The Lenovo Yoga 500 might not be at par with the ThinkPad series, but the 2-in-1 convertible design gives the Yoga 500 more interactive options. Here is the complete review of the Lenovo Yoga 500 convertible laptop.
From business-friendly ThinkPad series to the multipurpose Yoga lineup – Lenovo has become a brand of innovation in the past years. The Lenovo Yoga series started out is an elite class of notebooks that was the perfect mixture of work and play. With the growing demand, the Yoga series has adopted a budget-friendly model, enticing more users to embrace the hybrid and its multitude of features.
Keeping the legacy of convertible 2-in-1 Yoga laptops, Lenovo brings in the Yoga 500 as the best budget hybrid so far in the company’s history. Lenovo Yoga 500 is amongst the latest convertible notebook laptops, but what sets it unique from the competition is the budget-friendly price tag, with no compromise in design and quality. With a premium build quality, 360-degree hinges and the powerful performance of the latest Skylake Intel processor makes the Yoga 500 a force to be reckoned with.
Lenovo Yoga 500: Design and Build
The back screen and the bottom of the Yoga 500 are constructed out of hardened dense plastic, which provides a fair amount of stiffness to the chassis. There is metal in the casing of the notebook, as the keyboard is made out of brushed aluminium, which gives it a high-quality impression at the very first sight of it.
The hinges are not as rigid as they appear to be, but the metal hinges underneath the case are solid and provide stability to convert the screen 360 degrees backwards into a tablet. The bottom base of the Yoga 500 is missing out on a maintenance hatch. Hence the battery is placed within the case, so the entire bottom casing needs to be removed to replace or upgrade any parts.
Some of the essential design elements include a slim rubberized lining around the keyboard deck to prevent the screen from touching the base and scratching the display. However, when the Yoga 500 is in the tablet mode, the curved bottom chassis of the convertible notebook prevents it from giving a tablet feel. Being 1.8Kg device, the Yoga 500 is not the most convenient tablet to carry around all the time.
Lenovo Yoga 500: The Display
The Lenovo Yoga 500 packs in a 14-inch touch screen display, with a native resolution of less than FHD (1366 x 768) with a pixel density of 112 Pixels Per Inch. The display has an anti-glare coating to make it usable under bright sunlight, which does not help much considering the brightness of the screen itself. The laptop uses a TN panel, and the notebook’s screen comes with a max brightness of 185 cd/m2, which is lower than most 300 d/m2 ultrabook average on the market.
The TN display being the downer, viewing angles are not good, with fading when tilted 45 degrees and beyond from the point of view. When put to the run on the sRGB colour gamut test, the TN display was only able to cover only 56% of the colour spectrum. However, tests showed that the screen was spot on with colour accuracy with DeltaE score of 1.72 (close to zero is best).
Lenovo Yoga 500: Keyboard and Touchpad
The Chiclet-style keyboard on the Lenovo Yoga 500 does not have backlight LED illumination, which is a downer for work in the dark. The layout of the keys is well-spaced out, with flat keys that have been a slightly concave shape for a more ergonomic feel and typing experience. Although the keyboard does not match with the excellence of the keyboards with the ThinkPad geared towards corporates, the short travel and snappy keys make it pleasant for typing.
The Lenovo Yoga 500 has a ClickPad, which includes the right and left buttons into the touchpad itself. The rather large touchpad with the diving board click mechanism measures 4.9 inches diagonally and supports multi-touch gestures like pinch to zoom, two-finger scrolling and multitasking gestures to switch between apps. The polished surface of the touchpad looks pleasant, and the brushed aluminium deck makes it more comfortable to use without any pain in the hands.
Lenovo Yoga 500: Under the Hood
Keeping the Lenovo Yoga 500 up to date with the competition, Lenovo has equipped it with the 6th Gen Intel Core i5 6200U processor, based on Skylake framework. The base clock speeds of the processor are 2.3GHz, which can be overclocked to 2.8GHz using Intel’s proprietory Intel Turbo Boost Technology on the laptop.
The battery efficient processor is powerful enough to help you run multiple heavy multitasking operations at once, without any stutters and lag. For memory, the Yoga 500 comes with 4GB DDR3L RAM, which is soldered to the motherboard, so there is no room for upgrade.
While most of the latest notebooks and Ultrabooks are expected to house an SSD storage, the budget-friendly price tag of the Lenovo Yoga 500 restricts it to a 1TB HDD storage that runs at 5400 RPM. The graphic capability of the notebooks is limited due to the onboard Intel HD Graphics 520, which is not suitable for gaming.
- Robust build quality with solid hinges to support the four different layouts.
- Powerful processor and quality hardware.
- Premium notebook at an affordable price.
- High contrast and decent viewing angles.
- Bulky to be used as a portable tablet.
- No maintenance hatch and a non-removable battery.
The Final Verdict
What makes a convertible better than any run of the mill tablet is the added firepower that only a laptop can provide, and the Lenovo Yoga 500 does exactly that. Admittedly, the Yoga 500 is not the most eye-catching hybrid around, but it is among the most budget-friendly ones with plenty of performance-oriented hardware fitted inside.
The low brightness of the screen is a concerning factor, which limits its use to being indoors, and the Yoga 500 does not feel very “tablet-like” when folded all the way back. However, it is the best and one of the few choices out there for those who are looking for a convertible laptop that comes with more than just good looks.