Notebookcheck

Lenovo Yoga 2 13 Convertible Review

Florian Wimmer (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 07/22/2014

Twist and turn as you like. The screen of Lenovo's Yoga line can be completely folded owing to a clever hinge design. Both the Yoga and Yoga 2 Pro were popular devices, and now Lenovo launches the Yoga 2 13. Our test reveals that not a lot has changed, but some things have been disimproved.

For the original German review, see here.

It could make a gymnast envious: Some would simply love to be as flexible as the Yogas from Lenovo. It all started with the Yoga from 2012, and a few devices have been added since then. The Yoga 2 Pro that was released on the market in late 2013 did some things a notch better than its precursor. Now the Yoga 2 13 stands in our test lab. It does not look much different than its predecessors at first glance.

It is, however, not alone in the category of slim convertibles: For example, the Toshiba Satellite W30t or the new Asus Transformer Book T300LA are already on the market. HP's Spectre 13 x2 or Sony's Vaio Duo 13 are also interesting devices.

Case

As mentioned, the casing of the Yoga platform has not changed much. The casing's under and upper side are covered in either an orange or black color. However, black always prevails inside. The chiclet keyboard with the beveled keys looks stylish and features a backlight. Not to forget the large, silver hinges on the rear that create the key concept: Like its precursor, the Yoga 2 13 can be used in 4 modes:

- Laptop Mode: The Yoga 2 13 can be used as an absolutely conventional touchscreen laptop when the screen is opened by 90 degrees or a bit more.

- Tent Mode: Watching movies or a more stable touchscreen utilization are made possible when the screen is folded by approx. 270 degrees, and the laptop is placed on its edges. This mode is called "Tent" because the Yoga 2 13 looks like one from the side.

- Stand Mode: Of course, the Yoga 2 13 can be simply placed on the keyboard to use the touchscreen instead of setting it up on its edges. The keyboard is naturally protected against unintentional inputs.

- Tablet Mode: The Yoga 2 13 can be held in the hand like a tablet when the screen is completely folded to the back. However, it is a bit heavier than other tablets because the keyboard also has to be held.

The Yoga 2 13 automatically detects the mode and locks the keyboard when required. It even offers special apps for each mode. The hinges are strong and can keep the screen stably in position in all modes. Nevertheless, they cannot completely prevent a slight wobbling. Folding the screen is no problem despite the tightly pulled hinges and is even quite easy with one hand.

There is a major difference compared with its precursors after all: The rubber-like soft-touch surfaces on the lid and underside have been axed. It is now only matte, but considerably less non-slip plastic. At least the keyboard bezel and wrist rest are still roughened so that the Yoga 2 13 can be held fairly securely in Tablet Mode. However, the leatherette texture of the Yoga 2 Pro was more slip-proof. In our opinion, the material's feel has clearly deteriorated compared with the precursors. The design is still quite basic, and only the keys' lower edge as well as the orange color of our review sample is a bit jazzy.

Weight fluctuations are found among the generations: The Yoga 13 had a weight of 1.55 kilograms, the Yoga 2 Pro weighed just under 1.4 kilograms, and the Yoga 2 13 has gained a bit with a weight of 1.56 kilograms.

A modifiable device: Laptop Mode
A modifiable device: Laptop Mode
Tent Mode
Tent Mode
Tablet Mode
Tablet Mode
Stand Mode
Stand Mode

Connectivity

The Yoga platform has continually developed in terms of standby button and interface positioning. At first, the standby button was located on the front where no one would assume it to be, and thus it took a while before finding out how to turn on the device. Besides that, it was only hard to reach in Tent Mode.

The button was moved to the right, but in the front area in the Yoga 2 Pro. Now it is more centered. Apart from that, the USB 2.0 port and USB 3.0 port as well as the micro-HDMI and headset jack have swapped places. Whether that makes sense likely depends on the situation. We did not discover any advantages or disadvantages of the swapped ports in everyday use.

