Lenovo Yoga Book tablet – IFA 2016 first look review

We all know that tablets and laptops are getting more and more alike. High-powered, so-called ‘pro’ tablets with optional keyboards, laptops with detachable displays and everything in between.

With its Yoga laptop series, Lenovo is already an old-head in the hybrid computing world. And its new Yoga Book is its next bold step in to the fray. We got our hands on it to see whether the Yoga Book can change the way you work and play.

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Lenovo Yoga Book first look review

Design

The Yoga Book is a 10.1-inch 2-in-1 tablet and laptop convertible that changes modes by rotating it like a book around a 360 degree ‘watchband’ hinge. So far, so familiar.

But that’s where things get a little interesting. The Yoga Book eschews the traditional raised keyboard that you’ll be used to on any laptop computer, in favour of a flat, haptic interface.

The uses of the haptic panel are twofold: primarily, you’re likely to use it as Lenovo’s halo keyboard. When you’re ready to type, a full qwerty keyboard – plus trackpad – appears on the panel. It gives a short vibrating buzz when you hit a key, feeding back through your finger tip to confirm the action. It feels surprisingly intuitive.

Press on the second panel’s pencil icon, and it transforms into a sketch pad for writing or drawing on. Then, you can choose from one of two styluses – a traditional one that scribbles directly on to the panel. And a second that can also be used as a real pen, allowing you draw simultaneously on paper and the tablet.

Specifications

Due to its dual panel design, the Yoga Book was never going to be as light or svelte as other flagship standalone tablets like the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 or Apple iPad Air 2. But its still pleasingly portable – 690g on the scales and 9.3mm thick. That’s extremely handy for on-the-go computing, with most convertible PCs weighing in around the 1kg mark.

We liked how bright and bold the display is, even though at 1920×1200 pixels the resolution won’t match the very best pro tablets on the market. The quad-core Intel Atom x-series processor and 4GB Ram should be more than powerful enough for lag free videos and sending emails. Again, 64GB of onboard storage can’t match the capacity of the likes of the Microsoft Surface Pro 4. But it still has the beating of the entry level Apple iPads.

Operating system

The twin screen approach already had our attention, but a choice of operating systems piqued our interest even further. If you’ve used Windows PCs all your life and want to seamlessly transfer to a convertible, then go for the Windows 10 version. Prefer Google’s app-based Android set-up, then you can go for the one with Marshmallow built-in.

Assuming that neither suffer any detriment, we applaud Lenovo’s decision to leave the choice to the buyer.

Price and availability

It’s looking like the Yoga Book will hit the shelves this October, so you haven’t got long to wait if you’re intrigued by that haptic keyboard.

Price-wise, Lenovo has pitched this somewhere between traditional standalone tablets and pro-style convertibles. The Android version will be £449 or you can splash an additional £100 if you’re swayed by the Windows 10 device.

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