Tablets and laptops each have their pros and cons, with the former being great for mobility and ease of use, while the latter is more focused on productivity and getting things done. That’s where hybrids come in, offering a bit of both. While most hybrids are more laptop than tablet, there are a select few products that work the other way, primarily functioning as tablets that add a bit of laptop-like functionality to help productivity. Also Read - Best laptops under Rs 40,000 in July 2021: Mi Notebook 14, Asus VivoBook 14, and more
The Rs 49,990 Lenovo Yoga Book is one such product; a tablet that’s moonlighting as a laptop. It’s got the slim and sleek design of a typical tablet, but opening up reveals its biggest feature: the touch pad that can function both as a writing-and-sketch pad, as well as a full-fledged keyboard. We’ve reviewed the Lenovo Yoga Book, and here’s everything you need to know about it. Also Read - Lenovo Legion 5 Pro launches with Ryzen 5000 CPU, brings Legion Ultimate Support service
Lenovo Yoga Book Design
One of the biggest advantages of the Lenovo Yoga Book is its size. It’s small and easy to handle, even in its laptop position. This of course comes with certain sacrifices, notably in its lack of key connectivity options. There are no USB Type-A ports, only a single mini-HDMI port and absolutely no way to connect to the internet but wirelessly. Charging is through a microUSB port, which above all else, shows that this is meant to be used as a tablet first and foremost. Also Read - Best gaming laptops under Rs 1,00,000 in India: MSI GP65 Leopard, Dell G5 and more
Thankfully there is a 3.5mm audio jack and along the sides are the two speaker grilles, which output loud and clean Dolby-tuned sound. The top of the Yoga Book is bare, with just a small Lenovo logo near the signature Yoga hinge. It’s this very hinge that allows the laptop to switch between various positions and modes, letting you flip the screen all the way over to turn the Yoga Book into a proper tablet. You can also use it in ‘tent’ mode, where it will stand nearly vertical with the screen facing you, apart from the standard laptop mode. The hinge itself is considerably different from what we’ve seen on previous Yoga laptops, now featuring a gear-like mechanism that looks and feels much more secure and intuitively flexible.
The screen of the Yoga Book is a 10.1-inch full-HD display that’s sharp and fairly accurate when it comes to color reproduction. However, it’s not as bright as it could be, and this affects the usability of the device outdoors. It didn’t feel quite as vibrant as I’d have liked, and watching movies and TV shows on-the-go wasn’t quite as enjoyable as I’m used to with good tablets. It isn’t bad by any means, and works fairly well in most use-case scenarios.
Lenovo Yoga Book Touch Pad
The key feature of the Lenovo Yoga Book is its touch pad. This is a capacitive touch-sensitive surface that adapts to suit the kind of inputs you want to make. It can either be a full QWERTY keyboard or a writing-and-sketch pad which can be used with the included stylus. Once you hit the dedicated button on the pad, which lets you write in free hand, or draw as you like on the surface, which is then converted to on-screen text and sketches. It works well and usually gets the conversion right, although it isn’t very easy to use with the normal stylus tip since this needs skillful hand-eye coordination on the part of the user.
Fortunately, the included stylus comes with replaceable ink tips, and you can place paper on the touch surface and directly write or draw onto the paper. The surface will continue to read the stylus, provided you’re using the included stylus since this communicates with the touch pad magnetically. This doesn’t work with other pens or third-party stylus, unfortunately, since the surface is not accurate enough to sense such subtle motions.
When the surface is used as a keyboard, the Yoga Book truly turns into something that is as close to a laptop as a tablet can get. You can also set vibration feedback for typing on the keyboard, which comes close to the typical tactile feedback you would get from the physical keys of a typical keyboard. However, typing on a touch pad takes some getting used to because of no key travel whatsoever, and I often found it too hard to type both quickly and accurately. The experience is neither of a touchscreen nor a regular keypad — it is somewhere in between.
