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Ultrabook reviews, guides and comparisons

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review with Intel Core M-5Y70 hardware

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro review with Intel Core M-5Y70 hardware
By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , last updated on October 25, 2015
Summary: On a first look, the Yoga 3 Pro is one of the sleekest 2-in-1 13 inch convertibles ever launched. Get closer and you'll end up appreciating the screen, the keyboard and the IO. But when you'll actually start using the device, see how slow it performs, hear the fan and witness the rather short battery life, you'll probably end up regretting you've just spent $1300+ on it. So you'd better wait, at least for now.
Rating: 3 / 5   Price range: $1299 - $1599


thin and light, looks sleek, 2-in-1 form-factor with a solid hinge, decent keyboard if you don't need dedicated F keys, proper IO and connectivity options, excellent display


fragile screen frame, unexpectedly poor performance, serious throttling under load, rather short battery life, some design issues, non standard keyboard layout, expensive

In this post we’re going to talk about the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro, Lenovo’s thinnest and lightest 13 inch ultrabook to-date and at the same time, the first Intel Core M device I got my hands-on.

The article is a review, a collection of all my impressions gathered after using the Yoga 3 Pro for a few days. It’s worth noting that this particular unit is one of the samples given to journalists at the launch event earlier this month and it’s not something I’ve bought myself. It’s the base model with the Intel Core M 5Y70 processor (a higher end CPU in the Broadwell Y family), 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, listed at $1299 at this very moment (will definitely get cheaper in time though).

Last year’s Yoga 2 Pro was, and still is even today, one of the best 2-in-1 ultraportables you could get. The Yoga 3 Pro is its more compact successor, but the new generation is not just a redesigned shell, it’s also one of the first ultrabooks built on Intel’s Core M hardware and probably the first you will be able to buy this Fall. But is it actually any good? Well, stay with me till the end of this review and you’ll find out.

Update: In the meantime Lenovo launched the Yoga 900, a worthy successor fro the Yoga 3 Pro. You can find all about it in this post.

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro video review

The specs sheet for the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro
Screen13.3 inch, 3200 x 1800 px resolution, IPS, touchscreen
ProcessorIntel Broadwell Core M-5Y70 CPU
Graphicsintegrated Intel 5300 HD
Memory8 GB LPDDR3
Storage256 GB M.2 SSD (Liteon L8T-256L9G)
ConnectivityWireless AC, Bluetooth
Ports2xUSB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, SD card reader, micro-HDMI, webcam
Battery44 Wh 5900 mAh
Operating systemWindows 8.1
Size300 x 228 x 12.7 mm (11.8 x 9 x 0.5 inches)
Weightabout 1.2 kg (2.6 pounds)
Extrasbacklit keyboard, JBL Speakers

Design and exterior

Let’s talk about the aesthetics first. The Yoga 3 Pro is half an inch thick and weighs 2.6 pounds, which are impressive numbers for a 13 incher. Its outer shell is crafted from aluminum, and that gives it a beautiful allure and the sturdiness you would expect from a computer you’re probably going to carry with you daily. So for the most part, this laptop feels like it’s worth its high price tag, although the metallic case is prone to scratches. In fact, there are already a few of those on the unit I have, despite being only a few days old.

The Yoga 3 Pro is primarily a laptop, but as a convertible, it can play other roles as well

The Yoga 3 Pro is primarily a laptop, but as a convertible, it can play other roles as well

The new Yoga is of course a convertible, just like the previous generations, and its screen flips to 360 degrees, allowing a few different use modes. There’s the standard laptop position, the stand , the tent and the tablet modes, but you’ll probably use it mostly as a regular notebook. A 13 inch screen tablet might occasionally come in handy, but is not imh very comfortable to use on a daily basis. It’s just too large and heavy.

Lenovo did redesign the Yoga 3 Pro’s hinge mechanism though, now a complex system built from 6 steel meshes with aluminum parts in between (roughly 800 parts in total – what could go wrong here… ?). They call it a watchband hinge, and it does look like one. It even rattles like on each time you adjust the screen’s vertical viewing angle, and in fact each time you move the laptop around, something I found annoying at start, but ended up ignoring after a while. At the same time this new hinge feels sturdy and allows basically countless working positions, while the older two hinge system did not give such freedom. Flipping the screen around is also somewhat smoother than before, so in terms of functionality, the new design does the trick. Hopefully it will be reliable as well.

However, I believe Lenovo went a bit too far trying to make the Yoga 3 Pro as thin as possible and somewhat sacrificed the screen frame’s rigidity. That’s visible when adjusting the viewing angle, which causes light ripples on the panel’s lower left and right corners, but also on the entire bottom margin. You might not notice these in everyday use, but you will notice them on a darker background.

The panel stress is even more visible in tablet mode, when the screen flexes a millimeter or two and again pushes ripples into the panel. I can’t say whether that’s going to affect the display on the long term or not, but it certainly got me concerned. If I would end up buying this thing, I’d have to be really careful about how I’d use it and how I’d carry it around. Having something heavy pressing on the hood could damage the panel.

The laptop’s interior is covered in a smooth plastic, with a dimpled pattern, which kind of reminds me of the Samsung Galaxy S5’s back panel. It comes in black on all versions, while the outer shell is available in Light Silver, Golden or Clementine Orange. Overall, I dig the design and the feeling.

