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22 Posts

12-07-2012

USA

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Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-19, 11:06 AM

I got my Yoga 13, Orange, 8gb ram and 256gb SSD on Monday the 17th. I also ordered the slot case and the screen protector as well. In this post I’ll do a mini review of the unit that I got. I hope this will give people here some useful information.

 

I really really wanted to like this laptop. But sadly, after playing around with it all day (and night!) I returned the Yoga earlier today. There were some major issues that I encountered that was definitely a deal breaker and I feel are things that should not exist in a $1500 laptop.

 

Lets start with the good stuff first: The first impressions were great.

 

Exterior

Exterior build quality was very nice. The shell felt very solid and the orange color looked awesome! I believe the shell is aluminum with a rubber-like coating applied on. So when you hold it, you get a very good grip and at no point where i felt the laptop was going to slip out of my hands. Power buttons and volume button (in both design and positions) mimicked those as seen on tablets. The position of these buttons make alot of sense when the Yoga is in tablet mode. Everything looked VERY sturdy and felt well built.

 

Upon opening the laptop, I was greeted with a very nice looking and interestingly textured palm rest area. The texture has an almost faux leather look to it but it definitely feels rubbery, smooth and a little cushion-like. Its is hard to explain but when I'm resting on it, it feels very nice to the skin and it certainly insulates any type of temperature changes from transferring your palms/wrists unlike some metal enclosures. Very interesting material choice for sure.

 

The keyboard area looked very nice. Typing on it was very comfortable and keys were responsive.

 

Trackpad was OK. I found my self accidentally right clicking and the pointer acceleration as a bit wonky. Not the worst trackpad I used but also not great.

 

Usage

Battery life after the first full charge showed a little less than 6 hours. Machine was dead quite and everything was silky smooth loading apps and painting with my fingers. There was a surprising minimal amount of bloatware installed. Even with the Lenovo software, non of which was "in your face". First boot-up of the machine went through windows 8 account setup and subsequent boot up time was about 4-5 seconds. EXTREMELY fast.

 

Looking at the device manager, my 256gb ssd is sporting one made by Samsung. One interesting I found was the wireles/bluetooth module is made by realtek and is interfacing with the system via USB 2.0.

 

Tablet Mode/Tent Mode/etc

This is the reason I bought this laptop. As a graphic artist, my plan was to use this as a sketchpad, photo editing and light animation use. As I mentioned, the touchscreen was very responsive and Windows 8 "Metro" felt right at home here. Even using the touchscreen with desktop apps was a lot of fun. I spent maybe an hour or two playing in paint before I remembered that I should install photoshop (LOL).

 

I found the Yoga's touch capabilities most satisfying and usable in tent mode and tablet mode. In regular laptop mode, touching the screen bounces and moves the screen which gets annoying. In stand mode, same thing.

 

Aside from painting with my fingers, I tested the touchscreen with a touch screen stylus i got on Amazon. It worked ok as i needed to put quit a bit of pressure in order for the screen to register the tip of the stylus where as using the same stylus on other touchscreens (ipad 2, nexus 7, nexus 4, droid x) did not require any force.

 

Speed and performance

Everything felt snappy and ran all my programs great. It works and it works well. I did not run any benchmarks or anything as I was more concerned with testing my usage habits.

 

This laptop sounds wonderful, why the hell did i return it?!

 

After a couple of hours playing with it, that's when I started to notice some glaring problems.

Lets go down the list:

 

Screen Flicker issue

This was a surprise to me. After the first few hours of using the laptop. I notice the screen would flicker once in awhile. It seems to be random but I notice to be more apparent especially when I load up new programs and when I am quitting them. It is almost as if there is a loose connection or interference somewhere. At first I thought it was the automatic brightness playing tricks on me so I proceeded to turn it off. Nope, the flickering was still there. This is a real deal breaker (duh).

 

High pitch whine

Yes, there is a high pitch whine and buzzing sound that emanates from the laptop (coil whine). I couldn't pin point the exact location but it seems to come from around the F3 key area. I don't have an overly quiet room. When I heard this whine, I was actually playing some music in the background. The sound was unbearable!

 

Fan noise, rattling noise.

