Lenovo Thinkpad S1 Yoga Laptop Hybrid Tablet That Impresses

The ThinkPad S1 Yoga is a very good attempt to turn an iconic laptop into a functional tablet, which comes with our full recommendation. It is still a little difficult to use and to use only in tablet mode, but if you consider this as an ultraportable ThinkPad with the added advantage of transforming into a tablet, the experience only flatters to impress with this slight shift in perception. Other impressive laptops that you can try at a similar price include the Toshiba Portege Z30T and the Acer Aspire S7.

Detailed review of the Lenovo THINKPAD S1 YOGA

The Lenovo Yoga laptop series has always been held in high esteem, as far as tablet-laptop hybrids go. The ThinkPad S1 Yoga is an attempt to convince business users (and ordinary ThinkPad fans) that these two converging product lines can really merge like a charm, and the result is right in front of your eyes.

In terms of appearance and design, the Yoga S1 is a ThinkPad every inch. It’s not a glamorous and incredibly beautiful device, but its dark gray industrial look with a matte finish all around works for the people it targets. In addition, it is a functional design that is both robust and innovative. The unique 360° hinge design is the crowning achievement of Yoga, giving the ThinkPad laptop the ability to transform into a tablet. The attention to detail on the metallic exterior of the Yoga is interesting. For example, tilting the screen seamlessly backwards to use the device in tablet mode retracts the raised keys on the keyboard so that they move in the same plane of the bridge. When it comes to expensive business laptops, we found the Toshiba Portege Z30t to be very well designed, but the ThinkPad S1 Yoga easily trumps this experience. The S1 Yoga is a little heavier at 1.6 kg, but it shines in all other departments and exudes great confidence in the construction and design.

The ThinkPad S1 Yoga is first and foremost a business laptop, and with that in mind, it is great, much like the ThinkPad X Series Ultraportables that we have seen in the past. But we like the improved changes it offers, the raised tiled keyboard and the single-tile touchpad with beautiful haptic feedback. In tablet mode, the keyboard turns off and you interact with the device as you would with a regular tablet. You can either touch and feel the screen with your fingers, or use the smart stylus (which slides firmly into the material) to write notes or point and click. Both options work great on the S1 Yoga thanks to the native Windows 8 support, and the stylus in particular is one of the best we’ve ever used. However, if you only use it as a tablet, the ThinkPad S1 Yoga’s form factor is still not ideal, because this hybrid laptop tablet seems too heavy compared to a full-fledged 10-inch tablet and does not bring a little luggage.

The waterproof keyboard with raised island-style keys is a pleasure to type on, not to mention the fact that the Trackpoint Stick is addictive once you get used to it, and the wrist rest has been significantly improved in response, texture and performance. The only small disappointment here is the placement of the function key in the lower left corner of the keyboard, traditionally where the command key is located. It’s just about retraining your muscle memory, something that is pumped up on the otherwise great keyboard.
The ThinkPad S1 Yoga has all the bells and whistles of Lenovo’s proprietary software installed on the Windows 8 Pro 64-bit operating system. Lenovo ThinkVantage is a great tool for managing the various software and services installed on your device. Special attention is also paid to the video calling capabilities of the S1 Yoga, with a 720p HD webcam and a dual-row microphone for clearer audio recording, ensuring that you receive good quality business calls via Skype or any other solution you use. Of course, there is no display sharing port or built-in Ethernet jack, but the corresponding attachments (Gigabit Ethernet and Mini HDMI TO VGA) allow you to use these features at any time, for example during a presentation in a meeting room or in an office environment with low Wi-Fi power.

In terms of pure performance, the Lenovo ThinkPad S1 Yoga offers good overall performance. It has a low-voltage processor that can multitask with 4-5 applications at a time, but can’t really set the scene on fire. The integrated GPU is capable of playing casual browser games when you are trying to finish time on a flight, nothing more. But this machine is no longer destined for anything in terms of raw and squeaky power.