Lenovo’s Yoga bends over backward to please us

CES — One of the product concepts at this year’s CES that bucks the trend of emulating Apple via thin laptops and thinner tablets is Lenovo’s intriguing Yoga laptop prototype, which sort of bridges the gap between those two trends in novel fashion. The Yoga system adheres to Intel’s ultrabook spec with a thickness of 17 mm, but it adds an intriguing twist in the form of a hinge that allows the display to swing back all the way and snap up against the underside of the chassis. In this posture, with the keyboard and touchpad presumably configured to ignore inputs, the Yoga becomes a touchscreen-enabled Windows 8 tablet.

What’s more, the Yoga can adopt several other useful poses. In one, the keyboard swings back beneath the system, serving as a base for the display as it stands on a desktop. In another, the Yoga stands like a tent, with its display and keyboard forming an inverted "V" on a tabletop. Thanks to an apparent built-in accelerometer, the Yoga rotates the display orientation to fit each posture without user intervention.

This isn’t just a nifty idea, either. The Yoga is an in-development system that looks very impressive in person, thanks to its bright and very pretty 13" display, based on an IPS panel with a resolution of 1600×900. It creates the impression of a power-user’s tablet system, one that makes the ubiquitous iPads and wannabes look like toys by comparison. That impression should be backed up by the hardware involved, since the Yoga will be based on Intel’s next-generation Core i3/i5 processors, also known as Ivy Bridge.

Since the Yoga is intended to run Windows 8, Lenovo says we can expect to see it hitting the market later this year, around the time Microsoft releases its new operating system.

Comments closed
    • dpaus
    • 8 years ago

    For backwards laptop, wrong have they spelled the name.

    • DavidC1
    • 8 years ago

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZmQHnjCm7I[/url<] 10-point touchscreen!! $1200-1400

      • ImSpartacus
      • 8 years ago

      Didn’t he say $1000 to $1200?

      For that price with that build quality, I’m pretty stoked.

      I like that it isn’t the thinnest machine in the world. I’m ok with my laptops getting just under an inch in thickness if it means I get better battery life.

        • DavidC1
        • 8 years ago

        I’m guessing they have range of options and they pricing isn’t final because the launch is still a while away. They said Windows OS alone could make the difference in price. Also there should be different configurations which change prices.

    • wallispat
    • 8 years ago

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    • paralou
    • 8 years ago

    Great stuff !
    But why still using the limited 1600×900 definition ?
    To day, it’s not that difficult to realize a HD 1920x1080px screen.
    Come on Lenovo, think about it, and make it.

      • demani
      • 8 years ago

      On a screen that small? I haven’t seen those, and I doubt they are easy to come by.

        • dpaus
        • 8 years ago

        Did you miss the article on Asus’ 10″ 1920×1200 screen?

    • liquidsquid
    • 8 years ago

    Home run… seems like a “why hasn’t this been done before?” type of products. Given a reasonable amount of storage and memory, this would certainly become my main machine for dealing with photography from the couch. Too cool!

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    This makes the Asus Transformer look like a gimmick.

      • Kollaps
      • 8 years ago

      I don’t think they’re comparable. You’re not going to be able to hold this Lenovo concept for longer than 5 minutes without serious discomfort. Tablets like the Transformer Prime are already pushing the limits on what most people would consider comfortable. Add another pound to the equation and you’re getting in to serious problems.

      The question to me is when the double hinge would be beneficial. I’m not coming up with much. You’re not going to use it when at a desk. You’re arm will make it unusable when standing or without a resting place. You’re not going to want to put it on any rough surfaces. You’re always going to worry about damaging the trackpad or keys. Note taking? Maybe… someone would have to be in love with One Note though.

      I don’t know. Looks awesome on paper and in pictures but when I think of how to use it, I’m coming up blank. At some point I’d question if I’d rather just buy a cheaper ultrabook (because there’s no way the Yoga ships for less than $1000) and something like the Asus 7″ Tegra 3 tablet announced at CES. Roughly the same price and I think ultimately much more comfortable to use.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 8 years ago

        The perfect solution would be one where the entire back of the laptop/tablet hybrid twisted around so that the bottom of the laptop became the back of the tablet. So you’d have a swivel in the middle where all the cabling went through. Or perhaps a thin hard plastic/metallic/metal-like casing you can attach easily to the bottom to cover up the keyboard and trackpad to prevent any chance of damage.

        Otherwise, I do agree that this works much better on paper than it would in real life with real life crud on various surfaces. And weight is an issue.

        I do think, though, there’s certainly a case to be made for people who want one device to handle both scenarios (laptop, tablet) and that this is likely to be the most powerful way to do that for the foreseeable future. I’d imagine most of those scenarios wind up being business-oriented ones.

