It’s the conundrum we all face. Tablet or Laptop or both? Buying a tablet will set you back $500 on average. Now a days the really nice ones run closer to $850—plus you’ll want a keyboard, and case and everything. A decent laptop (Not talking about a chromebook. I’m talking about one with a usable amount of RAM and a processor with a decent amount of power) will be an additional $1000. At least. This is why a couple years ago I opted to buy the biggest, nicest, most powerful tablet I could find and add a docking keyboard so that I could use it as a tablet and a laptop.
So, I recently destroyed that tablet.
But, because I used it as both a tablet and a laptop, I was doubly devastated when I had to start speaking of it in the past tense. I may or may not have cried, and been a moody wreck for two days, until I passed into the giving-up-on-life stage for a week. Or two.
But in this dark period in my life, there came opportunity. I wasn’t completely happy with my previous set up. The docking keyboard wasn’t staying docked very well after a year of heavy use, and the screen was cracked and a little smaller than was enjoyable for productivity (10.1 inch). Plus, because it was only a tablet, I couldn’t use it for any “real” programs—like Photoshop Elements and Word, which I use. A lot.
So it was time to start the shopping process all over again. Tip: I love www.CNET.com. I will not buy any major tech without consulting CNET editor’s review on the product first. In fact that’s usually where I start my search. I look at their editor’s picks for the type of item I’m looking for. I totally geek out over the advances in technology and fantasize about the stuff that I’ll be able to do with my new tech, once I have it in my hot little hand.
This time I discovered that there is actually a class of machines that are built to be used as both a laptop and a tablet. I had no idea. They are called “convertibles”. Fitting, right? I determined which one made me salivate the most after my long process of due diligence. It was the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro.
Why the Lenovo Yoga 2? Because look at this commercial for it.
Did that not make you wild to have one of your very own? I’ll admit I was a little surprised that it was Lenovo that made me drool. They are very well known in the business world for solid heavy-duty machines and secure servers. But in the consumer world? They are slightly less well known. Turns out they win all sorts of awards for innovation and quality and whatnot on a regular basis. The Yoga 2 Pro really is the best of both worlds, laptop and tablet alike.
Properties that made me drool:
- It has the resolution and touch capability of a high end tablet screen, but it’s the size of a laptop screen.
- It runs on Windows 8.1—so that you can install and run real software, like the Office suite and Photoshop Elements. It’s so important for me to not have to run off only mobile apps, which are fantastic for squeezing in a little time with Word while you wait at the doctor’s office, but not ideal for productivity time when you happen to be away from home. And you can still install your favorite apps from the Windows Store to play when you aren’t being as productive.
- Nice processor. It would be overkill for just surfing the web, or running small games or apps, but it’s perfect for doing actual computing. 4th Generation Intel processors automatically overclock when the processor is backed up and the core temperature is okay. This translates to faster processing times for your heavy duty processes. Ahem. Like high resolution photo and video rendering. Which would be difficult on a regular tablet. Especially since you can’t even install the real photo editing software on Android or iOS.
- Solid State Drive. Most tablets and phones have small solid state hard drives, which is why they work silently, and quickly. SSD’s are less common in laptops and computers, mostly because they are more expensive than regular hard drives and don’t have as much storage space. But, solid state drives are sooooooo much faster than regular hard drives. So I loved that they went with the SSD and it’s a decent size. I save most of my stuff to the cloud so that I can access it on all my devices, so really, all I need room for is my software and apps.
- 9 hour battery life. Have you ever heard of a laptop with that much battery life? Or seen it in real life? A tablet, maybe. But definitely not a laptop.
- With the versatility of the keyboard folding options, I can use it for everything.
These were some of the main reasons I began pestering Lenovo to send me one to try. You know. Just to make sure this wasn’t false advertising. I had no ulterior motives whatsoever. Or maybe just one. It took a few months and a lot of begging, but they did send me one for free. And after a few more weeks of convincing they let me keep it.
Can I just say the Yoga 2 Pro is so very, very worth those weeks of begging? Holy smokes. My favorite thing (besides the keyboard being firmly attached) is that it takes a whopping 8 seconds to boot up—thanks to the solid state drive. I actually count when it starts booting, because it’s so thrilling, and I’m cool like that. Anyway, it’s way faster than my phone, and it really puts my desktop to shame.
My second favorite feature is the hands free operation capability. When I’m using it in the kitchen to show me recipes while I cook (in stand mode or tent mode), my hands are constantly slimy and coated with whatever I’m cooking. I don’t want to transfer the mess onto my screen. I just motion with my hands in front of the screen and it changes pages, or pauses the video, or increases the volume. Yay! Problem solved.
After spending about a month with the Yoga 2 Pro I’ve been very pleased with how quickly it opens my software applications, and with the quick processing time for photo and video rendering. It’s faster than my now ageing PC, so I prefer using this baby for those heavy duty needs, even when I’m near the desktop. Especially because my PC monitor has nowhere near the same resolution, and I really need high resolution to edit my high resolution photos. There are very few things in the world that are more frustrating than editing a masterpiece on the computer, only to print it out and discover it wasn’t quite the masterpiece I thought it was on my low resolution screen.
The other thing I love, and this might sound a little strange, is the typing texture of the keyboard. What in the world is that? It’s the feel of the keys when you type. It just feels high quality. The keys are perfectly sized and spaced, and just firm enough to feel stable but not stiff. And it has a back-lit keyboard. I just love typing on this thing.
In fact, everything about it feels high quality. It is super thin, sleek and lightweight. I just love the overall design. Yummy! It’s everything I hoped it would be.
And, the Yoga 2 Pro runs from $1400 to $1750 (depending on the amount of RAM, hard drive space, and Processor). That’s less or equal to what you would pay for a tablet and a laptop both. I’m all about saving the space and the money to have one really nice piece of tech that does all of the above.
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I’m a technological enthusiast with a completely unrelated degree in English Literature. I’ve also been known to dabble in photography and DIY furniture refinishing, with occasional stints of fitness sprinkled among all of the above.