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Lenovo Yoga Book review: folding up the future

The Lenovo Yoga Book is a unique and sexy 2-in-1, but is it any good?

The Quick Take

Windows Central Recommended Award

Lenovo has a whole lot going on with the Yoga Book, sporting an elegant, sleek, slim and light design whilst rocking a futuristic "Halo Keyboard" that lights up a flat surface and can also transform into a dedicated inking workspace for apps like Photoshop or Windows Ink. But, as with all flat, touch-based keyboards, the typing experience will take some getting used to. If you're not a fan of touch-typing, then you're not going to enjoy typing on the Yoga Book at all, and with oddly placed keys and an extremely small trackpad, there's definitely room for improvement. But there may be other reasons to consider this 2-in-1, such as it's excellent inking capabilities.

Intel Atom Inside

Lenovo Yoga Book specs

  • Display:
    • 10.1-inch Full HD display
    • 1920x1200 resolution
    • IPS
  • Processor:
    • 2.4 GHz Intel® Atom x5-Z8550 Processor
    • 4GB RAM
    • 8500mAh battery
  • Storage
    • 64GB internal storage
    • microSD card slot
    • Micro-USB
  • Camera
    • 8 MP autofocus rear camera
    • 2 MP fixed-focus front camera

A unique take on computing

Lenovo Yoga Book full review

As a kid, I always imagined that in the future, we'd all be writing on holographic glass keyboards from outer space, kind of like what you see in most sci-fi movies. The older I got however, the more I realized how impractical that would be in real life, because as we know, typing on a flat surface is an abysmal experience, especially compared to physical keyboards with actual buttons. It's one of the main reasons why Microsoft's own Surface Touch Covers failed, as the typing experience was just not up to par compared to physical alternatives. 

I always imagined that in the future, we'd all be writing on holographic glass keyboards from outer space. This is Lenovo's take.

That hasn't stopped Lenovo from giving it a go, however. The Lenovo Yoga Book was all the craze at IFA 2016 this year, mainly because it's featuring what Lenovo calls a "Halo Keyboard", which is a flat surface where the keyboard would normally be, except instead of there being actual buttons, there's lots of lights that mimic keys; not exactly a holographic keyboard, but close enough. It's something unique and something we've never seen before, and upon using this for the first time, it was definitely a strange experience.

Watchbands and magnesium

Lenovo Yoga Book design and hardware

Before we dive into the Halo Keyboard and its many wonders, I want to kick off by talking about the Yoga Book's hardware. First and foremost, how does the device feel in the hand? In a word, fantastic. In more than a word, it's quite possibly the best feeling product I've ever held. I'm a sucker for crazy thin magnesium devices, and the Yoga Book is exactly that. Rocking a magnesium housing and aluminum hinge, the Yoga Book feels fantastic to hold and use.  

See at Lenovo USA

It's thin, and I mean super thin. When closed, the Yoga Book is a minuscule 9.6mm, making it the thinnest 2-in-1 laptop in the world, and you can definitely feel it. Heck, you can even see it with your own eyes; just looking at this thing is a treat. It looks like something from the future, and that trend stays true when opening the Yoga Book up and booting it up for the first time.

Moving onto the display, we're rocking a 10.1 inch 1920x1200 Full HD IPS display, which is plenty enough at this screen size. Any higher a resolution and the screen would've just become overkill, and besides, keeping it at Full HD means the underpowered CPU doesn't have to struggle pushing more pixels, and the battery doesn't get eaten up fast either. Benefits! 

The watchband hinge is a masterpiece — sturdy, sexy, and it just works.

Because this is a Yoga product, we're of course rocking Lenovo's patented watchband hinge that allows for full 360 degree rotation of the display, making for easy transformation into a tablet, hence the reason it's called a 2-in-1. The hinge is a masterpiece, being sturdy and sexy to look at. When typing, there's no wobble to the display whatsoever, as the hinge is doing a great job at keeping the display in place. 

It's called a "watchband" hinge because the hinge looks like a watch's band,  There's not much else to say about the watchband hinge that hasn't been said in the past. It just works, and is a marvel in engineering. I'm happy to see the hinge here on the Yoga Book, as it just fits the design and feel of the device.

Processor

Moving onto the insides of the Yoga Book, CPU-wise we're sporting an Intel Atom 5x processor clocked at 2.4Ghz. Now, I'm sure you reacted the same way I did when I first realized this wasn't rocking an Intel Core M processor. Since Intel Atom is somewhat low-spec compared to Core M or Core i CPUs, I've actually not had a bad experience with the Yoga Book's performance. We'll talk more about performance in a minute, but for now I want to outline the benefits of using a low-spec'd CPU in a product like the Yoga Book.

Don't scoff at the lowly Intel Atom 5x processor — it actually performs quite well.

Firstly, battery life. Throwing an Intel Core M or Intel Core i CPU into the Yoga Book would've eaten into the battery life substantially. It's the same reason why I assume Lenovo went for a Full HD display rather than 4K, which most manufacturers appear to be heading for these days. The Intel Atom inside here is good enough for light tasks and multitasking, including email, Office and browsing the web. It does choke on heavy websites like TweetDeck, and will slow down when operating heavy programs like Photoshop, but it can handle them if needed.

