Battery Life, Software and Warranty
The most pertinent comparison to the ThinkPad Yoga would be the recently-reviewed Yoga 11S, whose chipset was a slightly-lower 13W TDP, but which—in spite of the performance sacrifices as compared to higher TDP chipsets—still only managed middling results in our battery life tests. Seeing as the ThinkPad Yoga features a more powerful 15W TDP by comparison, but also simultaneously a higher weight (3.55 lbs. versus the Yoga 2 Pro’s 3.02 lbs.), can we expect better or worse results?
The answer, of course, heavily depends on the battery itself. In this case, we've got a 47 Wh (8-cell) battery; that's two cells larger than the 6-cells combined that you will find in an X240 with the 3-cell internal/3-cell external configuration (which is the most comparable approach in terms of weight and portability).
As always, our battery tests begin with the power plan set to Balanced (or High Performance while running the Classic Test), all wireless radios enabled, and roughly 200 cd/m² screen brightness, which we deem to be the most comfortable level for typical indoor use. Let’s start with our Battery Eater Pro Classic Test:
The runtime of 2 hours and 10 minutes here isn’t bad; though in this case, it isn’t any better than the Yoga 11S’ 2 hours and 6 minutes (again, most certainly due to the higher TDP of the ThinkPad Yoga’s CPU in comparison). Since load results are really more marginal in their usefulness than predictive or practical, we’ll reserve judgment until we see the results of the other two tests.
Next up, the Battery Eater Pro Reader’s Test:
This test approximates maximal runtime under the same conditions (wireless on, screen brightness medium). Here, we see a huge premium versus the 11S; 10 hours and 40 minutes is over 3 and a half hours longer than the 11S’ 6:57 (that’s a 53% improvement, which is massive).
Finally, we throw in web activity to see how things change under more realistic usage conditions. This involves our refreshing of a static web page at regular intervals within Google Chrome:
6 hours and 11 minutes is pretty average in the world of modern low-voltage Ultrabooks—but when compared to the Yoga 11S and its lower TDP, it’s nearly an hour and a half better (85 minutes, or 29.7%).
In the grand scheme of things, this places the ThinkPad Yoga ahead of all other comparable Lenovo ThinkPad and IdeaPad products we’ve reviewed (if you exclude the much larger 6-cell secondary extended batteries for the X240 and T440s, of course). It’s more than sufficient runtime to support practically any busy professional’s daily grind.
The ThinkPad Yoga comes bundled with the usual software package found on most recent ThinkPad notebooks, which includes items like Nitro Pro 8, Norton Internet Security, a Microsoft Office trial, a whole slew of Lenovo-related management and value-added programs, and an assortments of Windows Store apps as well (AccuWeather, Skitch Touch, Evernote Touch, Kindle, and others). None of it is terribly offensive and it’s all pretty easy to remove regardless if you want to get back to a clean slate without bothering with a reload of the OS (which normally isn’t worth the trouble these days). As for warranty, the standard when purchased directly from Lenovo is the 1-year depot warranty, though some preconfigured systems feature a 3-year package standard, and it’s always upgradeable without much effort.
I’ve been using a TPY as my
I’ve been using a TPY as my daily driver since January (CTO, 1920×1080 + digitser, i7-4500U, 8GB, 256GB sSD). The only complaints I have with it so far are:
– The pen silo is sharp-edged, so unless you insert the pen with robotic precision every time, it will inevitably become heavily scratched. Merely a cosmetic issue
– Mini-HDMI. Fuck mini-HDMI, I’d much rather have DP. It’s usually docked when I’m using an external display anyway, but it means carting around an extra couple of adapters if I’m expecting to use an external display on the go
– The middle-click section of the trackpoint ‘button’ area CANNOT be set as a middle-click! It can be used as a ‘universal scroll’ button, but not to send the middle-button click command. This is frankly moronic. You can still three-finger-click with the touchpad, so I generally just use the touchpad (which I’ve had no issues with).