There are two more buttons on the right, beside the standby and volume rocker. One opens "Lenovo OneKey Recovery" and the other locks screen rotation via the position sensor. These keys are quite small and only hard to find without looking at the sides. At least the "OneKey Recovery" button is submerged so that it will unlikely be triggered accidentally.

Rear: vent
Rear: vent
Front: no interfaces
Front: no interfaces
Left: power socket, USB 2.0, combo audio jack, SD reader
Left: power socket, USB 2.0, combo audio jack, SD reader
Right: USB 3.0, micro-HDMI, volume rocker, rotation lock, OneKey Recovery, battery LED, standby button
Right: USB 3.0, micro-HDMI, volume rocker, rotation lock, OneKey Recovery, battery LED, standby button

Communication

Not much has changed in wireless connectivity since the Yoga version from 2012. Wi-Fi standard 802.11 n is the fastest connection that is available. However, we frequently had severe problems with the Wi-Fi connection in the Yoga 2 Pro. They have apparently been eliminated because there were no connection downtimes during the entire test.

We took the convertible on a trip and moved up to ten meters, placing two walls between it and the router. Approximately four-fifths of the signal was maintained, and the speed was also still satisfactory. The reception clearly decreased even more when another wall and two more meters were placed between the device and router. The speed only dropped a bit, and normal browsing was still possible without major restrictions.

There is no LAN port because the device is simply too slim for that. However, Bluetooth 4.0 is installed.

Accessories

Only the power supply is included. Otherwise, Lenovo offers accessories on its website, but not much will be found apart from a replacement power supply for just below 60 Euros (~$80) and a matching sleeve for 45.22 Euros (~$60).

Maintenance

A few Torx screws have to be removed before the user can access the innards of Lenovo's Yoga 2 13. That is necessary when, for example, the battery has to be replaced. The working memory is soldered to the motherboard, thus making any replacements impossible.

Warranty

A warranty period of 24 months is included according to a card in the box. Lenovo also offers various warranty upgrades: The Yoga 2 13 can be protected against any kind of damage for 30.94 Euros (~$41). Two years cost 79.73 Euros (~$107), and a three-year manufacturer-only warranty adds 59.50 Euros (~$80) to the purchase price. The 3-year, all-inclusive warranty that covers all damages is the most expensive at 133.28 Euros (~$179).

Software

We will now take a brief look at the device-specific software that Lenovo preloads. "Yoga Picks" automatically detects the device's current mode and offers matching apps, such as touch-apps for Tablet Mode. "Lenovo Companion" provides help, support, and other topics about the new device. It is possible to log-in via face recognition using Lenovo's "VeriFace Pro." That functioned reliably and quite swiftly in a short test. Lenovo's "Motion Control" should respond to motions via the webcam; however, we could not persuade it to respond to our gestures.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Compared with the Yoga 2 Pro, the keyboard has not been greatly modified, not to say not at all. The typing feel on the chiclet keyboard is compelling in the category comparison, but the keys' drop could be longer. However, they are smooth-running and clearly lettered. The key noise is very audible but still less noisy than from many mechanical keyboards.

The keys are relatively large with 14 millimeters in both height and width, which makes it easy to hit them. The "F" keys at the keyboard's upper edge are primarily assigned with other functions and can only be triggered via "FN" combinations. However, important combos, such as "ALT + F4," function anyway. There is also a keyboard backlight that can be turned on and off quickly using the key combination "FN + space." Note: When the light is on and the display is closed, neither the keyboard light nor the screen turn off. The standby button must be pressed for that.

Touchpad

The touchpad is actually a bit small with a diameter of 105 millimeters, especially seeing that it is a ClickPad that incorporates the buttons in the touch-sensitive surface. That occasionally leads to inaccuracies. However, it is possible to work quite reliably with the ClickPad after some getting used to it. The touch-sensitive surface is agreeably sleek and sensitive. The keys are stiff and only feature a very short drop though.