I don’t appreciate the keyboard’s positioning though, which is placed low towards the laptop’s front and leaves room for only a narrow palm-rest. And that means there’s not enough space for your wrists to lay comfortably on its surface. Luckily, the front lip is blunt and there are no sharp surfaces to worry about (although the contact between the dimpled arm-rest and the plastic front edge isn’t perfect and could cause some scratches), but even so, I would have loved if Lenovo were able to push the keyboard ensemble higher. This aspect is especially annoying for me, as I lay in bed with my laptop leaned on my legs, and there’s just too little space for my hands to fit in for a comfortable typing position on this Yoga.

I should also mention that the keyboard is slightly lowered into the chassis, so the laptop won’t lean on the keys when you’ll have it in stand or tablet modes. That’s smart. Of course, the keys and the trackpads are only active in Laptop Mode, so they won’t register accidental taps or presses. Again, smart, but pretty much common sense for devices built on this particular form factor.

The laptop’s sides are covered in what looks like a black sheet of aluminum and house the ports and buttons. There’s the card-reader on the left (half of the card will remain on the outside), micro-HDMI output, an USB 3.0 slot and Lenovo’s new charging port, which also backups as an USB 2.0 slot when the computer isn’t plugged in. On the left you get another USB 3.0 port, the headphone microphone jack, a volume rocker, a screen-lock button and the Power knob (which also acts as status LED).

And I swear Lenovo couldn’t have put it in a worse position, it’s right in the middle where you’ll usually place your hand when grabbing the laptop, and it’s not very stiff either, that’s why I’ve probably pressed it by mistake at least a few dozen times in this last week and put the computer to sleep. Anyway, to wrap up with the IO, there’s also a tactile Windows Home button just beneath the display, somewhat useful in tablet mode. But it’s not very responsive, you’ll have to touch it in its middle for anything to happen and I mostly found it easier to just call the charms bar from the right edge.

OK, so to wrap up this section, the Yoga 3 Pro is thin and light, but maybe too thin for its own good, as the display ensemble isn’t solid enough and that causes stress on the panel when performing casual actions like lifting up the screen, adjusting the viewing angle or grabbing the device in tablet mode. At the same time, the keyboard’s middle positioning leads to a narrow palm-rest, and the power button’s placement is, well… unfortunate.


Lenovo put a 13.3 inch QHD+ touchscreen on this Yoga 3 Pro, with an IPS panel.

The 3200 x 1800 px resolution leads to very sharp content, and you’ll want to scale fonts to 200% in Windows to be able to distinguish anything on the screen. Don’t scale it to 250%, as this will cause certain interface elements to break. Even so, not all third party apps will scale properly, so you’ll deal with tiny texts and buttons from time to time. But hopefully these will be addressed in time, as more HiDPI devices become available.

I loved the display, and I believe most of you will as well

I loved the display, and I believe most of you will as well

The panel is made by Samsung and no longer has the colors issues of the Yoga 2 Pro model. In fact, it’s an updated version of that panel, codenamed SDC434A (SDC424A on the Y2pP). It displays accurate colors and seems to be well calibrated, since my Spyder 4 Elite was not able to improve much after calibration. Not sure why that happened, unfortunately this tool can get inaccurate with certain panels.

Anyway, check out the results below:

  • Panel HardwareID: Samsung SDC434A;
  • Coverage: 98% sRGB, 73% NTSD, 77% AdobeRGB;
  • measured gamma: 2.2;
  • max brightness in the middle of the screen: 291 cd/m2 on power;
  • contrast at max brightness: 310:1;
  • white point: 6900 K;
  • black on max brightness: 0.95 cd/m2;
  • average DeltaE: 1.64 uncalibrated, 1.57 calibrated .


We can also add that the panel isn’t very bright, just shy of 300 nits, which paired with the glossy glass surface, will make it a less ideal choice for strong light environments. At the same time, the contrast is pretty poor, as blacks at max brightness are disappointing. However, dim the screen to about 70-80% (roughly 120 nits) and blacks will get a lot deeper.

Long story short, I’m satisfied with this panel for real-life indoor use and I believe most of you will find it quite good as well.

Keyboard and trackpad

Now, let’s get back to that keyboard. It feels and behaves a lot like the one on the previous Yoga 2 Pro. The keys are smooth and have a slightly oval shape towards their lower side. They don’t travel too much into the frame, but are sturdy and provide good enough feedback, especially once you’ll get use to them.

The keyboard is backlit and you can turn the white illumination On or Off by hitting FN + Space.

On the other hand, Lenovo experimented with the keyboard’s layout and left out the 6th row of F keys (we’ve seen this approach before on the Acer Aspire S7-392 and hated it jut as much). F1 to F12 are obtained by hitting Fn plus the keys on the top row of numbers (0 to +). There are still shortcuts for adjusting the screen’s brightness, the volume or deactivating the trackpad, you’ll just find them on other keys, which is not that big of a problem. The lack of dedicated F-keys will surely break this thing for many users though.

The trackpad is kind of small, but its glass surface feels nice and behaves properly, with one exception. This is a clickpad and its top half is rather stiff, but the issue here is the occasional lack of response from physical clicks. Sometimes you’ll just press the clickpad, you’ll hear the clicking sound, but nothing happens. Now, I for one use taps most of the time, so normally this wouldn’t bother me too much, if it wasn’t for another minor detail: two finger taps don’t work as right clicks on this thing, although single taps (left clicks) work perfectly fine. Annoying.

