Lenovo’s thin and light Yoga 3 Pro reviewed

Just like in the Yoga 2 Pro, Lenovo has included a sensor that can pick up when the computer is folded into various modes, such as regular laptop mode (screen perpendicular to the keyboard and facing you), stand mode (screen folded over with the keyboard facing the desk/ground and the screen viewable from the outside), tent mode (screen and keyboard out standing on the table in an “A”), and tablet mode (screen folded all the way around the keyboard, pressed against the undercarriage of the keyboard to make it into a 13 inch tablet).

These modes are designed to provide a computer experience in different ways for different activities.

Tablet mode is pretty obvious, as is the laptop mode, and both of these will be the ones likely used by people, but if you feel like watching movies or videos, the stand and tent modes will make the experience a little more like a screen from an entertainment player due to the keyboard being harder to see, coupled with the high quality of the display.

The Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro in tablet mode.

But that high quality display also seems to make a dent on the battery life, with the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro reaching in the mid-range territory for Ultrabooks.

You’ll survive on it, but we’d bring the charger where ever you go, because frankly, the battery on this laptop isn’t capable of all that much, running for around four to five hours when you’re doing the odd bit of writing, web surfing, emailing and the like.

If you need to take the computer for more of a spin, make sure you’re near a wall or somewhere else to charge from, because battery life isn’t the 7 to 10 hours you might want out of an Ultrabook.

Then there’s the charge port, which is at once both a problem and a blessing.

One the one side, Lenovo’s charge port is all new, and therefore a bit of a pain because if you break the charger, you’ll be stuck for finding one, forced to order from Lenovo because of just how unique it is.

On the other side, though, it’s not just unique, but also standard, at least for a computer port, with the charge port working through USB. That doesn’t mean you can just charge the computer through a USB cable, as it’s the end that would normally take the USB plug itself.

The charge connector of the Yoga 3 Pro: standard USB on the left and the slightly different USB of the right which plugs into the laptop.

But it’s a first step, and one we’ve heard would be coming in subsequent versions of USB, making it another feature that Lenovo is ahead of the curb in.

Technically, the Yoga 3 Pro’s cable can be detached from the included charger that Lenovo includes in the box, and in theory, you should be able to plug it into other USB chargers to charge the laptop, but only the Lenovo one worked from our testing, so really this detachment only serves to make everything easier to pack up on a trip.

It’s creative all the same, and we love the dual use Lenovo has found here, wishing more companies would rely on a similar concept, since it means you don’t need a specific port to charge from and can maximise space considerably.

We’re sure this concept will trickle down to other computers later on, but for now it is one of our favourite bits of the Yoga 3 Pro, though it’s the door to a battery that just doesn’t perform as well as it probably could, even grabbing a slightly shorter like than the Yoga 2 Pro.

There are also problems with the input devices found on the Yoga 3 Pro, starting with the keyboard, because even though Lenovo has managed to find a way to throw a keyboard into a laptop that is impossibly thin, the typing experience doesn’t feel up to the ThinkPad standard and generally feels like it’s missing something.

Perhaps it’s the strange placement of the right shift key next to the up arrow, and perhaps it’s that the delete and backspace key sit next to each other and probably shouldn’t (delete is normally above backspace), and perhaps it’s that typing on the keyboard results in a particularly shallow typing experience.

Whatever it is, the Yoga 3 Pro could do with a proper ThinkPad keyboard and not a Yoga one, because there is a difference, there really is.

Also needing some help is the touchpad which is small and generally feels like it needs more tactile feedback, a large click space with better button action in more than just the bottom of the small trackpad.


With a slim design, excellent screen, professional and playful looks, and an fairly good balance of hardware, Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro is the laptop for people who want to be seen and not heard.

Overall, it’s a decent piece of kit, and we look forward to seeing software patches later on to improve elements like the battery life and performance.

If you can live with the four to five hour battery, the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro is a machine we’d suggest trying out, because if you can get used to the keyboard, it’s a slim machine worth working on.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Beautifully thin; Mesmerising watch-inspired hinge; Lovely screen with a resolution better than Full HD (3200x1800); Use of textured surfaces on the inside of the laptop feels great on the hands and wrists; Unique power charge port that also acts as a USB port (awesome!);
Mediocre and shallow keyboard; Lacklustre touchpad; Battery could be better; Performance can feel a little laggy at times;