– If you leave orientation unlocked, and lift up the laptop by the side immediately after closing it, it will re-orient before it goes to sleep. this means that the next time you wake it, it will awaken in the wrong orientation, flip to the opposite orientation, then flip the the correct orientation. There’s an orientation-lock button on the outside, so this is rarely an issue.
– The matte finish on the display is applied over the gorilla glass, so can scratch easily.
Other than that, it’s a great laptop.
I would love a 2015 version
I would love a 2015 version with the following alternations:
– Ditch HDMI in favor of DP
– Add Broadwell or preferably (if available) Skylake processor
– Replace the 2.5″ SATA with a M.2 slot => gained room could be used for beefier cooling solution and / or battery
– Replace touchpad with a standard ThinkPad one
– If the hinges are as distracting as stated in this review: rework them 😉
I guess that would result in an almost perfect device for myself!
I got a dozen or so of these
I got a dozen or so of these and are prepping to deploy them. Some notes:
The Onelink Doc can’t be used to boot from network (PXE).
You can ONLY use the Thinkpad branded USB / Ethernet to PXE.
I wish I could swap the Mini-HDMI (WHY?) with Mini-DP and / or VGA. Built in Ethernet would also be awesome.
All of the new Thinkpads have horrible touchpad. Not sure what Lenovo is thinking with them?
Seems like most reviews of
Seems like most reviews of the newer Thinkpads don’t like the click pad. Where as it’s not perfect, I much prefer it to the physical buttons. The physical buttons require a lot of two handed work to do click and drag and such. Where as the click pad can single hand click drag and release for either left or right click. And three finger click for middle works better than a left+right click or other options with physical buttons. I agree that the click itself feels loose and could use some tweaking. That might help with repeated clicking which is harder than with the physical buttons. But I think it’s move in the right direction.
And I haven’t really noticed any issues with accidental clicking or moving while typing. I think I did when I rebuilt a T431S and didn’t have the most recent drivers installed. But after update it seemed fine.
Or course I understand a lot of the complaints for people who liked things the way they are. I have my things that I don’t like when they are changed.
Yes the business will reimage
Yes the business will reimage this with windows 7, so why should any enterprise spend money for touch when any enterprise will use their IT department’s approved system Image and Productivity software. And, there are plenty of last year’s model Core i7 quad core business laptops available from the resellers, at bargain prices(New in a sealed Box), that outperform this laptop, and last year’s model business laptop usually comes with discrete graphics, that OpenCL really accelerates those spreadsheets! There is nothing like Intel’s last year’s model core i series CPUs, that can compete with Intel’s this years overpriced and under-improved “New” offerings, that is in the CPU category, graphics, and OpenCL acceleration, is better left to AMD or Nvidia.
There’s your answer. In an enterprise environment, it’ll always be cheaper to buy new hardware and use the manufacturers warranty services, than to buy from resellers and handle repair in-house.
Besides, this isn’t a mobile workstation. Comparing it to a (e.g. Wxxx series) powerhouse with a discrete GPU is apples-to-oranges. I’ve seen plenty of X-1 Carbons and X2xx series without discrete GPUs used for regular office work.
All very good points guys and
All very good points guys and I wholeheartedly appreciate the dialogue. I take all of these things into account for future reviews.
In regards to the new clickpad, I have tried hard to adjust to its use and appreciate what it brings to the table. But, in an even worse turn than HP Elitebook's ForcePad, I just feel like it makes operation unnecessarily difficult. I'm not sure why all three of the ThinkPads I've reviewed have exhibited the pointer jumpiness, but I do know that the drivers on the Yoga were the latest release and I was still experiencing that problem. It is especially frustrating as it really doesn't buy that much additional room, and even a conventional clickpad could have been much better in my opinion (such as even that which was found on the X220 and X230).
Under “Pros” you stated RAM
Under “Pros” you stated RAM is upgradeable but I’ve read elsewhere that says the RAM is soldered in. Can you clarify this point?
Great review BTW.
Whoops, not really
Whoops, not really sure where that came from, heh. Thanks for pointing that out! Corrected.
Also, glad you liked the review! These things take a lot of time to assemble 🙂