Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 Review
For nearly a decade now I have been squarely in the Mac camp. Everyone in my family except my middlest uses a Mac. At work, we have converted everyone over to Mac’s. Why? Because they work and they keep working. Friday in preparation for our annual conference my operations manager grabbed two Windows notebooks to try and bring them to the conference for the hospitality suite. She wasted two hours trying to get them to update and install. They are the same vintage as at least 4 other computers by timeline. Her conclusion? “These are worthless!” While a windows laptop usually costs half of what a Mac laptop costs, in my experience they tend to work 4 times as long.
A Windows 8.1 Machine
Having said that, I needed a laptop, and after looking at a MacBook Air, I realized I wanted something between an iPad. I can’t develop on an iPad. While there are some cool apps that now support development, I needed a “real” computer. Having said that, it bothers me that the MacBook’s still do not have a touch screen. So after the Super Bowl and Microsoft’s incredible product placement (players and coaches were practically tripping over Surface Pro 3’s), I decided to get a surface. However, before I did, I checked with my local Techie: Matt.
“What should I get?”
Matt quickly did some research. The Surface Pro 3 is powerful at a good price compared to the MBA, however there is one complaint. You can’t really use it in your lap. The keyboard and stand are meant for a hard surface. I had heard good things about the Lenovo Yoga, but for some inexplicable reason Lenovo decided to completely handicap the promising Ultrabook with an M-Core processor. This to me was an example of the marketing department investing heavily in a pretty hinge and the price was utility and performance.
What I have learned about Windows machines is that they don’t run fast the day you buy them, they will not run faster in the future. Windows machines do not get better with time. So I headed down to best buy, fully intent on buying a Surface when I saw that Lenovo had created a pretty large presence at the store and low and behold they had someone there who knew something about their computers. It turned out, the Lenovo Yoga Pro 2 had what I was looking for, for $200 less than the Surface Pro 3. I was able to get the 256MB solid state drive, the i7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a real keyboard with backlighting! And yes, it has a touch screen.
Hi-Rez Panel Problems
The one drawback I found with the Lenovo, and I suspect this haunts all the Windows 8.1 devices – is that a shocking number of applications are not compatible with the 260dpi screen. They assume a 72dpi screen and so you get these unreadably small windows. Launchy, Scrivner, MarkDown Plus. Over and over again, I find these strange behaviors where applications either are 1/4 the screen size they should be, or the fonts are readable but the window is too small, or the window is okay, but the fonts are impossibly small or the icons are mere specs.
For the applications that do support the full resolution – such as Microsoft Office – they look gorgeous. However too many of my go to Mac applications, that work great on a Retina display – or their windows alternatives – simply are unreadable on this high rez panel.
It will be interesting to see how well this device works in the long run, and I may be forced to go back to a Mac just for productivity, but for now I am going to give this a whirl.