The touchpad detects and supports many gestures when multiple fingers are used. For example, zooming in and out is possible by pinching two fingers in or out. The user can scroll through documents or the Windows 8.1 start screen using two fingers.

Touchscreen

The capacitive touchscreen supports inputs using up to ten fingers at the same time. Thus, many gestures are supported. The touchscreen is pleasant to use and responds very fast and accurately to inputs. Drag and drop is very comfortable. However, the screen does not offer much resistance in Laptop and Stand Mode so that the screen always wobbles after use.

Keyboard
Keyboard
ClickPad
ClickPad

Display

Lenovo relied on a PenTile screen in the Yoga 2 Pro. It is cheaper in production and consumes less power than conventional RGB-stripe screens. However, PenTile screens use one-third fewer sub-pixels for reproducing the same resolution. The resulting loss of focus is compensated via rendering techniques, but apps and programs might blur depending on the zoom factor. This technology is used in the Yoga 2 13's screen; it has a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels.

We noticed blurry logos, picture and fonts multiple times in the test, which resulted in a very unsightly image impression. Although that is usually tolerable from a normal distance, and the fairly small screen in relation to the resolution, it does not look nice.

The brightness is middling compared with the contenders. Sony's Vaio Duo 13 and even the former Yoga 2 Pro have considerably brighter screens. The Yoga 2 13 achieves an average of 248.6 cd/m². The illumination of 86% is satisfactory; no visible differences in brightness are seen with the naked eye.

232
cd/m²
240
cd/m²
232
cd/m²
258
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
248
cd/m²
267
cd/m²
249
cd/m²
242
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 269 cd/m²
Average: 248.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 86 %
Center on Battery: 269 cd/m²
Black: 0.4 cd/m²
Contrast: 673:1

The screen of the Yoga 2 13 is also midfield: We ascertained 673:1. The black level of 0.4 cd/m² is also satisfactory; black areas look dark and rich. The subjective color reproduction is good; the screen's glossy surface additionally enhances the brilliancy.

We examine the color reproduction more precisely with the colorimeter and CalMAN software. Here, we find that the screen provides very decent color rates in state of delivery. Only the saturation of blue and green hues is too high so that colors look a bit too cold. The sRGB color space coverage of 84.2% is correspondingly also quite high.

Excellent results are achieved by calibrating the screen. It reduces the color rates' average shift from the ideal value to 0.51. The color hues then almost exactly correspond to the sRGB reference color rates.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Color Space (basic colors)
Color Space (basic colors)
ColorChecker (mixed colors)
ColorChecker (mixed colors)
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
sRGB color space comparison
sRGB color space comparison
Grayscale calibrated
Grayscale calibrated
Color space calibrated
Color space calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated
ColorChecker calibrated
Saturation Sweeps calibrated
Saturation Sweeps calibrated
AdobeRBG color space comparison
AdobeRBG color space comparison

The glare screen is quite reflective outdoors. Additionally, the generally moderate brightness makes it rather difficult to work in bright daylight. Eyes will have to be strained in order to recognize content even under cloudy conditions. Depending on the position, it is possible to work comfortably in the shade or in bright rooms.

The IPS screen cannot stably maintain the brightness when looking from the left or right. However, the content is always very well visible, even from very flat viewing angles. That is true for all four directions.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

Buyers looking for high-performance processors in Lenovo's Yoga 2 13 will be a bit disappointed. To distinguish it from the Yoga 2 Pro, only Intel's Core i3-4010U is offered. Apart from that, the Yoga 2 13 is only shipped with a conventional hard drive and 4 GB of working memory. Other configurations are currently not available. At least the device can be upgraded by the user.

