In this article I will be reviewing the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Tablet and laptop. I contacted Lenovo and asked if they would be willing to send one of their devices over for a review and they were kind enough to agree and allow me to test it out for thirty days. I will try to go in detail to tell you about how it holds up for work, gaming, and basic performance so that you know exactly what you’re getting into before purchasing the computer. Bear with me because there is a lot to cover in this article since the computer is both a laptop and tablet combined into one. I broke the article down into parts in case there was something specific you wanted to read about.
Before I get on with the review, I will first outline the important information about the IdeaPad.
The official Lenovo website had the IdeaPad Yoga 11S computer listed at around $749 USD, but I have found it on sale for as low as $530 USD. I believe the price varies based on all the additional special goodies you get with it.
Before I go any further, here are the basic system specifications that the company sent me.
(Unboxing and basic Demo of the laptop is at the bottom of the article.)
• 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i5 processor 1.50GHz 1600MHz 3MB (Can go up to i7 processor).
• Windows 8 / Windows 8 Pro (operating system).
• 11.6″ HD (1366×768) IPS display with wide viewing angle; 16:9 Widescreen display.
• Up to 8 GB DDR3 memory, up to 512 GB SSD storage.
• Integrated 720p HD webcam.
• Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000.
• 10-point multi-touch screen that folds back 360o.
• Long battery life for extended use on the move; 6 hrs.
• Lenovo Motion Control lets you quickly flip through photos, power point slides & e-book pages, or skip music tracks playing on your PC with simple gestures.
• Lenovo Transition automatically switches open applications like Power point to full-screen mode when the PC converts from normal notebook to tent, stand or tablet modes (with the bendable screen).
• Only .67 inches thick and weighs 2.97lbs.
• Integrated stereo speakers supporting Dolby Home Theater v4 certification for immersive surround sound.
• McAfee® Internet Security.
• Voice Control-Dragon Assistant.
• Comes with IE10 (Internet Explorer 10).
•1xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0, HDMI-out, SD card reader, 3.5mm Mic/Headphone Combo.
My thoughts about the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S
When I first opened the box and saw the laptop I thought it was going to be hard to see on the small screen and interact with the tiny keyboard, but I quickly found that wasn’t the case. The laptop I currently use has a screen size of about 15 inches, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S screen is only about 11 and a half inches, so it is a great deal smaller in size. However, after a few hours of playing around with it I got comfortable with its size and had no problems using the laptop. I’ll go in more detail about my experience with it in a second. Make sure to take a look at the pictures at the top of this article because I compare the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S size to my MPC laptop and the smaller Lenovo 7″ A2107 Android Tablet.
If you buy this laptop I highly recommend that you read the quickstart guide that comes in the box because it will help you get familiar with the computer. I thought I could just pick it up and go, but I had a difficult time using Windows 8 and a few of the new swipe motions and the guide helped to inform me on how to use the system better. I normally use Windows XP because in my opinion it is easier to use, and even after using Windows 8 for several weeks I still find XP to be a lot easier simply because it is a bit more familiar to the average Windows user.
Windows 8 has made a lot of major changes to how the system operates and because of that simple things are hard to find. For example, if you move the mouse to the top left of the screen it will slide out a menu and show you your current tabs and windows running in the background, those tasks no longer show up on the bottom task bar. If you move the mouse to the bottom left of the screen a small picture will pop up showing you the start menu and home button, otherwise you will never see the start button. If you move the mouse to the bottom right it brings up the settings menu so that you can shut the computer down or access the control panel. There is now a start menu screen, and a separate desktop screen to run different applications. At anytime you can return to the start menu screen by pressing the “Window” button built into the bottom center part of the IdeaPad Yoga 11S touchscreen.
If you have never upgraded to one of the newer Windows operating systems you may find things to be difficult because little things are no longer where they should be. I thought that shutting the computer down would be under the start menu at the bottom left of the screen (like it has been for the past gazillion years), but no, it was under settings in the bottom right menu.
But enough about that, I will go in more detail about Windows 8 in my separate review article.
Even though I had to get used to Windows 8 I was still able to get the laptop up and running fairly easy. For sure after the first day you will be swiping liking a pro and navigating the IdeaPad without any problems.