          • Kollaps
          • 8 years ago

          [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=407&name=Tablet-PCs[/url<] You mean like every other converting laptop? That's what makes me crack up even more over the attention this Lenovo is getting. All of these types of systems have existed in the past, they're all going to see the same improvements as this Lenovo. They'll all get Ivy Bridge processors and Windows 8. This one just happens to have a double hinge, which has advantages but also a lot of drawbacks. Either way, the same reasons why convertibles have always been niche will apply to the Lenovo. Just too big to be a real tablet. [url<]http://www.dell.com/us/p/inspiron-duo/pd[/url<] Dell's Inspiron Duo is a much more unique hinge that eliminates the exposed keyboard and touchpad. I assume either Dell has a patent on this or this style of hinge wouldn't be robust enough for a 13" screen.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    Was I the only one who saw the keyboard and touchpad, and that matt finish and started drooling? The folding with Win8 is cool but they could sell me that without those features, lol. So hard to find a laptop that has it all.

    • rohith10
    • 8 years ago

    Just imagine the case if it had the same form factor as your standard, everyday tablet.. *drools*

    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    I see this displacing my current Android tablet later this year. Which is fine, because my wife loves that tablet. Honey, you can have it.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 8 years ago

    If they get this right I will flippin buy it in a heart beat. It looks like the laptop I’ve been waiting for the last 2 years.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      yeah watched the endgaget video… I want it!

    • odizzido
    • 8 years ago

    Looks interesting, but I would be worried about popping keys off and not noticing until it’s too late. If the screen could fold over the keyboard as well that would be perfect.

      • quarantined
      • 8 years ago

      My old Toshiba Portege m200 actually does just that i.e. the screen rotates and folds over the keyboard. Not sure why that design was lost so many years ago…

      • DavidC1
      • 8 years ago

      This is very promising. Yea, that part about keyboard is a little ehh, but I am reading the keyboard is disabled at least.

      Rather than a touchpad or “niblet” as someone here affectionally calls it, what about a reverse optical mouse? I loved those on the few devices I had a chance to play around with.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, not terribly necessary assuming decent build quality. I assume they get the weight concerns under control. Honestly the lower resolution they are promoting in this premium product is a concern though… No discrete GPU so Intel’s best is our only option… Battery life needs to easily be over 6 , closer to 8 hrs to really capitalize on the promise of this product.

        • d0g_p00p
        • 8 years ago

        How is a 13″ IPS display at 1600×900 “low resolution”?

    • yogibbear
    • 8 years ago

    But there’s no red TrackPoint knob?!?! Give me my niblet back!

    • ronch
    • 8 years ago

    Those weird contortions may prove useful, but honestly, I don’t understand what the hype is all about. It’s just an ordinary laptop with a touch screen (nothing special nowadays), a better hinge, an accelerometer and the software needed to make sense of the accelerometer. It’s like being impressed when you turn your table upside-down and realizing that you now have a platform with four poles sticking upward.

    • Kollaps
    • 8 years ago

    It’d be neat to see one of these with a hinge system like Dell’s Inspiron Duo. I just think having the keys exposed could get real annoying. There’s just far fewer ways you’re going to want hold it.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    This is the ideal mobile computing concept going forward IMO. Give it a year to mature and a nice Haswell CPU + Windows 8 and you have yourself a winner. No doubt others will come out with a similar design based on a swivel hinge, but long term durability is questionable.

      • khands
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, that hinge is going to be the issue, something like this or a beefed up Transformer.

        • cheddarlump
        • 8 years ago

        The only really good news is that it’s a Lenovo hinge, and a metal one at that. I’ve always had good luck with IBM/Lenovo hinges, hopefully they continue the trend..

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    So,will this product prove to be a Happy Baby or a Downward Dog?

      • paulWTAMU
      • 8 years ago

      can you explain that reference? I’m lost.

    • yuriylsh
    • 8 years ago

    What is that yellow port at the last picture in the gallery?

      • Corrado
      • 8 years ago

      Likely power. All the ThinkPads I’ve ever had had yellow power plugs.

        • yuriylsh
        • 8 years ago

        Thanks, that’s what I thought too, just that the shape of it is somewhat unusual.

          • calvindog717
          • 8 years ago

          check out [url=http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/09/lenovos-ideapad-yoga-convertible-tablet-runs-windows-8-is-set/<]Engadget's review and video [/url<], the guy in the video says it is, in fact, a slimmed-down power adapter.

    • yuriylsh
    • 8 years ago

    Interesting, this is the first product from CES (and I have hard time to keep up with my news feed these days because of CES) that really impresses me. I bet it is not going to be cheap, but I’m definitely going to keep my eyes on this thing, might start saving money…

    Edit: sent from my ThinkPad 🙂

    • paulWTAMU
    • 8 years ago

    I want this so badly. I’m a bit worried about the durability of the keyboard and hinge, but this still gets my techno-lust up.

      • thermistor
      • 8 years ago

      Hmmmm…a non-Apple design with some panache. Don’t get me wrong, the first Apple device in our house is an Ipod a relative gave my grade-school aged son this x-mas. Apple does set the bar, but this looks very promising. And my work uses the Lenovo stuff…gotta say it’s solid.

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