple device, they never accept the money. I mean yes, I understand, Intel you want people to know your brand but it's real shitty for an end user and no one likes it that isn't some sort of marketing man. Maybe one day it'll go the way of the pop up, a really easy to do way of promoting a product, but eventually abandoned since its effect is the opposite of the one intended since it ultimately only bothers people.

    In other news I'm a little worried about 256GB SSD models. Its been half a week since 3 models showed up for preorder in the Lenovo Direct store, each silver and each having a 128GB SSD drive. I've pestered numerous Lenovo Sales Chat people in the last week and have failed to get a straight answer out of any of them, the closest being one on Friday at 4 AM immediately after the models showed up who told me that the models I was after would arrive "soon" which is a feat I have not reproduced since making me doubt whether the original rep's information was spot on. Additionally I've noticed some odd things in some of the spec pages such as this one and this one that fail to mention the 256GB SSD as an option though they're still listed in the main product page and the PDF Spec Sheet. At first I'd guess something like "The Spec Page only reflects currently available options and updates accordingly" but then the PDF and the main page have an error in the Ram Spec that says up to 4 GB where the actual product goes up to 8 GB. Which makes me think the PDF and Main Page may not be broad specs for all planned models but perhaps an outdated spec sheet. Maybe it was just a typo and the bit about updating according to available models is right. Does that seem likely? I'd ask Lenovo but I doubt they'd have an answer for me.

    My current working theory, my current hopeful theory, is that the Orange models are all 256 GB SSD models and they're all something like 100 bucks more than their counterparts because of the color and the SSD. And why they're being cagey about it may have something to do with not wanting to reveal that color and SSD are being done together in case someone really had their heart set on a 999 dollar orange Yoga. That and their PR guys are telling them they can't reveal any models until they're available in the store. It'd make sense, someone who wants a no frills grey Yoga can probably make due with 128GB SSD. Someone who wants crazy eye catching Orange is probably more likely to want all the space he could get. And also I hear PR can be that way.

    Edit: They fixed the 4 GB issue on the product page while leaving the 256GB part alone. My theory becomes more credible and my worries less justified. My worries were perhaps a little silly and easy to counter with "if they had cancelled 256 they would say so. They wouldn't be tight lipped over something that's never happening, only something that is going to happen". I bet the 256GB and Orange features are tied together which suits me just fine.

    Edit: Okay, release day. Found out that the high end model(s), most importantly including at least one that is Orange and contains a 256GB SSD, will show up "2nd Week of November", that is to say the week of the 5th. So at a minimum my wait has been extended 10 days at least. Bummer. Well hopefully it shows up on their store the 5th, I order it, and it appears at my house by the end of the week. Wouldn't that be nice? If in 2 weeks I have it? Yeah, it's kind of sad that's now the best case scenario.

  • When last I edited things into this topic I had a tenuous date for when Orange/256GB skews would be available the "second week of November." Now as the first week of November comes to a close it's time to wonder: "was that vague date quoted to be legit?"

    No telling whether the word on the street a week ago will remain true. Outside of the At Reply directly to me Lenovo's twitter has been cagey about the date, being less clear quoting "Mid November" rather than a specific week. Additionally there was a tweet yesterday which said "Understatement: #Yoga is popular. To those in USA seeing far-out ship dates on our website, remember you can purchase @BestBuy -- thx!" which says to me they're having major supply chain issues which, frankly, blame on popularity all you want, isn't what you want to happen. Maybe they're in panic mode and are just trying to make enough base models to meet demand and they've decided to save the higher models for when there's more slack. I think that's bullshit. I thought it was stupid shit when Microsoft said the Surface Pro would be 2 months behind the RT but atleast they said it months ahead of time. Lenovo never said shit basically up until launch.

