Lenovo had eclectic ideas when it came to the Yoga, and ran with it as a quirky, yet practical breakout of the convertible laptop/laplet as we know it. Others have tried before but Lenovo simply did it the best with a 360-degree fold-back screen hinge, and business-oriented credentials for actual computer and touchscreen things.
Poised and uncompromising variety has always been the appeal, and Yoga 700 does much of the same in a more attainable form. The additions include the latest Intel Core processor and updated internals, if only a little less fashionable for realistic everyday use.
Compared to previous models and the current Yoga 900 step-up, the 700 is larger and heavier as a mainstream ultraportable. Our tester came in an all-black 3.5-pound (1.6kg) chassis that’s finished in rubberized matte plastic, with the only bit of outside flair being the metallic painted hinges unless you get this in contrasting silver. The look is a bit of a Plain Jane and sheds a good deal of that premium-ness that’s been attributed to the lineup or other higher-end laptops, but the outer shell feels tougher and more travel-worthy. However, there’s definitely a respectable aesthetic that keeps the unsightly details such as the fan grid out of the way, and retain the general minimalism.
Thanks largely to a brush metal palm rest and chiclet-style keyboard, the arrangement on the inside is nicely spaced and sport LED backlighting with white surrounds. Input key travel has enough tactile feel for most power typists, and responsive to match. The trackpad is probably a hair behind in satisfaction but the look is there with chrome trim borders for neatness, but nothing overtly flamboyant. Connectivity is focused on two USB 3.0, one D/C-charging USB, 4-in-1 card reader, audio, and micro HDMI port; so you’re pretty good to go.
Nor should you have to worry about specifications either. This particular unit is decently equipped with a sixth-generation Intel Core i5-6200U clocked at 2.3GHz, 8GB of DDR3L memory, and a 256GB solid-state drive. As par for the course, preinstalled Windows 10 software and apps are bundled in from a 30-day trial of McAfree LifeSafe and a suite of Lenovo-branded software ranging from system backup (OneKey Recovery) to cloud storage (REACHit).
The screen is glossy and detailed, making excellent use of its 14-inches which also sports wide viewing angles by utilizing In-Plane Switching (IPS). The panel is well-suited not just for work but entertainment too since Lenovo didn’t skimp on the 1,920 by 1,080 resolution, in some cases it almost feels detrimental using a vibrant display as a touchscreen, but that’s what the Yoga is largely about.
Again, the Yoga 700 doesn’t disappoint with quick response and accuracy, immediately becoming second nature for function depending on how you want to use it. There are four positions with the conventional methods being laptop, or tablet by flipping the screen 360 degrees around. Admittedly, you’ll probably stick to these orientations and sparingly take advantage of the tent mode which is propped on the edges, or the stand mode that put the Yoga in reverse 90-degree angle. The last two choices are obviously there to maximize the touchscreen and do work as intended, but we couldn’t find a wholly sensible purpose unless you want the format of a tablet without having to hold it.
We reckon typical people interested in any convertible laptop wants a nippy performer, but won’t expect amazing benchmarks when pushed. In fact, a rundown with the 3DMark Basic Edition proved that the 700’s integrated Intel HD Graphics 520 is a average menial tasker with a score of 5059, as we let Sky Diver run its course at 13 frames per second (fps). The Yoga 700 also did Adobe Photoshop CS6 in a fairly leisurely fashion, but still worked for mild media editing, and light video transcoding for less demanding hobbyists.
Fortunately, battery life is relatively better for the 700 but still not quite top of its class among the competition. We averaged around 8 hours and 14 minutes which is still good for all-day computing and sporadic YouTube timewasters, but not much more than that.
I’ve always admired the Yoga family and the current Yoga 700 follows closely behind. This conforming hybrid is capable and retains enough refinement without looking too cheap, a boon for those who always yearned for Lenovo’s best. However, and as excepted, some of that uniqueness and performance is no longer exclusive to the Yoga as other brands have stepped up their game. Regardless, the Yoga 700 is remains a safe bet as far as reputation goes.