Lenovo Yoga 700

Mid-range 14-inch Laptop That Converts to a Tablet

Lenovo Yoga 700 14-inch Laptop in Tent Mode
Yoga 700 in Tent Mode. ©Lenovo

Manufacturer Site

The Bottom Line

Nov 30 2015 - Lenovo's Yoga series gets improved battery life and performance with the new 700 model. It is still one of the best hybrid designs on the market and has some good solid performance. Sadly, it still suffers from rather large size and weight that make it less useful for those that want to use it frequently as a tablet. Pricing is good and positions it between budget class and premium systems and does not have too many compromises making it a solid system for those wanting more than a basic laptop.

Pros

  • Good Performance from Core i5 with SSD
  • Improved Battery Life
  • Bright and Colorful Display

Cons

  • Heavy and Large to Use for Extended Periods as a Tablet
  • No USB 3.1 or Type C Support
  • Glossy Touchscreen Display Has Issues with Glare

Description

  • Intel Core i5-6200U Dual Core Mobile Processor
  • 8GB PC3-12800 DDR3 Memory
  • 256GB SATA Solid State Drive
  • 14" WUXGA (1920x1080) Multitouch Display with 1MP Webcam
  • Intel HD Graphics 520 Integrated Graphics
  • 802.11ac Wireless, Bluetooth
  • Three USB 3.0, Micro-HDMI, 4-in-1 Card Reader
  • 13.18" x 9.03" x .72" @ 3.5 lbs.
  • Windows 10 Home

Review - Lenovo Yoga 700

Lenovo has decided to go a bit different direction with their latest Yoga lineup. While the Yoga 3 Pro focused on being extremely thin and light, the new 700 series looks to be a bit more affordable and practical for the average consumer. This does mean that it is thicker at just under three quarters of an inch and heavier at three and a half pounds but it is not unreasonable given its 14-inch display size.

It is a bit of a disadvantage though when it is converted into its tablet form as it is quite heavy compared to something like a dedicated tablet system such as a Microsoft Surface Book. The body uses a fair amount of plastic rather than metal to keep the costs and weight down. In terms of feel it is still decent but at least it has texture which resist fingerprints and offers a nice grip.

At the heart of the new Lenovo Yoga 700 is the 6th generation Intel Core processors. The majority of the models are equipped with the Core i5-6200U dual core processor. This offers modest performance gains over previous ultra-low voltage Core i processors but for the majority of users, this should be fast enough for what they do. If you are looking for do more high performance computing such as digital video work, then you want to invest in the upgraded version with the Core i7-6500U. Pretty much all versions come equipped with 8GB of DDR3 memory memory that offers a smooth overall experience in Windows. Some may be disappointed to find that the memory cannot be upgraded but this is becoming much more common on the ultra-low profile systems.

For storage, all of the Yoga 700 series use a solid state drive with the main difference being the capacity. The base model has a very limited 128GB of storage space which can be quickly used up by applications and data. The rest of the systems use a larger 256GB that is still quite small when compared to traditional hard drive equipped laptops but it does offer higher performance. Booting to Windows is quick as it recovering from sleep modes. Performance is not as high as some newer systems as the SSD still uses the SATA interface but the majority of users will probably not be able to tell the difference between this and a newer PCI-Express based M.2 class drive.

If you want to add additional spare, there are three USB 3.0 ports although one of these also doubles as the power adapter giving users just two to use most of the time. It would have been nice to see it support USB 3.1 or the new Type C connect like the Yoga 900. There is also a SD based card reader for the most common types of flash media.

As previously mentioned, the Yoga 700 uses a larger 14-inch class display that does make it is a bit larger than most previous versions that used 13-inch of smaller panels. The display features a 1920x1080 resolution that makes it much more functional than the 900's 13-inch 3200x1800 that can be difficult to read and use with Windows lack of proper scaling for many legacy applications. The picture is nice and bright with a good balance of color. It is a multitouch display for Windows which also means it has a glossy coating on the panel which can be highly reflective in certain conditions such as bright outdoor light. The graphics are handled by the Intel HD Graphics 520 that are built into the the Core i5 processor. It certainly has improved the performance but it really still lacks the ability to be used for gaming especially at the native resolution. The top of the line version offers a GeForce GT 940M dedicated graphics that still really aren't up for serious gaming but are an improvement for those that want to do it casually or accelerate other non-gaming applications.

Lenovo has been known for their high quality keyboards over the years. The Yoga 700 offers a good but not great typing experience. The deck is nice and solid but the keys feel a bit more spongy then they should which gives an odd sense of feedback. My big complaint is the use of the keys on the right hand side of the keyboard. This reduces the size of the right shift, enter and backspace keys. I found myself often pressing the home key instead of backspace. This is something that could be learned over extended use. It does feature a backlight. The trackpad is a nice larger size and is centered on the keyboard deck even though it appears slightly to the right. It features a clickpad design that offers nice feedback. Multitouch gestures are handling without issue but with a touchscreen many will probably ignore the clickpad.

One of the big problems that plagued the Yoga 3 lineup was battery life. Even though they used the Core M processors for passive cooling and lower power usage, they still could not reach eight hours of running time. Lenovo has boosted the battery size to be 40Whr which should help a bit but the Core i5-6200U still uses more power than the Core M. In my digital video playback though, the Yoga 700 was able to achieve just under nine hours of continuous use before going into the standby mode. This is a great improvement but still not as long as class leading systems such as the Apple MacBook Air 13 or the new Microsoft Surface Book that yield upwards of thirteen. Still it is quite usable by consumers that don't have a power outlet nearby.

List prices for the Yoga 700 are roughly $1099 as tested. Lenovo often has offers that mean you can get it for several hundred less than that. This makes it far more affordable than Microsoft's new hybrid designed Surface Book but that would compete more with the Yoga 900. Instead, the Yoga 700 is targeted more at those looking to get something more than a basic laptop. It compared nicely with the MacBook Air 13 but that has a lower resolution non-touch display but offers longer running times and a more portable format.

Manufacturer Site

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