System information: Lenovo Yoga 2 13

Processor

Intel's Core i3-4010U is a dual-core processor that clocks with 1.7 GHz and supports Hyper-Threading. Thus, it can calculate up to four tasks simultaneously. However, it does not feature Turbo Boost like its bigger family members.

The synthetic Cinebench benchmarks show just how much performance it loses. Intel's Core i5-4200U in Asus' Transformer Book T300LA or Yoga 2 Pro achieves a clear edge of averagely 50%. Even the ULV processor in HP's Spectre 13 x2 has a slight lead. Only Toshiba's Satellite W30t with an even slower clocked Core i3-4020Y lags behind marginally.

The processor performance of Intel's Core i3-4010U is enough for most routine tasks, but rendering or even multitasking of more demanding programs is a challenge for the processor.

Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
5120 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
5629 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
2529 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.83 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.73 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
19.53 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
24.52 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
170 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
59 Points
Help
Cinebench R10
Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
5629 Points ∼16%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
9940 Points ∼28% +77%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
6503 Points ∼18% +16%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
9779 Points ∼28% +74%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
7188 Points ∼20% +28%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
9937 Points ∼28% +77%
Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
2529 Points ∼10%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
4975 Points ∼20% +97%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
2940 Points ∼12% +16%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
4955 Points ∼20% +96%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
3890 Points ∼16% +54%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
5001 Points ∼20% +98%
Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
1.83 Points ∼10%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
2.39 Points ∼14% +31%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
1.63 Points ∼9% -11%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
2.37 Points ∼13% +30%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
1.85 Points ∼11% +1%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
2.47 Points ∼14% +35%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
0.73 Points ∼39%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
1.13 Points ∼61% +55%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
0.67 Points ∼36% -8%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
1.12 Points ∼61% +53%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
0.88 Points ∼48% +21%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
1.15 Points ∼62% +58%
Cinebench R15
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
170 Points ∼11%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
152 Points ∼10% -11%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
214 Points ∼14% +26%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
171 Points ∼11% +1%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
59 Points ∼39%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
60 Points ∼39% +2%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
92 Points ∼60% +56%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
77 Points ∼50% +31%

Legend

 
Lenovo Yoga 2 13 Intel Core i3-4010U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, WD Blue UltraSlim WD5000MPCK-22AWHT0
 
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
 
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101 Intel Core i3-4020Y, Intel HD Graphics 4200, WD Blue UltraSlim WD5000MPCK-22AWHT0
 
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, SanDisk SD6SB1M128G1002
 
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2 Intel Core i5-4202Y, Intel HD Graphics 4200, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAFV mSATA
 
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD128HAGN mSATA

System Performance

Both the slightly weaker processor and the conventional hard drive become evident in system performance, which we will deal with in a moment. In any case, the Yoga 2 Pro with an SSD achieves a 114% higher score in PCMark 7. Only Toshiba's Satellite W30t, also with a conventional hard drive, is roughly on par with our review sample. All other comparison devices clearly outperform it.

This is noticed in the operating system's booting times or when copying larger amounts of data in practical use. Although Windows 8.1 is not usually shut down, waking up from standby or opening applications takes longer than in devices with an SSD.

PC Mark
PCMark 72180 points
Help
PCMark 7 - Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
2180 Points ∼33%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
4670 Points ∼71% +114%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
2399 Points ∼36% +10%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
4357 Points ∼66% +100%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
4139 Points ∼62% +90%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
4594 Points ∼69% +111%

Storage Devices

The advantage of conventional hard drives is, of course, a considerably higher storage capacity for a low price. A 500 GB hard drive is installed in the Yoga 2 13. Approximately 426 GB of that is available; the rest is reserved for the system image.

The hard drive from Western Digital naturally does not stand a chance against the speeds of SSDs, which leave it miles behind particularly in reading and writing random sections and the access times. Seen purely as a hard drive, its transfer rates and access times are within a normal range though.

