While Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro has a sharp-looking new hinge and a higher screen resolution, the more staid ThinkPad Yoga line still does something no other Yoga (or Yoga-like hybrid) can do. Its keyboard is built into a rising tray that sits flush with the keyboard keys when the screen is folded back into its tablet mode. It’s not exactly the retractable keyboard some have been asking for, but the end effect is close.
That original ThinkPad Yoga had a smaller 12.5-inch display, but Lenovo has now announced a new version with a larger 14-inch screen. The new Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 14 looks and feels a lot like the original version, just slightly upsized. Of the early 2014 12.5-inch ThinkPad Yoga, we said :
“The keyboard itself doesn’t actually retract. It’s more that the slightly sunken keyboard tray rises up to be flush with the keys, while a secondary locking mechanism prevents the keys from being depressed while in tablet mode…It’s still not a perfect solution. The ThinkPad Yoga makes for a thick, inelegant tablet, but the hidden keyboard trick is so fascinating, you’ll find yourself folding the lid back and forth over and over again just to watch it in action.”
The new 14-inch version includes a full HD 1,920×1,080 display, a current-gen Intel Core i5 processor, and a combo 1TB HDD/16GB SSD hard drive. One interesting (but still not priced out) option is to add Nvidia GeForce 840M graphics, an unusual addition for a ThinkPad.
Trying the ThinkPad Yoga 14 in a brief hands-on session, the system felt much bigger and heftier than the newly slimmed-down Yoga 3 Pro, but also very substantial and sturdy. The clever keyboard mechanism is something I’d like to see roll out to more Yoga systems, even if its high degree of mechanical complexity is something I usually shy away from in mobile devices.
Best Buy will carry this system around the end of October, as will Lenovo’s online store, starting at $1,199 in the US. In Australia, it’ll be in JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman from mid-October, starting at AU$2,099. Price and date in other regions, including the UK have not been made available yet.
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