    Who knows, they've been showing the Orange Models off in their marketing and if they can't make it available I really think they done fucked up. Even if they do put it on the store, what if the shipping times I have seen quoted on Twitter strike immediately? Maybe that's unreasonable because people have been ordering the existing models for 2 weeks and maybe they're out of those specifically, but I've saw someone on Twitter say that far-out meant 8 weeks. That's... not good at all. You should get 100 dollars back for every week it takes or, at the very least, they should let you pay 10 bucks and get 2 day shipping, shave 3 days (and possibly a weekend) off the ship time.

    On the 256GB thing, at any rate apparently people have found there's room in the Yoga for another SSD. So you could like go out, get the 128GB one at the Best Buy today buy a 200 dollars 256 GB SSD open it up and throw it in. I don't want to do that because fuck that, I want the Orange color and I want Lenovo to deliver on what they promised. Fixing it like that would be cheating in the same way getting a start menu replacement is. Well, actually, no, that's a terrible reason. The actual one is that I don't see why my plans should have to change because they're not handling this roll out very well. And to back down, accept the color I don't want and an SSD I'd have to go out of my way to fix isn't something I'm interesting in doing. I'd rather obsess over it and complain when it' not perfect.

    Edit: A quick addition to the supply chain issues thing, I think a large part of that is due to not committing to the Yoga 13 and having 3 other convertibles that no one in their right mind would buy, a Yoga RT, a Detachable and a Twisting one. Before Windows 8 they were like "We're not sure which form factor will take off, so we're hedging our bets!" Turns out it was the Yoga 13 which really should've been obvious. Now I bet they're loaded with a bunch of shit products they can't sell. When you're browsing for a Yoga 13 it's like "Hey, want it now? Look at the Twist!" They really should've committed to the Yoga and their supply chain issues are, therefore, entirely their fault.

  • i've been testing one since friday and really like it so far. quick look in the next few weeks after more time using it as a work computer.

  • @norman When you flip the screen do you find having the keyboard on the backside bothersome at all?

  • @bjpe89: rarely finding myself using it in "tablet" mode, with the keyboard flipped all the way back and walking around with it. too heavy (3.3 pounds) for that. but on the couch, i do flip it so the keyboard rests on my lap and the display is propped up at an angle. easier to just touch and browse the web like that.

    also using a lot of ie10 on desktop since chrome doesn't support pinch to zoom in either desktop or modern modes.

  • @norman: What model are you testing? Second question, I've seen people on forums elsewhere looking at the storage situation and, out of the box, seeing only about 40 or 60 gbs available to the user of the 128gb ssd. Is that crazy talk or a fringe case or something?

  • @TheMasterDS: weird sku that has 4gb of ram but also a core i5. 128gb ssd partitioned. total free space is definitely a lot less than 128gb--more like 100gb with the two partitions combined

  • Was good to hear about it more on the podcast, happy to hear it's performing well and was pleased to hear the conversation about storage which I felt was very in line with what I've been thinking about recently. Feel confident now I've made the right choice in waiting for Lenovo to release the model with the 256GB SSD. Also I want it to be orange.

    Speaking of 256GB SSD 2 weeks ago when the Yoga launched the Lenovo Twitter man said "@TheMasterDS Hi Brian--from what I heard today, you'll see orange models on our .com 2nd week of Nov. Can you hang on that long?" Later that day I got in contact with a different sales rep who told me that the 256GBs would be soon enough and tried to talk around Orange until I told him I had that tweet. So now the 2nd week of November is over. Well, it's late enough into the night where if the site was updating it would be done by now. So now I have no idea when those models will arrive. Hoping next week but who fucking knows. At first he told me specifically 2nd week of November, then he told everyone mid november, now I hear people saying the time they've been quoted is before the end of the year. That's terrible for skews that they have in their commercials already.

    Maybe it's time to start trying to elicit answers from sources other than the Lenovo Twitter account like the online sales reps. Perhaps they've obtained new info in the last 2 weeks. Perhaps I'd rather live in hope that next Monday I'll be able to buy one. That'd be nice.

    Edit: Wait a sec, that's new! Best Buy has several models now! Including a 256GB one. It's in Silve though, that's a shame, still not the color I want. still, it's progress.