Secondly, to keep the Yoga Book thin, Lenovo needed a CPU that would keep cool enough under high-load that it wouldn't need a fan to keep it at sane temperatures. Throwing a fan in the Yoga Book would've made the thin form factor almost impossible.

One of the main selling points of the Yoga Book is how thin and light it is — it's great for traveling. So I, for one, am glad Lenovo opted for a low-spec'd CPU.

Finally, price. Intel Atom is cheaper than the other Intel CPUs, so much so the Yoga Book is available for less than $550. Stellar.

I think what helps here too is the fact that Lenovo has basically bundled an untouched version of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update on here. It doesn't come with any bloatware outside of what the Windows Store automatically downloads, so there isn't any trial ware running in the background. Now, when I say an "untouched" version of Windows 10, that's almost true. Lenovo has included only one app that runs in the background, and all it does is simply pops up a shortcut to OneNote when enabling the Create Pad. That's it.

Ports

Although the Yoga Book looks like a device from the future, it's not exactly rocking the latest in USB technology. You'd expect USB-C, right? Well, the Yoga Book is rocking one Micro-USB charging port, which can subsequently be used as a normal USB port with a dongle. No USB-C means no fast charging, no fast file transfers, no fast anything. It really is a shame that Lenovo didn't opt to throw in a USB-C port here, but perhaps there's a reason. Maybe it was because Lenovo was trying to keep costs down, or maybe it's simply because the thicker USB-C port wouldn't fit in the Yoga Book's thin chassis.

Other ports on the Yoga Book include a Mini-HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a microSD/LTE SIM tray slot, and that's it. There really isn't much going on port wise here, keeping it simple. I wouldn't necessarily say that's a good thing, especially if you're looking into the Yoga Book as a travel laptop for working. But for those looking at the Yoga Book from a tablet perspective, the number of ports here should be sufficient enough.

A power-sipping Atom

Lenovo Yoga Book battery life and performance

Although the Yoga Book is sporting a premium look and feel, it isn't exactly rocking premium specifications. Inside the Yoga Book is an Intel Atom x5, which means we won't be getting ultrabook-class performance here. General use varies depending on how many apps you have open and which websites you're visiting. Heavy sites like TweetDeck will bog-down performance a lot, but keeping to 'normal' sites shouldn't be much of a problem.

Geekbench 4 scores are what we were expecting from an Atom chip, 1039 for the single-core score and 3146 for the multi-core score.

Opening apps and loading webpages are mostly fast, unless you're running lots of background tasks and whatnot. Treating the Yoga Book more like a tablet than a laptop can really help with performance I find. Mostly, on a normal ultrabook, I'd just run whatever apps I want, keeping others open in the background, and using lots of tabs in Microsoft Edge, but you really can't do that on the Yoga Book.

So, treating it more like a tablet is better for performance. To achieve the best performance, using only a few apps at a time, and keeping only a few tabs open in Edge, is the best way to go about it without slowing down the Yoga Book too much.

When I first started using the Yoga Book, I was coming at it from a "laptop" perspective, but you shouldn't do that. First and foremost, even though the Yoga Book looks like a premium laptop, it's actually a tablet at its heart, and people looking to buy one of these needs to realize that. You won't be getting laptop/ultrabook-class performance here, you'll be getting tablet-class performance instead.

If you want to use Photoshop, you absolutely can — just make sure you're not doing anything else at the same time.

This doesn't mean you can't run high-performance apps, however. If you want to use Photoshop, you can absolutely use Photoshop, just make sure you're not doing anything else at all whilst Photoshop is open. Using Photoshop with the Create Pad is a real treat, and something that I think many artists will enjoy.

Regardless, battery life on the Yoga Book has been pretty good. I've been able to get around 8 hours out of it on a medium to heavy usage day. Lenovo advertises 13 hours of battery life, which I haven't really been able to achieve unless I'm using it lightly throughout the day, which generally I'm not.

I have no real complaints about battery life, however I do have some complaints about sleep issues. Most of the time, I can close the lid on the Yoga Book and it'll go to sleep as normal, but sometimes it won't. I'm not sure what causes this, but I've not been able to find a fix for it either.

Another problem I've ran into is that sometimes I'll put the Yoga Book to sleep, and it'll refuse to wake back up. Holding the power button does nothing, plugging it in to charge also does nothing. I was messing with it for about 5 minutes before it decided to come back to life. I thought I had broken it, but apparently not.

These are issues that can be fixed in firmware updates down the line, but right now they are issues that I have encountered once or twice during my usage.

Note: While no new firmware updates were available through Windows Update during our review period, I did try out the LenovoPaper 1.0.0.17 firmware available from Lenovo's support website in hopes that they might correct some of the issues I saw… and they made the experience significantly worse. I do not recommend you install this update; wait for something to be available via Windows Update. I'll update this review when new and more functional firmware is available.

