John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Lenovo Yoga 12 review

It was new laptop time at work and I got this one. So you get a new review! The specs on this system are pretty stellar. Core i7 5600U, 8G memory, 256G SSD. The exact model is a 20DL 003AUS.

Physically the device weighs 3.48 lb and is 12.4 x 8.7 x 0.7″.

Specs for the SSD (from LiteOn): Model Name LCH-256V2S Buffer 256MB DDR3 Sequential Read Speed Up to 520 MB/s Sequential Write Speed Up to 290 MB/s,
Random Read Speed (IOPS 4KB)1 Up to 82,500
Random Write Speed (IOPS 4KB)1 Up to 72,500

I was able to get 113MB/s write and 290MB/s read (using H2TestW). This is one of the fastest drives I’ve seen to date.

The USB ports are USB 3 and the speeds out of it confirm that. I was able to get 154MB/s out of a USB 3 flash drive. (USB 2 would cap out around 20 MB/s). This is super important if your going to use a USB dock for example. Speaking of dock Lenovo designed a dock specifically for this tablet they call ThinkPad OneLink Pro dock. This dock is very different from a generic USB dock you commonly see. It has an extra wide connector and comes with a power cable as well. The cable rather than simply being USB 3 extends the PCI bus (I’m guessing) out to the dock. There are two video connectors: 1 display port and one DVI along with a converter to from DVI standard SVGA. These two displays then hang odd of the main video controller (rather than showing up as a separate USB video adapter. Similarly the ethernet is also not just USB 3 device, it too hangs off the PCI bus. There’s also a USB 3 hub with 4 USB 3 ports and two USB 2 ports. Lastly there is a second audio adapter with a 3.5mm standard audio plug. Lenovo spent a lot of time designing this dock. Architecturally it is VERY different than a generic dock.

Of course there is always also the generic USB 3 dock Lenovo sells also. It is worth noting there is no docking connector. So these two docks are your only choices.

Screen resolution is 1900×1080 which is good but not excellent compared to others.

Jack wise the unit includes 2 USB ports, a mini HDMI port (no display port, an odd choice for what is more likely a corporate device), a power/docking port (see above),an SD slot (not microSD) and that’s it. There is no wired ethernet so for a corporate environment you will likely need to purchase a docking station which then allows an ethernet as well as an external monitor. There is one that does it all in one connection to the laptop called a OneLink.

The unit includes a stellar Waacom (passive) pen for taking notes. Wow, very nice, and probably one of the best in the business. The Surface’s pen is great but it does require a battery. Likely a large percentage of the population will never use (or even notice) that this even has a pen.

The Yogas party trick is that the screen on the laptop can be bent right around so that you can use it like a tablet.
In this mode the keyboard is exposed and where you hand is trying to grab the machine. Lenovo were smart in that they disabled the keyboard/track pad etc when in this mode. They also raise a small outline to make the keys less exposed. But in the end your hand still feels odd holding the tablet this way.

The SD slot got 40MB/s out of a 48MB/s card. One of the fastest I have seen on any of the devices tested to date, and the only one not limiting. I’m not sure if the Sd slot is a possible boot device (most devices are not).

The keyboard and trackpoint are a thing of beauty on this laptop, as expected out of ThinkPads. For those so inclined there is also a glide point. I love the trackpoint, hate all glidepoints. The glidepoint is multi touch and includes the ability to page up and down. The keyboard is backlit. All in all well done!

The power switch is located on the side towards the front and can be all too easily hit by accident. Fortunately you have to push and hold it to do anything, but still … One of the few bad things I can say about this laptop.

The unit does not have a GPS so can not be used as a navigation device. Not a big loss given the size/weight.

The battery on the tablet is a healthy 49 WH.

There is a fan on the unit so it is not silent. The opening for the air is small so the sound from the tablet is noticeable.

This unit does not support connected standby. So all the usual limitations with this exist (no notifications while in standby, device has to catch up once woken up etc). But on the positive side it can remain in standby for days to weeks.

Now to say the price on this puppy isn’t cheap is an understatement of epic proportion. Think like $2000. A very impressive capable device if you can swallow the price!


January 4, 2016 - Posted by | Windows tablets

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