WD Blue UltraSlim WD5000MPCK-22AWHT0
Sequential Read: 100.66 MB/s
Sequential Write: 95.82 MB/s
4K Read: 0.46 MB/s
4K Write: 1.14 MB/s
4K-64 Read: 1.09 MB/s
4K-64 Write: 1.06 MB/s
Access Time Read: 19 ms
Access Time Write: 15 ms
Score Read: 12 Points
Score Write: 12 Points
Score Total: 29 Points
AS SSD
Seq Read (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
100.66 MB/s ∼8%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
501.27 MB/s ∼37% +398%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
470.63 MB/s ∼35% +368%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
501.59 MB/s ∼37% +398%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
471.71 MB/s ∼35% +369%
Seq Write (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
95.82 MB/s ∼10%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
129.67 MB/s ∼14% +35%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
271.81 MB/s ∼30% +184%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
131.79 MB/s ∼14% +38%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
104.17 MB/s ∼11% +9%
4K Read (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
0.46 MB/s ∼1%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
25.47 MB/s ∼32% +5437%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
28.2 MB/s ∼36% +6030%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
24.19 MB/s ∼31% +5159%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
17.49 MB/s ∼22% +3702%
4K Write (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
1.14 MB/s ∼1%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
58.74 MB/s ∼45% +5053%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
76.24 MB/s ∼58% +6588%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
51.56 MB/s ∼39% +4423%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
41.72 MB/s ∼32% +3560%
4K-64 Read (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
1.09 MB/s ∼0%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
295.5 MB/s ∼45% +27010%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
315.11 MB/s ∼48% +28809%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
308.39 MB/s ∼46% +28193%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
263.14 MB/s ∼40% +24041%
4K-64 Write (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
1.06 MB/s ∼0%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
109.31 MB/s ∼20% +10212%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
157.4 MB/s ∼29% +14749%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
115.41 MB/s ∼22% +10788%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
81.49 MB/s ∼15% +7588%
Access Time Read (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
19 ms * ∼58%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
0.101 ms * ∼0% +99%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
0.114 ms * ∼0% +99%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
0.115 ms * ∼0% +99%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
0.165 ms * ∼1% +99%
Access Time Write (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
15 ms * ∼25%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
0.058 ms * ∼0% +100%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
0.054 ms * ∼0% +100%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
0.069 ms * ∼0% +100%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
0.093 ms * ∼0% +99%
Score Read (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
12 Points ∼1%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
371 Points ∼45% +2992%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
390 Points ∼47% +3150%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
383 Points ∼46% +3092%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
328 Points ∼40% +2633%
Score Write (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
12 Points ∼2%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
181 Points ∼27% +1408%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
261 Points ∼38% +2075%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
180 Points ∼26% +1400%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
134 Points ∼20% +1017%
Score Total (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
29 Points ∼2%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
732 Points ∼38% +2424%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
851 Points ∼45% +2834%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
748 Points ∼39% +2479%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
616 Points ∼32% +2024%

* ... smaller is better

Graphics Card

Intel's HD Graphics 4400 is used for video output. It consumes less power than a dedicated graphics card but also is considerably weaker. Demanding 3D applications or 3D games are hardly possible without lags.

However, the scores achieved in the synthetic 3DMark benchmarks are not at all bad. The contenders are on par since they all sport the same graphics card, except for HP's Spectre 13 x2. Lenovo's Yoga 2 13 nevertheless manages to place itself just before the other devices. Its lead is overall slight and will hardly make a difference in practical use though.

