Tent, Stand, Laptop and Tablet mode – it’s no secret that we were smitten with the original Yoga. Its versatile form-factor made it not only super practical, but it also helped show off all of Windows 8’s capabilities. But there was still room for improvement, and it’s clear that Lenovo listened to a lot of users’ feedback with the Yoga 2 13. To that effect, one of our biggest gripes with the first gen yoga was that its display was too low res for our taste. Fortunately, they have increased the resolution and the Yoga 2 now offers a 13.3″ LED backlit multitouch full hd (1920×1080) display.
On the other hand, construction seems a bit flimsier this time around with more plastic materials. It’s also a bit heavier – weighing 3.7 pounds, vs 3.4lb with a hybrid drive. When it comes to ports, the system is a little short on ports with just 2 usb ports – one being a usb 3.0 port. There is also a built in sd card reader, a micro HDMI port, and dedicated volume buttons.
Powered by an Intel Core i5-4200U, the system earned a respectable PC Mark 7 score of 3759 and 1742, indicating that it’s a solid performer but not one of the faster Ulltrabooks out there. The system is available with a hybrid storage solution which offers a 500GB drive plus an SSD or you can opt for just a single 256gb SSD configuration. When it comes to battery life, we experienced a little over 5 hours on average, which is ok but could be better.
Some of the included preloaded apps are EverNote, Zinio Reader, AccuWeather, and a trial for Microsoft Office. Lenovo also has their Motion Control software preloaded that lets you perform certain actions by waving your hand – such as jumping between music tracks. Their Voice Control also lets you use simple voice commands while navigating the system, and the software works pretty well.
Since the first gen Yoga was released, several other companies have come out with similar form factors, all trying to emulate the Yoga’s versatility. So the competition is certainly heating up. That said, the Yoga 2 still manages to be a leader. However, it doesn’t feel like a massive upgrade over its predecessor. So if you’re looking for an even more premium experience with a better display and more performance, you’ll want to check out the pricier Yoga 2 Pro. Pricing for the Yoga 2 13” begins at $899, but it’s also available at Amazon for $850 for the Core i5 / 4GB / Hybrid drive configuration.
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The Good: Versatile form factor with support for Tent, Stand, laptop, and Tablet mode, improved higher res display, comes with Lenovo Motion and voice control, top notch AccuType keyboard with backlight, very good audio
The Bad: Build quality is good but not quite as solid as its predecessor, solid but not excellent system performance, battery life could be better, runs hot, not ideal as a tablet, touchpad still needs improvement