Review: Lenovo Yoga 500


Unfortunately, the display is one area where Lenovo really drops the ball, equipping the Yoga 500 with one of the weakest screens we’ve seen in years.

While other manufacturers are pushing on past standard high definition, equipping computers with screens with at least Full HD’s 1920×1080 (and then some), the Yoga 500 keeps things positively low-grade with a 14 inch display only capable of showing 1366×768, also known as merely “high definition” or “HD”.

If that wasn’t mediocre enough, the panel Lenovo has opted for keeps things positively low, offering disastrous viewing angles and obvious colour washout when you move in your seat ever so slightly changing your position.


Seriously, this is the sort of screen you expect to see on a budget computer given the obvious quality, or lack thereof. You don’t expect it on a computer hitting a retail price of $1299, and that’s kind of the problem.

Not helping this bizarrely budget screen is the fact that the 360 degree hinge essentially turns the Yoga 500 into a tablet, albeit one with a resolution that makes holding a weighty 1.8 kilogram tablet close to impossible when you’re trying to work out how to situate it in your lap and still view the screen in a way that doesn’t make it wash out.

About the only positive feature of the screen on the Yoga 500 is the inclusion of touch, something that isn’t as relevant as it once was now that Windows 10 doesn’t require touch as much as its Windows 8 sibling.

At least that’s something to like about the screen, and probably the only thing.


Keyboard and mouse

Not as bad as the screen, the keyboard and mouse certainly don’t feel as firm or solid as your typical Lenovo keyboard and mouse.

Granted, these aren’t as bad as that travesty of a display, but from using the Yoga 500’s keyboard as the way of writing the review, we can tell you that you’re going to need to strike the keys pretty hard with a loud clack for the Lenovo Yoga 500 to pick up on your key strokes.

We’ve seen worse — Toshiba’s Click 10 certainly wins that award right now — but Lenovo’s Yoga 500 not only need particularly hard strokes, but also feels like the keyboard is too wide, as you may find your left hand inching towards Caps Lock or your right hand hitting the up arrow instead of the right Shift key at points.

Again, it’s not bad, but Lenovo can and has done better in the past. Basically, this is no ThinkPad keyboard, but it will do someone who is used to slamming the keys, because that’s where the Yoga 500 feels perfectly at home.

The mouse on the other hand is just as ordinary, but offers surprisingly quick multi-touch gestures and a large space for your fingers, though a shallow button press that doesn’t feel as good as it could.

But hey, at least you get a touchscreen.



Battery is one area where Lenovo has managed to pull together something decent, and that’s partly due to the inclusion of a sixth-generation Intel Core processor, with the “Skylake” generation of CPUs helping to keep the battery life around five to seven hours.

That’s not amazing life, but it’s not bad either, and since the hard drive isn’t one of those fancy solid-state drives designed to save battery power and is, rather, a large 1TB moving part conventional drive, a maximum of seven hours in our testing isn’t terrible, either.

If you baulk at the idea of having to forgo storing things on your laptop because larger solid-state drives just cost too much, the inclusion of a 1TB drive will definitely make you happy, even if it cuts the possible battery life down by an hour or two on this machine.


Value could be the one area where Lenovo’s Yoga 500 wins back some points, and that’s partly because what you get for the price isn’t bad, but also isn’t amazing.

Rather, it’s just an ordinary computer for a thoroughly ordinary price, and some might even view the $1299 minimum price tag as too heavy for what you’re getting.

We certainly think it should be lower, but it’s quite normal to see machines with similar specs sitting around this price range. It’s not overwhelming value, though, and is merely ordinary, something Lenovo could surely do better with.



Unfortunately, that sense of “ordinary” is one that permeates the Yoga 500 at every turn, with very little to save it.

Maybe we’re just immune to the idea of a hybrid computer being special, or maybe we’re just sick of seeing sub-par computer parts being passed to customers for prices that feel like they don’t make a lot of sense.

Whatever it is, Lenovo’s Yoga 500 isn’t the shining example of technology that we’ve seen from the company in the past, and as good as the Yoga laptops normally are, and as beautifully engineered as the ThinkPad series is, the Yoga 500 isn’t either of these.

Instead, it’s just a mediocre box designed to look like everything else, perform like a lot of what’s out there, and isn’t spec’s particularly well when matched to its $1299 price.

There are much better computers out there, some even made by Lenovo. We’d only consider this if the price were to drop dramatically, and advise shopping around before even considering this option.


Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Decent connectivity options; 1TB hard drive offers lot of space; Ethernet port included;
Keyboard needs work; Screen offers low resolution and terrible viewing angles; Mediocre machine with no sense of individuality;