Ever since the Surface RT launched I have loved the form factor of the two in one tablet / laptop hybrid and while Windows RT didn’t hit the mark I still hanker for the ultra-slim tablet that can be used as a laptop.
The specification for the Lenovo Yoga Book don’t look that exciting: 10.1 inch screen, Atom processor x5-Z8550, 64GB storage and 4GB RAM but that doesn’t tell the story. The Yogo Book is a 2-in1 tablet like nothing else I have used before.
This device doesn’t have a traditional keyboard, it has a fully digital keyboard that is also a Wacom digitiser for use with real pen. You can use it to take notes on real paper that get digitised real time. Getting rid of the traditional keyboard means it’s thin, really thin! Closed it is 9.6mm thin and with a solid feel and curved edge with makes it feel like a very premium device. The hinge is really well designed with a watch strap style design and holds the screen in any position you place it so you can use it as a laptop or fold it right round as a tablet.
I really like using it in portrait mode with the keyboard folded back using it as tablet, with Windows 10 it works really well.
The screen is 10.1 inch running at 1920 x 1200 which is bright and clear and viewable from a wide angle. The screen looks very good with really good colour reproduction.
The main difference with this device is the unique digital keyboard, Lenovo call it a Halo Keyboard. It is a two in one keyboard that can be used as a QWERTY keyboard and as a pen surface for drawing on. So what is it like to type on? Well obviously it is not as good as a full laptop keyboard but it is good enough to be able to touch type on and be pretty actuate, they keyboard lights up and there is haptic feedback when you type. While I wouldn’t want to write really long blog posts on it I have no problem using it for emails, messaging and browsing. I do wish Windows 10 had the option to use the Windows 10 Mobile predictive keyboard, it would make typing much faster. It is way better than typing on a glass tablet keyboard.
Tap the pen button on the keyboard and it turns into a pen digitizer. The supplied pen works supports 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and works with apps like Windows Ink and OneNote. It takes a bit of getting used to, drawing on the panel and then seeing it draw on the screen is a little odd at first but anyone that has used a Wacom digitiser before will be familiar with it.
The great thing about using the pen is that in pen mode it doesn’t pick up wrist or palm so its great for left handers like me. When you tap the pen button it brings up an onscreen button to launch Onenote or the all apps list. It even comes with a notepad with paper that clips on that you can draw on and it digitises it at the same time. There are real writing tips included with the pen, I can see this being really useful for artists and writers.t
When it comes to performance the Atom processor isn’t the fastest in the world which means it fine for browsing, email, Windows apps but it is going to struggle with Photoshop or video editing. This is fine for me as I want it as a tablet first and laptop 2nd. The 4GB of RAM helps to keep the tablet running fast, I have multiple tabs open in Microsoft Edge and the devices feels responsive. The only issue I have had is resuming from sleep either takes a while or sometimes doesn’t come on at all and I have to hold the power button down and reset the device, hopefully a firmware fix could fix this.
The combination of Atom process and large 8500 mAh battery means you get great battery life out of the device, I have seen Windows report 16 hours of battery left after a full charge and even with serious browsing I have been getting over 8 hours more than many other Windows device I have used. Also surprising for its size is the sound, it loud for the size and it clear.
There is a MicroSD card slot, MicroHDMI port and MicroUSB port for charging. The MicroUSB port is one thing I don’t like about the Yoga Book, it should USB C for faster charging but it’s a minor grip.
The Yoga Book comes in two version, there is an Android 6.0 version priced at £449.99 and the Windows 10 version (with Windows 10 Pro) at £549.99.
The Yoga Book is a tablet first and a laptop 2nd unlike many other two-in-ones and it is a great Windows tablet. I love using it in portrait mode, it feels great in the hand and looks great. It weights 690g lighter than any of my other Windows tablets.
At over £549 (Currys) it is not a budget tablet, you are paying for the slim design and digitiser but for me it’s the best tablet first Windows device I have used. While I love the Surface Pro 4 it is still a large device to use as a tablet in portrait mode. I like the Yoga Book so much I have actually bought this one!