3D Mark
3DMark 11912 points
3DMark Ice Storm32412 points
3DMark Cloud Gate3597 points
3DMark Fire Strike590 points
Help
3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
912 Points ∼7%
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro
897 Points ∼7% -2%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
828 Points ∼6% -9%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
703 Points ∼5% -23%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
721 Points ∼5% -21%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
967 Points ∼7% +6%
3DMark (2013)
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
32412 Points ∼3%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
34297 Points ∼3% +6%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
26490 Points ∼3% -18%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
29562 Points ∼3% -9%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
37709 Points ∼4% +16%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
3597 Points ∼15%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
3449 Points ∼14% -4%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
3499 Points ∼14% -3%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
3230 Points ∼13% -10%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
4389 Points ∼18% +22%
1920x1080 Fire Strike Standard Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Yoga 2 13
590 Points ∼6%
Toshiba Satellite W30t-A-101
512 Points ∼5% -13%
Asus Transformer Book T300LA-C4006H
439 Points ∼4% -26%
HP Spectre 13-h205eg x2
450 Points ∼5% -24%
Sony Vaio Duo 13 SVD1321M2E
665 Points ∼7% +13%

Gaming Performance

Gaming on a convertible? That is usually impossible, and it is also difficult on Lenovo's Yoga 2 13 - at least when the user wants to play up-to-date games. The integrated graphics card is more designed for routine tasks than for gaming. However, older or even current, less demanding titles can be played in an extremely reduced resolution and few details. Anno 2070 and Diablo III also run satisfactorily in 1024x768 pixels and minimum details.

low med.high ultra
Anno 2070 (2011) 45.227.313.95.9fps
Diablo III (2012) 43.231.627.613.8fps
Thief (2014) 11.37.95.93.9fps

Emissions

System Noise

The fan runs permanently even in idle mode, though very quietly. Lenovo's Yoga 2 13 does not show any weakness in idle operation: The noise remains below 30 dB(A), and thus on the level of most contenders. HP's Spectre 13 can even cool its system passively and is consequently absolutely silent.

The Yoga 2 13 gets a bit louder than the other devices in the comparison field during load. None achieve a maximum of 39.6 dB(A). This very audible fan noise will, however, rarely be reached in practical use though.

The cooling system is generally fairly quiet and will not be distracting on the desk. However, most of the other compared devices operate with even less noise.

Noise Level

Idle 28.9 / 28.9 / 28.9 dB(A)
HDD 29.8 dB(A)
Load 37.8 / 39.6 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    PCE-322A (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Considering that the fan spins louder than most contenders, the maximum temperature is quite high. Up to 47.8 °C on the underside's rear left is quite a lot, and the laptop should no longer be used on the thighs. At least the wrist rest remains relatively cool even during full load. Besides that, the same applies here as for the maximum operating noise: These high temperatures will unlikely be reached with the Yoga 2 13 in everyday use.

The device barely heats up when idling. Up to 32.9 °C is only achieved on the casing's rear center. Again, the wrist rest is the coolest part here.

The laptop's performance capacity quickly drops in the stress test, and the processor's clock rate is also reduced. It then only clocks with 1 GHz and occasionally drops even more. Interestingly, a higher clock is reached in battery mode: 1.3 GHz is reached in full load, but not stably and that is not the processor's nominal clock of 1.7 GHz either. That means that the processor's performance is clearly throttled under absolute full load. However, the maximum clock is achieved in Cinebench R15, and the maximum clock in Cinebench R15 in battery mode is 1.3 GHz.

Max. Load
 28.3 °C37.1 °C43.8 °C 
 26.9 °C33.5 °C44.2 °C 
 26.5 °C26.7 °C28.4 °C 
Maximum: 44.2 °C
Average: 32.8 °C
47.8 °C41.0 °C30.4 °C
42.2 °C37.4 °C27.3 °C
29.1 °C28.4 °C26.9 °C
Maximum: 47.8 °C
Average: 34.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  45.8 °C | Room Temperature 20.2 °C | Fennel Firt 550

Speakers

The speakers are located on the underside, in the casing's right and left. A hard surface improves the sound, but a soft surface could muffle it. The maximum volume is compelling, but not as much the sound. The trebles are very overemphasized, and there is virtually no bass. However, the speakers do not boom even in maximum volume, and the sound remains clearly defined.