The Touchscreen and Mouse
When swiping and using the touchscreen it was pretty responsive and moved fluently, I was doing it a bit too fast though and sometimes it wouldn’t respond right, but after a bit of practice I got the hang of it. After about a week worth of using it every day I was able to swipe, drag, and click on the touchscreen like a pro. I also adjusted the mouse and touchscreen sensitivity and movement speed in the control panel to customize how it handled to make things a bit easier for personal use. The mutlitouch screen was great for using both hands to zoom in and out while at the same time dragging items around and dropping them in place. I will upload a demonstration video on youtube to show you exactly how it works.
My only complaint is that the options are a bit hard to locate due to windows 8’s new operating system since the settings weren’t exactly where I thought they would be, but again that is not the IdeaPad’s fault.
After I got everything setup and running, I unplugged the laptop from the wall and used it as a tablet for awhile just to see what it was like. I actually set it down on the desk and used it to display my guitar tab and music notes while I practiced. If I needed to turn the page or scroll down I just made a simple swiping motion with my finger to do so without having to put my guitar down, and it worked great because I could see everything clearly.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S is extremely portable and lightweight, and switching to a tablet and back to a laptop was simple and worked exactly as advertised.
How it performs
At the top of the article I listed the system specs, but when I got the laptop I checked to see what my specific device could do. The laptop came with 221GB Sdd, but I found that it also had an additional 3.99GB of storage space on the D drive. For me that was more than enough space to handle gaming and work related tasks like making videos or writing documents. However, the laptop does not have a CD or DVD drive so you will need to plug in an external one using one of the USB ports.
The battery life for the device is about six hours, but only if you use one of the lower performance setting modes to conserve on power and energy. If you use the high performance modes it gives the screen a brighter, clearer, and more vibrant look, but it also cuts the battery life down to about 4 hours, maybe less. I actually used the higher settings because everything looked so bright and clear on the display screen, and to compensate for the low battery life I just plugged the charger into the wall outlet. Regardless of the performance settings you use, the IdeaPad Yoga 11S still has great sound and crystal clear video quality. The built in web camera on the other hand was a bit grainy and low quality in my opinion, it is supposed to be HD quality but it didn’t look like it to me; I was expecting it to be a bit better.
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S comes with several programs and Apps already installed, such as Windows Paint as well as dozens of other standard apps and programs like MS office (although I was asked to buy mine since I was only testing the laptop), and apps like Kindle, ETC.
When I had multiple internet tabs, folders, and programs running all at once I did experience some slight slowdown on the laptop as it tried to process everything at the same time but I should mention that I am a heavy multi-tasker and I normally have at the minimum five windows open at one time. When I started pushing on the eight window mark with games running in the background and video editing tools saving files, that was when I noticed it slowing down. I didn’t do any Overclocking or system upgrades, so I am sure it can handle more if you really wanted to push it to do so, but for the average person it should handle work and school tasks without any problems. I go in more detail about its processing power with my Lenovo Yoga 11S gaming article, so make sure to read that for more info about what it can handle.
Can it handle Gaming?
As mentioned above, I go in more detail about this in my Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S gaming article, but I will go ahead and talk a little about it here. Yes, it can run games quite nicely, just as long as you don’t push it too hard. Simple games like Conquer online, Mabinogi, and Mount and blade can run without any problems, if you do the settings right you can even have the graphics set quite high. But I did notice a bit of slow down with games with higher graphics quality like Killing Floor and Arma2 because they started pushing the system too hard and the frame rate suffered, so I had to decrease the video quality to mid-level to have them run smoothly. Newer games might experience the same problems.
I love the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S and everything that it can do. I love using it as a tablet, I love playing games on it, I love watching movies and TV shows on it, and I had no problems editing videos and writing articles with it. I really enjoyed testing it out for the thirty days that I owned it and I will be sad to see it go.
But I must be honest and say that I dislike Windows 8 and its new design. Windows 8 really takes some getting used to because simple things are now very difficult to access, so old-school users might find the new operating system to be a hassle. Make sure to read my review article on windows 8 because I go in more detail about its pros and cons.
Overall, the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S is pretty good for gaming, is excellent for work, studying, and other minor tasks, and it is lightweight and portable enough to carry around wherever you need to go without it being a burden to transport around.
If you are looking to buy a new laptop that has a touchscreen attached to it and comes with the new Windows 8 operating system, I highly recommend that you check this one out. Don’t let my negative feedback for Windows 8 stop you because you will quickly get used to how it operates.
For more information about the IdeaPad Yoga 11S, please visit the Official Lenovo website.
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- Unboxing video
- Hands on Demo test