Durban - One of the more bizarre memories from my youth is of the weekly yoga class at the all-boys Catholic school I attended. It wasn’t a pretty sight. A bunch of unco-ordinated, gangly teenagers contorted into grotesque parodies of the Cobra, Crane, Cat and other classic poses.
We were hopeless. All except my mate Eddie. He was a gymnast and could bend his lanky body into any bizarre position.
I was reminded of those long ago classes the other day when the Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 arrived for review. It’s a laptop, but like none other you’ve seen. As the name suggests, it can bend into shapes other laptops can only dream of. It is to other laptops what Eddie was to me and my clumsy classmates.
At first glance it looks like an ordinary 13-inch laptop, albeit one of those attractively slim and featherlight versions dubbed ultrabooks by the industry.
Open it up and there’s nothing special about it… at first. But keep on opening it, beyond the 120 degrees or so, the point at which other laptop hinges lock up, and the Yoga part begins to reveal itself. In fact, it will keep opening until the back of the screen is touching the bottom of the computer, a full 360 degrees, thanks to the flexible hinge that links the screen to the main body and keyboard.
All very clever, I hear you say, by why on earth would I want a laptop that can do that?
Well, there’s a few reasons you’d want to choose the Yoga above a conventional laptop, as I discovered after spending a couple of weeks with it.
Firstly, it’s a superb laptop. Weighing in at 1.3kg and just 1.5cm thick, it’s the perfect companion for the well-heeled student or mobile professional who doesn’t want to put their back out lugging a full sized, old school laptop around.
And Lenovo hasn’t sacrificed any specs in slimming down the Yoga so radically, either. You can get it in a number of guises depending on your budget, processing power and onboard storage requirements, from the the base model 1.7GHz Core i3, up to the 1.8GHz Core i7.
You also get to choose between 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and between 128GB and 512GB of solid-state storage.
The 3200 x 1800 display is gorgously bright and, coupled with the surprisingly good speakers, makes for a superb video watching experience.
Battery life is good, if not quite the nine hours advertised. I consistently got six hours of solid use, so no need to take along the power cord if you’re attending a meeting or presentation.
Used as a conventional laptop, the Yoga’s a pretty compelling proposition. And that’s before you get to its party trick.
Opened all the way, it becomes a 13-inch tablet, albeit a pretty thick and hefty one. I’ve got to say it felt pretty weird to have the keys under my fingers when holding it in this mode – don’t worry, the keyboard is automatically disabled when it’s not in the laptop position – but it worked perfectly well as a large tablet.
My favourite leisure time position was “Stand” mode, with the device flipping so its base becomes the stand, and the screen points forward – perfect for watching movies or for displaying recipes while cooking.
If your laptop budget can stretch to it – R11 000 to R20 000 – the Yoga’s worth a serious look.
It gives a whole new meaning to the term agile computing. I bet my old school mate Eddie has one.
Got any questions or comments?