Black Friday buyer beware: Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga 11 may not be the deal it appears



I love the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13. It's not the perfect Windows 8 laptop, but it's a great design, with a touchscreen display that folds into a tablet configuration. It went on sale about a month ago.

Today, in the shopping chaos of Black Friday, Lenovo started offering the 11-inch IdeaPad Yoga 11 on its website as well. Presently, you can find one for $679.20, a full $320 cheaper than the Yoga 13.

That doesn't mean you should run out and buy one, though. That's because while the Yoga 13 is a Windows 8 ultrabook, a full-fledged laptop that runs the full range of Windows programs you'd expect, the Yoga 11 is a Windows RT device that can only run apps from the Windows Store, much like Microsoft's own Surface RT tablet.


The IdeaPad Yoga 11 also has a comparatively slower Nvidia Tegra 3 processor, a smaller, lower-resolution screen, less memory and less storage than the Yoga 13, too.

That's not to criticize the IdeaPad Yoga 11. It could be a great laptop for the price. I can't say, because I haven't reviewed it yet. The Yoga 11 should actually have nearly twice the battery life of the Yoga 13, possibly making it a better choice for certain buyers. Still, it's no substitute for the Yoga 13 we recommended in our holiday laptop gift guide this year, and the way it spontaneously appeared on Lenovo's website may confuse some people. Make sure you know what you're getting. Caveat emptor.