Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260 review: Your flexible business friend
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260: Performance
Inside, the Yoga 260 blends the usual high-end concoction of Skylake CPUs, DDR4 RAM and M.2 SSDs. Buy the £889 entry-level model and you’ll get a Core i3-6100U with a 192GB SSD. Bump your budget to £1,010 and you’ll get a Core i5 with a 256GB drive, and the range-topping £1,290 model is equipped with a Core i7 and 512GB of speedy storage. All the models are highly configurable, though, and it’s worth noting the various upgrade prices are very reasonable. For instance, going from 8GB to 16GB of RAM costs only £62.40.
Lenovo sent us a Core i7 model with a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM. The only disappointment is that the Yoga 260 is equipped with a standard SATA M.2 SSD – the model I saw last year at IFA had a super-quick NVMe SSD. With sequential read speeds of around 450MB/sec, the Lite-On drive is around half the speed of its NVMe cousins.
I had hoped upgrading to the 512GB drive on Lenovo’s website would yield an NVMe drive, but no. Lenovo says “certain” models will come with NVMe, but I couldn’t find any when searching online retailers. If you’re ordering in bulk, though, try asking for NVMe SSDs as part of your specification.
Minor qualms aside, the Yoga 260 is more than capable of hammering its way through most multitasking demands. In fact, it nudged ever so slightly ahead of the Dell XPS 13 (which did have an NVMe SSD) in our benchmarks, scoring 47 to the Dell’s 46. Subjectively, it doesn’t feel quite as quick due to the slower SSD, but apart from a slightly longer boot from cold, it’s not going to have a huge performance impact.
Battery life isn’t astonishing, but it’s good enough, and a result of 5hrs 59mins in our video-rundown test is respectable. It’s also worth bearing in mind that our battery tests have the screen calibrated to a rather bright 170cd/m2 – far brighter than you’d need under most office lighting conditions – so it’s likely to last a good few hours longer with the screen dimmed down.
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260: Display and touchscreen
While the cheapest Yoga 260 slums it with a 1,366 x 768 touchscreen, the pricier models come with a 1,920 x 1,080 IPS panel. And, in a move that will doubtless please many business customers, Lenovo has opted for a matte anti-glare finish, so overhead lights cause no annoying reflections at all. The downside is that images do look a touch grainy, but it’s no big deal.
Coming after the luscious high-DPI screen on the Dell XPS 13, though, the Yoga 260’s image quality is a tad lacking in other areas. Colours aren’t anywhere near as saturated as most rivals at the price, and this is borne out in our display tests: the sRGB coverage of 61.8% is poor. Brightness hits a respectable maximum of 380cd/m2, and a contrast ratio of 1,255:1 is similarly competent, it’s just a shame Lenovo couldn’t have squeezed a more vibrant palette out the Yoga 260’s panel.
In fairness, though, the Yoga 260 does make amends with its stylus support, and this is arguably much more important to its target audience. The ThinkPad Pen Pro trumps many of its rivals solely because it docks into the laptop itself (take that, Microsoft), but it’s also technically pretty sound, delivering 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity. In use, it isn’t as comfy as Microsoft’s Surface Pen to use, purely because it’s thinner and shorter, but for the brief bursts of note-taking that styluses most often get used for, it’s absolutely fine, providing smooth, sensitive inking action.
Continues on page 3: Keyboard, touchpad and overall verdict
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