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Flexible Computing with the Lenovo IdeaPad YOGA 11S

By Monica Vila

The recent introduction of powerful new tablets with USB ports, keyboards and a host of other accessories has convinced a lot of mobile users that they can happily ditch their laptops and enjoy the extra freedom and flexibility afforded by these lightweight devices and their thousands of custom apps.

But can tablets really compete with the power and productivity of laptops? If we’re truthful with ourselves, the answer is probably no. It’s one thing to view complex spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations on a tablet; it’s a whole other issue if we want to create them.

But what if we found a compromise between the two platforms? Something with the power and work features a laptop, but also the portability and ease-of-use of a tablet. That’s the idea behind the IdeaPad Yoga 11S, the multimode mini Ultrabook from Lenovo.

The first thing to like about the Yoga 11S is its design. The stylish packaging promises something special right out of the box and the Yoga 11S doesn’t disappoint. I loved the lightweight feel and the textured silver-gray finish. (Lenovo also makes an brushed orange version if you prefer brighter colors.)

The clever hinging allows you to configure the 11S four different ways – Notebook, Stand, Tent or Tablet – but whichever way you choose, you’ll be blown away by the brilliant 11.6-inch HD screen. The Yoga 11S quickly became my go-to screen for TV shows and movies, delivering a far better viewing experience than my old laptop or my much newer 10-inch tablet.

But what really makes a difference is the combination of the full Windows 8 operating system and the super-fast 1.4 GHz Intel Core processor (1.5 GHz on the more expensive models). Whether you are in notebook mode or tablet mode, the Yoga 11S boots up in just seconds and provides instant response to both touch and keyboard commands. It’s also perfect for multi-tasking, happily running a seemingly limitless combination of apps, docs and web pages without complaint.

There is really only one area where the Yoga 11S exhibits the disadvantages of a laptop and that’s when it comes to battery life. The Yoga 11S lasts about 6 hours, which will just about keep you going on a coast-to-coast flight but not much more.

The Lenovo Yoga 11S starts at $749 for the base model and goes all the way up to $1,299 for a 1.5 GHz processor, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That might be on the expensive side but getting the best of both worlds is never cheap!

The Online Mom received a Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S from Microsoft as part of its #WindowsChampions program. All opinions are my own.

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