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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.

Light typing duty

lenovo yoga book close up kb 
The Yoga Book’s Halo Keyboard is backlit and learns your typing style for better accuracy over time. 

The Yoga Book is no more productive than a tablet unless you can type with it, and that’s where the Halo Keyboard comes in. It’s a backlit image that appears when you toggle off that pencil icon near the hinge. The keyboard is full-size, with function and cursor keys, as well as a small Windows key.

Keyboards are a very personal experience. I have many friends who hate touchscreen keyboards, and I do, too—if they’re the smartphone or tablet experience on slick display glass. The Halo keyboard offers that matte texture for grip, plus audio and haptic feedback.

lenovo yoga book front 1 
The Halo Keyboard is capacitive and offers both haptic and audio feedback. 

Typing will feel a little slow at first, but Lenovo created special algorithms to adjust the keyboard to your typing habits. I had almost no trouble using this keyboard, and in fact I liked the relief from pounding on physical keys.

I’ve always loved using Windows 10’s touch capabilities to navigate onscreen, but the Create Pad and the Halo Keyboard on the Yoga Book let me do far more than tap icons. Lenovo needs to refine the accessories a bit, but the Yoga Book’s still a superior implementation to what you might already have experienced with a touchscreen laptop or Windows tablet.  

Thin design, thin performance

Having established the Yoga Book’s stylus creds, it’s time to look at its fundamentals. The specs are modest. It dwells in that gray area between computer and tablet where limitations are part of the package.

If Lenovo’s goal was to get the Yoga Book close to the size and heft of a pad of paper, it got pretty close. This device is an extremely thin 10.1 x 6.72 x 0.38 inches. I can barely feel its 1.52-pound weight on my lap or in my bag. Thanks to its trademark Yoga 360-degree hinge, you can use the computer spread out flat, tilted like a clamshell, folded over like a notepad or tablet, or anything between.

The shell is a magnesium-aluminum alloy in just one color: carbon black. The smooth surface attracts fingerprints readily, which could explain why a small microfiber cloth comes in the box. 

When a device is this thin, connectivity suffers. Some ports simply don’t fit. The Yoga Book has a micro-USB and micro-HDMI port, and a slot that can take micro-SD (up to 128GB). Cameras include an 8MP rear and 2MP front. Finally, you get a 3.5mm headphone jack.

 

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