Review Update Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Convertible

Florian Wimmer (translated by Martina Osztovits), 03/25/2014

Something new? The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S is an old acquaintance. It is now available with current Haswell processors. So, it is time to quickly check what changed.

For the original German review, see here.

The IdeaPad Yoga 11S delighted us with its bright display, its stable build quality, and good touchscreen three-quarters of a year ago. The high temperature increase under load, the somewhat cumbersome handling in tablet mode and the keyboard with weak feedback were points of criticism. The complete review is available here. Lenovo updated the model with the new processor generation from Intel with the codename Haswell. We checked whether the strengths remained and flaws were straightened out.

We compared the test model to convertibles for private use like the Dell XPS 11, the Asus Transformer Book Trio and the Gigabyte Padbook S1185. The devices from Dell and Asus are already based on the new Haswell platform, too.

Display

Since case and connectivity remained the same, we will start with the display right away. We accurately re-measured the brightness: The display of the Haswell model is not quite as bright as the IdeaPad Yoga 11S predecessor's. But, they have the same display incorporated: an AUO205C from AU Optronics.

With an average brightness of 315 cd/m², the display is about 20 cd/m² darker than the IdeaPad Yoga 11S's with Ivy Bridge processor. Nevertheless, it is still sufficiently bright and ranked mid-table among the devices in comparison. The black value of 0.41 cd/m² is also good and allows reproducing deep black areas in images.

326
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
316
cd/m²
329
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
286
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
303
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 336 cd/m²
Average: 315 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 329 cd/m²
Black: 0.41 cd/m²
Contrast: 802:1

In general, colors appear somewhat pale and not overemphasized. After calibration, colors look significantly cooler.

Although the test model features the same display as the IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge processor, we measured with the CalMAN software and the colorimeter again, to see whether there are changes. The change in gray levels is most apparent: With an average DeltaE value of 6.3, colors differ much more from the ideal of the reference space than the Ivy Bridge model's (average DeltaE of 3.47). Furthermore, it is striking that the saturation of blue, red, and green fell significantly compared to the predecessor. But, blue still differs greatly from the ideal value with a DeltaE of above 25. Calibration did not change this.

Outdoors, the glossy display proved to be a problem. In addition, it is usually also covered with fingerprints since it is a touchscreen. Bright light is heavily reflected and makes the image look pale. The viewing angles are like its predecessor's, great and unobjectionable.

CalMAN color precision
CalMAN color precision
CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN gray levels
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN color precision after calibration
CalMAN color precision after calibration
CalMAN gray levels after calibration
CalMAN gray levels after calibration
CalMAN saturation after calibration
CalMAN saturation after calibration

Performance

The Intel Core i5-4210Y features two cores and a clock rate of 1.5 GHz on paper, which equals the Core i5-3339Y Ivy Bridge predecessor's with a higher power consumption. You should be well equipped for office applications and multimedia with it.

CPU performance

However, Cinebench R11.5 reveals significant differences to the predecessor: The Haswell processor in the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11s is even slower than its Ivy Bridge predecessor. The Dell XPS 11, which also features an Intel Core i5-4210Y, performs significantly better, too. So, it seems likely that the Turbo of the Haswell model's CPU was slightly slowed down in favor of lower emissions.

Intel specifies a Scenario Design Power (SDP) of 6 Watt, which is significantly lower than a TDP of 11.5 Watt. SDP allows the SoC to work at a lower power level than SoCs with only a specified TDP (all non-Y CPUs). If the cooling system is sufficient, the CPU can work at a higher power level (up to the TDP). However, this does not appear to be possible here. See the stress test below. Lenovo has set the temperature limits very conservatively.

Cinebench R11.5
OpenGL 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
11.51 fps ∼10%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
11.61 fps ∼11% +1%
Dell XPS 11
10.29 fps ∼9% -11%
Gigabyte S1185
12.86 fps ∼12% +12%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
23.6 fps ∼22% +105%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
1.47 Points ∼8%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
1.8 Points ∼10% +22%
Dell XPS 11
1.66 Points ∼9% +13%
Gigabyte S1185
2.5 Points ∼14% +70%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
2.71 Points ∼15% +84%
CPU Single 64Bit
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
0.5 Points ∼18%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
0.81 Points ∼29% +62%
Dell XPS 11
0.81 Points ∼29% +62%
Gigabyte S1185
1.12 Points ∼40% +124%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
1.3 Points ∼47% +160%
Legend
      Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell) Intel Core i5-4210Y, Intel HD Graphics 4200, Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
      Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Intel Core i5-3339Y, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD256HAGM
      Dell XPS 11 Intel Core i5-4210Y, Intel HD Graphics 4200, Samsung SSD PM841 MZMTD256HAGM
      Gigabyte S1185 Intel Core i5-3337U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
      Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA Intel Core i7-4500U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hitachi Travelstar Z5K500 HTS545050A7E680
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
0.5 Points
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
1.47 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
11.51 fps
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
127 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
14.28 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
98 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
42 Points
Help

System Performance

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with current processor is also outperformed by the model with Ivy Bridge CPU and the Dell XPS 11 in PCMark 7. It scored about 250 points or about 7% lower than the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge CPU. The performance could be either limited due to the SSD or CPU throttling under full load. We will explore these two aspects a little later in this review.