Hardware, performance and upgrade options

Anyway, with all these out of the way, let’s turn our attention on what the Yoga 3 Pro can do for us. Keep in mind that this is not a final production model, but one of those samples given to journalist at the launch event in October 2014, so a few things might change later down the road. I will update this section with new details as time goes by.

For now, I could summarize I’m not impressed with the Intel Core M hardware implementation on this unit.

Despite packing one of the fastest processors in this line, the Core M 5Y70, with 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD, performance is not what I was expecting. And that’s mostly because the hardware throttles way too fast.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting stellar performance from a low-voltage Broadwell Y series with ad advertised TDP of only 4.5 W. This replaces the Haswell Y line, which wasn’t fast either. By default, the CPU runs at 1.1 GHz with Turbo Boost Frequencies of up to 2.6 GHz. The Intel HD 5300 series graphics embedded withing this processor are designed to run between at 100 to 850 Mhz. Of course, the higher these things can run, the better the performance.

This Yoga 3 Pro handles basic activities mostly fine, including light browsing, editing texts and some photos or watching 1080p video content. However, some programs work smoother on this platform than others. For instance, Chrome 38 is awful. Trying to watch Youtube clips or browsing in Chrome lead to an appalling experience, with everything lagging and choking. Internet Explorer on the other hand works far better. It can deal with 1080P and even 4K Youtube streams, as well as medium browsing with 6 to 10 tabs opened. And this is just one of the examples. The same can be said about playing videos with the VLC player (smooth), as opposed to playing them with MediaPlayer Classic (choppy).

Regardless, the hardware throttles aggressively and there’s little one could do about that. For instance, when trying to play games, both the CPU and the GPU drop to very low frequencies. In fact, I wasn’t able to run properly any of the titles I’ve tried on this laptop, not even older ones like Dirt3 on HD resolution with very low details. I did got somewhat better results when playing the game in Window mode, as you can see from the pictures below (look for Average CPU and GPU frequencies), but switching to Fullscreen resulted in an average of 6-8 fps. The same happend when trying Metro Last Light and I just gave up after that.

The benchmarks are also affected. I’ve got some numbers for you below, but that’s mostly the best you could expect from this thing.

  • 3DMark 11: P552;
  • 3DMark 13:  Ice Storm – 28885, Cloud Gate – 2699, Sky Diver – 1195, Fire Strike – 323;
  • PCMark 07: 4487;
  • PCMark 08: Home Conventional – 1663;
  • CineBench 11.5: OpenGL 17.14 fps, CPU 1.88 pts;
  • CineBench R15: OpenGL 19.54 fps, CPU 171 pts.

Successively running the same benchmark leads to lower and lower results, as the hardware heats up and throttles. Let it cool, and the scores will jump back. For instance, here’s a quick test with Cinebench R15:

  • First run: OpenGL 19.54 fps, CPU 171 cb;
  • Second run: OpenGL 18.84 fps, CPU 153 cb;
  • Thrid run: OpenGL 13.4 fps, CPU 121 cb.

Trying to monitor the frequencies while running Cinebench 11.5 on a cool computer (after a restart) shows an average CPU frequency of about 1.3 GHz, which shows that the CPU doesn’t fully benefit of that advertised Turbo Boost Frequency.

And then there’s the stress test.

  • Stressing the CPU only with Prime 95 makes it drop to the base 1.1 Ghz frequency and reach average temperatures of about 65 C;
  • Stressing the GPU only with Furmark leads to an average clock speed of about 270 Mhz;
  • Stressing both leads makes the CPU stabilize at around 500 MHz and the graphics at about 150 Mhz, with CPU temperatures of 65 C as well.

So it looks to me that Lenovo are capping down the performance once a certain temperature is met. On top of that, analyzing the HWInfo logs, I notice that Lenovo have set the TDP limit at only 3.5W for this test unit (with occasional spikes at up to 12W – LP3), below the nominal TDP of 4.5 W. If I’m not wrong, manufacturers are allowed to set their own Core Package Power. And if that’s the case, final releases might get faster, and at the same time there’s a fair chance we’ll see more powerful Core M devices in the future. Upping the Core’s allowed wattage should yield significantly better performance.

Update: I recently tested another Core M device, the Asus T300FA, and you can read my detailed impressions here. Based on my experience with this unit, I can conclude the Core M platform is theoretically far more capable than this Lenovo implementation delivers. The lower-end Core M-5Y10 CPU on the Asus performed smoother and was able to maintain higher frequencies throughout all everyday activities, unlike the Core M-5Y70 processor on the Yoga 3 Pro, which is on paper a faster solution. I can’t say for sure if the final version of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro will suffer from the same issues as this test model, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled for further reviews and update the post when needed.

Anyway, whether Lenovo’s temp/W caps are too aggressive or not cannot be confirmed for now, I’ll have to get my hands on other Broadwell Y implementations, confront results and then draw conclusions. In the meantime, check out the pictures and this sections and draw your owns. Would love to hear what you think about this platform in the comments section at the end of the post.

