The Tough New Yoga Hinge (And What We Did To It)

A close-up of the all new 360® hinge design

Guest blog by Tin-Lup Wong, Distinguished Engineer and Executive Director, Strategic Technology and Innovation Center (STIC), PC Product Group.

Today, we announced the new YOGA 3 Pro, taking another step in advancing the 360® hinge design we pioneered in 2012 with the original YOGA convertible PC. The new six watchband hinge helps make the laptop 17 percent thinner and 14 percent lighter than its predecessor and also lets you lay it completely flat at 180 degrees.

 

Making a strong and durable – yet extremely flexible – hinge is something we know well. In previous YOGA models, we designed a dual-hinge system made of zinc alloy. So, you might wonder, why make a new hinge?

YOGA users and consumers told us they prioritize thin and light features, so we challenged ourselves to continue to shave millimeters off the design – and to do that, we created the new watchband hinge. Constructed from steel and aluminum, the new hinge provides the same degree of flexibility and flatness of a metallic watchband due to its six flexion points. For the full specs, you can read the press release here, and see the full functionality in action in this video.

The Hinge Lift Test

The Hinge Lift Test

To make sure the hinge withstands the wear and tear of mobile users, we put it through the same Hinge Life test as our other YOGA models – more than 20,000 cycles of opening and shutting. But we didn’t stop there. We put it through seven more tests to make sure it withstands the rigors of user and environments.

 

  • The lap test – Yes, many people use their laptops on their laps. In addition to real life user testing, we created a robot and dummy leg to simulate using the YOGA 3 Pro on a lap while wearing stockings or underneath a blanket to make sure we eliminate snagging or nipping of fabric or skin.

 Simulating real life

Simulating real life

  • In a dusty environment or on the beach – we used a dust chamber test to simulate conditions in a dusty or sandy environment so you’re not limited in where you can take your laptop.

In dusty or sandy conditions

In dusty or sandy conditions

  • While in transit in a bag – since YOGA is built for mobility, we used vibration and abrasion tests to make sure it holds up in a carrying bag so you can bike to school or travel with it.
  • Panel balancing – in this test, we got pretty technical. We applied force to assess the balance and found the peak value to be less than a certain rigorous specification. Meaning? The screen will stay put when you want to use it in touch and interactive mode.
  • Sweat, food and dirt – while we don’t recommend using your PC as a food tray, we know it happens and everyone has to work through lunch now and again. To account for sweat, food, dirt and other not-so-clean life factors, we used an environment chamber and life tester to ensure the YOGA 3 Pro could sit safely at the dinner or lunch table.    
  • Safety, drops, vibrations and shocks – lastly, we put the YOGA 3 Pro through an intense hinge physical that included corner drops, random vibrations, weight drops, shock tests, ball drops, pressure on the hinge and other various safety measure tests.

You wouldn’t use and abuse your body joints without knowing how far you could push the limits and we can assure you we’ve given the same love and attention to the new YOGA 3 Pro’s hinges. Because we know some users demand more of their joints and PCs than others, we took careful and considerable measures to design and test the YOGA 3 Pro for mobile lifestyles.