Lenovo Yoga 700 Review: A Flexible 14-Inch Ultraportable Convertible

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Lenovo Yoga 700 Design and Layout

Lenovo classifies the Yoga 700 as an ultraportable convertible, and that's accurate. It's a rather thin and light system, measuring just 0.72 (H) x 13.19 (W) x 9.04 (D) inches and weighing 3.52 pounds. That's not quite on par with the MacBook Airs and some ASUS ZenBooks of the world, but Lenovo's attempting to sell best-in-class flexibility here, as opposed to setting size and weight records.

Lenovo Yoga 700 Closed

The version of the Yoga 700 we have in for review is nearly all matte black, save for the silver hinges and mirror reflective "Lenovo" logo that tastefully dons the upper right corner of the lid. Lenovo opted for a smooth plastic finish on the Yoga 700's lid. It doesn't feel cheap, as some plastic laptop cases do, though it also lacks any visual flair that would have passersby taking a second look, at least when it's closed or in laptop mode.

We mentioned the waistline of the Yoga 700 measuring 0.72 inches. That's true from front to back—the Yoga 700 doesn't sport a tapered designed that's thicker in the rear and thinner at the front. That makes it appear a little chunkier than some other thin and light systems, but considering the Yoga 700's ability to orient itself in four different configurations, a tapered design would have been awkward, especially in tablet mode.

Lenovo Yoga 700 Open

The Yoga 700 is a bit more eye catching when opened up. Whereas the exterior is on the bland side, the interior borrows a few design cues from more premium priced laptops, such as a silver beveled border around the centered touchpad and brushed metal finish of the wrist rest and surrounding area.

None of that would matter if Lenovo chose a poor quality display, but it didn't, choosing instead to equip the Yoga 700 with a middle-of-the-road 14-inch In Plane Switching (IPS) panel with a 1920x1080 resolution. Perhaps a 4K or even a 3K resolution would have been more thrilling, but given the hardware inside and price point, we can see why Lenovo opted for a Full HD panel.

Color reproduction on the Yoga 700's panel is very good, and so are the generous viewing angles. However, it's not very bright—only about 180 lux with the brightness cranked up to 100 percent and the adaptive brightness setting disabled, according to our own measurements.

Lenovo Yoga 700 Keyboard

If you do a lot of typing, you'll appreciate the white LED backlight on the Yoga 700's keyboard. The lighting is uniform and not only illuminates the key labels evenly, light also spills out around the edges of the individual keys, providing a pleasant contrast to the brushed black finish that they're set against. You can turn the backlight on and off by pressing Fn + spacebar, though it's an all or nothing affair—you can't adjust the brightness level.

Lenovo brings its familiar shaped key caps to the Yoga 700, which are curved on the top and bottom. Unfortunately, it's not the same fantastic plank found on Lenovo's ThinkPad laptops. These keys are much lower profile and not as satisfying to type on, though Lenovo partially atones for this with decent click action that's consistent across the keyboard, and the keys themselves (key presses register the same whether you hit a key dead center or near the edge).

The Yoga 700 uses a tenkeyless keyboard, meaning there's no dedicated number pad. However, it did find room for the arrow keys and section that includes Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down, though it required squishing the right-Shift and Backspace keys to fit them all.

Lenovo Yoga 700 Tent Mode Lenovo Yoga 700 Tablet Mode

While there are laptops with better keyboards on the market (and worse, for that matter), the Yoga 700's primary selling point is that it can take on four different modes: Laptop, Tablet, Tent, and Stand. That's a glorified way of saying the display can fold all the way back on itself (tablet mode), but there are actual use-case scenarios for each of the different orientations. Here's how Lenovo explains them:
  • Notebook Mode: Use the classic notebook mode when the keyboard is needed for typing tasks.
  • Stand Mode: Choose the stand mode for viewing movies and video chatting in tight places, like airplanes.
  • Tent Mode: Tent mode is good for touch-based tasks like browsing recipes while cooking, viewing photos, or playing touch games.
  • Tablet Mode: Use the notebook like you would for any touch device.
The keyboard and its backlight are both automatically disabled when utilizing one of the non-notebook modes, provided you tilt the display back far enough. Not everyone will have cause to routinely take advantage of all four modes, but the flexibility to do so is certainly there.

Lenovo Yoga 700 Ports Left Side
Lenovo Yoga 700 Ports Right Side

The power button is found on the right side of Yoga 700 (when facing you), followed by the NOVO button (initiates OneKey recovery if you're having trouble booting the laptop), auto-rotate control, volume control, micro HDMI port, and blue-colored USB 3.0 port.

Over on the other side is the DC-in jack that also functions as a USB 2.0 port, blue-colored USB 3.0 port, 3.5mm audio combo jack, and a 4-in-1 memory card reader.

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