The Lenovo Yoga Book with 'Halo' digital keyboard and pen stylus is the craziest PC yet

Yoga Book
Yoga Book

Lenovo today announced what may be considered one of the most innovative two-in-one Windows 10 PCs to date: Yoga Book. Blink twice and you may think this is Microsoft's canceled 'Courier Project' from years ago brought back to life in a modified form, but now rocking technology from late 2016.

What makes the Yoga Book so intriguing is Lenovo has ditched the traditional physical keyboard for a digital multi-purpose slate that can act as a keyboard or as a sketchpad for the Wacom real-pen. Oh, and real-pen is not some fancy marketing name, it literally is a real pen for ink that can also act as a stylus.

Watch our hands-on video and get your mind blown. Then read on for the full specifications, pricing, and availability!

Hands-on Video

Lenovo Yoga Book

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OSWindows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro
Dimensions256.6 x 9.6 x 170.8 mm10.1 x 0.38 x 6.72 inches
Weight690 g (1.52 lbs)
ProcessorIntel Atom x5-Z8550 Processor2M CacheQuad-CoreUp to 2.4 GHz
Display10.1" FHD IPS (1920 x 1200)Color Depth : 16.7 MillionColor Gamut : 70%Brightness : 400 nits
Memory4 GB LPDDR3
AudioSound Dolby Audio Premium
SensorsHaptic-vibrateG-SensorAmbient Light SensorHall SensorGPS
CameraRear 8 MP Auto-FocusFront 2 MP Fixed-Focus
Battery8500 mAhUp to 13 hrs
ConnectivityWiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (DC 2.4 + 5 GHz)Optional: FDD-LTE, TDD-LTE DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, EDGE
SlotsNano SIM Card
Material & ColorMagnesium and aluminum alloysCarbon Black
Price & Availability$549October 2016

Folks, this is one crazy machine. I am not sure how I feel about the Atom processor, but certainly, that kept the price down. At just $549 (just $50 more than the Android variant) the Yoga Book is definitely within reach of most consumers.

Even better, that price point justifies having it as an accessory PC instead of your central workstation. Lenovo touts the Yoga Book as being as thin as "three pennies" (9.6mm) and it only weighs 1.52 pounds (690 grams) making this something you can easily throw in your bag. Toss in some LTE through the Nano SIM slot and now you have a mini PC wherever you are in the world.

Press Images

Halo Keyboard? Great name

Lenovo's unique keyboard half of the Yoga Book is certainly a first. Virtual keyboards have been experimented with in the past but this the first time we see something hit the mainstream. For those curious, there is a haptic feedback engine in the slate half so that when you type you can "feel" the keys.

Yoga Book keyboard

Lenovo also boasts that the keyboard "constantly 'learns about and adapts to' the typing habits of its user, with built-in prediction and artificial learning software. This software also allows for continuous optimization." Of course, we'll need to test it out to see how good it is compared to physical keys.

I will say Lenovo is fair about expectations for the Halo keyboard. They say it's better than what traditional tablets offer (no doubt), but fall short of saying it trumps a physical keyboard instead saying that it is "comparable."

What makes the Halo keyboard neat, though, is how it can hide the illuminated keyboard and instead, you can use it as a surface for taking notes, drawing, doodling and more. I have to admit, while drawing on the display is neat, it is not always ideal.

That stylus

Lenovo is making a big deal about the pen, and I think it's with good reason. Here is what they say it is capable of and what inspired it from their press release:

The flush surface of the halo keyboard feature also allows for a few additional uses when paired with the Yoga Book's standard real-pen accessory, a dual-use stylus. Inspired by the elegance and simplicity of real notebooks, Yoga Book is an acknowledgement that we all still love to write and draw on paper. Users can now write with the real-pen accessory that holds real ink tips onto a piece of paper or notepad covering the multi-use keyboard panel, or as a stylus when applied straight onto the panel. Everything they create, from doodles and drawings to notes, is instantly digitized and saved with the Lenovo note-saving app. Roughly the size of a conventional ink pen, the real-pen accessory is powered by Wacom feel IT technologies to work with the state-of-the-art electro-magnetic resonance (EMR) film housed within the multi-use keyboard, which enables this real-time digitization.

The pen is no slouch either with 2,048 pressure levels and 100-degree angle detection. Lenovo also states that the pen does not require batteries and the ink tips are user replaceable (you get three in the box for good measure).

Promo Video

Let's test it

No doubt Lenovo may have stolen the show here at IFA with the Yoga Book. It's priced right and looks like nothing we have seen on the market yet. They did some serious innovation here, and I think this solves some legit real-world problems. Of course, we have to see how well it works in real life before we give it any serious accolades. Nonetheless, this is by far the most intriguing device I have seen, and it could actually bridge the pen-computing gap for the regular consumer.

Yoga Book display

What do you think of the Lenovo Yoga Book? Let me know in comments.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.