Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13 review

Price when reviewed

Other Windows 8 hybrids have gone crazy with intricate sliding mechanisms and ingenious flipping, rotating screens, but the Lenovo Yoga 13 keeps it simple. Thanks to an ultra-flexible hinge, the Yoga 13’s lid rotates right through 360 degrees, allowing it to flit between laptop and tablet modes with ease.

From a distance, the Yoga 13 looks similar to Lenovo’s Ultrabook, the IdeaPad U300s. There’s the same hardback-book-inspired styling, with the silvery metal of the lid and base sandwiching a matte-black interior. It’s a smart, attractive laptop.

Lenovo Yoga 13 - front 2

At 1.52kg, it’s also only 200g heavier than its Ultrabook sibling, although the move from a metal keyboard surround to a textured, rubberised plastic leaves the Yoga 13’s base feeling a touch more flexible. It’s immensely solid by the standards of its hybrid peers, however, and the simple, double-jointed hinge feels likely to outlast the more fiddly designs we’ve seen.

The perfect compromise?

Unlike many of its rivals, the simple design means Lenovo hasn’t had to cut back on comfort. In laptop mode there’s precious little, if any, compromise. There’s a large, wide Synaptics buttonless touchpad, and our only complaint about the keyboard concerns key size – we’d prefer them to be larger. Nevertheless, the scooped-out profile of the keys grips the fingers agreeably, and each gives way with a sharp, positive dig of feedback. The wide, rubberised wristrest is comfy too.

Push the display backwards and the Yoga 13 contorts into an array of different positions. In “tent mode” the Yoga 13 stands on a desk like a name place card at a wedding supper. Lay the base flat with the keyboard facing down, and the hinge allows the touchscreen to be tilted back and angled just so. Fold it back completely flat, and it can be used as a straight tablet – in all modes, the keyboard and mouse are automatically disabled just as the screen passes the horizontal.

That means there’s no danger of inadvertently typing random letters as you hold it, but it still makes for a seriously heavy tablet, and there’s no doubt the exposed keyboard and touchpad feel a bit odd. For casual web surfing or video watching, however, the touchscreen and flexible hinge are a winning combination.


Warranty1 yr return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions334 x 225 x 17mm (WDH)
Travelling weight1.9kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i5-3317U
Motherboard chipsetIntel QS77 Express
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total1

Screen and video

Screen size13.3in
Resolution screen horizontal1,600
Resolution screen vertical900
Resolution1600 x 900
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 4000
Graphics card RAMN/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Spindle speedN/A
Hard diskSamsung CXM13L
Optical disc technologyN/A
Optical drivenone
Battery capacity3,860mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speedN/A
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)1
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad/Touchscreen
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating0.9mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use6hr 50min
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.61
Responsiveness score0.71
Media score0.66
Multitasking score0.47

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 8 64-bit
OS familyWindows 8
Recovery methodRecovery partition

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