Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro review

It’s Sunday, it’s January, and it’s freezing outside. In other words, it’s the perfect day to spend the morning lying in bed, finally catching up on the Friday Night Lights and Battlestar Galactica seasons I somehow missed a few years ago. Normally this is a job for my iPad mini with Retina display, but ever since I lost its Smart Cover watching shows in bed requires a perfect and precarious leaning of tablet against pillow stack. Plus I have another device here with me, one even better-suited to the task.

It’s the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro, the follow-up to one of the first great Windows 8 ultrabooks. This is a laptop with a twist, a flexible hinge that lets the screen rotate a full 360 degrees. It’s supposedly equal parts laptop and tablet — and this year’s model comes with a massively improved display that ought to make it better in either case. The Yoga 2 Pro is never going to replace the iPad mini for subway rides and mobile gaming, but if it can be both a solid ultrabook and a great in-bed TV, it’ll solidly be worth its $1,049.99 price tag.

As long as it has good battery life, anyway. My charger’s all the way out in the living room, and I’m not getting out of bed anytime soon. Battlestar is a long show.

For the most part, the Yoga 2 Pro feels like any other laptop. The Yoga 13 was actually one of the more restrained, inside-the-box visions for what a Windows 8 device might look like, how it might marry touch with mouse and keyboard. This year’s model is just a hair over 3 pounds, and 0.61 inches thick — imperceptibly both thinner and heavier than the same-size MacBook Air — with a soft, matte gray shell and a textured black palm rest. It’s softly tapered on the sides, with rounded edges that feel comfortable against my wrist. The Yoga isn’t particularly exciting, nor does it feel very high-end, but it’s nice to look at and it’s plenty rugged.