Lenovo has a back to school surprise at IFA that promises to be one of the most backpack-friendly laptops they’ve ever made. The Yoga Book is a 2-in-1 with a smaller version of Lenovo’s 360-degree watchband hinge, and it manages to be just 1.52 pounds and 9.6 mm thick — that’s closed, including the keyboard. Seems unreal, but Lenovo introduced a few new tricks to make it happen.
Granted, those tricks won’t be universally loved. The 10.1″ Yoga Book doesn’t have a physical keyboard — where the keyboard normally would be is a flat slate, with function changing with context. When it’s time to hype, it’ll become the Halo Keyboard — a lit-up touch keyboard with the same kind of predictive typing algorithms used on touch keyboards on smartphones and tablets. It won’t be the same as typing on physical keys, but there is haptic feedback.
The lack of physical keys might drive some off, but going in this direction freed up to Lenovo to experiment with some other features. When not typing, that slate becomes the Create Pad, which is better for taking notes or drawing. The Yoga Book comes with the Real Pen, which is both a stylus and, yes, a real pen (with ink). When writing directly on the slate, the Yoga Book will simply transfer your handwriting or sketching to the device to be saved for later. But, if you want both a hard and digital copy to reference, it’s possible to put a piece of paper over the slate — as you write in ink on the paper, the notes will still be transferred to the Yoga Book. The Real Pen looks like a strong stylus, too, with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and 100-degree angle recognition.
But, there are some caveats. While the Yoga Book is well-built thanks to the use of magnesium and aluminum alloys, the internals are nothing to write home about. It runs on a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor, so despite looking like a 2-in-1 laptop, the Yoga Book only has tablet-level power — it’s going to be fine for taking notes, sketching, and web browsing (depending on how many tabs you open), but not much else. Otherwise, the Yoga Book has 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, a microSD card slot (up to 128 GB), and a 1920 x 1200 IPS display, along with 8 MP rear and 2 MP front cameras. It has an 8,500 mAh battery, which Lenovo says should last for 13 hours of general use. The bezels are a bit bigger than we’d like to see, too, but given how light and thin the Yoga Book is anyway, we can’t complain too much.
The Yoga Book will be available running Android 6.0 or Windows 10. For the former, Lenovo has created their own version of Android called Book UI better suited to the new creative features they’ve added. Both will be available in gold or gunmetal and will arrive in stores in October. The Android version will be $500, while the Windows 10 version will be $550.