Lenovo had plenty to announce last month at IFA, but were noticeably silent about all things Yoga. That’s because the Yoga line is getting the star treatment at its own show in London this week, and the headliner is the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, an update to Lenovo’s excellent 2-in-1 that features a spec jump and a brand new hinge.
The most obvious change to the Yoga 3 Pro is the 360 degree hinge. It can still be folded into laptop, tablet, tent, and presentation modes, which has always been the Yoga’s bread and butter feature, but the hinge now resembles something that you’d find on the links of a metal watchband. The hinge is now made from over 800 steel and aluminum parts, and has six focus points instead of two. That should make an already sturdy hinge even more reliable, while giving the 2-in-1 a more distinctive look, which is a plus for Lenovo considering how many 2-in-1s have hit the market this year. Other than that, the only major cosmetic changes are in size and weight, with the Yoga 3 Pro coming in at 12.8 mm thick and 2.62 pounds, compared to 15.24 mm and 3.1 pounds for the Yoga 2 Pro.
Turns out, the watchband hinge was a bit of serendipity for the design team at Lenovo. In their constant quest for thinness, they actually got the Yoga 3 Pro so thin that the previous two-point hinge was no longer viable. The main functional advantage of the watchband hinge is that it can be much thinner. The fact that it also adds stability and looks distinctive is just icing on the cake. Another bonus is that the device can now lay completely flat at a 180 degree angle.
The Yoga 3 Pro is still a 13.3″ Windows 8.1 2-in-1, with the same 3200 x 1800 resolution display that impressed on the Yoga 2 Pro. The CPU makes the jump to Intel’s latest generation with a Core M-70 processor, which includes the latest in Intel’s much-improved integrated graphics. To help use all that power, you’ll be able to get up to 8 GB of RAM on the Yoga 3 Pro. Around the edges, there are two USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port (which doubles as the charging port), Micro HDMI out, and a 4-in-1 card reader. The Wi-Fi 802.11ac standard, a notable absence in last year’s model, has also been added. Battery life has made a jump to nine hours, addressing another weakness of the Yoga 2 Pro, which only got between seven and eight hours of battery life. This is despite the fact that the battery inside is actually smaller, to help make the Yoga 3 Pro thinner. That’s due mostly to the improved efficiency of Intel’s new Core M processors.
The Yoga 3 Pro also comes with adaptive software called Harmony. Harmony will make small behind-the-scenes changes when you switch between laptop, tablet, tent, and presentation modes, like dimming the backlight when reading an eBook in tablet mode or enabling touch control when running presentation software in presentation mode. Harmony can also adjust the audio, which comes from integrated JBL speakers and Waves Audio, according to speaker placement in each of the four modes. The software will also suggest apps to use in each mode, using a recommendation engine that will rely on the usage habits of all Yoga 3 Pro users.
The Yoga 3 Pro will hit stores in 128 GB, 256 GB, and 512 GB SSD configurations later this month at Best Buy and online through Lenovo, and will start at $1,350. It’ll come in Clementine Orange, Platinum Silver or Champagne Gold.