ThinkPad Yoga 12 - 2015 edition Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Lenovo (IBM)' started by JoeS, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    Now that Lenovo has unveiled the 2nd gen of the ThinkPad Yoga I thought we should start a thread. By all accounts it's almost identical to last year's version, but including Broadwell (5th gen Core i) and bringing back the trackpoint buttons.

    [​IMG]


    Specifications:
    - 12.5" 1920x1080 400 nits IPS, matte, 10-point multitouch
    - Updated backlit keyboard with physical trackpoint buttons
    - Wacom active digitizer, silo, no eraser ('traditional' Wacom EMR digitizer as on the X230, Helix, TP Yoga)
    - Broadwell up to i7 (incorrectly listed on spec sheet as 'up to pentium')
    - Intel integrated graphics HD 5500
    - up to 8GB memory
    - available with up to 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD; user can install any 7mm 2.5" drive
    - slot for 42mm M.2 SSD card
    - 2x USB3, mini HDMI, full size SD card, Onelink dock connector
    - 1.58kg / 3.48lbs
    - dimensions 316 x 221 x 18.8 mm (12.4 x 8.7 x .7 in.)
    - up to 8 hrs estimated battery life, battery capacity ~50Wh
    - Price: $1000 base configuration

    Official product page here and a brief video here.

    Estimated battery life doing light work (based on i5-5300U model) :
    - A little over 5h at maximum brightness
    - About 7h at medium brightness
    - About 9h at minimum brightness

    For completeness, while this 12.5" model has traditional Wacom EMR technology, the 14" model is getting activepen support (new Wacom tech) and has a discrete graphics option.

    ___________

    Some personal impressions from a former Surface Pro 2 owner. Despite the long list of negatives I'm pretty happy. I've decided to keep it!

    Positives
    - it's well built, solid, well balanced, and not too heavy.
    - it looks super sleek when closed
    - it's relatively easy to open up to replace the HDD (got a 1TB SSD now, not easy to do the same on a Surface Pro 2..)
    - I love the trackpoint buttons. The touchpad is excellent too
    - the feel of the keyboard is just divine. Quiet keys too, including the space bar.
    - the screen is nice and bright (400nit). Tip: for max brightness you might want to disable auto-brightness: hit winkey, type brightness, tap 'turn auto brightness on or off'
    - the anti-glare layer on the screen works really well
    - it's nice to have two USB3 ports vs just one on the Surface Pro 2.
    - the casing texture feels even better to the touch than the old X220t coating, which was more grippy.
    - the OneLink dock is less clunky than the Surface Pro docks
    - the headphone output seems to give great sound, better than my Lumia 1520 for example.
    - works well on a seat back tray, unlike my Surface Pro 2

    Negatives
    - The battery life is somewhat short. At 50% brightness you might get 7h doing light work, and at 100% brightness it's more like 5h. Details on the battery life here.
    - When it comes on the fan is definitely louder than that of the Surface Pro 2. Bit of a high pitched whine. it also comes on early and suddenly. Start Chrome: quick boost of the fan speed, after which it turns off. Stream high quality video: fan ramps up and down continuously, becoming very noticeable.
    - The lack of an eraser (even as a second side button) on the pen is annoying.
    - All BIOS versions until November 2015 have had a bug where some units could lose fan operation, even through the fan was fine. Any BIOS newer than V1.20 (available through System Update) should not exhibit this issue.
    - One some units: when closed and hooked up to the onelink dock the mouse pointer sometimes jumps to the lower right corner of the external screen. Not sure yet if it's the screen, the mouse pad, or a driver problem. Lenovo has not been able to pinpoint this since August 2014, so if your unit has this issue and it bothers you I recommend returning it for a refund asap. Update: as of 10-27-2015 there seems to be some movement on this front, I will update here if it gets addressed. Update: this did not get addressed. Apparently a utility has been developed for a major Lenovo client (don't ask me how I know), but it was not shared with the general public. That's disappointing.

    Some other minor negatives:
    - It should have a bigger lower aspect ratio screen, right now the bezel is way too big. Alternatively they could shrink the case quite a bit and reduce the weight while at it.
    - The backlit keyboard has tons of light leakage when you sit back. I would also prefer automatic backlight control like on the Surface line, instead of the two-step manual control of the TPY12.
    - It's not easy to locate the volume rocker by touch alone, which I find myself doing in media mode.
    - When pushing the CPU it does get warm. For comparison, on the Surface line the CPU is in the screen = cooler lap than when using a TPY12.
    - In media mode, the speakers point down, meaning the sound is muffled exactly when you're watching a video.
    - Although it's not heavy, I still wish they'd been able to drop the weight by about half a pound.
    - The button on the included stylus is difficult to locate by feel. I either look or spend time fiddling, but either way it's not convenient.