    Edit: Wait again! At the bottom of the page it says "Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance." Now that you mention it webpage color isn't listed in the title of the skew unlike with the base model that has Silver in its title! I should see about that. If I could pick up a Lenovo Yoga at a Best Buy than well... That'd be much better than waiting 8 weeks, wouldn't it?

  • Went to Best Buy, found out the 256GB SSD Yoga 13 is going to be on sale at Best Buy's website as of this Sunday the 11th. I think I may order one because, though I don't know if it's Orange or Silver (and even on their back end the "Color" attribute is blank) I am really tired of waiting without any clue as to when Lenovo will get Orange ones up and when they'll ship them after that.

    If anyone wants to see the page on Best Buy dot com it's here. Was happy today to be able to walk into a Best Buy, get my question answered and more, and be able to walk out. All attempts to do that with Lenovo have been met with non answers and people who don't know. Makes you think when Best Buy's customer service outdoes you. Another thing that was interesting was a side effect of giving Best Buy employees Yogas: As a result they seemed happy, enthusiastic and interested in finding more information about new models. Hell, as the guy was looking up the info another employee came over and was like "Oh wow, i7 256GB Yoga?" It's kind of cool that they were into it and I think Best Buy, Lenovo or whoever made that decision made a brilliant move and created enthusiastic salesmen for the product. Well done.

    Edit: Yeah, no, nothing doing so far as of Sunday night. Either they sold out instantly last night at midnight or they're just not in stock yet because it registers as sold out. Also there's a 1600 dollar model now that's a bit silly. 200 more dollars for just 4GB more ram? Then I thought about it and decided "Eh, why not?" What the fuck right, when it goes into stock presumably it'll go out of stock a bit slower. So I might pick that up despite the silly price.

    I am keeping a vigilant eye on Best Buy's page, refreshing every few minutes, waking up in the morning where usually I'd sleep until the afternoon in order to make sure nothing happens without me knowing. I will have a Yoga soon. I hope.

    Edit: It is now a week later. Nothing. I haven't woken up in the morning like I did the first day this last week, but I have kept an eye on it, always having a tab open to refresh. Nothings changed and I am tired of not having a Lenovo Yoga 13. I always imagined I would have one long before the shit hit the fan on the projects that are due after Thanksgiving. Before I graduated. Now it looks as though I will get it with barely any college time remaining as I go out into the real world. On one hand I don't want to think about that time, on the other I do want to think about the Yoga. Depressing.

  • Ordered a Lenovo Yoga direct from Lenovo because the aforementioned skews disappeared from Best Buy's site and appeared on Lenovo's. The depressing thing is apparently there's a 4 to 6 week wait associated with getting it from Lenovo but hey, if Best Buy starts selling 256 Giggers I can just cancel my order with Lenovo. I got 3 years in home warranty and that doofy case with it. I wasn't able to get Orange (word is that's coming quote "mid-December". A month ago it was mid-November. Add in a 4 week delay and fuck that entirely) but whatever, I'll be happy with a new laptop in 5 to 7 weeks taking into account standard shipping. Hopefully by Christmas, probably by New Years.

    I really hope Lenovo is pushing production into full gear to try to address these shortage issues. I mean seriously, how can they not? I'm just surprised the wait hasn't fallen as a result. Either they haven't been ramping up production or it hasn't been enough. Either way it's terrible.

  • @TheMasterDS: This thread has me seriously considering getting a Yoga early 2013. I'm looking forward to reading what you think of yours and hopefully a Tested review as well.

  • @villainy: Well the estimated shipdate on my Yoga is current penciled in for "January 21st, 2012" so two months plus until I actually get it. Fucking Lenovo Supply Chain failures. They should've anticipated demand and made more production! Or at the very least reacted to the shortages in the last month and started to actually crank them out. A 2 month wait for a machine is ridiculous! I'll do it because I have my heart set on it but what a bummer.

