The Lenovo Yoga 700 14″ is an ultraportable convertible at a great price point. It is one device with four modes–laptop, stand, tablet, and tent, perfect for on-the-go computing.
I do a fair amount of traveling, both for my day job and for covering conventions and such for GeekDad.com, and one thing I always find myself lacking is a way to easily keep up on my e-mails and writing. I always have my phone and my laptop with me, and while my phone is great for taking notes or recording interviews, it’s terrible for actually writing articles or crafting e-mails. Alternatively, my laptop is great for those things but, especially on most flights nowadays, its just to big to comfortably use for writing on the go. Enter the Lenovo Yoga 700 14″ Convertible.
The first thing I noticed when breaking out the Yoga 700 is how lightweight it is. My current laptop I travel with is also a 14″ but it weighs at least double if not triple the Yoga while also being at least twice as thick. Before even powering it up, I was imaging how much nicer traveling would be with the Yoga. I also have an older iPad 2 and the Yoga is bigger than it, but not by much and with a full keyboard and so much more power and capabilities, the iPad doesn’t even compare.
The thing I wanted to play with the most was the convertible portion since my experience has always been multiple devices to fit all of my needs. After getting everything unpacked and powered up, I flipped and rotated the heck out of this thing. There was only one time out of the many, many rotations and flips where the Yoga didn’t flip and rotate as I expected it to, which is not bad at all. Even my iPhone doesn’t have that good of a track record.
One thing I immediately noticed, thanks to the great processor, amount of RAM, and SSD hard drive, is that booting up and everything else I did on the Yoga was lightning fast. To compare again, it was way faster than my current laptop and even faster than my iPad (coming from power off). I also loved the keyboard. Yes, the keyboard. It isn’t anything particularly fancy, but it has a nice backlight feature and the keys have a great feel to them while still being extremely quiet. As someone who types a lot, both of these are very important features, especially when I have to write something in a hotel room where my wife, son, or bunk mates may be sleeping.
I don’t typically use manufacturer loaded proprietary software. In fact, I usually uninstall all of it as a first step of setting up any new computer. However, since I knew I wasn’t keeping this machine, I left it on and did play with it a little bit. Lenovo has a pretty in-depth control panel that makes it easy to manage all the settings you’d normally spend a ton of time hunting around for–power, screen rotation, input, networking, etc. Sure, all of these things can be controlled from with Windows already but not without digging around so for newbies, having all the controls in one easy interface is a huge benefit.
My favorite bit of pre-loaded software was SHAREit. It allows you to quickly and easily sync files between devices. I already use a combination of Dropbox and Sugar Sync for all of my synching and backup needs, but I know plenty of people who don’t do it at all, so having an easy-to-configure and easy-to-use solution already installed on a computer could be a huge bonus for someone buying this machine. I played with it a little bit and it actually worked really well, better in some ways even than my current solution. My favorite thing about it was the ability to send specific photos from my phone straight to my camera with just a couple of taps. I far too often find myself e-mailing myself files so that I can get them on a different device than they originated from.
The last thing I wanted to briefly touch on is using the Yoga for reading purposes. I loaded one of my Kindle books on it and had no trouble reading just as I do from my iPhone. Since I use my iPhone exclusively for e-books, I do think its probably a little too big to use as an e-reader for me, but for people who read on a larger tablet, the Yoga 700 would probably be a great fit.
For all the spec geeks (like myself) here is the full rundown:
Processor: Up to 6th Gen. Intel Core i7 (i7-6500U and i5-6200U)
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Display: FHD (1920×1800) IPS with 10-point Multitouch
Video Graphics: Intel HD graphics / *Optional NVIDIA GeForce GT 940M 2GB
Storage: Up to 256GB SSD (128GB SSD / 256GB SSD)
Memory: 8GB LP-DDR3
Audio Support: Dolby® Audio
Integrated Communications: Intel 802.11 A/C 2×2 + Bluetooth 4.0
System Weight: 3.5 lbs.
System Dimension: 13.18″ x 9.03″ x 0.72″
Li-Ion Battery Life: 45Whr (Up to 7 hours of local video playback*)
Slots/Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, USB 2.0 with D/C-in, Micro HDMI-out, 4-in-1 card reader (MMC, SDHC, SDXC, SD), Audio Combo Jack
So the Lenovo Yoga 700 isn’t going to be your next gaming laptop, nor is the kind of convertible you want to hand your kids as a plaything, but if you’re a writer, student, or even professional who is frequently on the go, I think the Lenovo Yoga 700 is a perfect fit for work and entertainment. Purchase direct from Lenovo or from Amazon.com.
Note: Lenovo lent me the Yoga 700 for a few weeks to try before I had to send it back. All thoughts and opinions above are my own, and I was truly sorry to have to wipe and ship out the system.