Probably the only laptop tablet-hybrid that fascinates
Lenovo ThinkPad S1 Yoga detailed review
In the case of tablet-laptop hybrids, Lenovo’s Yoga series laptops have always been highly regarded. The ThinkPad S1 Yoga is an attempt to convince business users (and general ThinkPad fans) that these two transformative product lines can actually come together like a charm, and the result is right in front of your eyes.
The ThinkPad S1 Yoga can be converted from a laptop to a tablet. Somewhere in the middle of this. Tent mode.
In terms of appearance and design, the S1 adds a ThinkPad per inch. It’s not a glamorous, drop-dead gorgeous looking device, but its industrial dark gray look with a matte finish around it works for those who have been noticed. What’s more, it’s a functional design that is both rugged and innovative. Its unique 360 ্ hinge design is the crowning glory of the addition, which gives the ThinkPad laptop the ability to transform into a tablet. What is remarkably interesting is the subtle attention paid to the details given in the overall metal exterior of the yoga. For example, to use the machine in tablet mode, when you continuously tilt the screen all the way, the raised keys on the keyboard are pulled so that they merge into the same plane of the deck. As far as expensive business laptops go we thought the Toshiba Portege Z30t was very well made, but the ThinkPad S1 Yoga easily surpassed that experience. The S1 Yoga weighs a bit heavier at 1.6kg, but in every other category, it shines properly and shows a lot of confidence in its construction and design.
Just like adding the good old faithful ThinkPad S1. Of course, there is more to see here.
The ThinkPad S1 Yoga is primarily a business laptop, and in that sense it’s great, like the ultraportable ThinkPad X-Series we’ve seen in the past. But we like the extended change, it’s a single-slab touchpad with sports, raised tiled keyboard and a nice haptic response. In tablet mode, the keyboard is turned off and you interact with the device like a regular tablet. You can either touch and feel the screen with your fingers or use the smart stylus (which slides on the chassis) to write notes or make points and clicks. Both work very well due to the native touch-input support of Windows 8 in addition to the S1, and the stylus is one of the best we’ve ever used. However, using it only as a tablet, the form factor of the ThinkPad S1 Yoga is still not close to the norm, as this laptop-tablet hybrid seems too heavy to use compared to a full 10-inch tablet. Don’t bring any luggage.
While typing a spill-resistant keyboard with island-style raised keys is a pleasure, the TrackPoint stick is not as addictive as once you get used to it and is much better at palmrest response, texture, and performance. The only minor frustration here is the placement of the function key in the lower left corner of the keyboard, traditionally where the control key is. It’s just a question of retraining your muscle memory, something that would otherwise be a swell on the gorgeous keyboard.
The bricks of its adapter are small. Above you can see Ethernet and VGA connectivity.
The ThinkPad S1 Yoga provides all the bells and whistles of Lenovo-owned software installed on Windows 8 Pro 64-bit OS. Lenovo ThinkVantage is a great tool for managing a variety of software and services installed on the device. The S1 Yoga also features a 720p HD webcam and video-calling capability with dual-array mic for clear audio recording to ensure you get good quality business calls from Skype or any other solution you use. Of course, it doesn’t have a display-sharing port and Ethernet jack, but the attachments (Gigabit Ethernet and Mini-HDMI to VGA) give you a way to use these features if you really want to – perhaps a boardroom presentation or weak at this point. An office environment with Wi-Fi power.
In terms of pure performance, the Lenovo ThinkPad S1 Yoga offers good overall performance. It has a low-voltage CPU that can multitask with 4-5 apps at once, but can’t really set the stage on fire. The onboard GPU is capable of casual browser games, if you’re trying to kill some time on a flight, nothing more. But this machine is for nothing more in terms of raw, number-crunching performance.
The Lenovo ThinkPad S1 adds a port to the left of the Hybrid
The ports lined the side of his voyage. The red dot on the far left is the stylus, which works well with the screen.
What makes it amazing is its excellent screen quality and brightness, very good for watching movies and reading text (anti-glare coating does an impressive job even under bright light). Built-in speakers are good for personal entertainment, as they are both loud at high volume and largely distortion-free. But most importantly, the battery life of the ThinkPad S1 Yoga is one of the best pegs we’ve made on a business laptop, which lasts more than 200 minutes in our tests and we think it should last at least 6 hours on a single charge.
The ThinkPad S1 Yoga is a great attempt to mold an iconic laptop into a functional tablet, which comes with our complete recommendation. It’s still a bit heavy to use and run in tablet mode only, but if you initially see it as an ultraportable ThinkPad with the added bonus of being a Windows 8 tablet, the experience is flattering to impress from this small perception change. Other impressive laptops for you to check out at the same price point are Toshiba Portege Z30T and Acer Aspire S7.