Typing on glass.

Halo Keyboard and Create Pad

Now, onto the good stuff. In what is probably the Yoga Book's outstanding feature, Lenovo has designed a new kind of keyboard that's unlike anything we've ever seen outside of sci-fi movies. Instead of there being a normal, boring physical keyboard, Lenovo has built a keyboard into a Wacom-touch based surface that can switch between touch-input for typing, and inking with a dedicated Wacom pen.

So in short, there's one flat surface that can do two things: be used as a fully-fledged keyboard and trackpad, or a dedicated inking workspace, with both modes being switchable at any time with the touch of a button.

In all honesty, the keyboard is freaking cool to look at. Dubbed the "Halo Keyboard", the touch-based typing area is amazing to look at. It lights up when the device is powered on, and vibrates with an audible noise when pressing a button. There's also a noise that plays out the speakers too, but it appears that noise can't keep up if you're typing fast. This can be outrageously distracting when typing, but luckily there's a way to turn it off.

In what must be the most peculiar place to keep configuration settings for a keyboard, navigating to the old Windows Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Halo Keyboard gives you a couple options to configure. You can turn on/off the haptic feedback when typing, audio noise when typing, and adjust the brightness of the Halo Keyboard too. That's all, which is unfortunate, as I'd like to be able to customize many more things.

For starters, the FN and CTRL keys are in the wrong place according to my mental map, and I'd like to be able to switch them. Most Lenovo laptops allow this to be done in the BIOS, but I've looked in the BIOS and there doesn't appear to be an option for it. Not only that, but when typing on the keyboard Windows will automatically stop taking input from the trackpad, which is a good in most cases, but Lenovo has programmed the trackpad to stay off until you place your finger directly in the middle of it, which is just frustrating.

There's one flat surface that can do two things: be used as a fully-fledged keyboard and trackpad, or a dedicated inking workspace.

It becomes more frustrating when you're using the trackpad and accidentally hit the space bar, because then the trackpad just stops taking input from your finger and you have to tap the middle of it before it starts working again. And trust me, this isn't just a hypothetical scenario, I am constantly accidentally hitting the spacebar when using the trackpad because the area allotted to the trackpad is just too small.

The trackpad also can't do many multi-touch gestures. There's two finger scrolling, which is nice, but that's honestly it as far as I can tell. You can't even double-tap and drag, it simply doesn't work. To drag an icon or folder, you have to use the oddly positioned left click button to do so, very odd.

Not only that, but the vibration that takes place when typing is just too strong, so much so it's actually loud. Using this in a Library or classroom would be a terrible idea, because everyone around you would be able to hear your vibrate motor going off with every key you press. You're unable to adjust how strong the haptic feedback is, which is a bit of an oversight.

Jumping back to the trackpad being too small, I genuinely think it needs to be taller. Width wise, it's fine, but it's just too short height wise. I'm also not too keen on the right/left click button placement. Instead of them being at the bottom of the trackpad like on a normal laptop, they're to either side of the trackpad instead. This took a bit of getting used to.

Now, I mentioned that the keyboard is cool to look at, and in all honesty it is. It's definitely a conversation starter, as it should be. It's an innovative and new way of doing a keyboard, and it definitely shows. It looks futuristic and sleek, and typing isn't terrible (bar the issues mentioned above).

When I say typing isn't terrible, that obviously depends on whether you're a good touch-typist or not, because this is a touch-typing experience. I personally am not bad at touch-typing, and I don't see it as much of a problem. I'm able to get 80-90 words per minute on the Yoga Book, and it didn't take me long at all to get used to the typing experience. Maybe 5-10 minutes?

Lenovo first privately showed off the Yoga Book to select press like Windows Central back in at the beginning of 2016. The hardware was mostly set back then and most of the work up to the late-2016 launch was on the software. The keyboard, for its minor frustrations, has some neat software tricks. For example, since you can't possibly touch type with this thing, Lenovo built in adaptive key area positioning software — the light for the keys can't move, but the area defined for each key will dynamically adjust to your typing patterns to compensate.

Lenovo calls it a Halo Keyboard rather than a Holographic Keyboard, and for good reason. Even though it looks kind of like a Holographic keyboard in the sense that it just appears on the surface, it's actually lit up by a set of specifically placed lights. What that means is it isn't a screen on the lower-half of the device, it's simply an embedded keyboard.

It does mean you can turn the keyboard off and enable the Create Pad, which is where inking comes in to play. The same surface you use to type is also your inking playground. Pressing the "pen" button at the top of the keyboard will turn off the keys and trackpad, and enable Wacom pen support for inking.

This pen support works in any pen-enabled apps, including the Windows Ink Workspace, Office, Photoshop, Paint, and many more. You can take notes with the Sticky Notes app, and even write directly onto real paper with the included ink tips.

Lenovo also throws in a notepad too, so you can test this out yourself when you get a Yoga Book to play with. With a magnetic clipboard that hooks up to the Create Pad, you can switch out your standard digital ink-head for a real ink-head, write on the paper, and Windows will see it, it's pretty marvelous.