Now, I should also tell you a couple of words about the hefty collection of preinstalled software features Lenovo put on this laptop. There’s for instance this thing called Onekey Optimizer, meant to keep the system in perfect shape. It can clean-up junk files, accelerate certain processes and even some apps (although that will require a lot of memory and personally, I haven’t seen any gains with it active), show a status of your battery and a few other things.

There’s also Harmony, which, and I quote “gives YOGA owners a new way to discover applications and customize how they behave when used. For example, when reading an e-book, Harmony will automatically change the brightness and color temperature according to the environment lighting. When using presentation software, Harmony can enable motion control or touch depending on the mode, or when watching video it can optimize the audio settings.“, and things like the MaxxAudio app (let’s you tweak the sound) or the Photo Master image viewer.

I’m not a big fan of these preinstalled programs and would probably wipe them out hoping I could make the laptop faster, since there would be less stuff running in the background, but that’s just me. You on the other hand might want to give them a chance.

Noise, Heat, Connectivity, speakers and others

The Yoga 3 Pro runs mostly cool and quiet.

There is a fan inside though, placed in the laptop’s upper right corner and pushing hot air through the very narrow cooling grill hidden behind the metallic hinge. And this fan is active pretty much all the time, but even at high speed it’s not very noisy. In fact, the Yoga 3 Pro is for sure quieter under load than its predecessor.

You can check out the fan in the picture below, taken from the disassemble guide available here. You’ll also find out from the guide that the storage is upgradeable on this Yoga (There’s a Liteon L8T-256L9G NGFF SSD on our test unit which can be replaced with a larger compatible stick) and so is the mSATA Broadcom wireless chip.

If you’ll leave the laptop idle, the fan will eventually turn off. But even in this case, there’s a faint buzzing coming from the laptop’s same top-right area, which you’ll hear in a completely quiet room. The moment you launch anything on the computer, a browser page or even a text doc, the fan kicks in, which I find a bit too rushed. Lenovo should have left a headroom in order to make light daily use quieter.

When it comes to temperatures, the inner hardware reaches values of 75-77 C (the CPU and GPU) in certain cases, while the outer body goes to between 35 to 38C in its hottest areas. Check out the numbers below. Load temperatures are measured under stress (Prime 95 + Furmark), but the hardware actually gets hotter in everyday use than in this scenarios (when it throttles badly, as mentioned above), which actually translates in 0.5 to 1 degrees C higher body temperatures as well, for instance when running 1080p high bitrate video or heavily browsing.

As a bottom point, I had absolutely no problem using this on my lap, not even when running more intense things on it, as long as it’s not in direct contact with the skin.

idle-temperatures load-temperatures

Next, the speakers… I can’t say for sure how loud they are because on this unit, the left one wasn’t working at all. The SINGLE right speaker that was working pushed decent quality audio, quite good I might even say for an ultrabook, with very few vibrations and no distortions, even at max volume.

I took some time to test the Wi-Fi performance because, one, that was a problem on the early Y2P versions, and two, Lenovo aren’t using the “recommended” Intel wireless chip on their device, but opted for a Broadcom 802.11ac adapter. Luckily, I couldn’t find anything wrong with this approach; the laptop was able to maximize my Internet connection and the signal remained strong (4 bars) at 30 feet with 3 walls in between, without significant speed drops.

Last I should mention the webcam. It sits on top of the screen, while the two microphones are placed beneath the glass, and to put it in a few words, it’s one of the worst I’ve seen in the last years, as it captures incredibly noisy pictures even when there’s a fair amount of light around. It will probably do for occasional Skype talks, but don’t expect the person at the other end of the line to be too happy with the images coming through.

Battery life

There’s a 44 Wh 5900 Mah battery inside this Y3P, smaller than on its predecessor, and although paired with this supposedly highly efficient Core M platform, it only translates in about 5, maybe 6 hours of daily use and 4 to 5 hours or playing video content, on Balanced mode, with Wi-Fi ON and the screen’s brightness manually set to 70%, which is roughly 120 nits. Check out the pictures and details below for more details:

  • 5.4 W (~8 h of use) – idle, Power Saving Mode, screen at 0%, Wi-Fi ON, keyboard’s back-lightning OFF;
  • 7 W (~6 h of use) – very light browsing and text editing in Google Drive, Balanced Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON, keyboard’s back-lightning ON;
  • 8.2 W (~5 h 20 min of use) – 1080p video on Youtube in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON, keyboard’s back-lightning OFF;
  • 9 W (~5 h of use) – 1080p .mkv video on VLC Player, Balanced Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON, keyboard’s back-lightning OFF;
  • 9 W (~5 h of use) – medium browsing in Internet Explorer, Balanced Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON, keyboard’s back-lightning ON;
  • 12 W (~4 h 40 min of use) – 1080p video on Youtube in Chrome, Balanced Mode, screen at 70%, Wi-Fi ON, keyboard’s back-lightning OFF.

On the other hand, Lenovo’s power management is historically bad. And that should give us hope for other Core M implementations. We’ll see. Too bad Sony quit their laptop business, they were perhaps the best in this field. Remember the Vaio Duo 13, one of the first 13 inch Haswell ultrabooks ever launched and even today towards the top of the list when it comes to battery life.