Lenovo Yoga Book Specifications and Software
As previously mentioned, the Lenovo Yoga Book is to be considered a tablet first, and its specifications confirm this categorically. It’s powered by the Intel Atom x5 processor, one known for its use in mobile devices and tablets. There’s also 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot that lets you add up to 128GB of external storage. Notably, there’s also a SIM slot that lets you add a data-capable SIM card for cellular Internet connectivity, along with an 8,500mAh battery that kept the laptop going for about 11 hours on a full charge during our testing.
The Lenovo Yoga Book runs Windows 10 Home, which is the same operating system as what you get on many full-function productivity laptops. This helps it achieve higher levels of productivity that a typical tablet, thanks to a wide range of supported applications and software. Included with the device are Microsoft Office Mobile Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as OneNote, which can be used for doodling with the touch pad. There is also a trial edition of ArtRage included, which can also be used with the touch pad and stylus.
Lenovo Yoga Book Performance
Although quite capable as a mobile device, the Lenovo Yoga Book doesn’t quite pack in the same amount of power as a similarly priced laptop. What you are paying for here is the design, form factor and mobility, rather than the functionality and power that the Yoga Book offers. If you intend to use the Yoga Book as a portable device for media-viewing, internet surfing and possibly the occasional bout of writing, editing and presentations, the Yoga Book should be more than adequate. However, its small display and general lack of genuine productive power means that you shouldn’t expect to be using this as a proper laptop, and by no means as your primary productivity device.
Graphics handling is at a bare minimum, and we didn’t have an easy time running graphics-intensive applications or very high-resolution videos. However, full-HD video, online streaming and basic browser-based image editing worked just fine. A key weakness here is the shortage of onboard storage, which doesn’t let you hold too much data on the device itself. Full-fledged laptops at this price offer around 1TB of internal storage, so if that’s what you need then this isn’t the right device for you. Doodling and writing on the touch pad aren’t a problem at all, so for artists or writers, this is a good additional mobility device that gives you quick access to a digital sketchpad, provided you have the right software. For our review, we used OneNote to good effect, although other paid apps will offer you much more in terms of functionality.
Another barrier to productivity is the lack of ports. There is a micro-USB port on the device for charging, and using an aftermarket adapter will let you expand connectivity slightly, giving you access to USB Type-A or Ethernet if you desire.
Audio performance is decent, thanks to dual Dolby-tuned speakers on either side of the laptop. Audio is clean, loud and excellent for media consumption, making it possible to watch videos on the go without needing to plug in headphones. The Lenovo Yoga Book also has a 2-megapixel front camera and 8-megapixel rear camera. While the front camera is located above the screen where you would typically find your webcam, the rear camera is at the top-right corner of the trackpad.
This may seem like an odd place for the camera, but when you flip the Yoga Book into its tablet position, the camera is perfectly positioned as a rear camera. Both cameras do an average and just about acceptable job with pictures, but we wouldn’t expect more as not a lot of people use tablets to shoot pictures apart from the few occasions you may want to use the image directly on the device itself.
The Lenovo Yoga Book is an interesting device that I like a lot because of all of the innovation, design and effort that has gone into making it so unique. It’s eye-catching, sleek and incredibly good as a tablet, because of the obvious advantages of having an off-screen keyboard and scribble-pad when you need it. This is a product that proudly takes Lenovo’s Yoga legacy forward, and sticks to the values and expectations of a true hybrid device.
However, its hybrid form factor is also what forces it into a niche. As a tablet, it’s absolutely fantastic, but also extremely expensive compared to other capable tablets on either the iOS or Android platforms. As a laptop, it may seem like a great deal, but its hindrances to true productivity are evident. This device fits into a small niche where it suits someone who needs a creativity-focused device to use on the go, provided they also have a full-function productivity machine waiting for them at home or in the office. If you do have the money to spare, the Lenovo Yoga Book is a great second device and one that you can make great use of when you’re out and about. But if productivity is your focus, there are better options available at this price.