This is great for those of you who prefer writing on real-paper but need to save their work in an app like OneNote on something. Instead of writing it down and then translating it later, you can write it and save it to OneNote at the same time.

A pleasant surprise

Lenovo Yoga Book camera and audio

One thing that literally blew me away on the Yoga Book were it's superb speakers. I kid you not, these among the best speakers I've ever heard on a 2-in-1. Rocking Dolby Audio enhancements, these are loud, crisp and clear speakers that I simply cannot fault.

Rocking Dolby Audio enhancements, these are among the best speakers I've ever heard on a 2-in-1.

Obviously they aren't amazing compared to expensive dedicated speakers, but as built-in speakers go, these are pretty good. I have no complains whatsoever on this front.

The front-facing camera is fine, it'll get you by with Skype conversations and perhaps a selfie here and there, but you won't want to use this in low-light environments or to do any real video. So long as you're in a well-lit space, it'll do you just fine.

Front-Facing Camera

Rear-Facing Camera

The rear-facing camera is peculiar, as it's positioned in what initially seems like a weird place when in laptop mode. Instead of being behind the screen, it's above the keyboard. That's because the Yoga Book flips all the way back when in tablet mode, meaning the keyboard is what ends up facing away from you and you get to use the whole 10.1-inch screen as a viewfinder. There's no flash on either camera, but let's be honest — it's a tablet, and tablets aren't universally known for their excellent photography experiences.

Lenovo Yoga Book: The Bottom Line

The Lenovo Yoga Book is an interesting device. It's a beautiful, premium-feeling 2-in-1, with tablet-class specifications. It's rocking a futuristic Halo Keyboard and Create Pad that's excellent for note-takers and artists alike, but not great for those who need to get real-work done such as typing an article/report or editing a video.

There are issues with the trackpad, I personally think it's too small, and some software configurations can make it frustrating at times — it's too hard to reenable after it's disabled by typing, it's missing double-tap-and-drag support, and the buttons are weirdly positioned to the sides. Some of that might be fixable via a software update, other parts you'll just have to get used to.

Outside the issues with the trackpad, I've enjoyed my time using the Yoga Book. I'll be keeping mine around, and using it on the go when I need to travel light. It can do basic tasks well, and you'll look good doing it. Just don't push it too hard or plan on typing for long periods with it.

In short, this is my new favorite 2-in-1, and for doing light tasks and watching video content, this is a great device.

See at Lenovo UK

Do I think it's worth the price? That depends. If you have $600 to spend on your only computer, I wouldn't recommend you spend it on such a niche product. But if you're looking for Windows tablet built with the sketching artist in mind, or a compact tablet you can easily take on the go while leaving your big, powerful laptop at home, then Yoga Book is a great choice at a surprisingly affordable price.