The sound of the air movement coming from the laptop, I don't mind and I barely notice it. But the there is a rattling sound coming from the fan itself. I build my own PCs and I've owned some cheap fans before where it makes the same noise. The fan in the Yoga is not a good quality fan. The fan also stays on most of the time. It is not excessively loud but it seems it needs to be on much more than it needs to be. Either that, it seems like it can run at a lower RPM.

 

The Loose Keyboard

Yes you read that right. The keyboard is loose. This is very apparent when you press any keys in the F7 to F12 keys area (or any other keys around those). When you press any of those keys, you will FEEL and SEE that the whole area of the keyboard will sink in. I'm not exaggerating.

 

This should not happen in any laptop at any price range, and this one costs $1500 USD. This is unacceptable. I don't think this is even a QC issue, it is a design issue. As seen in other threads in this forum and other forums, the keyboard is attached on there with double sided tape. Wha??

 

Palm rest area flex

As I mention prior, the texture feels great and feels soft almost cushion like. Well it turns out, the cushion like feel is the result of that area flexing in. No joke. Pressing on the palm rest area with my fingers reminds me of pressing on the surface of a water bottle. You'll feel this even more when in tablet mode. It feels plain fragile. 

 

Screen Protector

It Sucks. Don't know how to put it another way. It is the worst screen protector you can get. Yea you can see through it but that it is. The material gives the surface a lot of traction so you'll find your fingers getting stuck on it while swiping the screen. I wish Lenovo would make the glass (or at lease offer a screen protector) similar to cellphone / tablets screens where they put a oleophobic coating so your fingers glide on the surface. So yea, save the money and forget about the Lenovo screen protector.

 

Slot Case

Its ugly, it feels cheap and it looks cheap. The texture of the case is just..I don't even know what it is. It is just SOOOOOO ugly. The material of the case will probably last maybe 6 months use. Its not even practical as 1.5" of the laptop sticks out at the opening. What?? Did i mention it is crazy ugly?

 

Overall

Great concept, great idea. Execution, not so good. Build quality not consistent, major design issues that keeps this from becoming a good laptop. The price tag (i paid $1500) makes this even more so. 

 

Returning the laptop. Lenovo customer support

I had a really good experience. The post-sales rep from somewhere in India was courteous and quick. After I explained  why I wanted to return the laptop, my return was processed immediately and I was told I would be getting a full refund. My shipping labels was emailed to me very quickly and total time spent on the phone  was about 15 min.

 

Closing thoughts

It might seem I might have gotten a bum unit but from looking at the other threads in this forum and other forums, It seems other people are having some similar problems as me. I didn't want to exchange for a new unit (and waiting even longer) and experience these issues again. I see these are design issues, not QC issues.

The Yoga has a HUGE potential to be an amazing ultrabook/laptop (booktablet??). Huge potential. Maybe the Yoga 2 will get that chance.

 

I’m traveling in a week so I went ahead and reordered the Asus UX32VD. (lol should of kept my first UX32VD)

 

 

 

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137 Posts

12-08-2012

hawaii

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Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-19, 11:17 AM

I got the same model probably from the same shipment, and see none of those problems. No key or palm flex, no apparent flicker, no accessories, and no fan whine or  much noise except a whoosh only in laptop mode about like my old macbook pro.

 

However i eventually caught a bad case of no keyboard disabling in tablet mode without a reboot. I hope to fix it by software because it prevents bringup of virtual keyboard.

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22 Posts

12-07-2012

USA

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Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-19, 11:20 AM

Good to hear your system is good. Please do report updates as you use the laptop. I think people can benefit from yours (and other's) experiences.

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137 Posts

12-08-2012

hawaii

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  • Message 4 of 24

Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-19, 22:07 PM

Well, that's a mighty polite way of saying to just wait for the worst, and I had been editing my post's praise softer as you replied. Today my keyboard fold works, but a worse problem of the screen blacking out or turning to colorful snow occurs, with only a reboot clearing it. Well, I will see if it is transient and comment on...

 

EDITED INSERT

yoga ie lost all my paragraph breaks, and even in android i cannot restore them below this point for some reason. so pardon the runon until i tame this...

