Lenovo Yoga Transforming Laptop Arrives, With Friends

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Lenovo Yoga Transforming Laptop Arrives, With Friends
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Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13

Able to swivel its screen a full 360 degrees, the IdeaPad Yoga 13 leads Lenovo's "convertibles" line of Windows 8 devices. It'll be available Oct. 26 starting at $1,099.

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Lenovo got a lot of kudos when it first unveiled the Yoga, a "convertible" laptop whose screen can fold all the way over -- a full 360 degrees -- to become a tablet. Today the nimble notebook gets real with a price and release date, and it's bringing a few friends.

The Yoga will lead Lenovo's new line of convertible Windows 8 PCs. It includes two versions of the Yoga, with 13- and 11-inch models, as well as the IdeaTab Lynx tablet (powered by Windows RT) and a folding laptop called the ThinkPad Twist, aimed at businesses and schools.

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The Two Flavors of Yoga

The headliner is definitely the Yoga, though, with its swiveling hinge. The big-size model sports a 13.3-inch screen 1,600 x 900 resolution. When you swing the display past 180 degrees, the keyboard automatically disables itself, ensuring no errant keystrokes when you're using it as a tablet.

And that's one powerful tablet -- the Yoga 13 packs either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of solid-state storage. It's not the thinnest Ultrabook we've ever seen, but at 3.4 pounds and 0.67 of an inch thick, it's no hulk either.

The starting price is decent at $1,099, but that'll climb fast if you want decent RAM or a bigger drive. It comes in silver and "clementine orange" finishes.

The smaller Yoga isn't just a lesser-powered version -- it's a different animal altogether by virtue of being a Windows RT device. Windows RT is the operating system reserved for devices that run on ARM-based chips, as opposed to Intel or AMD processors. The Yoga junior packs the quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3, the same chip that powers Google's Nexus 7 tablet.

Windows RT devices emphasize power efficiency, but they sacrifice the ability to run older Windows apps (Microsoft Office is included, however). The little Yoga is rated at 13 hours of battery life (the big one has "just" seven). The display measures 11.6 inches, with 1,366 x 768 resolution.

The Yoga 11 weighs just 2.3 pounds and is an extremely slim 0.61 of an inch (the MacBook Air is 0.68 inch at its thickest point). Buyers can configure it up to 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. It starts at $799.

Convertible Surprises

Lenovo surprised with two other Windows 8 convertibles: the Lynx tablet and the Twist.

The IdeaTab Lynx is one of the new breed of PCs based on Intel's new Atom mobile processor, code-named "Clover Trail." Like ARM chips, Atom processors are made for mobility and power efficiency, and it shows in this machine: The Lynx weighs just 1.41 pounds, is 0.37 of an inch thick, and is rated at eight hours of battery life.

Similar to the Yoga 11, it has an 11.6-inch display with 1,366 x 768 resolution. Storage is either 32 or 64GB, and you can beef that up even more via microSD card.

The Lynx is made to work with a keyboard dock. The accessory adds a full keyboard as well as an extra eight hours of battery life. Obviously it adds a little bulk, too, making the overall unit 2.86 pounds and 0.74 of an inch thick. The Lynx costs $599, and the dock is $149.

Finally there's the business- and education-minded ThinkPad Twist (shown above). It's a different flavor of convertible than the Yoga, sporting a monitor that rotates horizontally and folds back over the keyboard.

The Twist is a full PC, with an Intel Core processor inside. The screen is 12.5 inches and it's protected by Gorilla Glass. You can get a old-school hard drive on the Twist, up to 500GB, though solid-state drives are available as well. It weighs 3.48 pounds and is 0.79 of an inch thick -- technically an Ultrabook (but not really in the spirit of the concept).

Starting at $849, the Twist includes software tools for small business as well as cloud storage.

The Yoga 13 and Twist will be available when Windows 8 launches, Oct. 26. The Yoga 11 and Lynx will debut in December.

How do you like Lenovo's Windows 8 convertibles? Is flexibility of form something you want in PC? Share your thoughts in the comments.

This story originally published on Mashable here.

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