FIRST REVIEW:Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Is A Cracker, Far Superior To Surface Pro 3

Written by David Richards     02/11/2014 | 17:21 | Category name i.e.HOME OFFICE

During the past few years it has been Apple who has been the driver in the PC market with their innovative design and cool looking PC's, that is up until now.

FIRST REVIEW:Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Is A Cracker, Far Superior To Surface Pro 3
Hewlett Packard, Dell and Toshiba have all had a crack at taking Apple on and all have failed if PC sales are anything to go by. 

Now Lenovo has thrown down the gauntlet with their new Yoga 3 Pro.

A big improvement over the Yoga 2 Pro a PC that was already a benchmark product the Yoga Pro 3 takes PC computing to a new level.

Significantly superior to the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 which is basically a tablet with a very average keyboard the Yoga 3 Pro is a "4-in-1" PC with laptop, tent, tablet and stand form factor as choices.

Another innovation is the watchband-like hinge design that delivers real flexible in an Ultrabook that is slimmer than a pencil.

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Love it or hate it, the new watchband hinge is an ingenious design that delivers flexibility, it's also allowed Lenovo designers to deliver a truly flexible Ultrabook. 

Crafted from more than 800 individual pieces of aluminium steel the hinge is a welcome innovation.

The YP3 runs on a Broadwell-Y designed dual-core CPU, the Core M 5Y70 which delivered very short "spikes" at 15 watts when in its highest turbo boost mode.

This is one of the first devices to get Intel's new Core M "Broadwell" processor, which succeeds the Haswell architecture which tended to suck juice out of the battery. At $1,950 this device is not cheap but then again you are getting a premium Ultrabook that looks as premium as the price.

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The Yoga 3 Pro comes in a trio of colours, orange clementine and light silver, the one I tested was light silver.

It also has a 256GB SSD drive that boots quickly and is double the capacity of the Yoga 2 Pro.

There is nothing wrong with this process however I would prefer an i7 in this device.

Remember this PC is not fanless but it does run silent which is more than I can say about the premium priced Toshiba Kira which appears to have a problem as it keeps running extremely noisy. The only way to get rid of the problem is to turn the Toshiba device off and reboot. 

The Yoga 3 Pro is thinner and lighter than ever before so I was keen to see how it performed in everyday use.

The Broadwell-class chip is built on a 14 nm process, and aimed at mobile devices so I suspect this is the best you are going to get in the short term from Intel.

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To test this device I set up my Microsoft Office 365 cloud account, my Adobe Creative Cloud Account resulting in 7 core application packages being downloaded to the device, we also set up Google Drive and Dropbox accounts.

The processor handled everything I wanted including Photoshop and Adobe Fireworks image processing as well as the updating of the Microsoft, Dropbox and Google cloud storage drives. 

The first thing I noticed is that even after running several YouTube Video's including the (new Jennifer Lopez video) the YP3 delivered efficient battery life and good power management.

Battery life over the weekend was on average around 6 and 1/2 hours this included emails reading various web sites, Facebook, watching a video movie, playing musing and writing this review, this is not bad when one takes into account that this device is wafer thin and light, however one would have to plug it in on a long flight where this device would excel when watching movies in Flip mode. 

The big plus was that recharging was fast. 

The standout communications protocol on board is 802.11ac Wi-Fi which I tested on the new D-Link Viper model router which is an AC router, connection speeds were considerable faster running in true AC wireless mode.
Other specs include 8GB of RAM with Graphics are managed by Intel's integrated HD 5300 board.

The display is a 13.3-inch QHD+ (3200 x 1800) LED glossy multi-touch with 10 touch points. 

This resolution means you can effectively achieve 1600 x 900 when scaling. White on black and black on white when reading was excellent and movies burst to life. 

I was also able to play a 1080p video to a TV using the micro HDMI cable. 

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The Yoga 3 Pro's speakers are okay for a13-inch Ultrabook and if you want better sound all you have to do is Bluetooth it to a wireless speaker of your choice. 

On the front is a 720p webcam which I used several times, it was perfect for Skype calls. 

Bundled with the device is several Lenovo software packages including the adaptive "Harmony" software, which is designed to adapt to how you would use the machine over time. This software needs some work for example it is supposed to be able to sense what you are doing and adapt the Ultrabook.

However when I loaded my books from the Google Play store the Y3P was supposed to automatically change the brightness and colour temperature according to the environment lighting, this failed to happen.

Keyboard. The backlit keyboard can be turned on by tapping the FN + space bar keys and being a writer I am anal about keyboards.

This keyboard is good, responsive and exactly the same size as the MacBook Air 13 keyboard which has got rave reviews. 

 What is a standout is the nicely dimpled and grippy rubber surrounding the keyboard, this is significantly superior to the metal surrounds of other Ultrabook's we have tested including the Apple MacBook Air. 

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The trackpad is highly functional and for those who are into sizes and specs the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro has the following. 

Expansion. Two USB 3.0, one combo DC-in/USB 2.0 (interesting, that), a 4-in-1 card reader (SD, MMC, SDXC, SDHC), micro-HDMI out, and audio in/out combo jack.


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Pros & Cons

Pros:

This is a cracker of a product that is going to have a lot of people heading to retail stores to take a gander and I am confident that they will walk away with a product in their hand or a white hot desire to own one. 

Cons:

There is not a lot wrong with this Ultrabook, it is the best yet. The Lenovo software is not up to scratch and needs some work and I would have liked to have seen better battery life but you cannot have a lightweight slim device and exceptional battery life, something has to give and what Lenovo has delivered is the best yet.