A Week With Windows 8: A College Student & The Lenovo Yoga 13
I began my Windows 8 journey about a year ago with the developer preview on a leftover, broken laptop. The year of windows 8 has been good although frustrating on some older machines, but I am quite satisfied with the result. The learning curve isn't all that bad either. (Took me about 30 mins to master it)
My theory the whole time I used Windows 8 was that, "this would be perfect for school." I found that there was a lot of potential for the OS in all of my classes. Unfortunately, my Dell Latitude D620 was very much not optimized for Windows 8 (Although it sped the old relic up quite a bit). It was clearly time for an upgrade so come October 26 (my birthday), I decided to upgrade to a reliable machine and get the full Windows 8 experience.
At first, I was set on Windows RT. I wanted the Surface RT, but decided that the Asus VivoTab would be better suited for my laptopish needs. As it turns out, it just was not meant to be. In my testing for the VivoTab, it proved to be not capable enough for school. It was close...so close, and I wanted it to be perfect so bad. However, the lack of flash and other plug-ins made it impossible for me to do Biology homework and watch all the lessons, lectures, and activities my professors require us to do online. My main goal was the Surface Pro, but after much thinking, I decided that the Lenovo Yoga 13 would be better because of the 13 inch screen. As a student, I primarily need a laptop while a tablet is for my media consumption in the evening, boring classes, and lunch time in the student union.
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After a week of using the Yoga, I love it. It's everything I've ever wanted for school or even personal use. When I downloaded Office 2013 Preview, I opened OneNote and found all of the notebooks from my Dell waiting for me. I downloaded the OneNote "Metro" app and it is the best tool for studying the notes I took on the desktop. The Skydrive integration is excellent. I love being able to go to class and accomplish everything I need to without hiccups and for it to be fast. The Yoga 13 is really snappy and really fast. When I'm not doing school work, I am always in tablet mode watching Netflix, listening to Xbox music, and browsing on "Metro" IE 10. The Windows App Store is pretty small; however it has most of the apps I use for fun, and as we all know, full Windows 8 has all those legacy applications. I still use my legacy applications like After Effects quite a lot. What's interesting is that metro actually can get the job done when not using Office. On my Dell, I think i spent 90% of my time in Desktop. On the Yoga with touchscreen, I probably spend 75% of my time in the new Modern UI start menu. When I got home and set up the Yoga, every app first and third party had an update waiting. These updates fixed most if not all the bugs that caused the apps to hang in CP, RP, and RTM. The good news is that the new UI and apps are now more usable. Most of my peers are now thinking about going a similar route. For the college student or even the high school student, Windows 8 on a touch enabled hybrid is the best experience and offers a superb work machine and computer and also a working tablet.
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Lets talk about the Yoga. I will probably do a user review, but my view is pretty similar to the one user review that is already out. The first thing I noticed was the build quality. It's excellent. Like the reviewer said, "it feels expensive and it kind of is." The "Rubber Leather" I guess you could call it feels great when typing and resting your wrists. The hinge is probably the best hinge on the market for a 360 degree convertible. It does not feel like it is going to break which was a big concern for me. The style is minimalistic like Windows 8 and it is very very thin. As a laptop, it is a top tier machine with a great size screen and comfortable keyboard, and great hardware. The trackpad has been giving me issues. It might just be my machine, but I am not sure. Let me know in the comments. The trackpad is awesome when it works. The gestures are responsive and easy; however if I accidentally do an unsupported desktop gesture or it seems, be in desktop too long, the trackpad crashes and the only way it comes back is to restart the computer.
The second thing about the Yoga is the screen. It is really stunning. The colors are excellent and it looks really crisp for a 1600 X 900 display. Pixels are there but they are not too noticeable and the display looks better than my classmates' non-retina Macbook Pro and Air laptops. The Yoga is pretty quick. Mine sports the Ivy Bridge i5 and 4 GB of RAM. Obviously its a formula one car to my 2007 Latitude D620. I was expecting a lot less from it when running big programs. I am an amateur videographer and love editing, and Adobe After Effects was very quick. I didn't have any lag or problems with previewing or using plug ins.
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The touch on the Yoga is pretty great. Its not perfect though. You have to touch it...You don't have to mash on it but you can't just flutter your finger on it. It isn't annoying, but you have to touch it hard enough to get finger prints on it.
After a week with full Windows 8 and the Lenovo Yoga 13, I am very satisfied and love the experience. I have been recommending it to my classmates and even coworkers where I work. Most of my peers who have played with it really like it and many are already looking into a Windows 8 machine to replace their old gear.
I will try to answer questions any of you may have about Windows 8 or the Yoga in the comments