My awesome wife and terrific in-laws got me one of those nifty new Yoga 13 IdeaPad’s by Lenovo (Lenovo Yoga 13 IdeaPad Ultrabook 13.3″ Touch-Screen Convertible Laptop) for my birthday/Christmas (one of the benefits of having your birthday 3 days before Christmas is “bigger” gifts). I’ll be using the Yoga at home and at work as we do some BYOD (Bring Your Own Desktop) against the VMware View environment at Clearpath Solutions Group. The form factor of the Yoga is great – lightweight to be used as a tablet, but big enough to be a full time laptop. I also dig Windows 8 – I use the traditional Windows desktop at the office, but switch over to the Modern UI for couch surfing in the evening. I did install Start8 from StarDock to give me back the Start button / menu. But what I don’t like is the limited storage and low RAM (4GB).
The Yoga shipped with a 128GB SSD, but Lenovo screwed up their partitioning, leaving only 50GB or so for user apps and files. Not enough for me. Fortunately, Lenovo released a patch to fix the partitioning, giving me a 100GB C: partition. Download the patch here: https://support.lenovo.com/en_US/downloads/default.page# – it’s under the General Information section after you select your model and OS. The patch failed to run with the crappy McAfee antivirus that came preinstalled – I uninstalled it since it was just a trial version and had already caused issues with installing Windows Updates, Hyper-V features, etc.
I usually run several virtual machines in VMware Workstation on my laptop, but the 4GB or RAM that came installed don’t leave much room. Between the RAM and storage, it was time for an upgrade. The Yoga 13 has an open mSATA slot for a second hard drive and the single 4GB DIMM can be swapped out for a 8GB DIMM. I’m the DIY type, subscribing to the Self Repair Manifesto and the Ron Swanson Pyramid of Greatness, so I rolled up my sleeves and got right to work.
Here’s what you need to know to upgrade your Yoga. This could very well be an unsupported, warranty voiding upgrade, so use caution!
First, the hardware. I went with Crucial for my added memory and bought it through Amazon: Crucial Single 8GB DDR3 1600 MT/s (PC3-12800) Notebook Module, CT102464BF160B for about $45. I also bought a Crucial 256GB mSATA hard drive from Amazon for about $200 Crucial m4 256GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT256M4SSD3. I’ve had very good luck with Crucial components in the past and the reviews for the mSATA drive prove it to be a speedy SSD.
Update (10/10/13): The Crucial M500 480GB mSATA drive is now available here: Crucial M500 480GB mSATA Internal Solid State Drive CT480M500SSD3. I haven’t used it, but don’t see why it wouldn’t work in the Lenovo Yoga. A pair of these and you’ll have a respectable 1TB of flash storage in your ultrabook!
- Double-sided tape: Scotch® Removable DoubleSided Tape 3/4 inch x 400 inches Dispenser (667)
- Nylon pry tools – I used this set for my upgrade: InterfuseTM Metal & Nylon Spudger Repair Opening Pry Tool Kit
- Small phillips screwdriver and T-5 Torx screwdriver –
I got this nice little set of precision screwdrivers that had the right size phillips and Torx: General Tool 63518 Precision Ultratech Screwdriver Set, 18-PieceHere’s a replacement for the tool kit that contains a T5 bit:
General Precision Screwdriver Torx Tool Set Repair Kit with 10cm Extension Pliant Bar 45 Piece
- An anti static wrist strap if you want to protect the sensitive electronics in your new Yoga from static shock: Belkin Anti-Static Wrist Band with Adjustable Grounding
Update: Feb 2, 2013: There is a firmware update available for the Crucial mSATA drive I linked to above. Go here to download: https://www.crucial.com/help/ssd/index.aspx?source=web.
The Lenovo Yoga does not have a CD/DVD/BluRay drive or a ethernet network port. If you want these for your Yoga, I recommend the following:
- CD/DVD/BluRay Reader & Writer: Samsung SE-506BB/TSBD 6X USB2.0 External Slim Blu-ray Writer Drive (Black)
- Plugable USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter – Make sure you get the updated drivers for Windows 8 for this USB-to-Network adapter from https://www.asix.com.tw/download.php?sub=searchresult&PItemID=84&download=driver. Plug this into the USB 3.0 port on the left-hand side of your Yoga (next to the HDMI port).
- Plugable 7 Port USB 3.0 Hub with 4A Power Adapter (VIA VL812 Chipset – USB 2.0 compatible) to add additional USB 3.0 ports if you want to use the CD/DVD, USB 3.0 Network adapter and other peripherals at the same time. Just be sure to update the firmware on the USB hub from here: https://plugable.com/2013/01/29/via-usb-3-0-hub-firmware.
- Also grab a slip case for the Yoga to keep it safe: Lenovo 13-Inch Slot-In Case for Lenovo Yoga and a Lexerd – Lenovo IdeaPad yoga 13 TrueVue Anti-Glare Laptop Screen Protector to keep the screen scratch free and easy to clean (your new touch screen will get dirty)
You might also want to pick up a spare AC power adapter for your Lenovo Yoga (Lenovo Part Number: 0C19868; Model: PA-1650-37LC; LC PN: 36200235).
As far as the process, I’ll give you some tips that I picked up while upgrading my Yoga and point you to some resources to help you along. Anti-static strap up and get your upgrade on by following these steps! [Read more…] about How to Upgrade Memory and Storage on the Lenovo Ideapad Yoga 13