 

I ordered the yoga 13max because my 10 inch android tablets were getting bogged down making the 2d charts I need, as well as the screen being a little small. My 17 inch MacBook pro is too ungainly, hot, and noisy for an easychair with no desk. The yoga really straddles the gap between them well, as mainly a powerful tablet and an adequate sometime laptop for type intensive work or transferring media from usb disk drives to media players. I have always hated windows (and IOS for that matter) but win8 seems headed in the right direction. IE is not yet up to the touchable slickness of android equivilents (do I really have to bring up the keyboard and put it away by explicit steps rather than implicit touches?) but probably it will improve and other touch ready browsers will appear. I was very thankful for no metallic fan noise as reported, and it is anyway near silent in tablet mode due to the geometry. In portrait mode it is great for reading pdf, but kind of hard to grasp the sides. The wide side is a hot air vent and the other side has the (needlessly) clickity trackpad. But I think one end of the air vent is cool, so you can 180 rotate portrait for a better experience. Due to asymmetries, you have 4 useful rotations rather than 2. Well, I will quit in case the screen wants to drop out, but will add this. Someone posted a website to compare the i7 vs i5turbo, and with a great deal of searching in the buried data I gathered the i7 gave almost 30% better speed which I wanted along with the bigger ram. Win8 seems to be needlessly awkward for touch mode, but I assume it will improve. Oh, I forgot the last thing because I'm nervous about the screen which is staying ok for some reason...

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7 Posts

12-13-2012

Madison, WI

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  • Message 5 of 24

Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-20, 1:28 AM

I've been using mine extensively since the 15th and have had only one of the issues listed here.  My palm rest is solid and I'm a big guy with extra large hands.  My screen hasn't flickered once and the touch sensitivity has been infinitely better than my Acer aspire S7.  The QC issue I've found to on mine so far has been the fan noise.  It does sound like somebody else posted on here.  They stated the fan was touching the housing while running and that's what it sounds like to me.  It's not louder than other laptops I've had though.  The aspire sounded like a jet engine when the fan was on.  The only other thing I don't like is the touch pad registers my palm touches more than any other laptop I've used.  I find this most annoying when typing and the cursor suddenly jumps and I'm typing in a completely different sentence.

 

All around I would say this is by far the best Windows 8 laptop I've tried.  I spent some time with a friends XPS Duo and for some reason it felt like a brick to me.  Which I guess is good since it's solid.  The Aspire S7 for close to the same price with I5 and 4gb had excellent build quality and it was so thin.  But it bogged down a lot surprisingly.

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229 Posts

10-08-2012

md, us

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  • Message 6 of 24

Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-20, 1:42 AM

obviously op has got a defective yoga.

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22 Posts

12-07-2012

USA

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  • Message 7 of 24

Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-20, 3:33 AM

This is great! I encourage everyone with Yogas post their experiences. That way, Lenovo can improve on their products. The reason I even spent the time writing a review of my unit is because I think Lenovo has a wonderful idea on their hands it has a great potential to be an amazing laptop/tablet. The party that will benefit the most from all this information is Lenovo. A better product means better sales for them and us users all benefit. Its win win.

 


wrote:

obviously op has got a defective yoga.


Care to you share your experiences with your yoga?

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41 Posts

12-17-2012

Minnesota

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Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-20, 3:39 AM

I exchanged my first Yoga 13 due to coil whine and the second one has it too.  I'm sure all of them do, but some people can't hear the high frequency of it.  As I researched the issue, it's been present in many laptops over the past several years, and it's due to using cheap coils with the CPU.

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41 Posts

12-17-2012

Minnesota

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  • Message 9 of 24

Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-20, 3:43 AM

I'm still debating on whether to return it or not by the way.  I'm trying to train myself not to hear it, and that's going well so far.  I'm going to keep this one until further into my return window and see how it goes.  I think it is a shame that it has this issue for me because it is perfect in every other way.  Companies need to stop cutting corners.

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229 Posts

10-08-2012

md, us

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Re: Yoga 13" Clementine Orange - Mini review

2012-12-20, 3:49 AM

Coil whine does not happen so often, I have been to four different bestbuy in my search for an orange colored yoga and havn't seen one with coin whine.

 

vvdd: I will probably order online as the bestbuy store I went to only have grey silver ones.

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