Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga Ultrabook pictures and hands-on

The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga is a well put together piece of kit and definitely the strangest Ultrabook to arrive on the scene so far.

It's a 13.3-inch multi-mode laptop which introduces an interesting design idea supposed to optimise the user experience across four different usage modes - notebook, tablet, stand and tent - yes, a tent. That's the official line, anyway. To you and us, it's a laptop-come-tablet with a crazy 360 hinge that allows the screen to be bent right back on itself until both outer surfaces are touching one another.

The Yoga measures in at 16.9mm thick and weighs 1.47kg, but it feels a lot chunkier than the stats suggest. In fact, it doesn't really present much like an Ultrabook at all. Much of that comes down to the fact that, at 13.3 inches, it comes off like quite an unwieldy size for a tablet and not the kind of thing you'd feel comfy with holding in one hand.

All the same, it works very nicely. The 1600 x 900px display is bright, a little too glossy, highly responsive to the touch and it handles that future-look, Metro-style end of Windows 8 with great aplomb. It's a delight to flick through and the little Windows home key at the base of the screen is well positioned for both tablet and laptop uses.

The big question for us though, is whether anyone actually needs something like this? The answer is probably yes, but it's not going to be hugely mass market. As pretty and well built as it is, a separate laptop/tablet solution might be more convenient for those planning to make their work/play ratio the more fun side of 70/30.

The IdeaPad Yoga multimode notebook will be available in the UK in the second half of 2012 with an estimated starting retail price of £1,199.