  • Oh my god... So updates are necessary before I dispense with what the exclamation is for! Last week I noticed that the shipdate for the Silve had been moved up to this week. I also noticed that Orange was available on the Lenovo site (estimated ship date end of December) so I moved to have my Silver order cancelled (which could be tricky as apparently cancellation can take days. They tell me if it ships I should accept the package and arrange for it to be returned) and placed an order for the Orange. Silver still hasn't shipped, which I appreciate because it means I may not have to return it and deal with that, but Orange has! Oh my god, I'm going to have a new laptop by next Monday according to the estimated ship date (2-3 day shipping means it could arrive on Friday as well.)

    It's finally happening. I'm getting a Lenovo Yoga. It's for real. And it only cost me nearly 2 months wait and a whole lot of money.

  • It has now arrived. I like it a lot so far.

  • Yeah, impressions still very positive Downloaded a bunch of games, basically filling up half the 256GB SSD leaving me 80 to 90 gigs left after all my day one stuff is on there. Way I figure that should be enough. Performance wise they seem to run pretty damn well relative to what I've been used to, a 2.5 year old i3-before-sandy-bridge integrated graphics laptop. Medium settings on Diablo III and Starcraft II seem pretty solid and I've never seen Minecraft look that good. Only thing that seemed to run worse was Hotline Miami which is unfortunate because that game's fucking great.

    As for the positions not really sure. While stuff downloaded (Starcraft, Diablo & a few dozen steam games take all day turns out. Still don't have Shootmania or Trackmania 2 downloaded) I watched a few Giant Bomb videos in the stand mode, seemed pretty cool using it that way but for the time being it's mostly just been a pretty damn good laptop.

    I'm really glad I got Orange, it looks incredible and the build quality is just outstanding. My biggest issue all day was that since I was downloading a million things, getting a million things set up, nuking my Zune HD and syncing everything back to my Zune HD because I redid the file structure entirely to be more organized and various other things I didn't get a chance to put it to sleep for most of the day and marvel at how good that orange casing looks. It looks pretty damn good.

    Edit: TF2 ran well with a lot of settings cranked up. I suppose that game is 5 years old. Civ V seems fine, I decided to try the Touch Windows 8 Controls they added. In theory it could make that game way more addicting, I don't know if they've clicked with me though. Controls are a bit unintuitive at first.

  • Okay, last post on my Orange i7 256 GB Lenovo Yoga because double posting (and, by extension, quintuple posting) is really bad form. I've had it for four days and I'd like to post these thoughts on it. I don't intend to follow up on this, this should suffice.

    I really dig the hell out of it. Its fit and finish is superb and impresses me every time I lay my hands upon it. Its flexibility is pretty damn useful and I've used it in several of its forms often plus one of my own invention where it's open at a 180 degree angle so I can type in my lap and have the screen up near my face. On the topic of touch though I prefer a mouse and keyboard a little touch on the side has quickly become so natural that while at a Best Buy the other day shopping for speakers I tried to touch another laptop's screen like in the classic Gary Whitta Kindle story. For games I must admit I am biased for I have been on integrated graphics for years but is a massive step up from my old Dell 1545 and Starcraft II, Minecraft, TF2 & Diablo III all run really well on medium (or high in the case of TF2) settings. Keyboard is real nice, feels really good and I like the presence of function buttons for "Turn the touch pad off." I like how the stickers that came on the Yoga all came off really easily without leaving any residue. I liked it so much I even removed the ones from the bottom, makes it look real nice.

    All in all I'd say it's a really solid Ultrabook with some tablet stuff added on. This tablet stuff works well enough and isn't so much to capture the appeal of the tablet but instead to make a very flexible Ultrabook. I've used the yoga open at 170 degrees in my lap while leaning back in my chair at my desk, I've flipped it to tablet mode so I could relocate it to the living room. I've turned it into stand mode many times when I've wanted to focus on something. I've folded it into a tablet and played Civ V entirely with touch controls in my lap. Its just really flexible and can be used in a lot more ways than being on a desk open at a 90 degree angle which is really cool turns out. I'd recommend it highly based on my first 4 days with it.