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Lenovo Yoga Book review: Unique touch features let you be hands-on creative

Melissa Riofrio | Oct. 18, 2016
This convertible tablet is for the scribblers of the world.

lenovo yoga book pen close up 
You can write on the Create Pad surface with your stylus, and it transfers your work to the screen in any compatible application (such as Microsoft OneNote). 

The method of changing from stylus to ink is awkward. You use a hole in the top of the pen cap to pull out one nib and shimmy in another. I’m thinking of those four-color ballpoint pens, where you can extend or retract a color with a click, and wondering whether Lenovo could do something like that instead. At the least, it would be nice if you could store the unused nib in the pen—I don’t want to have to keep track of (and most likely, lose) a skinny little thing like that. 

You also need to be careful not to use the ink pen directly on the Create Pad—which I did many times. I’m not blaming the device for my own errors, but I’m suggesting the Real Pen could use more idiot-proofing. 

When you toggle to Create Pad, it automatically opens Microsoft’s OneNote application, where you can write notes or draw, saving everything to the cloud. The Create Pad’s matte surface is easy to write on—not slippery, as tablet or smartphone glass can be. You can also use any other writing or drawing application, from something as simple as Windows’ Sticky Notes to a dedicated creativity program like Art Rage, a trial version of which comes with the Yoga Book. 

lenovo yoga book drawing example 
Drawing on paper felt more natural than drawing directly on the Create Pad.

In another first for Windows devices, you can use paper on the Create Pad—any paper, placed atop the surface and drawn on with the Real Pen (and its ink nib). You could reasonably argue that there’s no need to use paper with the Create Pad surface. I like having the paper option, though. It feels more natural to use a pen on paper and see what I’m doing directly underneath my hand, especially when I’m drawing.

Lenovo makes it easier to use paper with the Yoga Book by bundling Book Pad (a $20 value), a leatherlike base with brackets to hold small, A5-size notepads (similar to the 5x8-inch notepads used in the United States). The Book Pad gently affixes itself to the Create Pad with magnets. Lenovo sells high-quality paper to go with the Book Pad (75 sheets for $15), but you can buy any kind.

While all of the Yoga Book’s writing and drawing accessories are useful, their quantity could be a hassle. Start with the device plus the pen with two nibs. Add the Book Pad base and Book Pad (or other) paper, and of course, the AC adapter and cable. That’s a lot to juggle, and the optional $35 cover for the Yoga Book doesn’t seem to offer enough room to store them all.  

 

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