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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

One smart thing about ultrabooks is the way different companies are employing innovative ways to make the machine work either as a laptop or a tablet. So, if in one model the screen can be twisted around its axis and then made to lie down on the keyboard so that the laptop becomes a tablet, in another the screen is mounted in the middle of a frame, which you can flip around. If in one model you can undock the screen so that you can use it as a tablet, in yet another the laptop cover is the screen itself.

Now, you have yet another innovation in the market, a laptop in which you open the screen, flip it over, and over, in fact by 360 degrees, so that what you have is tablet in your hands. It has a befitting name too—the IdeaPad Yoga 13.

Powered by the third gen Intel Core i7 processor, the Yoga 13 has a 13.3 inch HD+ IPS display with wide viewing angle. It has up to 8GB DDR3 memory, and up to 256GB SSD storage. It comes with integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics. As far as connectivity is concerned, apart from Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it has USB2.0 & USB3.0 connectors and a 3-in-1 card reader. On top of the screen you have a 720p HD webcam. The touchpad is optimised for the Windows 8 Metro interface with easy scroll, zoom and rotate functions. Then you have the Lenovo Motion Control that lets you flip through photos and pages or rewind/fast forward music and videos with simple gestures. It is quite slim at 16.9 mm thickness and weighs just 1.54 kg.

The 'yogic' innovation means that the Yoga 13 can be used in four fun modes: laptop, tablet, stand or tent. So, while you can use the Yoga as a traditional notebook PC in the laptop mode, the 13.3 inch display doubles as a tablet, and while the space-saving stand mode brings the screen closer to you, the tent mode provides a stable touch experience. So, with four modes, you get four ways to use Windows 8 apps. I really liked the latter two modes—while watching a movie in the stand mode is an amazing experience, setting it up in the kitchen to use it as a cook-book guide in the tent mode is quite another.

You have a nice, responsive sharp screen and the 10-finger multi-touch display is primed for exploring Windows 8. There are features such as InstantResume, to wake the device from the sleep mode in seconds. In case you want to use the keyboard, the AccuType keyboard has individually rounded keys for a smooth typing experience. Then you have the one-touch application closing button on the keyboard—a necessary feature for Windows 8 machines since closing the application can take quite an effort otherwise. The overall construction is very sturdy and the Yoga feels robust any way you use it. Battery life is long—Lenovo claims 8 hours.

A few trips to computer markets in Delhi did reveal that the Yoga, primarily due to its name, is getting a lot of queries. But, from R78,790 onwards, is this the right product for you? Yes, if you can make the most of it, just like it makes the most of itself.

Estimated street price: Rs 78, 790

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