Laplets are the Way Forward

2012-12-17 12.43.57This week I got myself a new toy — a Lenovo Yoga 13 "laplet" (a laptop and tablet in one). If you've not seen the advert for it yet, then it's the one where the lid folds all the way back to make it in to a tablet.

So far I've been wowed by it and can't put it down. Not only is the device itself amazing, but I've been won over by Windows 8.

Initially I'd dismissed Windows 8 as an elaborate hoax but that's because I was trying to use it on a desktop (inside a VM) without a touch screen. To truly get Windows 8 you have to use it on a touch screen device. Then it makes sense and is actually really quite nice.

The Yoga 13" has the full version of Windows 8 on it, whereas the Yoga 11" is WinRT (app store apps only!).


Why a new laptop?

I wasn't in the market for a new laptop as such. My trusty T400 is still going strong after more than 2 years. But the T400 weighs a tonne and carrying it anywhere isn't nice.

It was by chance that I happened to pick up and play with a Yoga 11" in a shop. They're so nice that I just knew then and there that I had to get one.

Initially my argument for the expense was that I needed an IE10 test machine. But then I realised I could also use it as my "house PC" and leave the T400 as an "office machine". The Yoga could also be my on-the-road customer support PC (I bought a nice bag for it too). There are times I go away for long weekends and take the T400 with me, but it unnerves me if ever it's left in the car. Losing my main laptop would be bad.

What I didn't expect is that after a week with the Yoga and Windows 8 I'd want to switch to using it full time. But I don't think I can, realistically. It's a lovely device that I have no regrets buying, but it just won't cut it as my main work machine.

The Not So Good

There are a couple of reasons it can't take over as my only laptop:

  1. No Ethernet port. The wifi signal in my office is ok, but I prefer to be wired in!
  2. Not enough memory. The Yoga 13 ships with 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD of memory. I've upgraded the RAM to 8GB and plan to add a 2nd SSD (there's a second slot for one!) to bring the capacity up to 384GB. But that's still not enough to store all my photos and videos.
  3. No obvious way to connect a (large) 2nd display. It only has an HDMI output, which, AFAIK, only supports low-res output.

Despite these shortcomings I have no regrets buying it and now quite like having two laptops.

If you're looking to treat yourself to something this Christmas I can whole-heartedly recommend the Yoga.

The future is touch screen!


  1. I though the HD in HDMI stand for high definition. I believe spec says up to 2560×1600.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 20 Dec 2012 06:31 AM

      It depends on the version of HDMI used. Later (1.3) versions can go up to 2560. I can't find out which version the yoga supports but I've plugged it in to my Dell U2711 monitor and it will only go up to 1920 * 1080.

  2. I get my Lenovo Twist demo unit today :)

    Pretty similar to the Yoga but with one hinge.

    Anyway I think your HDMI is limited due to Intel 4000 graphics.

    "Intel graphics does not support dual-link, therefore 1920x1200 is the maximum for DVI and HDMI, 2560x1440 is only possible with a displayport port. This is stated in every specification sheet."



      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Thu 20 Dec 2012 12:07 PM

      Twists look cool too, but they seem way too delicate for my liking. I'd be hesitant to ever twist it for fear of it snapping off.

      Hope you like it though!

    • avatar
    • Darren
    • Thu 20 Dec 2012 02:26 PM

    Nice write-up. But one thing... "To truly get Windows 8 you have to use it on a touch screen device". I disagree, my main machine is a ThinkPad T420s - this doesn't have a touch screen but I do *get* Windows 8 on it. One of the crucial things is that the trackpad drivers have been updated to support Windows 8, specifically the start screen where you can use two fingers to scroll back 'n' forth and to pinch 'n' zoom. Also the resolution of the 420s (1600x900) allows Windows 8 apps to sit side-by-side with the desktop so you can keep your peripheral vision on something else like the news or stocks. There's a lot of businesses interested in the concept of building Windows 8-style to sit in that peripheral position (and then quickly be moved into the main view).

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 21 Dec 2012 03:16 AM

      Aha. That helps. But only if you're on a laptop (or have a USB trackpad device). My first encounter of Win8 was on a desktop PC with a keyboard and mouse. Two fingers scrolling wasn't an option.

      Is there an official online resource of these kind of must-know tips to get the most out of windows 8? Such as the side-by-side option you mention. I saw this happen (by mistake) with two apps on the desktop VM, but can't do the same on my laptop...

      Hide the rest of this thread

        • avatar
        • Jake Howlett
        • Fri 21 Dec 2012 03:52 AM

        Ah, worked it out after a little messing about. You can drag a background app in to view by swiping in from the left of the screen. If you drag the app all the way to the other side of the screen you can then sit it next to the app currently in view. Nice!

        • avatar
        • Jake Howlett
        • Fri 21 Dec 2012 05:00 AM

        Some useful keyboard shortcut commands:

        Win + M minimizes everything that's showing on the desktop.

        Win + Print Screen takes a screenshot and saves it in a Screenshots folder nested in your Pictures folder.

        Win + Q opens a global search menu.

        Win + W opens a search in your system settings to quickly locate and change system properties.

        Win + F opens a file and folder search.

        Win + "," makes all current windows transparent

        Win + "." snaps a window to the right or left side

        Win + X opens the Quick Access Menu.

        Win + I opens the settings menu

        Taken from this must-read page:


  3. I really like that. I was looking for something to replace my aged but much loved Lenovo X200s as a travel laptop. I was looking at the X1 Carbon but this looks like it would do the job too.

      • avatar
      • Jake Howlett
      • Fri 21 Dec 2012 03:51 AM

      Carbon X1 looks nice, but laptops seem like one-trick-ponies to me now. Is it touch screen? Is it a tablet? Can it do "tent mode"? These are now may baseline requirements of a laptop.

      Show the rest of this thread

  4. A hard core win 8 review, with colourful language. More of a lecture on what makes for good UI design and how Win 8 falls a tad short of the mark.


  5. Early in this century they were call "convertibles". The Panasonic Touchbook is a good example.


    The trouble with them was that Microsoft did not adapt the OS well enough to work with the touch screen.


    Have you thought about what these changes away from the desktop, away from the laptop and onto tablets with only apps? As desktop sales decrease farther and farther, us folks that need really powerful machines with lots of hard drives in them are going to have to pay more.


    The Apple iOS is already locked into buying only from the Apple store. They are moving their laptops in that direction also and Microsoft with Windows 8 is leaning that way too.

    Just a thought.

Your Comments


About This Page

Written by Jake Howlett on Thu 20 Dec 2012

Share This Page

# ( ) '


The most recent comments added:

Skip to the comments or add your own.

You can subscribe to an individual RSS feed of comments on this entry.

Let's Get Social

About This Website

CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

Your host is Jake Howlett who runs his own web development company called Rockall Design and is always on the lookout for new and interesting work to do.

You can find me on Twitter and on Linked In.

Read more about this site »

More Content