Lenovo's backflipping IdeaPad Yoga 13 garnered a good bit of praise, but when the company launched a smaller, cheaper version of the touchscreen Wintel laptop, it chose to use the hamstrung Windows RT operating system and an ARM-based Nvidia Tegra 3 chip instead. You won't have to choose between size and capabilities forever, though, because Lenovo's introducing the IdeaPad Yoga 11S today. The Yoga 11S maintains the attractive $799 starting and design of the original 11-incher — adding only a smidgen of thickness and weight — but brings back the Intel Core processor (up to an i7) and full Windows 8 operating system necessary to run desktop applications. For $799, it will come with a Core i3 processor, 4GB of memory, 128GB of solid state storage.
You won't have to choose between size and capabilities forever
We've only had a few minutes to spend with the 11S, but it looks and feels just like its 13-inch sibling. Its 360-degree-rotating hinge is sturdy at any position or angle, the touchscreen felt fast and responsive (a nice improvement over the Yoga 13, actually), and the small three-pound device doesn't skimp on either trackpad or keyboard size. It's, well... it's an 11.6-inch model of the Yoga 13, a machine we liked a lot in our review.
It might not get the battery life possible with an ARM chip, with Lenovo estimating a take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt six hour runtime for the 11S, but it does support up to 8GB of memory and 256GB of solid state storage underneath its 11.6-inch, 300-nit, 1366 x 768 resolution touchscreen, and there's an optional 1600 x 900 resolution display for pixel density enthusiasts, too. Lenovo says the IdeaPad Yoga 11S should arrive in June.