That aside, I should tell you a few things about the power adapter on this unit. Charging the laptop takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes. Charging to 90% takes around 2 hours, as the laptop charges at a rate of around 22 Wh till it reaches 80-90% and then slows down. The power brick is compact and has an USB output, so it can charge this laptop, but also other devices if needed. The power cable is a 6 feet long USB-USB, as the charging pin on the laptop is also an USB (remember that I mentioned it acts as an USB 2.0 slot when the laptop is not plugged in). An interesting approach, although I would have preferred a longer cable, this included one feels somewhat restrictive.

Price and availability

The Yoga 3 Pro was initially announced at $1349 for the Intel Core M 5Y70 / 8 GB DDR3 / 256 GB RAM configuration and it’s at the time of this post already “discounted” and selling for $1299 (the Golden and Clementine Orange models, while the Light Silver version is still listed for $1349). Adding an extra 256 GB of storage space would bump the price to $1549.

You should follow this link for the latest discounts and up to date prices.

It's hard to justify paying $1300 for the Yoga 3 Pro

It’s hard to justify paying $1300 for the Yoga 3 Pro


On the outside, the Yoga 3 Pro looks and feels like a nice upgrade. It’s very thin, light and mostly sturdy built, except for the screen’s hinge. On top of these, the metallic case and fancy hinge mechanism give it a premium allure. Once you’ll open it up you’ll notice the nice screen, the comfortable keyboard and the accurate trackpad, although the non standard keyboard layout will surely steer some of you away, as well as the stubborn click buttons.

On the inside though, the Yoga 3 Pro is less of a success, at least based on this unit I got for tests here. The Core M implementation felt slow, which was not exactly a major surprise, but this laptop wasn’t as energy efficient as advertised and not even fanless (here’s a list of fanless alternatives, if you’re interested), as I was hoping. So the truth is you’ll get significantly better performance and superior battery life with something like the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro or the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 if you really desire the a sleek form-factor, for a fraction of the price.

Thus, unless Lenovo manages to change that on the final release units and deal with the aggressive throttling that simply brings this laptop to its knees in anything but low-level activities, I can’t recommend buying this Yoga 3 Pro. And especially not when it sells for $1300, or more for the beefier configurations. But nevertheless, if you like the design and don’t care about the issues I’ve listed in this review, then this Lenovo 2-in-1 could be the right device for you.

On a first look, the Yoga 3 Pro is stunning, but once you dig a bit deeper, you'll find out you can get better performance and longer battery life in much cheaper devices

On a first look, the Yoga 3 Pro is stunning, but once you dig a bit deeper, you’ll find out you can get better performance and longer battery life in much cheaper devices

Otherwise, hold your horses and don’t despair, we’ll have plenty of other Broadwell Y ultrabooks available in stores in the next few weeks, and I’ll gather them all in this post. And then we’ll get the Broadwell U entries, early in 2015, for those of you that require snappy performance. And then the Broadwell Ms.

Or in other words, if you’re in the market for a new thin and light laptop with top end features and long battery life, the future looks great. And I believe this Yoga 3 Pro is not representative for these next gen ultrabooks, and not even for the Core M hardware platform. Time will tell.

Andrei Girbea, aka Mike, Editor-in-Chief and a huge fan of mobile computers. Since 2007, I've only owned smaller than 12.5" laptops and I've been testing tens, if not hundreds of mini laptops. You'll find mostly reviews and guides written by me here on the site.


  1. Fuad

    October 21, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    I really hope the unit you have is defective because I was really excited about this machine

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Hope so too. More reviews should be available soon.

      • Fuad

        October 22, 2014 at 10:09 pm

        Not sure why they keep marketing it as fanless when there is an actual fan and vents for it.
        didn’t expect that from lenovo

      • ZippityD

        October 30, 2014 at 8:26 pm

        It may have been. I just asked a Lenovo rep (sales guy from their website) about throttling, pointing to this review and another with similar conclusions, and he said that would be covered by both a 30 day money back guarantee and the 1 year manufacturer warranty. I screenshotted the conversation, so see here: http://i.imgur.com/LKO3Wvc.png

        Interesting that they would consider this a manufacturing defect, and it does put them back in the running for my next laptop purchase… but I’d love to see them send a new round of laptops to reviewers for a “non-defect” review! We can’t really speak to the thing’s value until that happens! Until then, the “defect” has to be considered normal I suppose.

  2. Al Ez

    October 23, 2014 at 3:49 am

    Thank you review! There is no point to wait for UX305 :)

  3. Jules

    October 23, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Great post! Thanks!

  4. mark

    October 23, 2014 at 7:15 am

    i love ur reviews. very informative. im leaning more towards the asus ux305, yoga 14, or the alienware 13 after seeing this review.

    its a shame that lenovo hasn’t perfected is yoga line yet.

  5. Vinu

    October 23, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    In the pricing section, did you mean Yoga 3 Pro, instead of Yoga 2 Pro?

  6. Maikel

    October 23, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Such a good review. Thanks.
    So, are you saying that you would prefer 100% for sure the Yoga 2 Pro over Yoga 3 Pro if you have to buy one right now?

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 24, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      I’d wait for the final release versions of the Y3P to become available before drawing final conclusions. But even if the Y3P performs far better than the sample I tested, the price difference between the Y3P and Y2P is still difficult to justify imh, unless you really want a very thin and light device.

