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Review : Lenovo Yoga 700

Lenovo Yoga 700 standTucked away somewhere in Lenovo's booth at the recent IFA show over in Berlin was the Yoga 700, the 2015 version of the small but powerful Yoga 3 (11-inch). It is so new that you won't even find it on Lenovo's website (at the time of writing that is).
Along with a new logo, Lenovo adopted the BMW style of using odd numbers to differentiate between the entry (3xx), mainstream (5xx), high-end (7xx) and super premium (9xx) model ranges of Yoga laptops.
This means that the 700 is perched just below the 900 (the soon-to-come, follow up to the Yoga 3 Pro) in the pecking order.
The Lenovo Yoga 700 appears to be using the same plastic chassis as its predecessor and the same set of features - it has kept the exact same tried-and-trusted hinge solution allowing the screen to flip over completely.
The tapered design and the air vents on the previous model are still there as well, which hints at an active rather than a passive cooling system.
Lenovo Yoga 700 ports
There are a couple of USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, a mini-HDMI port and an 11.6-inch full HD touchscreen display with a rather thick bezel, essential in tablet mode.
The big change happened inside: Lenovo swapped the Broadwell-based Core M for a Skylake processor, the 6Y54. It is a two-core CPU with much higher base clock and turbo frequencies (1.1GHz and 2.7GHz) at the same TDP.
Lenovo Yoga 700 keyboardThat should translate into some serious performance gains in real life applications. The graphics subsystem, Intel HD 515, has been beefed up as well - 4K is now fully supported as well as OpenGL 4.4 and DirectX 12.
The devices on display had a 256GB Samsung SSD and 8GB of DDR3L RAM, which is likely to be the ideal configuration for this computer.
The rest of the specification includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi provided by a Broadcom adaptor, Bluetooth 4.0, Dolby Home Theater and a 40Whr battery, a near 20% improvement on its predecessor, and probably enough to reach 8 hours.
Lenovo Yoga 700 closeOur brief encounter with the Yoga 700 at IFA left us with an excellent impression. As expected, the display is quite reflective - a common "feature" of most touchscreen displays - and the keyboard is quite similar to that found on the Dell XPS 13; it offers a fairly shallow travel, six rows and solid keys that did not feel too cramped.
Most importantly, there was no flex when typing on the keyboard. The touchpad has a silver trim, is pretty generous in terms of surface area, plus it's responsive and sits flat on the palm rest.
We obviously didn't do any benchmarking but everything points to an incremental but still significant boost in performance thanks to the Skylake processor.
The laptop runs Windows 10 and comes with a number of Lenovo's own applications like ShareIT.
Early verdict
The starting price is set at 599 Euros (about £440, $670, AU$960) which should be for the 4GB RAM/128GB SSD model.
Amazon currently sells the Yoga 3 11 with an 8GB/128GB configuration for £499.95 (about $760, AU$1100) and if Lenovo manages to match it, the company will have a hero product (in marketing parlance) on its hands.
It is a shame that the 11.6-inch form factor is not more popular, as it's ideal for those looking for maximum portability without compromising on typing experience and battery life.
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