Ask most people which is the best Windows laptop on the market today, and the answer you'll get will be near universal: Lenovo's Yoga 2 Pro. From top to bottom, it's perhaps the best convertible notebook you can buy. That's about to change: Lenovo has just announced the IdeaPad Yoga 3 Pro, and it's even sleeker than last year's model. The Yoga 3 Pro is 17 percent thinner and 15 percent lighter than the Yoga 2 Pro, a change that results in it "weighing less than a bottle of water" according to Lenovo's claims. That impressive 3200 x 1800 QHD+ display is still here — though hopefully without the color reproduction issues that plagued Yoga 2 Pro early on.
And since users will be flipping the Yoga 3 Pro into tablet or stand mode fairly often, Lenovo has improved upon the hinge design. This one features a "watchband" hinge that the company claims is "hand-assembled from more than 800 individual pieces of steel and aluminum" Can it match the fantastic, works-at-any-angle hinge that's in Microsoft's Surface Pro 3? We'll need one in-hand before making that call, but the company is promising better rigidity with the new design.
Lenovo's third Yoga Pro is thinner and lighter thanks to a redesigned hinge
Lenovo has also worked to improve the Yoga 3 Pro's software, introducing a new feature it calls "Harmony" that can automatically adjust settings to optimize whatever app you're using. If you're flipping through an ebook, Harmony will "change the brightness and color temperature according to the environment lighting," Lenovo says. If you're watching a movie, Harmony will ramp up the audio settings to heighten immersion. All told, Lenovo says it can recognize and optimize "more than 50" popular apps.
Everything's powered by Intel's latest Core M-70 processor. Yes, Broadwell chips are finally here, and Lenovo is promising up to nine hours of battery life. The Yoga 3 Pro will be available with up to 8GB of RAM and 512GB of flash storage, though the model found in most stores will have a 256GB drive. And yes, this time it's coming with 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi out of the gate. Spotty and unreliable Wi-Fi was another complaint that some users had about the Yoga 2 Pro (and there are plenty of support forum threads to show it), so hopefully this is another area where Lenovo has made some refinements. The Yoga 3 Pro be available starting at $1,349 from Lenovo's web store and Best Buy at the end of October in three colors: silver, orange, and gold.
Lenovo is also introducing a new ThinkPad Yoga 14, a 14-inch convertible that's targeted squarely at business customers. It features a Full HD display with Nvidia Geforce 840M graphics, 1TB HDD (and a speedier 16GB SSD cache to go along with it), Intel's Core i5 processor, a full-size HDMI port, and battery life of up to eight hours. This one will only be available in black and sold exclusively at Best Buy later this month for $1,199.