Of all the crazy convertible tablets we've seen in the last year, one has stayed near and dear to our hearts: Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga, the 13-inch Windows 8 ultrabook with the clever 360-degree hinge that lets you prop up that screen or flip around the keyboard to practically any angle you want. Now, with Windows 8 less than three weeks away, Lenovo has revealed how much the 3.4-pound, 17mm thick laptop will cost: $1,099 for the Intel Core i5 version. That doesn't sound bad for a premium ultrabook with a 10-point multitouch panel, a 1600 x 900 IPS display and 128GB of solid state storage — particularly one that feels this good, with a supple textured back, a leathery palmrest, a smooth glass touchpad and a comfortable keyboard. Pre-orders begin at Best Buy on October 12th, and the laptop will be on sale on October 26th.
If that's still a little bit out of your price range, though, you'll be happy to hear that the rumors were true: The IdeaPad Yoga will indeed come in a Windows RT version with twice the battery life. The IdeaPad Yoga 11 will arrive this December for $799. That includes an Nvidia Tegra 3 chip and 2GB of DDR3 memory powering its 11.6-inch, 1366 x 768 display, with five-point multitouch and up to 64GB of storage in a 2.8-pound, 15.6mm thin package.
We got to try a prototype Yoga 11 briefly at a Lenovo event last week, and it seems like it could be a pretty solid device, with a responsive interface, a full keyboard, two full-sized USB 2.0 ports, a full-size HDMI jack and a nice deep SD card slot. It doesn't feel quite as luxurious as the 13-inch model, though, at least not in this early state, with the keyboard of this prototype in particular not up to the company's high standards. Here's hoping those will be improved before launch.