Lenovo Yoga 510 Review: Inconsistent Performer
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If the word “Yoga” makes you think of Baba Ramdev striking an impossible pose, then don’t fret! We get it, Baba Ramdev has managed to market himself in a way that has made the word his brand. In the technology world, Lenovo has managed to carve a unique niche for itself with its “Yoga” line-up of flexible machines, so much so that a new Yoga release manages to drum up some great hype! So, is the Lenovo Yoga 510 worth the hype?

The review unit that we received was the black colour variant with the following specs:

Processor : Intel i5 7200 @ 2.5GHz

Display : 14 inch Full HD IPS LCD touch Panel

RAM : 4 GB

Storage : 1 TB

GPU : ATI Radeon R5 M430 and Intel HD Graphics 620

Battery : 2 Cell 39WH, rated for up to five hours

Design

Over the last few years, Lenovo has managed to crank out some nice designs for its laptop range, The Yoga 510 is not an exception. The machine looks classy and suave, while it is not going grab your attention from across the room, there is an understated appeal to one when you hold it in your hands. The shiny silver ring around the chassis on the black one, for instance is one of the many subtle touches that Lenovo has managed to pack into the design. The way the chassis moves outwards in straight lines across the edges is another or the lid which slopes downward from the edges. In Fact, the lid and the bottom portion of the laptop never truly meet when closed, which subtly hints at the fact, that there is more to this machine than simply being laptop for you to lug around. If I were forced to say one bad thing about the design, it’s the fact that you can’t open the lid, one handed, the hinge mechanism is solid but also weirdly feels springy at times, in my attempts to open the lid one handed, I almost always lifted the machine clean off the table, sometimes this happened right when I had the lid half open, meaning it will just shut close and slip from my finger. It isn’t a huge issue though; it was something I could get used to quickly.

The keyboard is well spaced and the keys have a satisfying click when you type, if I were to knit-pick, I would say that the Caps Lock button is placed far too close to the “A” key for comfort, so it isn’t uncommon to suddenly go “ALL CAPS RAGE” in a chat window. The trackpad is big and spacious and importantly, there is a sizeable amount of space between it and the keyboard, which is appreciated, especially for those with big fingers.

As the name implies, the machines flexibility allows it to morph between four different modes, Laptop mode is the common notebook mode, Tablet allows you to fold the Keyboard away behind the screen, doing so disables the keyboard/trackpad to prevent accidental inputs which is great but I found I used this mode the least, partly because I was always worried I would knock some keys off from the keyboard while it was folded, Stand mode is a sort of hybrid tablet mode, instead of folding the keyboard away behind the screen, you keep it face down on the surface (Gulp!), while the screen stays perpendicular and Tent mode allows you to pitch the machine in a “A” shaped position. In my use, I found that I used Tent and laptop the most out of the modes, mainly because I never felt comfortable having the keyboard folded away at the back of the screen or lying face down on a surface. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a knock against the design, the hinge is solid, throughout my use, it never gave me any problems but I just couldn’t help but get nervous when I felt the keys on the back while in tablet mode or knowing that the keyboard is face-down on a surface in stand mode.

Performance

The 510 is unfortunately, a rather inconsistent performer. Sometimes the machine took so long to boot up, I thought there was something wrong and would try to hit the power button, other times it would boot up but take so long to load up background services that you would sit and stare at the wallpaper because nothing would register on the screen except the movements of your frustrated mouse pointer. The times it did work, the 510 is snappy but not in a way that is going to other machines in its class a complex, there is sometimes a noticeable delay in what you type and it appearing on the screen, there were times when I would type a sentence and find that the cursor hadn’t moved past the first letter, only to have the rest of the text appear in a flash, completing the sentence.

The one area that the 510 absolutely shines in though, is the screen. It’s bright, vibrant and captures detail well. Watching a film was a very pleasant experience on this machine. The Harman branded speaker system is also very good, they exceed the standards of other laptop speakers in the same price point, unfortunately these are down firing, meaning they are located at the bottom of the machine. Thankfully, this is one area where the 510’s Flex ability comes in great handy. In fact, I was surprised at the amount of times I did use 510’s yoga prowess, after being sceptical initially. There are practical uses for all the added shape shifting abilities. Another neat thing was the fact that the machine lasted me five hours on a charge on about fifty percent brightness and moderate use. Under heavy use, it lasted four. We were about to finish two movies on a single charge with the brightness turned up to one hundred percent.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Yoga 510 is an odd case, it has the makings of a classic, a great design, fantastic screen, great trackpad and keyboard, decent battery life…On paper, it has the makings to be a fantastic machine, unfortunately, none of these come together to form a cohesive whole due to the inconsistent performance. At a price starting at rupees sixty thousand, it’s a tough pill to swallow.