Lenovo Yoga Book hands-on-review: One of the headline devices of Lenovo’s 2016 IFA lineup has to be the newly unveiled Yoga Book, which boasts an innovative new hybrid keyboard and writing surface.
Lenovo Yoga Book: Specs at a glance
|OS||Android 6.0 Marshmallow/Windows 10 (up to Pro)|
|Processor||2.4GHz quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8550|
|Memory||4GB RAM (LPDDR3)|
|Storage||64GB. Expandable via microSD up to 128GB|
|Battery||8500mAh w/ fast charging|
|Extras||Real Pen stylus, digitser, Halo keyboard, 3-axial hinge|
Lenovo Yoga Book: Hands-on review
Lenovo’s latest Yoga 2-in-1 has been a labour of love for the past three years, undergoing an unusual development process with a greater emphasis on back and forth with regards to user testing. What’s more, this refinement process spanned across five countries, according to Lenovo’s Jeff Meredith.
The result is the eye-catching Yoga Book, which shrugs off a conventional hardware keyboard and in its place, employs a lightly textured passive EMR (electromagnetic resonant) surface, which integrates a backlit ‘Instant Halo’ keyboard and trackpad, as well as a digitiser for creative applications and handwritten input.
Like other premium products in the family, the Book adopts some of the most iconic elements from the flagship 2-in-1 Yoga laptops, like the watch-band 3-axial hinge, in this instance comprised of 130 parts. That means, as with other Yoga devices, you can type or write on it as a laptop, stand it up for media consumption or fold it right over to act as a fully-fledged tablet.
The aluminium magnesium alloy body and its overall profile render the Yoga Book the world’s thinnest and lightest 2-in-1, measuring in at 4.05mm for the screen portion or 9.6mm when closed, with a weight of 690 grams on a device with a 10.1-inch IPS LCD panel.
Speaking of the display, the Book is unquestionably a looker, with a 1920x1200 resolution and there’s Dolby Atmos audio on-hand to bolster its multimedia capabilities too.
The real hook of the Yoga Book is the dynamic surface beneath the display where a physical keyboard would conventionally be found. Whilst it’s a flat surface, Lenovo has employed a mix of haptic feedback, text prediction and artificial learning to offer as good a typing experience as possible with as few errors as possible. The Book displays segmented keys, but treats the lower portion as a single surface meaning the user can technically type without having to hit each key perfectly as the software will adapt over time to improve accuracy based on an individual user’s typing hit points.
By long-pressing a capacitive button above the Halo keyboard, the surface becomes a digitiser for use with the included Real Pen stylus, developed in partnership with Wacom. The drawing and writing experience supports up to 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, and up to 100 degrees of response from the stylus.
The Yoga Book will be available in two skews at launch, one running Android 6.0 Marshmallow (with the promise of an upgrade to Nougat down the line) and one running Windows 10. Depending on the operating system, notes and drawings will either be saved to the custom Lenovo Note Saver app (on Android) or directly to OneNote (on Windows). Lenovo has also added extra functionality to the Android experience such as (up to 4) app multitasking and a taskbar for quick access to specific software.
Whichever skew you choose, the Yoga Book also comes with the same internals, consisting of an Intel Atom chipset, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage expandable via microSD (up to 128GB) and a fast charging 8500mAh battery, which can reach 80 per cent in 50 minutes.
When pressed, Lenovo also promised that despite the Intel Atom chipset, the Android-powered Yoga Book offers ‘near full’ support for all Play Store apps, although not all of them will benefit from the tablet’s multitasking view.
Out the box Yoga Book users can expect not only the Real Pen stylus, but a Magnetic Book Pad, which aligns to the digitiser so you can write directly onto paper and have the result mirrored on the Yoga Book digitally. To achieve this, the Real Pen comes with not only the standard stylus nib, but a ballpoint nib (and three refills). Lenovo quotes a hover distance of 10mm between the stylus and the digitiser, but in truth it appears to work over an even greater distance.
We still don’t have an exact launch date, but both skews of the Yoga Book are available for pre-order now and will launch sometime in September, with the Android version expected to cost £449 and the Windows 10 version £549, with an additional £100 on each for 4G LTE connectivity.