Tablets might be facing waning popularity thanks to the vast improvements in smartphone designs, power and large displays as well as the availability of affordable hybrid laptops, but that doesn’t mean they’re dead just yet. There’s definitely a market for tablets that can offer a bit more than just a touch-screen, and Lenovo is targeting that with the new Yoga Book. This sleek convertible tablet runs Windows 10, can be used like a small laptop if you choose, and is priced at Rs 49,990. It will go on sale via Flipkart. Also Read - Best laptops under Rs 40,000 in July 2021: Mi Notebook 14, Asus VivoBook 14, and more
Lenovo had also announced an Android version of the Yoga Book alongside the Windows version at IFA 2016, but that isn’t available in India yet. And although the tablet runs the full-function version of Windows 10 Home, it’s inherently a tablet that doesn’t quite have the full capabilities of a laptop. Let’s delve into the details. Also Read - Lenovo Legion 5 Pro launches with Ryzen 5000 CPU, brings Legion Ultimate Support service
A tablet that’s trying to be a laptop
The first thing that struck me about the Lenovo Yoga Book is that it tries very hard to be like a laptop, but five minutes into using it reminds you that this is firmly a tablet, albeit one that comes very close to fooling you into thinking it’s a laptop. Its tablet credentials are proven by the fact that it has a 10.1-inch screen and a skinny frame, which means that it lacks a lot of things you’d take for granted on a laptop, such as USB type-A ports and a proper physical keyboard.
That’s not to say that the Lenovo Yoga Book has no keyboard; it does in fact have a very nifty and eye-catching one. The area where you would ordinarily find the full keyboard is a flat touch-sensitive pad, which lights up with a proper QWERTY keyboard and mouse touch pad when you need to use it. The Yoga Book also gives you some amount of feedback in the form of vibrations when you tap the keys, giving you something close to the feel of typing on a typical keyboard. However, it does take some getting used to, as the keys obviously have no travel.
When you aren’t using the keyboard, it can be set to dim itself or be used as a touch sensitive drawing or scribbling pad. You can use the included stylus with the Yoga Book to sketch or write on the pad, and this translates to on-screen doodles or text.
Not the most powerful tablet around
The Lenovo Yoga Book isn’t focused on power, and therefore has specifications that are more suited to mobile usage. This includes an Intel Atom x5 processor, which is popular for its use in Windows tablets. There’s also 4GB of RAM, 64GB of on-board storage, a micro-SD slot for storage expansion and a SIM tray for mobile data connectivity. There’s an 8,500mAh battery, which helps the laptop run for a claimed 13 hours on a full charge, which is one significant advantage that the Yoga Book has over laptops.
In true portable fashion, there are two cameras on the device. The 2-megapixel front facing camera is positioned where a laptop’s webcam would typically be, while the 8-megapixel rear camera is at the top-right corner of the keyboard/sketchpad. This position might seem a bit odd, but with the Yoga book folded up as a tablet, it serves as an effective rear camera.
What the Yoga Book is focused on is form factor, and offering you a tablet alternative that can be a viable replacement for your laptop. It’s small, thanks to its 10.1-inch screen, 9.6mm thickness and 690 grams weight. This makes it incredibly portable and very easy to take with you wherever you go. There is also the signature Yoga touch, which means that the tablet can flip over completely to allow it to switch from the laptop form factor to the tablet form factor. All of this means that it’s meant for mobility over pure productivity.
Fantastic screen, reliable software
The Lenovo Yoga Book features a 10.1-inch full-HD IPS LCD screen, with a maximum brightness of 400 nits. It certainly isn’t large enough to function as a proper laptop, and I often found myself needing to stretch in to be able to read small text on-screen. This is of course a touch screen, and I often found it easier to operate the laptop with its touch screen than with the mouse track pad. When the device is in full tablet mode with the keyboard folded away, you can also use an on-screen keyboard to type.
The biggest advantage that makes the Lenovo Yoga Book as close to a laptop as a tablet can get, is its use of Windows 10 Home. This incredibly familiar operating system is fairly touch-friendly, and also makes use of the keyboard and touch pad well. Scribbling and doodling on the pad will need specific software, and I’ve been using Microsoft OneNote effectively during my time with the Yoga Book.
The Lenovo Yoga Book is a device that tries very hard to bridge the gap between the convenience and mobility of a tablet, and the productivity and usability of a laptop. It does succeed at this to some extent, and it’s the kind of device we’d recommend for someone looking for a convenient, yet capable machine, provided that they intend to use this primarily on-the-go.
However, for all of its sleek design, exciting form factor and eye catching aesthetics, it isn’t quite as efficient and easy to use as a regular laptop. The touch keyboard might look fantastic, but it isn’t very easy and quick to type on. For artists and writers, this might be entirely forgiven thanks to the ability to draw or write in free hand on the touch pad. But as a device, the Lenovo Yoga Book occupies a niche that has it sit on the fence between here and there, rather than firmly and definitely cater to a particular audience. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent mobility device that does come somewhere between a good laptop and a tablet, and it’s one that looks fantastic as well. We’ll be coming back with our full review of the Lenovo Yoga Book, so stay tuned!