skip to Main Content

Rant On.  100% ON.

I’m writing this post on a Lenovo Yoga 2 laptop that will be returned to Best Buy by the time you have read this.

Nothing but a nightmare.  Starts off with one of those improvements that we all love so much:


3200 Lines of Resolution, WOW!  So Why do I have it set at 1600???


Clearly, someone in Redmond got jealous about Apple’s Retina display (MacBooks go to 2880) and decided to push hardware manufacturers to pony up.

Trouble is, legacy apps are NOT built with such resolutions in mind.  Like, I don’t know…  YOUTUBE?


No, I haven’t zoomed out.  YouTube’s video controls are MICROSCOPIC.
The mouse cursor is normally, you know, smaller than the buttons you are
supposed to click.  Not true on the Yoga 2!

Nothing is safe, not even the sheet tabs in Excel 2010.  Check out how the new sheet tab icon is partly obscured:


I could go on.  Basically two-thirds of my Windows apps are screwed up, many of which to the point where they simply can’t be used at all.  Not an exaggeration.

Tellingly, Excel 2013 is mostly OK – better than 2010.  In other words, the Windows team knew about this coming change (High Resolution Displays), and tipped off other teams at MS.  Held them hostage really – make changes to support our new settings, or we’ll get Steven Sinofsky on you.

Of course, 2013 is NOT 100% OK.  The browse dialog, for instance, is messed up and cramped – needs to be resized larger every time you use it.

Why is Excel 2013 not 100% OK?  Because, well, I’m sure the High Resolution Display hardware was not yet available for testing when Office 2013 was being engineered.

I’ve been to this rodeo.  Used to help orchestrate it.  Which makes it all the more disgusting – familiarity breeds contempt and all.

So, shame on you, Windows team, AND Lenovo. You are both well aware of this problem by now and are hoping it doesn’t blow up on you.  Unfortunately it blew up on ME instead.

Yes, I eventually figured out how to “fix” it.  Set the resolution down to 1600, and then change the size of desktop items back to 100% (which is not the default):


But now everything is blurry because LCD’s are not meant to be run at their non-native resolutions.

Stay the hell away from this hardware unless you plan to only run the absolute newest software.  Oh, also make sure you never use that “niche” app known as YouTube.

Is There a Point?

Well, yes, there are two.  One, avoid this laptop, and any laptop with similar display resolution, is my advice.

Second, imagine what it takes for someone like me to actually LOVE a piece of tech.  I’m spitting mad right now and would love to have that spit physically land on the people involved with creating this disaster (I even have a few names in mind).

And I LOVE Power Pivot.

Rob Collie

Rob Collie

One of the original engineering leaders behind Power BI and Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, Rob Collie founded a consulting company in 2013 that is 100% devoted to “the new way forward” made possible by Power BI and its related technologies. Since 2013, PowerPivotPro has rapidly grown to become the leading firm in the industry, pioneering an agile, results-first methodology never before seen in the Business Intelligence space. A sought-after public speaker and author of the #1-selling Power BI book, Rob and his team would like to help you revolutionize your business and your career.

This Post Has 11 Comments
  1. i have the same device, i suffer from youtube, windows media player controls, and some other apps. I tried to reduce resolution and change elements sizes with no use. so i guess i am sticking with the large resolution till apps are updated.

    any tips for the device other wise?

  2. I feel your pain, Rob. 🙂 I dual-boot my Macbook Pro that has one of those gorgeous Retina displays. Under OS X everything looks fab in high res, pretty buttons, cool fonts, it all looks like I got a new pair of glasses. Even Excel for Mac 2011 looks good—though I wish it was more useful, as it is a bit of a joke compared to 2013 on Windows with PP/PQ/PV/PM etc. When I boot into Windows, however, I have to choose between blurry or randomly over/undersized, quite primitive. I guess it takes a lot more effort to change the OS to support high-res screens in an intelligent manner. 🙂 Waiting for Windows to catch up…still waiting…oh…9 years on…still…

  3. Yeah I am a *bit* calmer today. There’s really no way they can increase the resolutions across the board without causing lots of pain. So… sit still and cede that to Apple? Or buckle up and absorb the pain?

    Apple controls their entire ecosystem with an iron fist. Windows allows for diversity – that enables amazing things but comes at a price some times. This is why I prefer Apple for my “consumer” tech and Microsoft for my “pro” tech.

    I don’t understand why so many pros run Macs and dual boot into Windows. I don’t say that as a passive aggressive criticism, but as a face value statement of I don’t get it. The last thing I ever want is another layer of “could go wrong.”

    I suspect I’d have the same sort of issues with a Surface Pro. Not as easy/elegant/clean as an iPad for consumer purposes, and not as good as a laptop for pro purposes. As light as these things are getting, I think I may just get an iPad and a Windows laptop and just carry both. Trying to converge the too is a lot harder than it sounds.

  4. Hate to bother your rant, Rob, but I have a Yoga 2 Pro and am quite happy with it. I’ve had it since December. I run it at 2048×1152 (and 125%) and have no problems that I can remember since (not blurry as far as I can see). You do have the fix the VMs to that res too, when not on projector.

    My only other hassle with it (that the micro-HDMI port is wobbly when run with a micro-HDMI to RGB converter, as Scott Hanselman reported) is easily remedied by using a USB to RGB converter instead.

    Hope your rant catches on though. They’ve gone up in price since I bought mine (they were backordered then) and I was thinking of buying another one for my wife. So perhaps if enough people return them, the price will plummet and/or there will be a nice stock of returned ones to choose from for a good price. 😉

    Cheers, Bob

  5. Understand you struggle, I looked for new PC for 4 month as my 5 yr old Toshiba M700 tablet slowly took its last breaths. The Lenovo Yoga 2 laptop is a consumer product, not meant for guys like you. I would suggest the Lenovo Yoga ThinkPad which is from there business line of product. I purchased mine about 8 weeks ago and I’m a happy camper. Understand the Lenovo Yoga ThinkPad is more expensive, I justify because it will be a machine I use for the next 4 -5 years. You get what you pay for. Lastly, a reminder that the world is not a perfect place, but it is awesome. Good Luck

  6. I think they named it the Yoga 2 because you are supposed to be doing yoga while using it. Try performing a head stand (or any other yoga pose) for 10 minutes, then look at the screen. Everything should be crystal clear after that… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *