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Lenovo Yoga 500 review: A hybrid that’s short on power

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Lenovo has been enjoying much praise recently with its 2-in-1 hybrids, but the Yoga 500 cuts short the company’s run of top-form products. Now replaced by the Yoga 510, this cut-price laptop – at around £350 – is one of the cheapest 2-in-1s you can currently buy. However, it simply isn’t worth the effort; there are far better laptops out there for the price.

It’s a shame, really, since it certainly looks the part of a sleek hybrid laptop. My particular review model had a striking white chassis, and its classy hairline finish offers a significant step up from the cheaper and rather more plasticky Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA.

Display

Take a close look at the 14in display, though, and you’ll see how Lenovo has managed to keep the cost down. With a resolution of only 1,366 x 768, it isn’t the sharpest display out there, and text is rather fuzzy round the edges. Admittedly, the Asus Transformer Book Flip TP200SA also has a 1,366 x 768 resolution, but this is crammed into a much smaller 11.6in screen, giving it a higher pixel density than the Yoga 500.

The quality of the screen is pretty sub-par, too. Our X-Rite colorimeter showed it was displaying only 57.2% of the sRGB colour gamut, leaving colours looking washed out. It’s also hampered by poor viewing angles and a low peak brightness of 212cd/m2, making it difficult to use outside or in brightly lit rooms.

Keyboard and touchpad

The full-sized keyboard was more promising. It felt responsive over long typing sessions, and each key gave a decent amount of tactile feedback.

Lenovo Yoga 500 left side ports

Sadly, the same can’t be said for the touchpad. Not only is it incredibly unresponsive, but I often found myself wrestling with it in order to get it to do what I wanted. I actually preferred using the touchscreen over the touchpad, since this at least registered my finger taps. This is definitely a laptop that could benefit from the use of a mouse when it isn’t being used in tablet mode.

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