Lenovo Yoga 300 review: Performance
Unfortunately, Lenovo sent us the slightly older version of the Yoga 300 for review. This has only 2GB RAM and an Intel Pentium N3450 CPU. You can also still buy the old Celeron N3050 version with 2GB of RAM, a setup that in our experience will never fail to get you poor performance with Windows 10. If that’s all you can afford, expect to have to put up with basic lag, slow-feeling browsing and an experience that requires some patience.
The latest Yoga 300 has 4GB RAM and an Intel Pentium N3700 (or 3710), a quad-core 1.6GHz (2.4GHz Turbo) processor from the new Braswell range. Unusually, this has a much slower base speed: 1.6GHz vs 2.16GHz for the older Pentium N3450. As a guide, in Geekbench 3 multicore tests, the new model scores 2570, while the older one is over 20 percent faster with 3135. However, those results aren't from the Yoga 300, and things are complicated by the fact that the later models have twice as much RAM and a 500GB hard drive.
The bottom line is that with the model we actually tested, there’s still some lag in day-to-day operation. Updated version or old: this is not a fast machine, but nothing like what you’ll probably experience with the Celeron-based Yoga 300. After all, it has four cores while the Celeron model has two.
However, at £299 we’re entering territory that means the performance is only just good enough. There are significantly cheaper models that use the Intel Atom x5-8500, a simpler processor but one that will likely offer most buyers similar real-world results.
It’s not hard to find the Yoga 300’s limits. A PCMark 8 result of 1457 points shows we’re still a way off the productivity power of an Intel Core i3 system, not that you’ll find such a processor in a small, low-cost hybrid like this.
As has been the case for years, it’s a little hard to get excited about Pentium/Celeron processors when they are half-way houses between the true mobile CPU world and the altogether more capable Core i crowd.
It’ll do just fine for browsing, writing documents and emails, though.
You’ll find Yoga 300s with both 500GB hard drives and 32GB solid state drives. Lenovo sent us the latter, making it impossible for us to run our higher-end games tests on this machine.
We usually run Thief (2014) and Alien: Isolation (2014) to test a laptops’s gaming abilities to their limits, but even with the 500GB version you shouldn’t expect either to be remotely playable. Even with resolution set to 720p and the graphics settings dropped to their minimums, the frame rate will be too low to be enjoyable.
Lenovo Yoga 300 review: Sound quality
Despite the trendy hybrid style, the Lenovo Yoga 300 doesn’t make a terrific media machine in general. As well as having a poor screen, the speakers aren’t quite as weighty-sounding as the best tablets.
Speakers sit at each end of the laptop’s underside, so there is an appreciable sense of stereo, and the sound is quite clear. However, it’s also a little thin and small-sounding, and prone to some distortion at top volume. Small, slightly weak sound is probably better than a flat-out ugly tone, though.
Lenovo Yoga 300 review: Battery Life
As in almost all other respects, the Lenovo Yoga 300’s battery do well if compared directly with tablet rivals. That includes some hybrids, such as those of the Asus Transformer range, too.
It’s much more comfortable among its laptop relatives. Playing a 720p MP4 video on loop the Yoga 300 lasts six hours 34 minutes at 120 cd/m2 brightness. This is a light task, so will be similar to (or slightly more than) what you’ll see when using the laptop to do basic work.
While not quite enough for a full day’s graft, it’ll last through the most interminable of meetings, and for transatlantic flights if you also squeeze in a movie or a power nap. This is ultimately an unremarkable performance from what is an ultra-portable mobile device, though.
Lenovo Yoga 300: Specs
- 11.6in (1366 x 768) 135dpi TN LCD glossy
- 2.16GHz Intel Pentium N3700 four cores, 4 threads
- Intel HD GPU
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- 500GB 5400rpm hard drive
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 802.11b/g/n/ac dual-band 2x2 MIMO
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 1x USB 3.0
- 2x USB 2.0
- SDXC card slot
- stereo speakers
- HD webcam single mic
- 3.5mm headset jack
- UK tiled keyboard
- 48Wh lithium-ion battery
- 299 x 209 x 22 mm
- 1.39 kg