      • Maikel

        October 24, 2014 at 1:08 pm

        But, what kind of change would you expect from Lenovo, why, and how would that impact the performance of the final Y3P over the test version you had in hands?

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 27, 2014 at 8:19 pm

          I would expect them to run the CPU at 4.5W or higher, which should translate in faster performance. I would also expect to tweak the energy profiles and make the package more efficient under very light use.

      • Cheryl

        October 24, 2014 at 8:02 pm

        So what you’re saying is that based on current performance, it’s not worth it to spend extra $400 on Y3P rather than Y2P.

        What’s an expected date for the final release version of Y3P?

        So that I understand, does Lenovo continue to make improvements now until its ‘final’ release that could correct & improve on flaws highlighted by users & reviewers?

        I would like to see your final review before I make a decision between a Y2P, Y3P or a competitor model.

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 27, 2014 at 8:31 pm

          Hi CHeryl, my final review could take a while. The Y3P is expected to ship in the US right now, but it won’t come here this year.

          And yes, imh it’s not worth paying extra for the Y3P. And that will probably not change unless the final units offer a massive performance boost and run more efficiently. And then there’s the fragile screen frame, the keyboard’s layout…

  7. Adi

    October 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Thanks for the review, very informative. Superb hardware but poor performance due to throttling and lack of Fn keys makes it a no go for me. I’ve seen the performance issue mentioned in at least another preview, so I don’t think it’s a one-off.

  8. Jeff

    October 24, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    Re poor Chrome performance vs IE:
    Google decided that Chrome should always use VP9 codec on PCs – even if there is no hardware acceleration available. This means that Chrome is doing CPU decide and that is pretty demanding in a 3.5w power limit for CPU, GPU, LLC, and FIVR. On IE, YouTube uses H.264/AVC and the hardware code support kicks in for much more power efficiency.

  9. Jeff

    October 24, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I meant codec – not decide and code in previous post… Typing on phone is a pain

  10. Rob

    October 24, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I read your “Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro” Review and look forward to a Review of the “HP ENVY x2”, it is fanless and on HPs Site starting @ $900 (Hint).

    I think these first lines of Laptops / Tablets derived from this Processor will be fraught will the need to throttle to preserve TDP. The thinner and smaller a device the less room for a Heatsink, thus turning the entire device into one (a Heatsink).

  11. Rev.SoulGlo

    October 28, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    Someone please tell Lenovo to stop trying to redesign the keyboard layout. Nobody wants to purchase a new laptop and be surprised when keys NO LONGER EXIST!!! or… i have to press another key like Fn. This is very unproductive!!!

  12. Laurits

    October 29, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I think I am going to pick this up at BestBuy for 1300 USD, and try it out. To my understanding I can just return it again within the specified time period.

    I cant seem to figure out, does this machine support digitizers comparable to the on for MS SP3? Or is it limited to passive stylus (no palm-rejection and pressure sensitivity)?

    If I am using the terms for the pens incorrectly I apologize.

    Playing any mid level graphics games (League of Legends, HL2 engine etc) on native display with lowest graphics is out of the question because of the resolution?

    Would I be able to just set the res to about 1920 × 1080 and it would look fine (maybe the performance would still suffer though)

    Do you know if the Yoga 2 pro supports pens like MS SP3 (I guess same as first question)

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      It doesn’t include a digitizer, so it will only work with passive styluses. That’s the same for the Y2P as well.

      You can lower the resolution, but imh, the hardware is just not capable of handling any of those games, at least that was the case on this unit that I tested. I haven’t tried any games at native resolution, as I said in the article, I’ve tried to run them at HD (1366 x 768 px res) and ended up with 7-9 fps on average in things like Dirt 3 and Grid 2. LOL will run better, but I still don’t think it will be smooth enough.

      • Laurits

        October 29, 2014 at 6:19 pm

        Tanks for your quick reply.
        Do you have any experience with passive styluses?
        None of those are able to do palm rejection or pressure sensitivity correct?

        Really my wish list is something like this (others please comment if you agree)

        -Yoga hinge thingy
        -Core I7 (+ whatever integrated graphics that usually follows)
        -8GM RAM
        -256GB SSD
        -Digitizer support (touch included ofc)
        -A form factor + weight somewhere in between Y2 Pro and Y3 Pro
        -Sensible thermal throttling under sustained load.

        Yoga 3 pro is 1300 usd in the US, and it is around 2150 usd in Denmark (Europe) where I live (12500 DDK)

        I see my wish-list-specs going for around the same in the respective countries

        • Andrei Girbea

          October 31, 2014 at 11:53 am

          I don’t have much experience with any styluses, that’s not something I’m interested in and I haven’t got to test many laptops with styluses/digitizers.

          For your needs, I’d probably look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga . There’s also the Fujitsu Lifebook T904 but I personally never seen it in action, so can’t say much about it.

          The Y2P and Y3P lack a digitizer. There’s also the older Sony Vaio Duo 13, but the slider form factor isn’t great.

          • Laurits

            November 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

            Hi again Andrei
            I have found exactly the specs I need in the Thinkpad Yoga on the Microsoft store:

            I am currently in the US for the next few months, and I do not seem to be able to buy these specs back home in Europe. Do you think I will be able to replace the keyboard keys (so that I get the layout I am used to)?