Overall, the speakers are satisfactory for a slim convertible, but more would have been possible. Not even the "Dolby Digital Plus" software can improve it much. In our opinion, it even muffled the sound a bit depending on the setting.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption is relatively high particularly when compared with the system's performance. Lenovo's Yoga 2 13 consumes up to 9.8 watts in idle mode. Of all comparison devices, only Toshiba's Satellite W30t comes close to this rate.

Finally, the absolute maximum consumption of 42.3 watts is the highest rate in the comparison field. The standby and off modes are not satisfying either: the laptop still consumes 0.3 watts when it is shut down, and 0.5 watts in standby.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.3 / 0.5 Watt
Idle 5.1 / 8.8 / 9.8 Watt
Load 35.9 / 42.3 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 870 Iso kalibriert

Battery Runtime

"Far below that of many other modern ultrabooks" was our opinion about the Yoga 2 Pro's battery runtime a few months ago. We can underline this verdict again in the Yoga 2 13. The battery's capacity has not changed: A 54-watt hour battery is still installed. The Yoga 2 13 achieves a maximum idle runtime of 7:06 hours. We surfed via Wi-Fi for 5:02 hours before the energy was drained. Those are not outstanding rates; the recently tested Asus Transformer Book T300LA lasted for more than twice the time.

Although the runtimes of Lenovo's Yoga 2 13 are everyday suitable, the device has to be recharged much sooner than the Yoga 2 Pro or most other contenders.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 06min
WiFi Surfing
5h 02min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 36min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 37min

Verdict

In review: Lenovo Yoga 2 13.
In review: Lenovo Yoga 2 13.

Apparently, 2014 will not be the year where manufacturers rely on innovations and spectacular technologies to convince buyers. Instead, they seem to prefer cutting features in order to reduce production costs, and consequently also the prices of their devices. Now, a low price should reel in customers.

This trend is also obvious in Lenovo's Yoga 2 13. Where the soft-touch surface added quality and grip to the Yoga 2 Pro, it has vanished in the Yoga 2 13 and has been replaced with simple plastic. The casing's temperature and noise pollution from the fan have also increased compared with the Yoga 2 Pro. The battery runtimes are now shorter despite a weaker processor. The PenTile screen still produces strange blurs in the image.

Only the functioning Wi-Fi module, the screen's high color-space coverage, the still clever hinge design, and the solid build are satisfying. The connectivity also continues to be acceptable, and users who dig out older games can even play on Lenovo's Yoga 2 13.

Overall, the Yoga 2 13 makes a slimmed impression compared with its direct precursor, the IdeaPad Yoga 13. Here, the manufacturer likely wanted to make a clear distinction to the more expensive Yoga 2 Pro. It is great that Lenovo and Intel have eliminated the problems with the Wi-Fi module, but compromises have to be made in many other areas compared with other convertibles.

Since these compromises never affect the everyday suitability, the Yoga 2 13 can be considered in the purchase decision due to its clever hinge design. The resolution of the 13.3-inch screen even makes more sense than that of the QHD+ resolution in the Yoga 2 Pro. However, it does not feature an SSD or the soft-touch surfaces.

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In Review: Lenovo Yoga 2 13. Review sample courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.
In Review: Lenovo Yoga 2 13. Review sample courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de.