See at Lenovo USA

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

116 Comments
  • Dat keyboard doe.
  • and Dat Micro-USB port on a laptop doe...
  • Yeah...USB-C is the future.
  • Dat "jumped" doe. Itz "jumps" or elze deyz iznt noe esz.
  • Dat bezels doe
  • agreed, those bezels are standart in low end segment, not high end. Its ugly
  • This laptop is affordable anyway.
  • Remember it has to work as a tablet when the keyboard is folded on the back of the screen. Thin-bezel screens are horrible in tablets because you need that area to hold it without interfering with the UI.
    ​Until Windows can detect and handle holding fingers/palm rejection, or we see devices with screens that change resolution when changing mode, adding an unused black border when switching to tablet mode, these bezels are necessary.
  • am having sleep issues with the Book though. I'm having it now, in the UK. device cant sleep for more than 15 mins without needing a full start from scratch. It just shuts down in the middle of sleep
  • It might be an Atom x5 issue. My HP 608 does that as well is really annoying
  • I just set my atom tablet to never sleep. Lol
  • I bet you'd get used to it real fast...
  • Dat Clorox doe...
  • Diggin' the gifs. Great job on this Zac. Now I want one.
  • Agreed! Seeing the GIF of the pen changed my perception a but. I still agree with Daniel that this should be a companion device and not your main. But, I like that pen experience. At least the way the gifs show it...
  • i just don't understand the point of this big trackpad...
  • ...Then it's not for you.
  • I pre-ordered one last week.  My biggest fear was that the hardware just flat out wouldn't work.  I'm glad to see that, for the most part, the machine works as expected.  I do hope Lenovo issues an update to fix the vibration.  I actually do plan on using this as a "laptop" replacement.  Bearing in mind that I don't actually do much on my laptop either.  Photoshop Elements is about the only CPU intensive program I would install besides Office.  I'm disappointed by the trackpad but I do have a bluetooth mouse so thankfully I can avoid that issue.  All in all I'm still looking forward to this and thanks for the review.
  • Can I ask what's your ship date and if you ordered it from Lenovo's site? Mine says its not shipping till Nov. 1st.
  • I'm likely to get mine in November as well.  My shipping date is supposedly 5 weeks or more after the launch date.  
  • Zak, you completely misused the term "touch typing". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing
  • Oops. You get what I meant though.
  • This was very interesting when the announced price was 450.
    But seeing as the retail price ended up being 700€, it's overpriced and not worth it at all. Which is a shame. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • 450 was before taxes, like all products are introduced. And, from what people who actually own and use it... It is very worth its price. Don't confuse "not worth" with "can not afford".
  • Taxes don't make it jump from 450 to 700. And there's no confusion. It's definitely NOT worth 700€. It's not a question of affordability. It's a question of the tech offered not being worth that price. If you buy it for that price that doesn't prove anything BUT how stupid you are with money AND tech. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • It sounds about right here in Europe. Going by how satisfied everybody is with it, it is entirely about affordability.
  • No it doesn't. Unless you're absolute sh*t at maths (and I think you are). Let's go to facts. Let's use Germany as an example.
    This costs 700€ there. If you apply the 19% of VAT over the announced 450€, the price would be 535€. Even if you go to Europe's highest VAT value which is Hungary's 27%, the price would be 571€. NOT 700€. So no, this is overpriced and not worth it. Just like the original Surface RT was. It didn't need to be affordable IF what it offers justified the price. It simply doesn't. Only idiots who like to pretend to have money would buy this at this price. Anyone with brains wouldn't give 700€ for this. Regardless of his/her financial capabilities. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I live in Sweden. If something is announced at $450 it is usually around $650-700 after taxes and customs. And, besides. Something is worth it if people arr satisfied with their buy.
  • That is true, until those satisfied people find out they could have bought something much better for the same price. The device is very new, some people are excited about the "futuristic" keyboard and are missing the point.  this device is terrible, will sell less than the Surface 3 which was overpriced too.  
  • I don't think they are looking to buy something else when they are already so satisfied.
  • I don't think they are looking to buy something else when they are already so satisfied.
  • 700€ doesn't sound right. In Sweden with 25% VAT it costs 6000 SEK = 624€. ...Indeed it costs 599€ in Germany. Where did you get 700€??
    https://www.windowscentral.com/e?link=https2F2Fc%...
  • The Windows version shown here actually cost more than the £450 Android version at around £530-ish, I forgot the exact price. And I do agree with you, this tablet isn't for everyone since it's kind of a niche product, but if you've ever used or bought a Wacom tablet, this is pretty justifiable for a travelling artist or art student at the price Lenovo's asking, and from the performance detailed in this review.
