So, I don’t do too many reviews but this one really stood out. I’ve been a long time user of a heavily upgraded 15″ Asus K55A which served me well. Unfortunately, the sides of my beloved Asus were beginning to look like an accordion when it was picked up and the screen was starting to flicker any time it got too humid outside, but I digress.
I’ve been out of the laptop market for a while and most of the new inventory seems cheap, flimsy, and lacking in the essential features I look for in a laptop. I don’t really care if something has 16GB of RAM and an i7 if it seems like it’s going to fall apart. This is a laptop, it’s meant to be portable and rugged, your companion wherever life takes you. After several weeks of research, I finally settled on the Lenovo ThinkPad Ultrabook Yoga 14. Without further ado, let me jump into why.
If you’re the kind of person who needs a little raw power in a laptop, the ThinkPad definitely has it. It’s no gaming laptop, if that’s what you’re into, but you’ll start off with 8GB of RAM, an i5 processor, and a 256GB SSD. For a business user and the average developer/admin/techie, that’s going to be all the power you ever need. It does come with the option to upgrade to 16GB of RAM but I don’t see ever really using that. That’s what my desktop is for.
This is the first category the ThinkPad really gets a pat on the back. This is a small, dense, machine that feels incredibly durable. The overall build quality is superb, far over what I’m seeing from most vendors.
Finding a laptop that actually works well with Linux can still be a bit of a challenge but the newer ThinkPads really power through it. I’m currently running Fedora 24 and everything just works. The keyboard volume controls, the touch screen(including on-screen keyboard) wireless, audio, and even the tap-to-click touch-pad work flawlessly out of the box. This machine may not have been built for Linux but they’ve certainly kept it in mind.
Touch & Feel
One of the things that hooked me on this laptop is the quality of the keyboard and typing experience. In a world where everything is focused on graphics and bendy screens, it’s amazing just how many laptops sacrifice the basic typing experience. Lenovo took the time to make the keyboard a stunningly high quality part of the ThinkPad line. The Yoga 14 comes with a comfortable keyboard with each key contoured to your fingertips. The keys are responsive with a good amount of travel and not too much noise if you’re screencasting or doing other recording with your computer in-play.
As a final point, it’s hard not to talk about price. The ThinkPad Yoga 14 is currently selling for about $800.00 which is actually quite a bit less than machines of similar quality for the resources. In short, you’re going to get a lot more bang for your buck with this machine than you are just about anywhere else.