Lenovo’s Yoga Book Aims for Top Shelf

Lenovo’s recently unveiled 2-in-1, the Yoga Book, is available in Android Marshmallow and Windows 10 Home versions.

Reviews have been mixed, with some praising its look and feel, but some considering its capabilities not up to scratch. Its Intel Atom processor doesn’t provide enough power for a workhorse device, they have argued.

The Android version costs US$500 and the Windows version goes for $550.

Inside the Covers

The Yoga Book runs on a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8550 with a 2-MB cache that goes up to 2.4 GHz. It has 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of ROM, and a microSD card with up to 128 GB capacity.

The Atom processor “was a cost-saving measure, because Lenovo hasn’t yet shown that its customers will shell out top dollar for a device with a sixth- or seventh-generation Intel processor,” said Eric Smith, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

That choice was “not the best move performance-wise,” he told TechNewsWorld, but “from the standpoint of testing the market … very well done.”

The Book’s 8500 math li-ion polymer battery is rated to provide more than 70 days of standby time and 13 hours of general use.

It has a 10.1-inch FHD IPS 1920 x 1200 capacitive touchscreen with a 70 percent color gamut and brightness rated at 400 nits.

The Windows version runs Any Pen technology, and the Android version runs EMR Pen.

The Book has a metal housing. The Windows version is available in carbon black only; the Android device is available in carbon black, gunmetal gray and champagne gold.

The Book has an 8-MP autofocus rear camera and a 2-MP fixed-focus front camera with standard sensors.

The Windows device comes preloaded with Microsoft Office Mobile: Excel, Powerpoint, Word and OneNote, as well as a trial version of Evernote ArtRage Lite.

The Android version comes with Lenovo’s Note Saver, Collection, SHAREit and SYNCit, as well as Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, McAfee Security, Evernote ArtRage and TouchPal IME.

The Real Pen, which is compatible with both OSes, costs $40.

Early Reactions

The Yoga Book “feels more like a mobile device than a heavy-duty computing machine,” wrote Lauren Goode for The Verge.

The Android version makes more sense, but Lenovo is not using the latest version of Android and has put its own skin on top of Marshmallow instead, she noted.

The Windows 10 version “takes several seconds to boot up and apps stuttered or froze up entirely on it more than once” while Goode was testing it.

The Yoga Book “draws the eye like no other tablet or laptop available today,” wrote Alex Cranz for Gizmodo.

Still, it “feels … more like a funky distraction gadget,” she continued. “Its Halo keyboard “has a terrible layout” and “is frustrating,” with inadequate haptic feedback that has a minor delay, few keyboard shortcuts, and keys spaced “just differently enough for a lot of mistypes.”

“There’s very little about the design of this Yoga Book that doesn’t scream premium,” wrote Android Central’s Russell Holly. “If you really want Android to run your laptop and don’t care that apps are going to misbehave left and right, this is without a doubt the [device] for you.” However, the Windows version is “a lot easier to recommend.”

Where the Book Fits

The Yoga Book competes with middle-of-the-road Microsoft Surface clones from Asus, Acer, HP and Huawei,” said Strategy Analytics’ Smith.

It is “very innovative,” he added. “Further, people “looking to replace a tablet and/or PC are increasingly giving 2-in-1s a second look.”

Some observers were less impressed.

The Yoga Book “is more of a toy than a serious productivity machine,” said Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

“It doesn’t seem to have the power or interfaces to really work on, and its form factor isn’t really ergonomic from a work point of view,” he told TechNewsWorld.

“If you want a tablet, there are much better ones out there,” Jude said. “If you want a laptop … go buy a laptop.” Still, “this thing is just so cute and light that you want it to be useful.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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