    And some assorted nitpicks:
    - At this larger screen size, I'm getting a hint of pixilation, 1200pix vertical would be nice
    - The power connector is different than that of the TP10.
    - I would have preferred mini displayport over mini HDMI
    - Lenovo really should offer a 512GB SSD option, and maybe even 1TB.
    - They should really offer a system with more than 8GB memory.
    - There are three unsightly stickers on the thing. "Ultrabook inspired by Intel". Ugh!
    - When locking the function keys to act as F1, F2 etc, the End key becomes an Insert key. Workaround here.
    - The keyboard repeat rate returns to the rather slow default setting after waking from sleep, even though the dialog still displays the max rate. A batch file workaround was given here.
    - Having a full size SD slot is nice, but they should include an SD-to-microSD adapter. I ended up having to buy one.
    - Speaking of the SD slot, I wish it had been deeper. Some of us like to keep a card in there permanently, but it sticks out maybe 1.5mm which is kind of impractical.
    - There are volume buttons on the keyboard, but no other media keys like 'next/prev track'. I would like Fn-left/right/up/down to be mapped to prev/next/play/pause. Workaround: use AutoHotKey and a script like the this one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
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  2. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    Think you should list it as wacom EMR now that we are blessed with that confusion.
     
  3. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Maybe wait until they actually for real exist. I don't trust anything in the TPC funhouse until somebody actually has one in hand.

    The 15" Yoga, if it works, is probably my next computer.

    Which leads me to think, if pattern holds, it will fail to materialize or just plain fail.
     
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  4. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    I liked this, but with a pained smile.. As for 'wait until we have one in hand', at least regarding the digitizer story I personally have zero doubt that the 12 features Wacom 'classic' and the 14 and 15 feature ActivePen. It's been tested by Nate Sarbin on the Lenovo forums. Very curious to see how the ActivePen performs on the 14 and the 15.

    Done, good suggestion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  5. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    I don't think we need guaranteed device existence to talk about a device. Particularly considering the volume of wild speculation the thread will be filled with either way.
     
  6. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That's very true. We filled.., how many pages of talk about the Samsung ATIV before it got pulled from the production queue? (That was the *other* "My next tablet".)

    Good discussion, though!
     
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  7. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Are we talking about the new Actove Pen input on the 15? I'm assuming that's the one you wanted, because of its size. If so, I am very very leary of the pen input. I am surprised you are not more so, thatcomicsguy.
     
  8. Mesosphere

    Mesosphere Geek. Senior Member

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    The 12" version is just good old Wacom EMR.
     
  9. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    Oh, yes- the 12 (given the return of trackpoint button and continued use of Wacom) probably will be my next device, once it hits ebay with refurbs, etc.

    My point was that thatcomicsguy seems so exited about the 15, but I am very wary of the new pen tech. Particularly for artists. But we'll see.

    I would love to get a 15" pen input device, and thought for quite a while about the Flip 15. It just had way too many issues though. Who knows? Maybe this will offer what folks want.
     
  10. thatcomicsguy

    thatcomicsguy Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Well, it all comes down to the reviews.

    But I have been impressed so far with the videos I've seen with the new Wacom battery pen in action.

    An early report of the activation distance had it at 2 mm. A later one told us "half an inch".

    Shogmaster talked about an initial stroke 'blot' problem on the Toshiba model he looked at. I'll be interested to learn more about that.

    What I can see for myself is that it puts down nice lines and that the CES reporters playing with it seemed genuinely delighted with the experience. (There was a 10 minute spot where all they did was muck around with the Toshiba 10" device with a focus on the Wacom stylus.)

    But we'll have to see.

    Upgrading for me isn't vital. I've found work-arounds for all of my current limitations so far, (Mostly, working on split-up canvas portions when traveling, saving the really big jobs for the home rig, etc.). Part of me feels it would be needlessly extravagant to make a big purchase when I've got my routine working well enough with existing hardware.

    But I do as much as 60% of my work away from home. Again, that's not necessary, but man, I LOVE being able to change the scenery. I have all these little nests established around town where I work. So it would certainly be nice to shed some bulk, gain another couple inches of canvas and get some more memory, etc., -Having a battery which lasts longer than an hour would be pretty cool. I'd be able to join the modern world.

    I am prepared, though, to work on my old Tecra M4 until I retire. The Lenovo will have to be a genuinely equal or *better* machine when it comes to stylus behavior.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2015
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