Specifications

Lenovo Yoga 2 13

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
:: Memory
4096 MB, 2 modules, dual-channel, DDR3-1600
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4400, Core: 1000 MHz
:: Display
13.3 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel, 10 finger, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
WD Blue UltraSlim WD5000MPCK-22AWHT0, 500 GB 5400 rpm , 426 GB free
:: Soundcard
Intel Lynx Point-LP - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm headset jack, Card Reader: SD card reader,
:: Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b g n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 15.5 x 330 x 220
:: Weight
1.56 kg Power Supply: 0.292 kg
:: Battery
50 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4 cells
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 8 h
:: Price
949 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1.0 megapixels, Speakers: stereo speakers w/ Dolby Advanced Theater, Keyboard: "Accu-Type" chiclet keyboard, Lenovo Smart Voice, Lenovo Transition, Lenovo VeriFace Pro, Motion Control, Yoga Picks, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The hinge design of the Yoga 2 13 is something special:
The hinge design of the Yoga 2 13 is something special:
Because the screen can also be folded to the back, quite a lot of operating modes are possible.
Because the screen can also be folded to the back, quite a lot of operating modes are possible.
And the hinges find the right balance between stiff and smooth-running.
And the hinges find the right balance between stiff and smooth-running.
Thus, the convertible's modes can be changed easily.
Thus, the convertible's modes can be changed easily.
Unfortunately, the soft-touch surfaces have been replaced with simple plastic.
Unfortunately, the soft-touch surfaces have been replaced with simple plastic.
At least the flashy orange color has been maintained.
At least the flashy orange color has been maintained.
Black prevails inside.
Black prevails inside.
The keyboard is illuminated and is designed stylishly.
The keyboard is illuminated and is designed stylishly.
The Yoga 2 13 is a bit heavier than the Yoga 2 Pro.
The Yoga 2 13 is a bit heavier than the Yoga 2 Pro.
It can still be held in one hand in Tablet Mode, but that is not as comfortable as with real tablets.
It can still be held in one hand in Tablet Mode, but that is not as comfortable as with real tablets.
However, the keyboard can be also used as a tablet stand.
However, the keyboard can be also used as a tablet stand.
Lenovo has conceived the concept well.
Lenovo has conceived the concept well.
But the ClickPad is a bit small.
But the ClickPad is a bit small.
Naturally, Windows 8.1 is preloaded.
Naturally, Windows 8.1 is preloaded.
The operating system is well-suitable for convertibles.
The operating system is well-suitable for convertibles.
Intel's Core i3 still powers the laptop sufficiently.
Intel's Core i3 still powers the laptop sufficiently.
The connectivity is OK.
The connectivity is OK.
The speakers are loud but don't sound very good.
The speakers are loud but don't sound very good.
The webcam is only suitable for video conferencing.
The webcam is only suitable for video conferencing.
These Torx screws have to be removed before accessing the convertible's innards.
These Torx screws have to be removed before accessing the convertible's innards.
Though the fan is not obtrusive, it is a bit louder than in other convertibles in some cases.
Though the fan is not obtrusive, it is a bit louder than in other convertibles in some cases.

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Pro

+Clever hinge design
+Solid build
+Unobtrusive design
+Keyboard back light
+Accurate touchscreen
+Decent connectivity
+Casing can be opened
+(Calibrated) screen with good color accuracy
+Satisfactory speakers
 

Cons

-Only middling battery runtime
-High power consumption
-High temperatures during load
-Partly unfocused PenTile screen
-Missing soft-touch texture
-Slow hard drive

Shortcut

What we like

The clever hinge design is still first rate.

What we'd like to see

The soft-touch surfaces were a part of the Yoga concept for us, and the lack of them is all the more painfully missed.

What surprises us

How transformable the Yoga 2 13 can be is truly impressive.

The competition

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, Toshiba Satellite W30t, Asus Transformer Book T300LA, HP Spectre 13 x2, Sony Vaio Duo 13.

Rating

Lenovo Yoga 2 13
07/12/2014 v4
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
78 / 98 → 80%
Keyboard
75%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
51 / 95 → 54%
Weight
68 / 78 → 77%
Battery
85%
Display
80%
Games Performance
55 / 85 → 65%
Application Performance
60%
Temperature
87%
Noise
93%
Audio
65%
Camera
64 / 85 → 75%
Average
73%
79%
Convertible *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo Yoga 2 13 Convertible Review
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2014-07-22 (Update: 2014-07-22)