Hands-on review: IFA 2015: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260

Hands-on review: IFA 2015: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260

Hands-on review: IFA 2015: Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260

A few years ago, Lenovo tried a a few things in the laptop market with the Yoga (rorate and dock), Helix (twist and turn) and the Miix (completely detachable).

While the latter two designs still remain in one form or another, the Yoga is the one that has been indisputably the commercial champion. So much so that Lenovo now wants the form factor to be the driver of its growth in the enterprise/business segment.

The company is betting on models like the 12-inch ThinkPad Yoga 260 and Yoga 460 to achieve just that by bringing the one feature that both consumers and business users alike have take to – its form factor versatility.

ThinkPad 260

Like previous members of the Yoga line, the ThinkPad Yoga 260’s display can flip over 360 degrees allowing it to transform into different modes depending on how you want to use it.

At 2.9 pounds and around 19mm thin, it’s heavier than most tablets and is a little unwieldy to hold in a single hand. Usability is aided by the excellent keyboard. ThinkPad keyboards are famed for their typing feel, and the ThinkPad 260’s chiclet-spaced keys offer generous amount of travel that should aid lengthy sessions.

They also retract using Lenovo’s lift-and-lock function, so you won’t end up accidentally mashing the keys when using the ThinkPad 260 in tablet mode.

ThinkPad 260

Appearance-wise, the ThinkPad 260 is every bit a business laptop. Clad in a matte black plastic, it looks tidy and professional, which could be shorthand for “boring”, depending on your view. For something a little more modern, the Yoga ThinkPad 260 also comes in silver.

Its solid silver hinges are a nice touch and help break up the black void, as does the traditional red track pointer housed in the centre of the keyboard above the trackpad’s left-and-right click buttons.

ThinkPad 260

The screen tops out at 1080p, which is disappointing considering Toshiba’s Satellite Radius 12, another 12-inch 2-In-1 that debuted at IFA, can be configured with a dazzling 4K display. Still, sticking to Full HD should help the ThinkPad 260’s battery life combined with the sixth-generation Skylake processor under the hood.

ThinkPad 260

Note that it’s a fully-fledged Intel Core i5-6300 chip in there, rather than Intel’s Core M CPU that features in the 12-inch MacBook and the Lenovo’s own Yoga 3 Pro. Clocked at 3.8 GHz, it’s a dual-core processor that runs with a TDP of 47W and can reach up to 10 hours on a single charge, according to Lenovo.

Whether that translates to real-world use with the display on full brightness is something we’re keen to find out. Despite only being Full HD, the display is clear, vibrant and looks especially nice against Windows 10’s dark translucent effects.

ThinkPad 260

The ThinkPad Yoga 260 has two rows of ports. On the left-hand side there’s USB 3.0, mini DisplayPort, optional smartcard reader and a Lenovo OneLink+ docking port, which doubles previous transfer speeds up to 33Gbps.

On the right-hand edge there’s USB 3.0, HDMI, microSD, a power button, volume rocker and a headset jack. There’s also a fingerprint scanner along the right-hand edge of the base.

ThinkPad 260

Early verdict

The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 260’s appearance, ports and fingerprint scanner make it unmistakably a business device, but its Skylake processor, converting action and excellent keyboard could make it a solid choice if you need a 2-In-1 and regularly get productive on your laptop.

It’s not as stylish as the Toshiba’s Satellite Radius 12, and if you’re seeking an Ultra HD display then you can rule it out immediately. On the other hand it promises more-than-decent decent battery life and, combined with its port selection, could prove to be one of the most practical 2-in-1 laptops around.

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