PCMark 7 - Score
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
3694 Points ∼56%
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
3935 Points ∼59% +7%
Dell XPS 11
4009 Points ∼61% +9%
Gigabyte S1185
4393 Points ∼66% +19%
Asus Transformer Book Trio TX201LA
2906 Points ∼44% -21%
PC Mark
PCMark 73694 points
Help

Storage Devices

The SSD with 128 GB in our test model performs slightly worse than the SSD with 256 GB in the IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge processor in CrystalDiskMark 3.0. While both hard drive models stem from Samsung and deliver transfer rates and access times more than suitable for everyday tasks, the model with 256 GB is slightly faster. In particular, the read rates are mostly significantly higher.

Samsung MZMPC128HBFU
Sequential Read: 437 MB/s
Sequential Write: 264.2 MB/s
512K Read: 306.3 MB/s
512K Write: 256.4 MB/s
4K Read: 20.82 MB/s
4K Write: 52.19 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 193.2 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 101.8 MB/s

Graphics Card

The Intel HD Graphics 4200 is a significant advancement compared to the HD Graphics 4000 of the Ivy Bridge generation. However, the clock rate was again significantly reduced. So, the performance should be about the same level. Nevertheless, our test model performed significantly better than the IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge Core i5 in 3DMark 11. The Dell XPS 11 cannot keep up with our test model either. Gamers are limited to simple or older games and usually these cannot be played with maximum screen resolution.

3D Mark
3DMark 11747 points
Help

Gaming Performance

3D games of the last year like Tomb Raider can only be played reasonably smoothly with significantly reduced resolution and heavily reduced details. If you prefer casual games or browser games anyway, you do not need to worry: processor and graphics card are sufficient for these.

low med.high ultra
Tomb Raider (2013) 3818.910.9fps

Emissions

System Noise

It is interesting that the system noise of the IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Haswell processor is also slightly lower than the Ivy Bridge model's. This might be due to the lower power consumption and the lower waste heat of the processor.

Since the fan is on the rear side, the noise level is low anyway. While idle you need to be very close to the fan to hear it at all. However, the fan runs continuously. Under full load the cooling system becomes audible, but the noise level remains comfortable with a maximum of 36.1 dB(A) and is still just under 2 dB quieter than the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S's with Ivy Bridge processor.

Noise Level

Idle 30 / 30 / 30.2 dB(A)
Load 35.9 / 36.1 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The temperature increase under full load was a disadvantage of the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge CPU: The underside reached up to 52.8 °C. Unfortunately the upgrade to the new processor generation did not improve this: our infrared thermometer still displays 52.5 °C. But, the situation improved on the upper side with a maximum of 39.6 °C. The temperatures are also lower while idle: maximum of 31.1 °C on the underside versus 34.4 °C of the Ivy Bridge model.

During everyday tasks you can also use the device on the lap. However, during more demanding applications you should use the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Haswell CPU on a pad or directly on a desk.

 26.2 °C28.6 °C26.5 °C 
 25.1 °C26.3 °C25.2 °C 
 23.8 °C23.8 °C25 °C 
Maximum: 28.6 °C
Average: 25.6 °C
29 °C31.1 °C30 °C
26.1 °C25.6 °C25.3 °C
24.4 °C24.2 °C24.7 °C
Maximum: 31.1 °C
Average: 26.7 °C
Power Supply (max.)  27.1 °C | Room Temperature 22.3 °C | Voltcraft IR-360
Stress test
Stress test

Stress test

During the stress test, Prime95 puts load on the processor and Furmark puts load on the GPU and we can check whether the processor can also reach its maximum clock under full load. With 800 MHz, the GPU clock rate remains just under the maximum of 850 MHz. Both CPU cores only achieve a clock rate of just under 1.1 GHz during prolonged use. So, the system performs worse than its potential.

The Cinebench R11.5 score immediately after the stress test does not differ from the cold state's. So, throttling does not appear to be a general problem, which also occurs without full load.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Unfortunately, we do not have detailed data of the power consumption of the IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge processor. Battery life (see below) and batteries with the same capacity imply that the Core i5-4210Y's power consumption is significantly lower than the Core i5-3339Y's of the Ivy Bridge generation and that this also has a significant impact on the energy demand of the whole system. Since the Haswell generation Intel also specifies the Scenario Design Power, i.e. the power consumption measured during various benchmarks, which should conform to the typical power consumption during everyday use: While the Thermal Design Power, i.e. the power required to sufficiently cool the processor, is 11.6 Watt, Intel specifies an SDP of 6 Watt.

