May 7, 2015

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 (2015/2nd Gen) - Ordered

Use coupon TECHBARGLEN01 to save yourself a good $70 off a Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12.

Since the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 15 that I previously ordered did not have digitizer input I purchased a ThinkPad Yoga 12.  I was careful to order the latest available version.  Some history: in 2014 Lenovo released the first version of the Yoga 12, and in 2015 they released another version.  The names that the tablet has attained can lead to some confusion.  More information below.

The 12-inch Yoga launched in 2014 may go by the following names:
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga (1st generation)
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga (2014)
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga S1
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga Signature Edition
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12.5
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga

This 12-inch Yoga launched in 2015 may go by the following names:
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 (2nd generation)
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12 (2015)
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga S
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 12.5
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga
ThinkPad S1 Yoga 12 SAP 20DL

Isn't this a possible mess?

The part/model number for my ordered tablet is 20DLCTO1WW .  This model number cannot be found in available documentation because it is a custom order.  If I were to purchase the best pre-configured model then it would be the 20DK003EUS

The tech specs of my order:
  • Intel Core i7-5600U Processor (4MB Cache, 2.6 GHz base, 3.2 GHz Max Turbo Frequency).
  • Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit.
  • 12.5" FHD (1920x1080) Multitouch, Anti-Glare, 400 nits according to specification (but some sources say up to 330 nits).
  • Touch and Wacom digitizer.
  •  8GB PC3-12800L
  • Intel HD Graphics 5500 (300 MHz base, 950 MHz dynamic).
  • 256 GB SSD ATA3 OPAL 2.0
  • 8-cell Li-Polymer battery 47WH
  • Intel 7265 AC/B/G/N Dual Band Wireless + Bluetooth Version 4.0
The i5 versions are also quite good, and a good $200 cheaper.  Also, one way of reducing the overall cost is to be mindful of your needs regarding drive storage (not everyone needs 256 GB SSDs).

As far as I'm aware the ThinkPad Yoga 12 has Wacom digitizer input.  I have heard that it goes up to 1024 levels of pressure, but the technology is "Penabled."  In my experience the Penabled devices have offered 256 to 512 levels of pressure, but if the Yoga 12 offers 1024 then I will be quite happy.  Now, there are issues with the available digitizer description.

The latest product specification can lead to some confusion.  It states that the pen may be:
  • "Wacom Active pen with glossy panel, batteries required."  or  
  • "Wacom Digitizer pen with anti-glare panel, no batteries required."

I recommend going for the 1080p FHD screen as it surely supports the Wacom pen, has the better resolution, and yes it is the "Wacom Digitizer pen with anti-glare panel, no batteries required." one.

The competitors.
Before ordering I considered two other options: the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 and the Fujitsu LifeBook T935.

The 13.3-inch, at 2560x1440 resolution, Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 is by far the most powerful out of the three options (Intel Core i7-5557U).  Frankly the Yoga 12 is not better, CPU and GPU wise, than my old Lenovo ThinkPad X230T (Intel Core i7-3520M) that I have been using for many years.  The Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 probably is.  The issues with the Companion 2 are that the battery life is too short, and it does not have a proper keyboard+mouse attachment (those must be purchased separately).  Also, the the screen brightness is only about 200 nits.  However for the artist the Companion 2 would be the better choice as it has the best digitizer input that is available on the market (2014 levels of pressure and the use of the Pro Pen digitizer).

The Fujitsu Lifebook T935 is another 13.3-inch system with a wonderful resolution that goes up to 2560x1440, and has 350 nits brightness.  This tablet has the same processing and graphical power as the Yoga 12.  The resolution though is better.  But I doubt the keyboard and mouse cursor inputs are as good as that found in the Precision keyboard of the Yoga 12.  Furthermore, Fujitsu devices, of this caliber, are usually a good $1,000 more than Lenovo convertible tablets.  Way out of my budget.

The Yoga 15 was supposed to be my X230T replacement, but it didn't have digitizer input, so the next best option is the Yoga 12.  It's too bad that the Yoga 12 doesn't have discrete graphics.  But other than that the Yoga 12 looks like a good well-balanced system.

More info:


  1. So, what do you think of it?!

    I'm with you on the naming conventions. Lenovo definitely doesn't have their act together. It's a total mess.

    1. It's a good system and will work fine for many situations. As a desktop type... probably not and I think next year's Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga P40 will be better. Other tablets: