Review: Yoga 2Pro flexes its multimode Windows 8 options

The scoop: Yoga 2 Pro, by Lenovo, starts at $929

Lenovo Yoga

What is it? The second-generation of Lenovo's Yoga series, the Yoga 2 Pro is a Windows 8 PC, but it's also a tablet and more - through the configuration of how you use its hinge to create its different modes - Laptop, Tent, Tablet or Stand.

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The 3.1-pound base model features the fourth-generation Intel Core i3 processor (Core i5 is available for a bit more money), a 13.3-inch display (QHD+ LED with 3,200 by 1,800 resolution), an Intel HD Graphics 4000 card, 4GB of DDR3L memory (up to 8GB available), a 128GB solid-state drive (256GB available on higher models) and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

Why it's cool: If you're going to be stuck with a Windows 8 (or 8.1) notebook, you might as well make it as interesting as possible, to help lessen the pain of having to deal with Windows as your operating system. Lenovo does this by offering the user several apps and suggestions on apps that work in the different modes. For example, while you could certainly view Netflix in laptop or Tent mode, the suggestion of using it in stand mode made sense for achieving a different viewing angle without worrying about hitting the keyboard.

The high-resolution display makes for outstanding viewing of streaming movies and visual applications, and the overall frame of the unit made it feel solid. Since it's an ultrabook, the system is much lighter than a standard notebook, which is good because you'll want to use this as a tablet at times as well. You do have to sacrifice a few things to get the ultrabook frame/style, such as an Ethernet jack and an optical drive, but fortunately the unit had two USB ports so we could plug in an additional storage drive and our wireless mouse (I detest touch pads). Lenovo says the battery lasts up to nine hours, which gives you a lot of time to use the notebook before you need to go looking for a power outlet.

Grade: 4.5 stars (out of five)

Shaw can be reached at kshaw@nww.com. Follow him on Twitter: @shawkeith.

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