Lenovo Yoga 710 (11") review: Screen

Lenovo has, for the most part, nailed the Yoga 11 710's screen, though. It has a few shortcomings, but ultimately uses the right tech for the right results at the price.

This is a 11.6-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS LCD touchscreen with the character of a tablet display. It's glossy, covered with toughened glass, it's fairly sharp and a lack of air gaps in the screen construction makes it appear completely black when the display is off.

That last part may not sound exciting, but it is important. As a glossy screen it is prone to reflections, so can't afford any aspect that might reduce its in-context contrast.

We've used the Lenovo Yoga 11 710 outside on a sunny day, and while it's not quite as handy as a very bright matt-finish laptop, its clarity is only slightly worse than a MacBook Pro. After all, its max brightness of 346cd/m is quite bright.

Lenovo Yoga 710 11 review

The Lenovo Yoga 11 710's colour performance is mixed. To the eye, it looks quite good. In daylight the contrast of the screen appears great, and a warm-leaning tone is easy on the eye. However, our colorimeter shows that its actual abilities aren't that hot.

It covers just 61.6 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut, and 42.5 per cent of Adobe RGB. The Lenovo Yoga 11 710 doesn't have a technically brilliant screen, but thanks to its use of up-to-date screen construction and good calibration (its average DeltaE is 0.14), the impression it leaves is of a good one.

Viewing angles are good too, aside from some loss of brightness at an angle. These are a must for any hybrid-style laptop.

Lenovo Yoga 710 (11") review: Performance

The Lenovo Yoga 11 710 is “right for the money” in several respects, but we reach the crux of its specific portability-centric case is the CPU. Like the Lenovo Yoga 700, the Yoga 11 710 uses the Intel Core M m3-6y30 CPU.

This is a high-efficiency “premium” chipset, but not one designed to take on gruelling tasks. It's clocked at 0.9GHz and has a turbo boost of 1.5GHz. This is a dual-core CPU with four threads.

The same chipset is used in the entry-level version of the 12-inch MacBook, although Apple clocks its base frequency at 1.1GHz. It's not a weakling, and it certainly isn't a cheap chipset.

So where are its limits? Day-to-day, even a bottom-rung Core M processor laptop like this will feel about as fast as a Core i-series one.

However, they're not designed for prolonged, heavy-duty activity. If you're going to be doing more intensive tasks, you'd be better off with the Intel Core i-series 900. But yes, it can run Photoshop.

It scores 1998 in PCMark 8 and 4712 (2416 single) in Geekbench 3. As you’d expect, these are lower than an Intel Core i5 or i7 machine, but are respectable.

Its gaming is very poor even compared with the integrated graphics chipset of a latest-generation Intel Core i5, though.

The Lenovo Yoga 11 710 can't hack games like 2013's Thief, at all. Even after dropping the visuals to minimum level and the resolution to 720p, it managed a dismal 8.3fps, dropping to a slideshow-like 2.6fps with the resolution and visuals upped.

Even the less demanding Alien:Isolation is totally unplayable too. At 720p, low settings, it runs at an average 12.8fps, dropping to 6.9 at 1080p, high settings.

Games are almost a no-go area for the Lenovo Yoga 11 710, although we did get Skyrim running passably at 720p with lowest settings applied. You're going to have to stick to very old, or very undemanding titles.

As the Lenovo Yoga 11 710 is passively cooled (no fans) and has no spinning platter hard drive, it's totally silent in use. With light duties, only the very back of the laptop's underside gets a little warm.

The 128GB of storage is provided by an SSD, but it's not the bizarrely fast kind you'll find in some ultra-expensive laptops. It can write at 157MB/s and read at 538MB/s. The fastest models are almost 3x as fast, but it still comfortably beats any hard drive and is lightyears faster than the eMMC storage of a cheaper tablet or solid state laptop.

As with the display, it’s not top-end, but is good enough to offer step-up real-life performance.

Lenovo Yoga 710 (11") review: Sound Quality

We did not have great expectations for the Lenovo Yoga 11 710’s speakers, but they are surprisingly respectable for a slim and light laptop. Two drivers fire out from the front of the laptop’s underside, and they produce a fuller, richer sound than expected, as well as fair max volume that doesn’t cause distortion.

There’s a granularity to the mids, but it’s not unpleasant. These are surprisingly decent speakers. And like the best laptops drivers, extend beyond the width of the laptop, as  minor a feat as that might seem in a laptop this size.

Lenovo Yoga 710 (11") review: Battery Life

Lenovo claims the 40Wh battery of the Yoga 11 710 will last for eight hours. But if anything, that's very conservative. We achieved almost dead on that using the laptop out and about for a day's work, which included several hours with the display on maximum brightness to combat the glossy display's reflectivity on a sunny day.

When simply playing an MP4 video direct from the SSD at 120 cd/m brightness, the Lenovo Yoga 11 710 lasts 9 hours 45 minutes hours. This is a very long-lasting laptop, and a pretty strong case for Intel's latest Core M processors when Core i-series alternatives often struggle to last their “claimed” hours in real use.

Specs

Lenovo Yoga 710 11": Specs

  • 11.6-inch (1920 x 1080) 189.9dpi IPS LCD glossy
  • 0.9GHz Intel Core M3-6Y30 (1.5GHz boost) 2 cores, 4 threads
  • Intel HD 515 GPU
  • 8GB RAM LPDDR3
  • 128GB SSD
  • 802.11b/g/n/ac single-band 1x1 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 1x USB 3.0
  • micro HDMI
  • stereo speakers
  • HD webcam (720p)
  • single mic
  • 3.5mm headset jack
  • UK tiled keyboard with numberpad
  • two-button trackpad
  • 40Wh lithium-ion battery (non-removable)
  • 281 x 195 x 14.9mm
  • 1.04 kg