  • €530 for a PC is a lot more worth than €450 for a big phone.
  • €530 for a PC is a lot more worth than €450 for a big phone.
  • agreed, its just Lenovo with ugly big bezels, not worth 700. For that price you can get a Surface 3 or 4 if you are lucky and catch a bg sale
  • You do realize that this is a brand new product, and that prices of new products are always on the high side?  Name one machine that you felt was priced correctly WHEN IT WAS INITIALLY LAUNCHED.  Name one machine that didn't drop in price a few months later. That's how this industry works. If you want to be the first to buy something, you're gonna pay for it.
  • In australia its priced at $1000. Ridiculous and overpriced. Its a shame but unless your in certain parts of the world companies like lenovo expect to profit from you. Not worth $1000 at all.
  • It doesn't automatically turn into tablet mode because Microsoft broke it in the Anniversary Update! Feedback hub is full of reports
  • Is it confirmed that this is a universal issue? Still even its not common, this should've been happening as it can ruins Windows 10 hybrid capability, which is now a core function of Windows.
  • nobody seems to be talking about it outside of the Feedback forums. You'd think people forgot about the feature altogether.
  • I don't get it why is that, feels like a damage control or simply that us community doesn't care? (and so does MS?) Likely the issue is still very new and people is keeping faith it will get fixed soon. Mine is actually fine, but if the issue exist then I cannot dismiss that issue. It needs to be fixed no matter how rare or random it is. Small percentage can be still mean millions of people. Tablet mode switching is a core Windows 10 feature that has to work all the time. It's as crucial as having virtual keyboard shows up every time when text box is selected, as crucial as phone call showing notification.
  • The community cares, there are reports in the Feedback hub. It's Microsoft that probably de-prioritized it because honestly with Win10 Tablet mode took a back seat on their directive. I don't use it anymore either with my machine because of how useless it has become, and user-unfriendly.
  • Maybe that's because it's not as widespread an issue as you think? You'll also find that only people with the issue will complain - I'm not going to use the feedback forum to say that everything is working as expected (which it is on my Spectre x360). My suscpicion is that is's a far more limited problem that you think.
  • Hmmm, my Surface Book automatically switches to tablet mode when I remove the keyboard without fail.
  • I have a Sony VAIO Flip 15. Doesn't work at all there.
  • It works great on my surface 3. All I need to do is flip the type cover back and I'm in tablet mode.
  • My Surface Book asks me if I want to switch. Never had any issues with tablet mode.
  • Do you own the above device?  If not then you do not KNOW that tablet mode's broken.
  • For me the obvious comparison is to an Ipad with a keyboard. Any thoughts?
  • 3rd-party keyboards? Those would be a physical hardware keyboards, not capacitive ones. This Yoga Book Halo Keyboard is only can be compared to Surface Touch Cover and one of the old Dell Ultrabook that have similar flat capacitive keyboard.
  • If an iPad ran a complete, PC OS that ran X86 apps, maybe.
  • iPad is a toy, I never owned one since my needs as a developer is to have a OS that can be used to compile source code and test software I write. 
  • r you could just get a Surface 3, similar specs, processor, size. With a USB and mini Display port.  :)   Interesting product, just not for me.
  • I think the pen experience on this is superior being able to write on paper.
  • Hows the touchscreen experience, and how good is the pen experience on the screen especially for writing and drawing? I'm really curious to know if this device is more than capable of doing that. I didn't catch it on the review nor in the video. :( Very interesting and quite unique device though. Hopefully that the issue will be fixed very soon as it can really ruin the experience of the product. Now I wish that on next release whether Yoga Book or other OEM (especially Surface called Surface Note), there would be a Courier-type device.
  • What properties of the Courier concept do you miss in current devices?
  • The on-screen pen experience doesn't support the pressure sensitivity that the keyboard supports.
  • Best Chinese spybox yet!
  • Zac, what about that SIM card slot?  Does it work with LTE GSM bands or what?  Is it on all models?  On the podcast it was a point of confusion and here you don't say anything about it other than there is a slot for it.   Also, does the pen work on the display screen at all?  I'm assuming not.   How does it compare performance wise the the Surface 3?  They have the same CPU yeah? What kind of storage is it using? SATA SSD or the slower eMMC or whatever it's called? Thanks!
  • S3 has x7-Z8700 @ 1,60GHz
  • Pen does work on the screen but no pressure sensitivity and the LTE sim seems to be included in all US models.
