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Lenovo Yoga Book review

Is ibm pc original this the netbook ibm pc original of the ibm pc original future – the ibm pc original ultra netbook?

Our Verdict

Lenovo has crafted a brilliant, ibm pc original forward-thinking device that could very ibm pc original well create a subcategory in computing all ibm pc original of its own. ibm pc original But, with low-power components inside holding it ibm pc original back against the tablet ibm pc original competition, it’s tough to outright ibm pc original recommend ibm pc original you buy the first ibm pc original generation.

For

  • Insanely thin and light
  • Halo Keyboard surprisingly accurate
  • Excellent display
  • Clever Create Pad

Against

  • Woefully underpowered
  • Dated microUSB port

We’re ibm pc original lucky ibm pc original to live in a world ibm pc original where ibm pc original the Lenovo ibm pc original Yoga Book exists, and ibm pc original we’re not just ibm pc original saying that because it’s remarkably ibm pc original affordable. No, ibm pc original the Lenovo Yoga Book ibm pc original is worth your attention because it’s ibm pc original the unlikely combination of a tablet ibm pc original and ibm pc original a laptop in a way ibm pc original we’ve never seen before. 

Even ibm pc original though the Lenovo ibm pc original Yoga ibm pc original Book is one of the ibm pc original best 2-in-1 laptops, it ibm pc original doesn’t have a physical ibm pc original keyboard ibm pc original – at least not like ibm pc original you would ibm pc original think. The Lenovo Yoga Book ibm pc original instead uses a unique hinged keyboard and trackpad ibm pc original completely ibm pc original without travel – it’s totally ibm pc original digital. That ibm pc original may ibm pc original sound awkward and ibm pc original difficult ibm pc original to get used to – ibm pc original and it is.

Read more: Lenovo Yoga Book ibm pc original C930

The Lenovo ibm pc original Yoga Book is still ibm pc original worth your ibm pc original time in ibm pc original 2018, ibm pc original especially ibm pc original with the low cost – which we’ll ibm pc original explore here ibm pc original in ibm pc original a ibm pc original minute. But its ibm pc original inputs separate from the screen, ibm pc original usable as a ibm pc original WAcom digitizer is a definite ibm pc original plus. Of ibm pc original course, ibm pc original cooking up ibm pc original a unique, never-before-seen laptop is a ibm pc original full-time job, and we wouldn’t ibm pc original advise writing off ibm pc original the Yoga Book. After all, breaking ibm pc original new ground will always take some getting ibm pc original used ibm pc original to.

And ibm pc original finally, this is the first laptop or ibm pc original tablet to come in both Windows 10 ibm pc original and Android ibm pc original varieties using ibm pc original the exact same hardware inside.

That’s quite a lot ibm pc original of firsts for a ibm pc original 10.1-inch productivity device that ibm pc original costs just $499 (about £409, AU$655; Android) ibm pc original or $549 (about £450, AU$720; Windows 10) ibm pc original to start. There has to be ibm pc original a ibm pc original catch, right? 

There’s always a catch, ibm pc original but this ibm pc original unique notebook is ibm pc original still popular here at TechRadar, ibm pc original having made it onto our list ibm pc original of the best laptops. ibm pc original So, let’s dive into everything that ibm pc original makes the Lenovo ibm pc original Yoga Book such ibm pc original a great device.

Design 

The Yoga ibm pc original Book, at first glance, looks ibm pc original like every other ibm pc original Lenovo Yoga laptop – only ibm pc original smaller. ibm pc original The impressive, ibm pc original gorgeous watchband ibm pc original hinge first introduced ibm pc original with the Yoga 3 ibm pc original is present ibm pc original and correct, and the ibm pc original insanely thin device is wrapped in a ibm pc original smooth, ibm pc original luxurious magnesium alloy shell ibm pc original like so many Yoga ibm pc original devices before ibm pc original it.

The Android edition of ibm pc original the Lenovo Yoga Book, ibm pc original which we’d ibm pc original guess Lenovo expect to ibm pc original sell ibm pc original more, comes in Champagne Gold, Carbon Black ibm pc original and Gunmetal Gray finishes. The Windows ibm pc original 10 edition just comes in ibm pc original Carbon Black ibm pc original – but all ibm pc original of these finishes look fantastic.

[Editor’s Note: ibm pc original This ibm pc original review ibm pc original focuses ibm pc original on the Windows 10 version of ibm pc original the Yoga Book, with salient differences ibm pc original in the Android Marshmallow version noted.]