            I hear talk about connectivity issues with the WIFI on these devices, do you know if that is still at occurring problem?

            Kind regards

          • Andrei Girbea

            November 5, 2014 at 6:04 pm

            I don’t think you can replace the keys, but you can set up the keyboard you want and just learn where the keys you need should be.

            As for the wi-fi issues, it’s mostly a matter of luck. Most TPYs don’t have wi-fi problems, but some do. If you’re unlucky, you can draw the short straw. Buying the laptop from the US might not give you warranty in your country, you probably know that but I though it’s worth mentioning anyway.

  13. Groudie

    October 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Have you tried to put a linux distro on it? I plan to remove Windows totally and install Linux.

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      No, I have NO experience whatsoever with Linux

      • Groudie

        October 31, 2014 at 6:48 pm

        Fedora? Ubuntu? Mint? Arch? Antergos? OpenSUSE? Debian? elementaryOS? A little experience with Linux is something every computer “nerd” should know :D Even if it’s running Linux from a live USB instead of installing it directly. Trust me, it’s a lot of fun :D When you have some time you should experiment with it. You know, raise your “nerd” cred even higher :) I am using Antergos with the Gnome 3.14 Desktop Environment but for beginners I would suggest Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, Linux Mint 17, OpenSUSE 13.2 and most highly recommended is elementaryOS Freya(but it is still in Beta). Just some suggestions if you want to try :)

        • Andrei Girbea

          November 1, 2014 at 10:43 am

          I know there are a lot of distros out there. I’ve experimented with Mint and Ubuntu a few years ago but never got the time to do it again then. Or the urge, tbh :P . Quite a few readers suggested me trying Linux on the test laptops, so I definitely have to get myself familiar with it once again.

          • Groud Frank

            November 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm

            Oh! When you said “I have NO experience whatsoever with Linux” I thought that included not ever using Linux. My bad. Great! I please let me know when what results you come up with.

    • Leszek

      January 25, 2015 at 9:12 pm

      Hi, I have installed Ubuntu 14.10 x64 and erased Windows 8 completely.
      It works smoothly under Ubuntu. Only you will need to plug some USB LAN card after installation, so Ubuntu can install proprietary WiFi driver.
      Touch screen works well. I’m using native Onboard for touch input.
      I was playing with scaling at native resolution, but some applications have problems with that, so I’m just using FullHD for now.
      Autorotation isn’t working so far. Hopefully we’ll get something working soon.
      You may want to look here also: plus.google.com/108110137184055365183/posts

  14. mystiq

    November 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    nice review, andre, would u mind to review the all new lenovo thinkpad yoga 14 for us?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 23, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      I wouldn’t, but don’t know if I can get my hands on it . Will try

      • Mystiq

        November 24, 2014 at 6:00 am

        that was interesting to hear, because Thinkpad Yoga “14 has similar spec with the best(for me) ultrabook 2014 asus ux303ln.
        so we’re looking forward to see the review TY 14…..i’m planning to buy between these 2 notebook…

  15. Jim

    November 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Hi, Andrei,thenks a lot for your review. I wnat to buy a “thin” ultrabook and considering either “Yoga 3 Pro” and “Samsung ATIV book 9 Plus 940 (with Core-i7-4500/8GB/256SSD)”…

    I consider Y3P due to its long battery life as highlighted in the spec. about Core-M CPU, and I expected its performance will somehow like a device with Core-i5…. and also its “tablet” mode… (before reading your review)

    But, now, do you think Samsung book 9 will be a better choice?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 25, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      The Core M processor is not on par with an i5 Core U Haswell CPU. Not even with an i3 from what I can tell. So if you need the power, the Core M is not the best choice.

      • Peter

        December 4, 2014 at 11:17 pm

        This article (http://ultrabooknews.com/2014/09/14/intel-core-m-overview-benchmarks-and-product-previews/) is very interesting. It says that in order for the Core M to work properly the case has to be aluminium. Dos that mean that we can wait better performance from the UX305?

        Also, check the benchmarks. The Core M does pretty well.

        • Andrei Girbea

          December 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm

          That article is a bit old, we know a few more things about Core M now. And I’ve seen COre M implementations on plastic devices and they worked alright.

    • Andrew

      February 6, 2015 at 8:56 am

      Get the Ativ, without a doubt. I have the Ativ 9 Pro with the i5 and magnificent 3200×2800 resolution. I got it on sale for $1100 at micro center. The Ativ is always on sale somewhere. This laptop screams. I put heavy power savings on and throttle it down and am able to get 5-6 hours on a charge. This is one of the few that is worth the 1000+ price tag.

      My boss ought a couple dozen Ativ 9 Lites and had us deploy them to areas where people were very frustrated with computer problems. I was able to build the image for them on a single charge, I was impressed but worried because in certain situations, this lower end model was extremely slow. We had to replace one for a user immediately to get his Dragon working. But everyone else was very happy. The design of the Ativ is what makes it so great. Add the premium hardware on the Plus and Pro models and you have the perfect laptop. Only problem is its high price tag. We had to switch away from Samsung because I’m not waiting for a sale if a user needs a new laptop. We switched to the Toshiba Portage Z30 w/ i5 and are very satisfied with this system as well.

