It’s not that often that a device comes along that is truly a game changer. That is until now.
Today I had the pleasure of unboxing an item that in my opinion is truly groundbreaking, and could potentially change the game in its field. I am, of course, talking about the Lenovo Yoga Book. It’s more than a tablet, and something other than a computer, at a very reasonable £449.99
This tablet/laptop/convertible is definitely in the above category. I have been very keen to see what this machine can offer, ever since I first saw it unveiled last year at IFA. I have been keeping an eagle eye on this device since then. In fact, I have been very close to buying one on several occasions. Essentially what we are looking at is a tablet with the extra convenience of having a very useable keyboard. It is however much much more than that. It has some very cool and appealing features hidden within its sleek body. Let’s get into it.
Before we dive into the tour around the device, let us have a look at the specs that we have on offer.
Operating System: Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow)
Display: 10.1-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1200) @ 400nits
Processor: Intel Atom x5-Z8550 Processor (2Mb Cache, Up to 2.4GHz)
Expandable: microSD Up to 128GB
RAM: 4GB LPDDR3
Rear Camera: 8MP
Front Camera: 2MP
Charging: micro-USB with Fast Charging
Battery: 8500 mAh
Dimensions: 256.6mm x 170.8mm x 0.96mm
So as we see from the specs, the Yoga Book is much for a muchness on an Android tablet as they go these days, however the specs don’t tell the full story, not even by half.
Let’s take a look around the body of the machine and see what else we can find out.
First up, the unboxing video
Starting with the display, which is made of a glorious 1080p panel with a PPI of 224 and up to 400 nits of brightness. This will make it usable in most environments, apart from direct sunlight where it may struggle. It does have some pretty large bezels, however I find that these are a blessing when handling the tablet in its tablet ‘mode’. The viewing angles are very good and I didn’t notice any phasing out or colour shift at all even when viewed at up 180°.
Above the screen, you will find that there is a 2MP front-facing camera, which is going to be more than adequate for Skype or Hangouts.
The Halo Keyboard
Below the Yoga Book’s screen, we have one of the unique features of the Lenovo Yoga Book in the form of the “Halo’ keyboard, which is very cool and weird at the same time. In my limited time with it, I found that it really wasn’t that bad to type on particularly as I am more ‘hunt-and-peck style” typist. I think that if you were a touch typist, then this would be quite annoying and would require a fair bit of adjustment. However this area is not just for the keyboard, as it also performs double duty as a Wacom style drawing tablet when used with the pen. More on that later though. You also find the button for switching this surface to the “Create Pad” mode where the stylus can be used, but more on that later. Next to this button is an 8MP camera which will become the rear camera in tablet mode.
Before we move away from the keyboard, I just wanted to show that the backlight on this is really good, especially when being used in low light situations.
On the left-hand side, we find a micro-USB port for charging also for ‘USB on the go’. Next to that is a charging indicator light that will flash away to let you know that the device is getting power. Next up is the microSD card slot which easily takes up to 256 GB size. On some versions, this slot will also house an LTE SIM card (I have yet to see one being sold in the UK). Next is one of the two speaker outputs. Lastly on this side is a microHDMI port for connecting the Lenovo Yoga Book up to a TV or an external display.
One the right-hand side we have a 3.5mm audio jack, the volume rocker and the sleep/wake/power key. In between these, we have the second speaker grill. Both the speakers are assisted by Dolby Atmosphere to give a better audio experience and create a surround sound effect. This was demoed in the video above. It does create a more impressive sound and is defiantly noticeable for its absence when you switch it off.
Around the back, we have the wonderfully made “Watchband” hinge. This is something that Lenovo has been developing throughout their Yoga range and it really makes this tablet stand out as an industrial design highlight. I can just get lost watching it open and close! If you look at it closely, you can see the individual elements move as it rotates. It is also a fundamental design feature of the device, as without it, the “modes” of use would not be supported.
On the front of the screen section we can also see that there are two beamforming pinhole mics that will work to assist in those aforementioned Skype/Hangouts calls.
That is pretty much it for the hardware of the device, but we aren’t done yet, as there are some other very cool add-ons that are also included in this package.
Lenovo Yoga Book Real Pen
First up we have the “Real Pen”; this is both a stylus and a pen. In the box you get some replacement ink nibs (three of them), and a stylus nib. These simply pop in and out of a silo in the top of the pen, which allows you to switch them out with relative ease. It’s unfortunate that nobody at Lenovo thought to include a way of storing these nibs when you are out and about.
Next to complement the Real Pen is a paper pad which comes cut to the perfect size to fit over the create pad space on the keyboard deck.
The purpose of this is that one can take real notes and also have them digitised to share with the likes of OneNote and Evernote. The good news is that you can actually use any type of paper for this function as it is the pen that makes the magic happen. I am going to shoot a video of this all in action after I have got my head around it.
That is pretty much it for the hardware side if things. After my initial use of the Lenovo Yoga Book, I am finding that I’m very impressed with it. I will have to take a bit of time to get used to the Halo keyboard, but it is a lot better than I expected. I have actually written this whole post on the Lenovo Yoga Book, and I am going to be using it as my daily driver for the next few weeks.
If you have any questions about this device then please do let me know and I will try my utmost to test them for you.
Cheers for now.