  • This is a product that crushes every Chromebook or iPad out there since it supports full Windows OS, this means productivity.  You can install MS Project, full Office, development tools like bash since now Windows 10 supports Ubuntu.  As a power user, I'm really interested in this as my secondary device, its much easy to carry than my 15.6" gaming laptop.
  • Agreed, this seems like a great complement to a performance laptop.
  • For the windows version, can onenote record what your write onto the createpad even when it is minimized? This would be useful for taking notes while looking at a presentation or video on screen.
  • I was wondering the same thing.  Also wondering what happens if you actually hold it like a regular clipboard for taking notes- in portrait mode, with the screen flipped around the back while you use the ink insert to write on a sheet of paper.
  • That's probably a question for the OneNote developers rather than Lenovo?
  • Also a good question for the reviewer who has the device in hand and can test this scenario.
  • I want one of these now... Man, it looks good!
  • Anyone with this device having sleep issues? it wont resume after sleeping for a while. Have to push the power button for a fresh start
  • its a windows 10 driver issue. go into device manager and start by updating the sound drivers. then do the display drivers. it was the display driver that fixed it for me kn the Yoga book. sorted :)
  • Now that I've found my next phone - Pixel, I think this with Chrome would be great. My RT is pretty limited, my desktop with Windows 10 is fine, now a phone with apps and carrier free updates not made by Apple!
  • It probably still has better key travel than a MacBook Air! ;-)
  • "sufficient enough". Oh Zac!
  • I think the concept of this keyboard is similar to the keyboard that was released with surface pro 2. I dont remember its name but it had integration with xbox music and for music editing.
  • shouldn't you be able to configure the keyboard buttons the way you want to?
  • The layout is fixed, physically printed underneath the digitizer to appear and disappear via backlight.
  • It would be much cool, if it was a e-ink touch display, so it could be configured and used for much more.
  • But then you'd lose the digitizer and pen input.
  • I'm looking for a higher-end tablet that supports inking well, but one of the things I use my somewhat-heavy low-end 8" Toshiba Encore 2 for is reading in bed. Does the size of the Yoga Book seem like it would be too big for that? Is it light enough to be comfortable?
  • It's only about the price: 600 euros the wifi version for an atom and 4GB ram is too much. But I have tested it shortly in the shop and the feedback was GREAT. Thin, light, good pen, good overall perfomances. At 400 euros it will be my next "tablet" for sure.
  •   In version 2 the Halo Keyboard should use an eInk screen. This way you could see what you're drawing and it could still switch between drawing pad and keyboard. Read a book on one side, make notes in OneNote on the other. Watch a movie or presentation on the real screen, take notes in OneNote on the eInk screen. Switch to the tablet mode, activate the eInk screen and use it as eReader device... I would buy it in a second... if it had an eInk screen.  
  • Yeah that would be a good 2nd Gen improvement, along with less bezel. I'm still willing to test drive this model as a note taker.
  • eInk is still too slow for comfortable inking, lot of work has been done in Windows 10 to reduce ink latency, both in the OS, the apps platform, and in partnership with hardware manufacturers. Most people don't realize, but as soon as there is a delay between where the tip of the pen is and where you see the ink appearing, you start to write more slowly. So while I really like eInk and see it as a perfect tech for digital books, digital posters and picture frames, even complete wallpapers controlled by IoT hopefully soon to be able to change your rooms designs at the touch of a button, I'm strongly against it for inking in its current version.
  • Visible, slow feedback is in my opinion better than no feedback at all. How fast do you write if you don`t see what you are writing? Why would you write on the pad at all?      
  • I wouldn't write on the pad at all, that's my point :) Separate digitizers were an acceptable limitation before the introduction of Windows XP Tablet PC Edition in 2002. Currently only LCD displays are fast enough to meet expectations for digital ink. When eInk reaches similar performances, then eInk will probably be even better than LCD (more rugged, less power, usable in outdoor sunlight). Details from Microsoft Research about ink latency perception : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZ3IFYW_ynU
  • I like that manufacturers are trying different approaches to convertible, but honestly, I don't see the point of integrating the Wacom digitizer in the keyboard. ​Wacom digitizers can be placed behind the screen and provide a much better experience, even if that added 1mm to the screen side.
    It would allow for embossed keys like the original Surface keyboard, and even mechanical keys would have been possible, improving the typing experience greatly.
    As for the inking experience, well, being able to draw directly on the screen can't be compared to the screen + tablet (digitizer) duo, even architects and artists used to classic wacom tablets are moving to their Cintiq ones for this very reason, embedded screen.