      Get the Ativ, just not the Ativ Lite. You cannot go wrong with this option.

  16. jac

    November 27, 2014 at 9:14 am

    Hi Andrei, thank you for the review, which has better gaming performance? The yoga 3 pro or the yoga 2 pro?

    • Andrei Girbea

      November 27, 2014 at 11:32 am

      My test unit did not work as advertised, but even after reading other reviews of final retail versions, the Y2P with a Haswell U platform is going to offer better performance than this Core M architecture.

  17. Zack

    November 30, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Hi, Andrei

    I want to buy a good ultrabook and waited for YP3, ASUS UX305 etc but as i can see the CORE M isn’t what i expected. Do you know when in 2015 are we going to have any broadwell i-cores (i mean the successors of haswell i3, i5, i7) models? For example, i would love a fanless dell xps 13 with i5 but i don’t know if i can wait so long. Your answer would help me a lot, thank you!

    • Andrei Girbea

      December 6, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Broadwell Core U processors should be shipping inside laptops by Q2 2015, from what I know right now.

  18. Juan

    December 27, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Hey Andrei,

    Great site, second time using your site for a new notebook for the family.

    Looking to replace my VPC-Z, which is a limited edition gold version. It’s about 4 years old and still really nice. Having a bunch of issues, which seem to be related to ageing hardware.

    I’ve tried the ASUS UX301 but found it too heavy and compared to my much older VAIO. I need to run Solidworks and need some good power.

    Would I be happy with the new YOGA 3? If not, any other suggestions after coming from a VAIO-Z?

    • Andrei Girbea

      January 3, 2015 at 10:42 am

      I’d stay away from COre M hardware, it’s not meant to deliver performance, it’s merely a high-eficiency chip for very thin and light machines.

      The UX301LA is pretty much the fastest Windows 13 inch ultrabook available right now. However, Intel’s next gen Broadwell U hardware platform is just around the corner, so if you can delay your purchase a few months, there should be more options for you by Spring.

  19. HM

    February 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Hi Andrei,
    Thanks a lot for the helpful reviews.
    I’m planning to buy an ultrabook. But I’m a little confused which one to choose. Which one would be your best choice?

  20. Rob

    February 12, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Here in Sweden they are offering a y3p with an i7, 500gb ssd and 8 gb of ram. How come I can’t find any reviews of this one? I’d really like to know how it compares to this one. My laptop is on its last legs and I need a replacement and thought this one looked good, but now after this excellent review I’m having second thoughts. I just want a decent laptop, preferably a touchscreen since it seems like win 8 is really designed for it. Any suggestions?

    • Andrei Girbea

      February 15, 2015 at 8:52 am

      i7? that can’t be right. Can you leave a link?

  21. Rob

    February 12, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I should add that I’m not a gamer but I do play a lot of music and video.

  22. Mike

    March 20, 2015 at 2:26 am

    DONT BUY. If you loose your power adapter – you screwed. I have $1400 piece of garbage in a drawer because lenovo doesn’t have power adapters. And Lenovo doesn’t care.

  23. Ken

    May 12, 2015 at 6:42 am

    How were you able to run League of Legends on this notebook? I recently installed the game on the same laptop and tried to run league of legends in it. But When I was ingame, I couldn’t click anything. My touchpad works and all but when I tried to left or right click, nothing happens. Same with when I use a mouse.

  24. John Brunner

    August 13, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Lenovo could have one of the worst customer service organizations around.
    I purchased the Y3P in January 2015, in July the unit slowly degraded until it would not boot – had issues with WIFI first, then would randomly boot, and then finally the blue screen of death and could not boot. Sent Y3P to Lonovo in July, now in mid August without a resolution. Lenovo claims they know what the problem is (but they refuse to tell me) and that the needed parts to fix the machine are not available. They can not tell me when I will get the machine back. I don’t know what to do next…I have called customer service and tech support too many times now, keep getting handed back and forth, neither group communicates with the other, leaving the customer in complete limbo land!

  25. Arie Kashmir

    September 3, 2015 at 10:28 am

    I am looking for ultrabook that can be used as drawing and designing gadget. Previously i was interested in microsoft surface pro 3, since it has it own n-trig digitizer
    Is there any chance that lenovo yoga pro 3 using the same stylus that are pressure sensitive?
    Thank you…

    • Andrei Girbea

      September 3, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro lacks an active digitizer, so it’s not going to be the right choice for what you want.

  26. vito

    October 29, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Andrei, what’s your feeling about the final release of the YP3 in particular for the newer with M-5Y71? I’ve bougth one for 899€ and the news of this new release and your review are confusing me (i’m in time to back to seller). Thanks

    • Andrei Girbea

      October 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Vito. The Core M 5Y71 should be a lot different than the early unit I tested and perform faster. But even so, the Y3P is still not one of my favorite convertibles. I feel it’s fragile, slow and doesn’t offer much in terms of battery life. I don’t like the keyboard either. It has gone down in price by a lot lately, and I don’t think there’s any similar device you could get for the money you’d spend on a Y#P right now, so there’s at least that.

      Bottom point, If you’re happy with it overall, you should keep it. How you feel about it is far more important than anything else, no matter what someone on the Internet says. Me included :P

  27. nwachukwu ezenwa

    August 8, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    how can I force restart it cos is been on pls wait for longtime

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