The Yoga Book’s keyboard/graphics tablet is a very interesting device and one does need to have a play with it in order to decide if it works for you or not. For those who find that it works for them, it will make note-taking, drawing, and other tasks which require a pen a whole lot easier. The graphics tablet mode (activated by pressing the pen icon at the top right of the keyboard) makes the Lenovo Yoga Book something special.
When my daughters saw how it worked, they were just so impressed by it that they were begging for us to buy it for them. I am aware that there are people out there who are willing to pay alot of money for a good graphics tablet, whereas the Yoga Book already has a very good one built into it. And it works so well with the included stylus, and allows for annotating or drawing without obstructing the view of or touching the screen.
For when you need the keyboard, then by pressing the same pen button to switch off the graphics tablet mode, you will turn on the back-lit Halo keyboard which functions simply as an ‘onscreen keyboard’ on the graphics tablet without any physical keys. To mimic a real keyboard, Lenovo has set it to vibrate each time a key is touched – to basically simulate the click of tapping a real key. It also has a touchpad like a real keyboard.
My daughters both chose to disable the vibration effect, as they did not like this feature; I quite liked it actually. But that is simply a personal preference. Now does it work as a keyboard? The answer is both a yes and a no. Yes, in the sense that it is a usable keyboard which is back-lit (usable even in the dark) and allows you to type as on a normal keyboard. No, in the sense that it does not allow for touch-typing, as there are no palpable marks to align the fingers (even though the F and J keys have that illuminated line at the bottom of the key – it’s merely for show). But definitely usable.
Lenovo supplies it with a notepad holder which magnetically clips to the graphics tablet, so you can also write on paper with the ink refills in the pen provided. And whatever you write on the pad gets digitized onto the Lenovo Yoga Book, and can be saved electronically. Great for getting notes into a more portable and transferable/shareable electronic format – which would be great for those needing notes closer to hand e.g. university students/medical students/doctors/other professionals.
The pen stylus is great to use as it does not require batteries or recharging. And it works both on the screen and the graphics tablet. Below, you can see the pen with the ink refill in it. The pen cap serves as the tool to remove the stylus or ink refills, by placing the pen tip inside the hole in the cap, angling it slightly and using the grip to pull the tip out for swapping. So best not to lose that cap.
What else is good about the Lenovo Yoga Book?
- It has a great 10.1″ IPS full HD 1920×1200 screen which is great for watching movies and for viewing photos. IPS screens are supposedly good for accurate colour reproduction.
- The sound quality is pretty impressive and comparable to that from the iPad Pro (at a much smaller size).
- It allows for many different ways to use it – book (opened and flat on the table), laptop-mode, tablet-mode (with the keyboard/graphics tablet completely folded back), standing up like an inverted V (like a table calendar).
- It comes with Microsoft Office (Word, Powerpoint and Excel) mobile versions, as well as OneNote – so no need to pay more for these programs.
- As it uses an Intel Atom Quad-Core processor (up to 2.4 GHz), it is fairly energy efficient which means longer usage time between charge. It also generates very little heat and hence does not require a fan and is silent to run (unlike my Microsoft Surface Pro 3).
When the Yoga Book arrived, my daughters just could not wait to start using it. As you can see below, it is very easy to use the stylus pen to write or draw on the graphics tablet. And if you wish to annotate onto documents, you could rotate it into portrait mode with the graphics tablet to the right or to the left of the screen to suit both right and left-handed users.
My oldest daughter is preparing for her GCSE exams and hence has been doing past papers on the Lenovo Yoga Book. She managed to download PDFs of some past exam papers, which she opened using the free Xodo App that allows you to annotate on PDFs. Hence she has been able to do past papers without printing them out.
Being a leftie, she orientates the graphics tablet to be on the left of the screen so she can write on it with the stylus (rather than on the screen). For right-handers, simply orientate the Yoga Book so the graphics tablet is on the right – how handy is that? And she absolutely loves it.
So who is the Lenovo Yoga Book not suitable for? It is not suitable for those who need a computer with great processing power such as for playing complex 3D computer games. It is not suitable for someone who wants a larger screen, as it only comes in one size. It is not suitable for those who require multiple USB inputs for multiple power-draining devices, as it only has one Micro USB port for data transfer or charging. It is not for someone who wants a normal keyboard and where typing is the main form of input into the computer, rather than the pen – unless you don’t mind the ‘onscreen keyboard’ typing experience.
But for those wishing to have a light, portable and multi-functional computer for studying, doing work, note-taking, drawing and digitizing, watching videos or play simple games, then the Lenovo Yoga Book is definitely a viable option – particularly if you were looking for one with a great built-in graphics tablet. It has great battery life, with a beautiful 10.1″ screen and very nice sound output. And it can function as a tablet or very compact laptop. The Intel Atom processor is definitely fast enough for normal use of the computer for things such as word processing, note-taking, watching Youtube and surfing the Net.
At the price we managed to get it from John Lewis, and the 3 year warranty, makes this a great buy. I would definitely recommend this computer (thumbs up from both my daughters) for those who require a device with multiple ways to input information into it (including with a pen/stylus), particularly those looking for a device to aid their studies and take good notes.
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