CNET First Look
The Lenovo Yoga Book is a slim hybrid for sketch artistsAvailable in Windows and Android versions, the Yoga Book is great at pen input, but its disappearing keyboard falters.
Lenovo made a big splash a couple of months ago when it first showed off the Yoga Book, a super slim hybrid that does a good deal more than your average yoga. This 10.1 inch 2-in-1 is so small and light it is one of the only laptops I've ever taken outside without Any sort of bag or case just tucked under my arm like a paper bag. One of the reasons it's so thin is that it has what Lenovo calls a zero travel keyboard, which is a fancy way of saying it's a touch keyboard with no moving parts. Similar to the on-screen keyboard on an iPad, but with a little bit of haptic feedback. The Yoga Book comes in both Windows and Android versions. There are a couple of software and keyboard layout differences between them, but the components inside are identical. And because it's got the Yoga name, you can of course flip it around for a kiosk or tablet mode. And like that it's good for video streaming, reading, or other kinds of media consumption. But consumption is one thing, what about creation, the big holy grail tablet makers are always going on about? Well Lenovo calls this thing the Halo keyboard, and as far as simulated keyboards go it's pretty good. But typing even more than a few sentences gets annoying pretty quickly, especially when the on screen typing doesn't exactly keep up with your fingers. There's a lot of tapping the backspace button and the virtual touchpad isn't great at highlighting inflecting text. So even editing is more of a pain. But there's another kind of creation where the Yoga Book really excels. Tap the pen button and the halo keyboard vanishes. Now you've got a Wacom tablet service that works with the included Real Pen stylus. Why is it called the Real Pen? I thought you'd never ask. You start out by swapping out the standard stylus tip for one of these ink filled ones. Then put the special pad of paper over the drawing surface. There's a magnet in the pad to hold it in place but it's just ordinary paper. Now, thanks to the layer of electromagnetic resonance film inside the Yoga Book You can draw on the pad and capture everything in real-time on the screen. I've used plenty of drawing tablets and stylus devices over the years, and this setup felt very impressive, with no lag and very accurate capture. The only big problem I had was, with the Yoga Book being so slim and easy to carry, I'm not sure where I'm supposed to put the note. Pad, giant stylus and extra tips, it's a lot to carry around. [MUSIC]