A power ibm pc original button ibm pc original and ibm pc original volume rocker on the device’s right ibm pc original side ibm pc original are ibm pc original edged in chrome, ibm pc original and speakers ibm pc original sit behind dotted grilles on either side ibm pc original of ibm pc original the keyboard deck. The speakers ibm pc original pump out suitable range and ibm pc original volume despite ibm pc original their ibm pc original size, thanks to Dolby Atmos technology ibm pc original inside.

Another impressive feature about the Yoga ibm pc original Book despite its size ibm pc original is the 10.1-inch, 1,920 x 1,200 ibm pc original resolution screen. ibm pc original With 400 nits of brightness and ibm pc original the capability ibm pc original to display a ibm pc original range of ibm pc original 16.7 million ibm pc original colors, HD movies look excellent ibm pc original on the Yoga Book, ibm pc original and ibm pc original in-plane switching (IPS) ibm pc original means ibm pc original wide angles ibm pc original for screen sharing.

Tactile touch typing  

If you’re doubting ibm pc original whether you can effectively type on ibm pc original an entirely digital, ibm pc original capacitive ibm pc original keyboard, don’t worry. In ibm pc original our time with ibm pc original both versions of ibm pc original the Lenovo ibm pc original Yoga Book and its Halo ibm pc original Keyboard, it was ibm pc original shockingly easy to type ibm pc original accurately without any kind ibm pc original of physical ibm pc original feedback or buttons.

Sure, there’s haptic ibm pc original feedback and ibm pc original audio cues ibm pc original that ibm pc original signal when typing, like ibm pc original on ibm pc original a ibm pc original smartphone, which can be toggled on or ibm pc original off. But, neither completely account for ibm pc original how accurate we are typing on this backlit ibm pc original digital ibm pc original keyboard, behind a ibm pc original sheet ibm pc original of ibm pc original Gorilla Glass ibm pc original with individually lit ibm pc original keys.

If anything, our accuracy is ibm pc original testament to our growing ibm pc original aptitude with digital keyboards ibm pc original since the dawn of ibm pc original smartphones and ibm pc original tablets – only this one doesn’t ibm pc original take up half the screen. ibm pc original (Lenovo’s patent-pending ibm pc original hardware and software helps a ibm pc original great deal here, too.) 

Even ibm pc original without auto-correct software on ibm pc original the Windows ibm pc original 10 version, ibm pc original we found ourselves making very ibm pc original few errors while ibm pc original working on the Yoga Book. ibm pc original Of course, it’s unrealistic ibm pc original to expect the same words-per-minute speed ibm pc original that you ibm pc original would attain on ibm pc original an analog keyboard, and ibm pc original we don’t expect everyone ibm pc original to have ibm pc original the same easy transition that ibm pc original we had. The Android ibm pc original version’s Lenovo-made TouchPal auto-correct software ibm pc original should help a ibm pc original great deal with that ibm pc original acclimatisation. 

This, then, brings ibm pc original us to a question: ibm pc original if all versions ibm pc original of Windows 10 ibm pc original are essentially the same operating system ibm pc original (OS), why then is Windows 10 ibm pc original Mobile’s excellent ibm pc original auto-correct software ibm pc original not available on ibm pc original all versions ibm pc original of the ibm pc original OS?

As for the ibm pc original Android version, we ibm pc original in fact ibm pc original not only ibm pc original found the built-in auto-correcting ibm pc original software ibm pc original to be ibm pc original extremely helpful, but ibm pc original practically essential after getting used to it being ibm pc original there. 

However, in ibm pc original order for said ibm pc original keyboard to work properly, we ibm pc original had to ibm pc original disable all international keyboards. ibm pc original Otherwise, certain key presses ibm pc original would register ibm pc original whatever ibm pc original the key is ibm pc original next ibm pc original to it ibm pc original on-screen. At ibm pc original least ibm pc original this workaround solved the issue.

At any rate, we found navigating ibm pc original and typing on the Yoga Book ibm pc original surprisingly ibm pc original easy after about an hour ibm pc original with ibm pc original the ibm pc original device. Of course, you’ll ibm pc original find differences between both ibm pc original keyboards – i.e. ibm pc original the Windows 10 version’s left and right mouse ibm pc original buttons that allow for ibm pc original click-and-drag ibm pc original and the Android version’s lack thereof ibm pc original – but both offer the ibm pc original same ibm pc original fidelity.

The Wacom digitizer is wonderful 

It’s fine ibm pc original enough ibm pc original that ibm pc original the Yoga Book is the ibm pc original first ibm pc original laptop or tablet to include a ibm pc original keyboard that doubles as a full-blown ibm pc original Wacom digitizer. It’s even better that the tool ibm pc original is a joy ibm pc original to ibm pc original use, not to mention that it ibm pc original has one super-neat trick up its ibm pc original sleeve.