    Being able to use ink pen nibs doesn't solve the problem, as you still have to take care about the software inkable area versus app UI, and ink properties don't match... the big benefit of digital ink is you can change thickness, color, tool (pen/pencil/highlighter/...) and erase easily... all of which are impossible to match on the paper side. ​I would say it's a nice try at something different, but it won't stick on the wall and will dissapear.
     
  • i used to take digital notes in meetings with a iPad, which meant writing on the screen with the pen. The Wacom Digitiser on the Yoga Book makes it much easier to do this. Agreed it does take a little getting used to, but stick with it. once you get the hang of it it is much easier to write on the tablet than it is to write on the screen. Also the ability to switch between writing tablet, to keyboard, to laptop, to full blown tablet so quickly makes the Yoga Book one of the most versitile and easy to use devices i have.
  • What i would really like to see is second screen instead of this halo keyboard, because keyboard itself is ****, but if it was screen it would be big changer. Just imagine you can have pdf or video on main screen, and write on second
  • That was Lenovo's original concept, but they scrapped it after the first prototype when seeing the impact on weight, batttery life, and component costs.
  • No USB C... it's like a flash drive on the Enterprise.  C'mon Lenovo, stop cheaping out on nice looking products.  Think I'd go for the HP Thin As Hell ultrabook over this.  More of a statement, and has all that e-peen USB C.  Then again I tend to type more than doodle, but the 2000+ levels of pressure sensetivity is nice. 
  • Thanks for the review. I am thinking of getting one of theses.  My questions are: Would it be wise to intall antivirus to Windows. could I darw mind maps on one note, could I add IThoughts Mind Mappings app. Thanks       
  • With such a nice, futuristic outside appearance, it's a letdown to open it up and see such big bezels. Also I'm not sure why Lenovo continues to mess up the Ctrl/Fn key placement. They should just admit they're wrong and conform to the way everyone else does it.
  • Does the cellular windows version have GPS? Agps? How well does it work with Windows Maps? One of the great failings of windows tablets vs android and ios devices and laptops have been the lack of gps. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I am in the market for a small (10-11") and light (< 1kg) Windows 2-in-1 to keep in my bag and do light computing tasks and inking in OneNote when away from my main work computer, particularly whilst commuting and at meetings. I think I will either get this Yoga Book or the Surface 3. Anyone care to comment on the relative merits of these two devices? Am I ignoring another device in this class that I should be considering?  
  • Am in the same boat. Will definitely pick the yoga book, since it's much cheaper (you need to buy the keyboard and pen extra with Surface 3, once you have that surface 3 is also heavier to carry). Only thing I don't like about the yoga book is that delimited miniature touch pad to be used with the keyboard. I think a software simulated trackpoint (the red dot on thinkpad line laptops) would have been much better for this device. Also am not sure how bad the typing will turn out to be, but since the other option would be extra stuff to carry or the onscreen keyboard, it probably turns out to be okish. Wouldn't have said no to a 2048x1536 9`7 screen either, but that's just nitpicking, since the rezolution on this thing should suffice.
  • Price isn't really a factor for me. I'd get a good-quality used Surface 3 (with accessories) which would be cheaper than the Yoga Book. Yes, the higher weight is a downside of the Surface 3 as well as more awkward footprint (due to kickstand). But in favour of the Surface 3, I prefer its 3:2 screen ratio, I prefer that its got more ports, and with the Yoga book I'm a bit put off now that I've heard it doesn't have a proper digitiser on the main display. I would be writing on the display rather than the Create Pad. I'm not really put off by the virtual keyboard of the Yoga Book, as I woudn't be doing a huge amount of writing on the thing.  
  • My Yoga Book was delivered just in time to build it before a business trip to the US. It was a head turner on the plane and in the meetings I had all week. You need to remember it is not a true laptop, but since I've moved all my data into the cloud, and have cut back on the rubbish software that was installed on my previous laptop but never used, the Yoga Book stands up to some serious work very well. Comments made above about running multiple apps (including Photoshop) slowing the Yoga book down didn't materialise. I run Photoshop and some other quite heave apps, and the book handled them all very well. I also experienced the dreaded "sleep" issue where by the book hangs when the lid is closed for a period of time, and the only way out is a hard reset. This is not a Yoga Book issue (other laptops and manufacturers suffer from this) .... it is a windows 10 driver issue. Go into device manager in Win10 and start by updating all the sound drivers, then the display drivers. In my case it was the display driver that caused the issue, an update has resolved the fail to sleep issue !!!!! Great write up and review above, and I love my Yoga Book. Still setting up all the cloud data and access coupled with a NAS device at home, but the easy of use of the book, and its size and weight, coupled with that AMAZING keyboard, I'd recommend the Book to anyone !!!!!
  • Where do you live? Sucks that the US is the last ones to get the device.
  • I'm in the UK. Amazed you can't get it in the US yet .... It's usually the other way round and we follow you guys. I have the wifi only version so can't comment on AT&T compatibility As long as you understand the limitations' of the device (it's only an atom processor and has 64Gb internal storage and only 4Gb of RAM) and work within those, you'll really enjoy using it when you finally get one. I sat on the plane type a doc as a laptop, flipped it round to a tablet to review. I have migrated all my data to the cloud and run a NAS at home, so the Yoga Book fits in with this model very well. I still can't get over how thin the whole thing is.
  • Thanks for this. I just want this for notes and iPlayer
  • Anyone know if this is compatible with AT&T LTE?
  • I just took delivery.  I am really impressed with the fit and finish at this price point.  It has one tray which looks like a MicroSD card tray.  It really doesn't look like a SIM card would fit in it, unless you put one card one way and the other the other way, though I am doubtful.   I hope I am wrong as I really wanted to use with my LTE plan.   There are no instructions, and the chat on the Lenovo site is completely clueless. 
  • Thanks for the info. Don't think the price point is worth it if it doesn't support sim cards as the previous marketing material has claimed.
  • nm
  • <p>Thanks for the review.</p>
    I'm interested in buying this. Can you tell me please, will it run BBC iPlayer - how fast is it.
    with this? How well does it run Windows? Is the software a trial version or subscription?
    What about updates and antivirus?
    Sorry for the numerous questions. I would appreciate your comments, Thanks
    • Repl
  • A question for who already has this device: do the halo keys register press if you cover them with a paper or transparent film?
  • ors, yes, even through paper so thick that you can't read the letters...
  • I find it interesting that people still buy things from the company that INSTALLED MALWARE BAKED IN 3 times last year.  They INTERCEPTED HTTPS to INSERT ADS on your machine.  Then they ABUSED A BIOS FEATURE to install their garbage software on FRESH INSTALLS of Windows.  I forget the third, but why don't people punish these companies more?
  • Excellent review and conclusion.  Is exactly like that.  If you want a windows tablet that looks amazing and feels amazing, go for it.  Just don't expect to run the last games availables (i still haven't tried any games, but i'm thinking that games newer than 2009 will have performance problems)  The main reasons i bought it:  - Sleek design - full windows device - Light weight (670 grams the whole device, not the tablet + keyboard)  - battery life.  - Price (there is no other windows device that offer that portability with that battery life at that price)   So this will be mainly my travel device!!  
  • Two-in-one, actually it is the best replacement of the laptop with sleek and elegant built. Value and performance has no compromise with this amazing new Notebook, machine prices are quite expensive but compare to rivals it is a nice value for your money. A brilliant forward thinking by Lenovo once again to beet all the tablet competition and lead with its class. Cheap prices for the tablet is around $549.99 USD well this package is for the Windows - Carbon Black that I find, personally i like the device very much and this is excellent review with best conclusion I found. I have one question, Is it is upgradable to new Android Nougat as well?
  • This is the best, most in-depth review on this product I've read. Great job. I also own the Windows version myself (typing this on it now) and I too am experiencing the wake-from-sleep issues where sometimes nothing happens at all, and a hard reset (holding power until the system restarts) seems to be the only way out. You're the only other reviewer to mention this, so hats off to you for actually testing the thing before reviewing it.
  • Its seems very flexible for businessman who travles frequently. Is it available in India?
  • Can i not use the included pen to write/draw directly on the screen? ?
  • No. The included pen is a Wacom Bamboo Smart type stylus and it does not register on capacitive touchscreens at all. And the Lenovo Book's touchscreen is only a capacitive touchscreen (unlike Samsung Galaxy Note series).
  • How to configure expressvpn for Lenovo yoga book???