When I saw the Lenovo Yoga Book at IFA in September last year, my first thought was how easy will typing be on this. Sure, the Yoga Book is a laptop, 2-in-1 unlike any other and there’s no keyboard — well there’s no traditional keyboard. It has support for a real pen, a Stylus and when you fold the device it is thinner than most notebooks, laptops.
In India, Lenovo has introduced the Windows 10 version of the Yoga Book; there’s also an Android version, but there’s no confirmation on whether that will be coming here or not. The Yoga Book is also carrying a slightly more premium price tag in here, which is close to Rs 50,000. But is the Yoga Book really that innovative? Is this innovation that everyone needs? Here’s what I thought after using the device.
Specifications: 10.1-inch display, 1900×1200 pixels resolution LED Backlit Capacitive IPS Touch with AnyPen Technology | Intel Atom quad-core clocked at 1.44 GHz, Intel HD Graphics 400| 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 64 GB storage | Windows 10 Home, 64-bit | Ports: Mic In, 1 x USB Type C, HDMI Port, Micro SD Card Reader| Dolby Audio Premium| Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.0 | Dimensions 256.6 x 170.8 x 9.6 mm Weight: 0.69 kg | Battery: 13 hours
Price: Rs 49,990
Lenovo Yoga Book
Lenovo Yoga Book is pegged as a game-changing laptop, primarily because it features a lot of capabilities that you won’t find in a traditional laptop. There’s the ‘Halo Keyboard’ as Lenovo calls it, which can be made to disappear. This one doesn’t have traditional keys and it is like typing on a touch-based keyboard, which glows when you are using it.
When the keyboard is gone, (a user has to tap the little pen symbol on top for this) you can convert all that space into a giant writing pad. Take out a stylus or an actual pen, in this case the one given by Lenovo, and start jotting down notes or sketching and all of that will appear on the screen instantly. I used the Microsoft OneNote app to test out this capability. From an innovation point-of-view, Yoga Book is pretty impressive.
The size and design of this means it will be noticed. When I first got this Yoga Book, everyone wanted to type on it. Lenovo has included the hinge seen on its Yoga laptop series to the Yoga Book. The hinge lets you turn this around 360 degrees and use the device as a tablet. When you close the Yoga Book, it looks exactly like a notebook. Since it weighs barely 700 grams, you don’t have to worry about lugging something big around.
It’s a got an all-matte black finish on the outside (front and back), although the chassis is prone to deep scratches. The unit I got already had some prominent marks on it, so do keep this carefully should you buy it. This device also has support for LTE as well and has a Single-SIM slot.
So what’s good?
When it comes to design, Yoga Book is totally unique. It’s thinner than most books, this is less than an inch in total thickness. I’m personally in favour of laptops, hybrids that are light and easy to carry around, and the Yoga Book ticks all those boxes. Plus at Rs 50k, this laptop is designed in a way that it is bound to get noticed.
The 10-inch display is sharp and vivid. If you’re planning to use this for personal entertainment and want to watch videos, Netflix, etc, the Yoga Book is perfect. When you feel like browsing in the tablet mode, just twist it around, and behold you’ll have one.
The Real Pen and Stylus are excellent features. The real pen support technology is powered by Wacom, which is a major player in this field. Essentially you can take notes on paper with the Real Pen Lenovo has given, and it will be digitised instantly. This one is definitely pitched for the artists. The Yoga Book also manages to capture the exact pressure you’re applying when writing with this real pen, which might not always reflect on paper. Again this attention to little details means this device will work well for those who are on the more creative side.
The Stylus is just as good as well, and I found the Yoga Book to be responsive to the Stylus and the Pen. I didn’t notice any lag between my writing and the same getting reflected on the display. Additionally, the touchscreen and tablet mode work well. I didn’t face any lag when switching to touch functionality, and the display was responsive.
Battery is the other bit where Lenovo delivers, promising some 13 hours of battery life. I would say this device lives up to this quite easily. If you’re not going to constantly use this laptop, you can charge it every two days, which is what happened with me. Even with under 30 per cent battery remaining, the laptop showed two hours of battery life, which is impressive.
On the performance side, the Yoga Book is good for the basics, which includes browsing, entertainment. But don’t expect to run heavy duty apps on this because this one has an Intel Atom processor.
So what doesn’t work?
For me, the innovative keyboard is a little too innovative. Learning to type on this takes time, no matter what Lenovo says. The keys are entirely different, and most people will struggle with this, and I know I did. Also the small size of the keyboard means you are more likely to make mistakes, given this is a totally new way of typing.
For me, it was hard to get rid of muscle memory where I need some response when pressing a key. Typing long complicated passwords can be tricky on this as well, and I had to keep looking down at the keyboard to ensure I got it right each time. There’s no doubt there’s a learning process involved here, and I’m not sure most people will be willing to undergo the same.
There were two instances, when the laptop just refused to switch on; I assumed the battery had drained out and I kept it on charge for a couple of hours, but pressing the power button multiple times did nothing. Eventually, I had to do a hard reset to get the device to work.
While the device is geared towards artists, and creative people, the lack of a powerful processor means you can’t always run a lot of the more heavy duty apps on this Yoga Book. Also in case of the ‘Real Pen’ Lenovo has provided with only three refills for now, so you’ll need to keep that in mind.
Should you buy?
There’s no doubt the Yoga Book is an innovative device, but I feel this is still a niche product. Will everyone be ready to give up their keyboard? Not really, I know I can’t do that yet. Perhaps the next generation will be more comfortable typing on such touch-based keyboards. Coming to the Real Pen and Stylus, this is geared for the more creative individuals and will appeal to them. But does it mean everyone is an artist? Again, the answer is no.
If you’re looking to buy a plain and simple laptop, Yoga Book is not for you. For the more creative audience, the ones who are skilled artists and don’t mind spending a substantial amount, Yoga Book is a worthy option.
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