Lenovo Yoga Book first impressions: A good looking 2-in-1 that doesn't seem to have a clear purpose

Does the Yoga Book strike the right balance between a tablet and a notebook? Here is a quick look at the new product from Lenovo.


Lenovo has a wide range of laptops in the market ranging from the Thinkpad to the Yoga. The company has been pushing strongly in the PC market and has gained a good position globally. Their latest addition to the Yoga family was the Yoga Book which was unveiled back at IFA 2016 which came in Windows and Android flavours.

The 2-in-1 has finally made its way to India, although only the Windows 10 version has been announced here. I got to use the machine for a bit at the launch event and here is what I think about it.

Design and build

The Yoga Book has a small footprint and it's very easy to carry around thanks to its 10.1-inch form factor. It's quite thin too, having 9.6mm of thickness when closed. It actually feels like carrying around a thin, paper notebook.

 Lenovo Yoga Book first impressions: A good looking 2-in-1 that doesnt seem to have a clear purpose

More than a laptop it feels like a tablet. Probably because there is no physical keyboard. Instead, there's a flat, touch-sensitive panel with a matte finish which is backlit. A keyboard layout and a trackpad show up when you open it. The device also doubles as a Wacom digitizer, so you can write and draw using the Real Pen bundled with the machine.

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The build quality is solid and Lenovo says that it has used a magnesium alloy shell which has a matte finish. It somehow felt like plastic to me. Holding the two flat slabs is Lenovo's signature watchband hinge which can bend all the way. This truly makes the Yoga Book a convertible as you can fold it all the way, prop it up in a tent mode or use it like a traditional laptop with the keyboard.

As for the ports and buttons, on the right side you will find a power button, a speaker grill, volume rocker, and headphone jack. On the other side there is a microUSB charging port, microHDMI port, and a microSD card slot. Unlike a traditional laptop, the Yoga Book doesn't offer any full sized USB ports neither the new USB Type-C port which was quite dissapointing.

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Lenovo also offers a stylus accessory called the 'Real Pen'. The name is aptly put as it definitely feels like a real pen. You can use it draw or take notes by scribbling on the area where the keyboard lights up. You also get the Book Pad, which is just a simple notepad on which you can write with the Real Pen. As you write on the Book Pad, the same text and strokes directly get recorded on the Yoga Book itself.

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Display

The laptop features a 10.1-inch display with a 1920x1200 resolution. It is an IPS touchscreen which is said to offer a brightness of up to 400 nits. It looks pretty good in terms of sharpness and colour reproduction. Even the touch response seemed pretty good although I was a bit put off with the glossy finish as I could see a lot of reflections. Also the bezels seem quite thick which could've seen some trimming.

Hardware

Lenovo's Yoga Book is powered by a 1.44GHz Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor with Intel HD 400 graphics, 4GB of RAM and 64GB onboard storage. The storage is expandable using a microSD card of up to 128GB. This hardware is just sufficient for a bare-bones Windows 10 experience, but I would have been happier to see an Intel Core M chip rather than an Atom. That said, the Atom is compatible with Android, which is probably why this device ships with that platform.

Verdict

I have mixed reactions about the product. The 2-in-1 seems very interesting. The Halo Keyboard makes it look like a futuristic product. Even the bundled Real Pen along with the Book Pad makes it quite an attractive offering. But once you start using the Yoga Book, it feels difficult to maneuver.

I am sure after a couple of weeks of usage one can get used to the flat keyboard, but a price tag of Rs 49,990 seems to be too much. I cannot say how powerful or how capable it will be but considering it has an Atom processor, I believe it will be good for light tasks like typing, basic internet browsing and so on. Whether unique design and lightweight can make up for limited processing power remains to be seen.

Keep an eye on this space for more information and a full review as soon as we can get our hands on the device.

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