Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260 review: Your flexible business friend
Lenovo blends the best of ThinkPad and Yoga worlds, and the result is an almost perfect business hybrid
There’s something endlessly reassuring about a ThinkPad. In some ways, little has changed for decades: the staunchly unfashionable design and retro logos hark back to the devices of IBM days, and even the name stretches way back to the early days of IBM in the 1920s – it was born from the company’s early slogan, “Think”. Now, in 2016, the ThinkPad Yoga 260 marries that past with the technological cutting edge.
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260: Design
Following in the footsteps of HP’s rather lovely EliteBook Folio 1020, the ThinkPad Yoga 260 delivers its compact business thrills in a 12.5in-screened package. That in itself gives it a slight edge over the myriad 13.3in devices on the market. It’s just that tiny bit smaller and easier to wield in one hand, even if it’s no lighter than most, weighing an unremarkable 1.33kg. It is a certified hard nut, though. While there’s a little flex in the Yoga 260’s body, the MIL-STD-810G certification suggests this is a device that will bounce more often than it breaks.
The ThinkPad Yoga 260 boasts a now-familiar party trick. Its flexible hinge allows it to contort itself from a standard laptop and pirouette through tent, stand and tablet modes. Where the Yoga 260 deviates from the usual Yoga formula, however, is that it also squeezes in a powered stylus that slots into its right-hand edge. Neatly, the stylus charges its internal battery while it’s slotted home and, in a further sleight of hand, the keyboard’s keys automatically recede as you fold the screen back past the halfway mark. This neatly avoids that slightly weird feeling of pressing keys when the Yoga 260 is used in tablet mode.
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260: Connectivity
It really is business as usual elsewhere. While you’d reasonably expect some compromises, given the Yoga 260’s size, Lenovo has done a cracking job of cramming in all the connectivity and security options you’d expect from a device destined for the office.
The presence of two USB 3 ports, HDMI, mini-DisplayPort, and a microSD slot isn’t especially remarkable, but the proprietary OneLink+ port is. An adapter in the box uses it to add Ethernet and a VGA output, but it’s also possible to hook up one of Lenovo’s docking stations, which add up to six more USB ports, gigabit Ethernet, extra DisplayPort and DVI video outputs, and simultaneously charge the internal battery.
Needless to say, wireless networking is well catered for, with the choice of a Broadcom or an Intel 802.11ac chipset (the latter of which comes in both standard and vPro flavours), and you get Bluetooth 4.1 and support for NFC regardless of which you choose.
Curiously, although there’s a SIM slot, our review unit wasn't equipped with a 4G adapter, and there was no sign of it being an optional extra on Lenovo’s website. I’ll have to chase Lenovo and confirm when, and indeed if, the UK will be seeing a 4G-enabled version of the Yoga 260.
And last but not least, security options are also on the money. A fingerprint reader and TPM 2 are equipped as standard, and you can add a full-sized smart card reader for £14. So far, so good.
Continues on page 2: Performance, battery life and display quality