So, the IdeaPad Yoga 11S is about on par with the Haswell competitors Dell XPS 11 and Asus Transformer Book Trio here. Dell's XPS 11 has slightly lower maximum power consumption, but our test model has the lowest average power consumption while idle with 7 Watt.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.1 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 3.3 / 7 / 8.3 Watt
Load 22.8 / 23.4 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

While we only had the first test results of Haswell CPUs when we reviewed the IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge processor, they showed that Haswell could significantly improve battery life. So, our expectations in the test model were high since its Intel Core i5-4210Y processor's thermal design power (TDP) is 1.5 Watt or 11.5% lower than the Core i5-3339Y's of the Ivy Bridge generation. In addition, the graphics card is now integrated into the chip and does not require extra energy. The capacity of the lithium-polymer battery of 42 Watt hours remained the same. This allows a direct comparison of battery life.

The test model indeed runs above one hour longer than the IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge processor in our realistic WLAN test: 6:27 hours. The battery life does not change greatly under full load, but the new processor generation allows using the laptop about 1:40 hours longer while idle. In addition, our test model is roughly on par with current Haswell competitors like the Dell XPS 11 with about the same battery capacity.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 25min
WiFi Surfing
6h 27min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 15min

Verdict

In review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
In review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)

Let's say you already own a Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Ivy Bridge processor; would it pay off to sell it for a new model with Haswell Core i5? The answer is: it depends. Battery life increased significantly, but the device lacks a significant performance gain. Slightly lower case temperatures and a slightly lower system noise are probably also not cons.

Otherwise, most of the qualities and annoyances of the IdeaPad Yoga 11S remained: the device is still too bulky and heavy for tablet mode and the feedback of the keyboard is only weak. But, the hinges have a very clever design, the construction is stable and the display is fairly bright with reasonable viewing angle stability.

In contrast, the Haswell update is indeed worthwhile for those who do not own an IdeaPad Yoga 11S yet, especially because of the battery life. If the Ivy Bridge model is not significantly cheaper, you should select the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S with Haswell CPU. Sometimes even small improvements can significantly help in everyday life.

 

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In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell). Test model courtesy of Lenovo Germany.
In Review: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell). Test model courtesy of Lenovo Germany.

Specifications

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel Lynx Point-LP
:: Memory
8192 MB, single channel DDR3-12800; max: 8 GB
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4200, Core: 798 MHz, 9.18.10.3165
:: Display
11.6 inch 16:9, 1366x768 pixel, 10-point capactive, AUO205C, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
Samsung MZMPC128HBFU, 128 GB , 122 GB free
:: Soundcard
Conexant Cx20590 @ Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller [C-1]
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: SD/MMC, Sensors: Gyroscope, ambient light sensor,
:: Networking
Realtek RTL8723AE Wireless LAN 802.11n (n ), 4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 17.5 x 298 x 203
:: Weight
1.37 kg Power Supply: 0.274 kg
:: Battery
42 Wh Lithium-Polymer, 4-cell
:: Price
1200 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: HD (720p), Speakers: 2.0, on the lateral edges, Keyboard: chiclet, Keyboard Light: no, power adapter (45 W), Microsoft Office Trial, Lenovo Cloud Storage by SugarSync, Evernote, Nitro Pro, YouCam, Amazon Kindle, Lenovo Companion, Lenovo Support, McAfee Internet Security, Voice Control Dragon Assistant, 24 Months Warranty

 

Now also available with Haswell processors: The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S.
Now also available with Haswell processors: The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S.
The keyboard with somewhat weak feedback remained.
The keyboard with somewhat weak feedback remained.
The colors were kept, too: orange and gray.
The colors were kept, too: orange and gray.
The double hinge which allows different modes is a clever solution.
The double hinge which allows different modes is a clever solution.

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Links

Pro

+bright IPS screen
+wide viewing angles
+solid construction
+versatile design
+good touchscreen
+better battery life than the Ivy Bridge model
 

Cons

-still very hot under load
-somewhat darker screen than the Ivy Bridge model
-heavy throttling
-no performance gain compared to Ivy Bridge model
-complicated as tablet
-keyboard with poor feedback
-keyboard without backlight
-non-replaceable battery and difficult maintenance
-glossy screen / fingerprints can be a nuisance

Shortcut

What we like

The strengths remained: good build quality, sophisticated hinge. Furthermore, the battery life was improved.

What we would like to see

The weaknesses remained, too: The device is too bulky for a tablet, and the temperature increase is too high.

What surprises us

That the processor performed so much worse than its potential.

The competition

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S, Dell XPS 11, Asus Transformer Book Trio, Gigabyte Padbook S1185.

Rating

Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S (Haswell)
05/07/2014 v4
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
84 / 98 → 86%
Keyboard
81%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
52 / 95 → 55%
Weight
71 / 78 → 84%
Battery
88%
Display
80%
Games Performance
56 / 85 → 66%
Application Performance
71%
Temperature
82%
Noise
93%
Audio
38%
Camera
44%
Average
72%
81%
Convertible *
Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Update Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Convertible
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2014-03-25 (Update: 2014-03-25)