Notebook makers are coming up with all sorts of ways to make their Windows 8 systems transform into tablets. Lenovo's Yoga series takes an interesting approach. It allows the screen to swing all the way back, creating a tablet-like slab with the screen on one side and the keyboard on the other. This flexibility also allows for other positions, such as a tent-like inverted "V" that looks like it might be ideal for watching movies in a cramped airline seat. We first saw the Yoga's clever contortions at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. Now, Lenovo has provided more specifics on the Yoga systems that will make it to market.
The hybrid we got our hand on at CES has become the IdeaPad Yoga 13. Lenovo says the system is less than 17 mm thick and offers eight hours of battery life. Ivy Bridge-based Core i5 and i7 CPUs can be found under the hood, and the 13" IPS panel has a reasonably high resolution of 1600x900. Prices start at $1,099, but it's unclear what the base configuration entails. We should have a better idea on October 12, which is when the Yoga 13 will be up for pre-order at Best Buy. The system will become available on October 26 alongside Windows 8.
If you were hoping to spend a little less on a hybrid that bends over backwards, good news. Lenovo will also offer the IdeaPad Yoga 11 for $799.
As its name implies, the Yoga 11 sports a smaller display. According to Engadget, the Yoga 11's 11.6" panel has a 1366x768 display resolution. The chassis is a little thinner and lighter than the Yoga 13's, and Lenovo promises much better battery life—13 hours, to be exact. Unfortunately, you'll have to give up compatibility with x86 desktop applications. The Yoga 11's Nvidia Tegra 3 processor runs Windows RT, not the full version of Windows 8.
Although the IdeaPad Yoga 11 won't be available until December, I believe it's the first WinRT device we've seen with a permanently attached keyboard. It will be interesting to see whether consumers prefer the convertible approach to Transformer-style keyboard docks that can be removed completely.