Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, Watchband Hinge And Intel Core M Deliver Thin And Light Performance

Introduction and Specifications

When Intel gave us an early deep-dive look at their new 14nm Broadwell Core M series processor back in August, we were hopeful that great things would be coming to ultra-light notebooks and premium 2-in-1 tablet devices. Intel's low power 14nm Tri-Gate architecture coupled with an enhanced integrated graphics core, offered the promise of "fanless" devices as thin as tablets that could offer true notebook-class performance. Then, once we got a sneak peek at some performance numbers at IDF 2014, we came away even more impressed with Broadwell, at least in its early stages. However, without quality time spent in hands-on testing, we were left with only a view colored admittedly so often by over-zealous marketing execs, instead of a real-world view of performance and experiential feedback.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro with Intel Core M Processor

Today we've got an opportunity to get our hands dirty, so to speak, with the new Core M 5Y70 Broadwell-powered Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro ultrabook.  Contrary to Intel's design goal with Broadwell, the Yoga 3 Pro is not a fanless design but instead is a super-thin, ultra-light notebook with a premium, high resolution 3K display with a crisp 3200X1800 resolution. And though the Yoga 3 Pro is crazy-thin and light at just 2.6 pounds, its cooling fans are barely audible under load. In addition, this machine has a design feature that is a first for notebooks.  Its "watchband" style hinge allows the machine to flip and contort all the way back into tablet mode and anywhere in between--and look good doing it.

Our guided tour of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
Specifications & Features
13.3-inch QHD+ Backlit LED IPS Touch 3200X1800, 300 NIT, 72% Gamut
Intel Core M 5Y70 Dual-Core w/ HT (2.6GHz Turbo, 1.1GHz Base)
Intel HD Graphics 5300 Integrated
8GB DDR3L 1600MHz
Broadcom 802.11 Wireless-AC, Bluetooth 4.0
I/O Ports:
2 x USB 3.0, DC-in w/ integrated USB 2.0, Audio Combo Jack, micro HDMI-out, 4-in-1 Card Reader
44WHr, 3-Cell Integrated
McAfee LiveSafe, Lenovo Reach, Lenovo OneKey Recovery, OneKey Optimizer, Veriface Pro, Yoga Chef and more
Operating System:
Windows 8.1
Size and Weight:
13" x 0.5" x 9" (Width x Height x Depth); 2.62 pounds
1 Year Parts and Labor
$1299 as tested - Find It At Amazon.com

The Yoga 3 Pro is about as thin and light as we've ever seen a notebook; it's even thinner and lighter than the silly-svelte Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon.  However, that's not its only selling point. Thankfully, Lenovo saw fit this time to make room in the Yoga 3 Pro's emaciated exterior, for an SD card slot. It's a prerequisite these days, though much to our dismay, Lenovo left it out of the X1 Carbon. The rest of the creature comforts are here as well, with a pair of USB 3 posts, a combo USB 2 / DC Power port, a combo-Audio jack and micro-HDMI out.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro with AC Adapter

However, it's what's under the hood that helps make the Yoga 3 Pro we tested even more worthy of consideration. Our system was configured with a healthy 8GB of DDR3-1600 memory, a 256GB M.2 PCIe SSD, and Broadcom's excellent 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4 radio module. And all of this is driven by Intel's Core M 5Y70 Broadwell processor clocked at a 1.1GHz base clock with Turbo Boost frequency up to 2.6GHz.  You can also see here that the AC adapter brick for the Yoga 3 Pro is more akin to a smartphone charger in size, complete with its USB-style detachable cable.  It is however, a bit larger than the average phone charger, maybe about three times the size, which is still pretty tiny for a notebook. Let's take a closer look around this diminutive new machine...

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