For laptop makers, now is a time of experimentation. After years in pursuit of the same old goals — thinner, lighter, faster, cheaper — Windows 8 has provided a novel challenge: Create laptops that can transform into tablets, or vice versa.

Lenovo’s IdeaPad Yoga 13, which starts at $1,000, is just one attempt to take advantage of Microsoft’s dual-sided operating system. Out of the box, it looks like a traditional notebook, but keep tilting the 13-inch touchscreen back along its hinge, and it folds all the way around until the clamshell is closed again. Only now, the screen is face-up, and the keyboard hangs from the underbelly. You can also open the Yoga partway, keys down, so the screen is facing outward, or stand the device on both of its edges in a tent-like configuration.

This approach is simple and logical enough, but after spending a week with a…

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