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Lenovo has a history of developing performance-driven windows machines under its ThinkPad series. The notebooks under the ThinkPad line-up are known for their durability, performance and are preferred by enterprises and IT personnel around the globe. But all work and no play can make anyone dull and Lenovo didn't want that for its user base. Therefore, Lenovo came out with a solution. The PC maker beautifully merged the ThinkPad series with its innovative Yoga line-up to make it more consumer-oriented. Resultant, today we have a variety of ThinkPad Yoga machines that offer the best-of-the two worlds in multiple price-segments.
The most recent additions to the ThinkPad Yoga lineup are the notebooks in ThinkPad X, T, and L series that aim to provide the perfect solution for professionals in a sleeker package. The new machines are basically commercial notebooks with the expansion of Yoga convertible form factor across the ThinkPad range.
Lenovo sent us ThinkPad Yoga L380, the 13.3-inch Windows notebook convertible that comes at a starting price of Rs. 65,000. It's a sturdy and compact ThinkPad notebook that can be used in tent mode or in a tablet mode. The price can go up to Rs. 87,000 depending upon the configuration you opt for. Let's find out what it brings to the table in terms of performance.
Design: Toughness of ThinkPad, flexibility of Yoga
ThinkPad Yoga L380 offers an enterprise level durability with the flexibility of a Yoga notebook. The compact Windows machine is crafted out of aluminum alloy and comes with a rubberized matte finish that gives it a premium feel. The notebook weighs 1.56 Kg (starting weight) and can be easily carried around. It's not the sleekest notebook around but the convertible functionality it offers is unmatchable.
You can use the Yoga L380 as a standard enterprise laptop. Fold the lid to use it as a Windows tablet or take full use of Yoga design to deliver presentations or watch movies in stand or tent mode. The tent mode combined with the touchscreen comes quite handy to deliver presentations in the office.
It is worth mentioning that Lenovo has made some compromises to keep the pricing in check for ThinkPad L series machines. From what I can figure out, the carbon-fiber made chassis, which can be seen in expensive Yoga variants, is replaced with standard plastic. Besides, the Yoga L380 also misses the ‘Lift ‘n Lock' Keyboard, a feature you will find in the expensive ThinkPad Yoga notebooks, i.e. T and X series.
Display: Crisp FHD touchscreen display
The ThinkPad Yoga L380 gets a 13.3-inch IPS full HD screen. The display has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and also supports touch input. The Yoga design functionality allows you to place the display the way you need it. The bundled ‘Active Pen Pro', which is quite precise and accurate is a handy tool if you like to take notes in tablet mode or do design illustrations.
The screen is crisp and color reproduction is also good. It is among one of the better screens I have tested on Windows notebooks in a while. The only problem with the display is big bezels on all four sides. These broad bezels give Yoga L380 a dated look; however, they also protect it from accidental damages.
Typing Experience: Best-in-class keypads
The first thing that I noticed was the familiar iconic red nub in the center of the keypad that allows for efficient and speedy movement of the cursor. If you haven't used any ThinkPad in past, you will take some time to get used to it, but once you get the hang of it, there's no going back. And as expected, the typing experience is still as pleasing as previous ThinkPad notebooks I have used personally and tested in last few years. Whether writing is your bread and butter or you are just an occasional writer, you will love the overall typing experience on Yoga L380.
The concavely shaped keys have the amazing feedback and the appropriate travel for a comfortable typing experience during long sessions. Your fingers will easily latch onto the correct key and you will notice that you are making fewer mistakes and typos.
As far as the trackpad is concerned, it is also quite responsive and provides accurate navigation. You also get dedicated buttons for left-right click and an integrated touch fingerprint reader to the right that saves time for logging in to get started with work. Besides, you can also take help of Windows Hello facial recognition software to login to this notebook.
There are plenty of ports for connectivity. The notebook has 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (One always on), 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (Power Delivery, DisplayPort, Data transfer) and a standard HDMI 1.4 connector. The right side of the notebook has the power button, 3.5 mm headphone jack, 4-in-1 microSD card reader (SD, MMC, SDHC, SDXC), Mini RJ- 45 port and Kensington slot lock.
ThinkPad Yoga L380 Performance
The unit I received works on an eighth-gen Intel i5 processor mated with 8GB RAM and 500 PCIe SSD. The configuration goes up to 8th gen Intel Core i7 and up to 32GB DDR4 RAM. For graphics, you have Intel UHD 620. I mostly used the Yoga L380 for long writing sessions along with multiple Chrome tabs always open in the background. The photo-editing, work-based CMS, and videos played without a glitch. The audio performance could have been better as watching a movie without headphones is not a pleasing experience on Yoga L380. The speakers are just not loud enough to offer a good listening experience. Other than this, I did not encounter any performance issues on ThinkPad Yoga L380. If your work routine includes strenuous tasks, you can opt for higher configuration.
As far as battery backup is concerned, I was able to use the Yoga L380 for an entire day on one full charge. The notebook can easily last for a straight 9 to 10 hours depending upon your usage pattern. In a typical office work environment, where we usually have a charge handy, ThinkPad Yoga L380 will keep on going for an entire day.
The long-lasting ThinkPad design and the flexible Yoga functionality makes L380 a great Windows notebook for the mobile workforce of today. It is sturdy, offers a vibrant FHD touchscreen and can be used in multiple modes making it comfortable to use in any scenario. The typing experience is top-class and long battery backup will help you get the job done throughout the day without any struggle of finding a port. Last but not the least, the array of connectivity options and the Active-Pen Pro also enhances Yoga L380's use cases in multiple ways in today's work environment. Where this machine lacks is the audio performance, which could have been addressed by including stereo speakers.
The price of ThinkPad Yoga L series starts from Rs. 65,000 and can be the right Windows notebook for professions and anyone who wants more than just the conventional laptop experience. If you only plan to use the notebook as a standard Windows PC, then you can consider the ThinkPad L380. The price for this model starts at Rs. 61,000.