Just over 21 days ago I started testing out the Lenovo YOGA 2 compared to my trusty Apple MacBook Air. In that blog I mentioned that Lenovo had contacted me and asked me to be an ambassador, they don't pay me but provide me a free laptop to test and flew me to London for the global launch of their new range. Transparency out of the way - what were the results? Can you go back after going Mac? I hear you ask, we’ll be patient and let me tell you!
LENOVO YOGA 2 PRO 21 DAY TEST
It was an arduous three weeks for my new orange PC. I fought with it over UK Vs Australian keyboard setting, tried to figure out Windows 8 as best I could, traveled across the world with it permanently strapped to my back and did the cool test with my friends. Now the results are in....
Look and feel: 9/10
From the opening of the box it was a very nice experience. Apple is the master of the user experience and working for both IBM and Hewlett Packard, I have opened a few PC's in my time. Lenovo are really trying. The box is solid and has a nice feel, when you open the flaps the laptop rises up to meet you, which is a small but very nice touch. The PC itself has a beautiful grippy feel which means I can carry it with one hand and not feel like I will drop it. I have had a cover on my Mac since I bought it as it seemed fragile and it kind of ruins the look and makes it bulky - no need with the YOGA pro, it feels robust out of the box.
The colour I got was the orange and it is a win! I really love it. In fact, they gave me a new YOGA Pro 3 in silver and I am still using the old YOGA 2 as I love the orange so much! It also stands out compared to all the other laptops out there.
Once you open the device it powers on when you push a button, unlike the Mac which just starts when you lift the lid. It opens Windows 8 and I still have trouble really knowing how to use this, but I don't blame Lenovo as they are doing the best they can and it is the user not the software. So I revert back to the old Windows settings and I am away.
The main feature I love with the YOGA that isn't on the Mac is a touch screen. OMG it makes things easy! I'm sure Apple is already going there, but as a current comparison this is so awesome it makes up for the Windows 8 learning curve.
Another added benefit is the screen that folds 360 degrees around to be a tablet. To be honest I haven't really used this much as I'm not much of a tablet person. I have one at home and only my kids use it to play games. I prefer to work on my PC and use my phone. That said it is a really cool feature to have the L shape and A frame shape when you are showing someone your screen. I'm sure this feature will grow on me as I experience different usage situations.
The Lenovo team have worked hard to make a really good laptop. The size and weight is outstanding as is the battery life. When I worked for IBM we had these huge machines and they were indestructible with giant batteries that lasted days. Very good for corporate but not what I am looking for now. The new YOGA range is more designed for entrepreneurs and small business people, plus home use. It doesn't have a hundred ports or optical drives, but who really needs those anymore.
The only complaint I have is the bulky charger. It has a really long cable which is awesome for coffee shops and the airport, but the downside is it takes up loads of room in my travel bag. I didn't even take the charger from Australia to London on the plane but I didn't need it either as the battery lasted as long as I needed.
The other thing that keeps this score not higher is the built in mouse isn't as nice as the Mac. That's a really strong feature of the Apple range, the sweet mouse functionality and how many things it does. The Lenovo is good, but the Apple is great. Perhaps the YOGA 3 will start kicking this up a gear when I unwrap it.
Cool Factor: 9/10
Yes 9 out of 10! Since I blogged about Lenovo my friends have been asking me and when I show them they generally love it! I have several people wanting to steal this one I use as I write this!
This says two things to me. Once that the Apple brand isn't as strong as it once was, people are more open minded to change than a few years ago. Second that if you bring out a really nice looking PC that performs well, people will buy it. Basically people will buy the best device for them. We have seen this already with the Samsung Galaxy 3 outselling Apple iPhone 2 to 1 and this will continue down the Apple range as the competitors, like Lenovo, bring out awesome products. (Watch out for my next blog post on their tablet range - it literally blew my mind!)
I have loved my Apple MacBook Air. I wrote my book on it and it has served me well. However, it's time for a change and I will be using my Lenovo full time from now on. The touch screen, feel and 360 screen are just too good to ignore. I am no longer locked into the Apple ecosystem as iTunes is now Spotify, all my systems are in the cloud and my iPhone will likely be something else soon too. So time to change.
What does this mean for Apple? It reminds me of the time before Steve Jobs left Apple the first time and they had to unlock their systems and let Microsoft and Intel into their camp. I feel they are in the same situation now. Without new game changing products, they will have to bend to the consumer not the other way around.
For Lenovo, they are going from strength to strength. They have 20% global market share, game changing products and even stole Ashton Kutcher! I think the baton has been dropped and picked up by this new brand and others. Perhaps Lenovo isn't quite as inspiring, but they defiantly have the right focus, people and products to win most consumers.
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