Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Review

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The Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 had me excited going into it. I purchased a unit at Best Buy while it was on sale and rushed home to open it and dive in. The screen resolution was the most important feature to me and I wanted it to be amazing. 

I actually thought about not buying a retina Macbook Pro and just using the equally hi-res Yoga 2 Pro, but after spending a week with the device, my original ideas about it failed miserably. The Yoga 2 Pro was a disappointment in my opinion and here is why:

When I first turned on the device, the screen was beautiful. The colors were vivid, except for yellows, which I was able to be fixed after scouring forums for solutions. The initial impressions I had from the device were very good. 

Finally a backlit keyboard!

I reviewed the original Yoga from last year and one of my big problems was the lack of a backlit keyboard. Well, this time around Lenovo added that feature. It seemed like everything was falling into place.

Then I started installing apps. This is where the screen resolution created the biggest problem. Almost none of the apps I used were optimized. The icons were small and the text was cut off. There were ways around some of the issues. 

Chrome, for example had some flags you could set to optimize for touch and high pixel displays, but there were still issues. Other apps were painful to use. The more I installed the apps I use everyday, the more I came to realize that this was not going to work.

Setting the flags let Chrome display properly

One app I use daily is Scrivener. This is a writing application that helps you develop manuscripts, research papers, screenplays, etc. The icons in this app were ridiculously small, the text was cut off on all of the menus, and it was just a bad experience.

I had a 13 inch display, but felt like I was using a 10 inch device. I also reviewed the Surface Pro last year and my issues with that were that things were just too small. I felt like the Yoga Pro 2 had the same exact problem. There were ways to change some of the sizing, but it wasn't a total solution. You still had apps that just really couldn't display properly. 

Despite the display, the laptop was great in tablet mode. The screen was very responsive and the applications worked well. They were blazingly fast for the most part. The battery would give me around 5 hours or so with normal usage with the display at half brightness. Everything but the screen was an improvement over the last.

To be honest, if the screen was the same as the original Yoga's resolution I probably wouldn't have had an issue with the laptop. The older Yoga had a good 1600x900 display with applications displaying in proper size, whereas the Yoga 2 Pro had a 3200x1,800 display with hardly anything optimized to display right.

I really wanted to love the Yoga 2 Pro, but I just couldn't get over that one major flaw. It isn't necessarily Lenovo's fault, but rather the Windows ecosystem. Once Microsoft starts pushing these hi-res displays with more aggression, then developers will start updating their apps to work with them, but for now I would rather wait it out then suffer through the transition.

Quick Specs:

Processor

  • 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-4500U (1.80GHz 1600MHz 4MB)
  • 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-4200U (1.60GHz 1600MHz 3MB)
  • 4th Gen Intel® Core™ i3-4010U (1.70GHz 1600MHz 3MB)

Operating System

  • Windows 8.1 64

Memory

  • Up to 8GB DDR3L 1600 MHz, on-board two-channel (4GB/8GB)

Display/Resolution

  • 13.3" high-resolution QHD+ (3200 x 1800)
  • IPS wide-view display with 10-point multitouch technology

Weight

  • 3.06 lbs

Camera

  • 720p HD webcam

Storage

  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB SSD

Integrated Communications

  • Intel® Wireless-N 7260 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 4.0

Connectors

  • 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, Audio Combo Jack (headphone and microphone), micro HDMI-out, (headphone and microphone), micro HDMI-out,

Sound

  • Integrated stereo speakers with Dolby®
  • Home Theater®

Graphics

  • Integrated Intel® HD graphics 4400

Battery

  • Up to 9 hrs Windows 8 Idle @ 150 nits
  • Up to 6 hrs FHD playback @ 150 nits