The heart of the Yoga 3 Pro is a brand new Intel Core M-5Y70 processor (4M Cache, dual-core with hyperthreading, up to 2.60 GHz), up to 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB solid state drive for storage, and Intel integrated HD Graphics 5300.
We found the hardware inside the Yoga 3 Pro to be more than powerful enough for typical web browsing, streaming HD video content, complex editing of high-res digital photos, and even some basic video editing. The integrated Intel graphics struggle with rendering the latest generation video games and the Intel graphics likewise slow down while editing 4K video content.
The SSD storage proved quite fast; booting Windows, opening applications, and switching between open apps happened quickly and without any noticeable lag. Transferring files from the SSD to or from a USB 3.0 flash drive is likewise lightning quick … assuming of course that you’re using a fast USB 3.0 drive and one of the Yoga 3 Pro’s two USB 3.0 ports.
Our review unit of the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro included the following specifications:
- Processor: Intel Core M-5Y70 (2.60 GHz Turbo, 1.10GHz Base 1600MHz 4MB)
- Operating System: Windows 8.1
- Display: 13.3+ QHD+ (3200 X 1800), IPS display with 10-point multitouch (300 NIT, 72% color gamut)
- Graphics: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- Memory: 8 GB LP-DDR3
- Audio: JBL Speakers (1.5W x 2)
- Web Camera: 720p
- Wireless: Broadcom 802.11 a/c, Bluetooth 4.0
- Battery: 44 WHrs
- Weight: 2.6 lbs
- Dimensions: 13 x 9 x 0.5 inches
- Starting price: $1299.99
wPrime processor comparison results (listed in seconds – lower scores mean better performance):
3DMark 11 is a benchmark that measures overall graphics card performance for gaming (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark8 Home (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for general activities from web browsing and video streaming to typing documents and playing games (higher scores mean better performance):
PCMark8 Work (Accelerated) measures overall system performance in Windows 8 for work-related productivity tasks (higher scores mean better performance):
CrystalDiskMark storage drive performance test:
Battery Life and Power Adapter
Lenovo promises the Yoga 3 Pro has a battery life of up to 7.2 hours based on MobileMark 2012 with the display at 50% brightness. In our experience, that battery life claim is accurate only if you spend portions of every hour letting the notebook idle. We set the screen set to a more reasonable brightness of about 70 percent and switched on the backlit keyboard while actively downloading applications, streaming video content, and browsing the web, and the battery life was between four and five hours.
That’s still impressive for such a thin and light notebook, and the reality is that most people don’t use their laptops non-stop for more than about 4-5 hours, but it’s worth mentioning.
We should also mention that Lenovo engineers have come up with an interesting charging solution for the Yoga 3 Pro: a USB port. It took a moment for the stunned expression to leave our faces, but Lenovo uses one of the USB ports on the Yoga 3 Pro to charge the notebook. The AC power adapter has what looks like a fairly normal USB cable with a little “nub” on one end so you can tell the difference between your power cord and a normal USB cable. You can plug in USB devices to the same port if you don’t need to charge your laptop’s battery.
If you ever lose the charging cable then you can substitute a standard USB-to-USB cable (assuming you still have the wall adapter) but the charging rate doesn’t appear to be the same with a standard USB cable (the laptop charges slower).
Heat and Noise
One of the most impressive design elements of the Yoga 3 Pro is something that’s easy to miss … because it isn’t there. The Yoga 3 Pro lacks the heat vents typically found on laptops thanks to the low power consumption and thermal efficiency of the new Intel Core M processors. Not only does this help make the Yoga 3 Pro thinner and cleaner looking, it also eliminates the hot exhaust coming from the vents and the lack of a cooling fan means the notebook is quieter even when running at the processor’s maximum clock speed.