Pressing and holding a ibm pc original capacitive button above the keyboard with a pen ibm pc original icon switches the tool from ibm pc original displaying the keys ibm pc original to displaying, well, ibm pc original nothing but an illuminated pen icon. This means ibm pc original you can ibm pc original now use the surface to ibm pc original draw or write ibm pc original with ibm pc original the included Real Pen stylus.

Lenovo calls ibm pc original this the ibm pc original Create Pad, a layer of electromagnetic ibm pc original resonance (EMR) film beneath the ibm pc original keyboard that’s powered by Wacom ibm pc original Feel ibm pc original technology. This means ibm pc original that the Real ibm pc original Pen needs nothing inside to ibm pc original operate, with ibm pc original the Create Pad ibm pc original doing all of the work – ibm pc original even the ibm pc original 2,048 ibm pc original levels ibm pc original of ibm pc original pressure sensitivity.

The Create Pad offers ibm pc original the supreme palm detection ibm pc original artists have ibm pc original come to expect ibm pc original from the ibm pc original brand, and has ibm pc original differing levels of support from the Yoga ibm pc original Book ibm pc original depending on the version. The ibm pc original Windows 10 version supports the Create ibm pc original Pad in all apps that would support stylus ibm pc original control, like Windows Ink, ibm pc original but specifically calls up ibm pc original OneNote when ibm pc original activated.

On Android, however, Lenovo seems ibm pc original to have enjoyed a lot ibm pc original more freedom in custom-tailoring software ibm pc original for the OS, with ibm pc original Lenovo’s home-grown Note Saver ibm pc original app for note-taking ibm pc original and ibm pc original drawing.

Regardless, both versions ibm pc original of the Yoga Book are capable of ibm pc original one aforementioned, ibm pc original seriously cool trick: taking scrawlings ibm pc original in pen ibm pc original on ibm pc original paper and digitizing ibm pc original them for later access, editing and backup. ibm pc original This is made possible through ibm pc original an included magnetic notepad that ibm pc original attaches itself ibm pc original to ibm pc original the Create Pad’s ibm pc original surface, and included (office-standard) real-ink ibm pc original ballpoint tips for ibm pc original the Real Pen.

Now, this is where the EMR comes ibm pc original into play. As ibm pc original soon as ibm pc original the Real Pen ibm pc original touches ibm pc original the ibm pc original notepad – when ibm pc original attached to the Create Pad surface – whatever’s ibm pc original written is picked up by ibm pc original the ibm pc original electromagnetic response ibm pc original given off ibm pc original by the contact ibm pc original of pen to paper through ibm pc original the notepad’s magnetic rear surface, ibm pc original to be translated onto ibm pc original the screen via the Create ibm pc original Pad. The accuracy ibm pc original with which this ibm pc original is achieved is ibm pc original incredible, and it’s something you simply have ibm pc original to see ibm pc original in action yourself ibm pc original to ibm pc original believe.

With ibm pc original this ibm pc original feature, you can ibm pc original even ibm pc original fold ibm pc original the ibm pc original tablet in the ibm pc original reverse ibm pc original direction to ibm pc original use it ibm pc original simply as ibm pc original a ibm pc original traditional paper notepad with a digital backup. ibm pc original Using the tablet in this way ibm pc original even ibm pc original shuts ibm pc original the screen off, saving precious battery life ibm pc original – though, the ibm pc original Yoga Book ibm pc original already has ibm pc original gobs of ibm pc original that.

But, beyond note-taking, we could see ibm pc original this feature being ibm pc original a ibm pc original boon ibm pc original for artists that ibm pc original feel more ibm pc original at home drawing ibm pc original on paper with ink than a ibm pc original glass surface with a ibm pc original stylus, with ibm pc original the option to alter ibm pc original their work digitally later. Of course, ibm pc original this ibm pc original assumes a lot on the front ibm pc original of ibm pc original app and file compatibility.

All told, the ibm pc original Yoga ibm pc original Book’s Create Pad and Halo Keyboard are wowing ibm pc original tools that ibm pc original separate this tablet ibm pc original from the majority of ibm pc original 2-in-1 ibm pc original devices. Even more ibm pc original so, they stand ibm pc original to see Lenovo spur ibm pc original yet another standard in dual-purpose computing devices. 

But before ibm pc original we ibm pc original get ahead of ourselves, ibm pc original let’s ibm pc original see how this thing ibm pc original stacks up against ibm pc original some of ibm pc original the ibm pc original leading tablets, and what it’s ibm pc original like to use ibm pc original as a productivity device.