There was no painfully choreographed keynote. There was no cryptic invite to the media. There was no deluge of extreme adjectives to describe it. When Lenovo first showed its splendid new tablet to journalists on August 31, it was like they were having just another ordinary day with just another ordinary tablet. But the question is, is the Lenovo Yoga Book even a tablet?
It is. And it is not. It is more than a tablet. And it does a lot more than a tablet. for instance, it is completely foldable like a book, comes with a stylus that needs no recharge, lets you write with ink, and is light as hell. Every reviewer is trying not call it a tablet because it’s way better than Microsoft’s groundbreaking Surface and, should we even say it, miles ahead of Apple’s copycat iPad Pro. Lenovo is calling it a book, and that makes perfect sense.
Lenovo– wait, remember that Lenovo bought the Personal Computing business of IBM and has been making the ThinkPad for about 11 years now? Okay. Lenovo seems to have an absolute winner in its hands.
Jeff Meredith, GM &VP Android Chrome Computing Business Group inside Lenovo says he’s never thought of the new device as anything other than a book. “We want to hold true to the idea of the book,” he says.
That’s why it opens like a book. One side of inside pages is a screen and the other is a Wacom-powred touch-sensitive surface that can be a keyboard if you like or a writing surface if you like. They call this part the Create Pad. If you’re suddenly itching to write with an actual ink, you can pop in an ink cartridge into the stylus and write on paper. As you do that, the Yoga Book picks what you’re writing. Even the pad is facing away from you.
The Yoga Book comes with a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 display, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage with an Intel Atom x5 processor and an 8500Ah battery. When closed, the Book is only 9.6mm thick. There’s space for a microSD card and the tablet’s got an LTE radio.
Lenovo has made two versions of the device: a Windows 10 variant going for $549 (I won’t mess with naira conversions right now, sorry), and an Android Marshmallow option to be sold for $499. The pen will be in every pack when this product goes on sale in October.
When the Chinese company first unwrapped the latest product among a slew of other new releases, it looked like the Yoga Book was going to be a fluke. Considering how unique it is, you would have expected them to make the announcement more like how Apple launched the iPad and how Samsung introduced the Note.
But no, they just rolled it out with no extra fuss at the IFA Consumer Electronics Unlimited Conference in Berlin. Their low-key launch was enough to make one wonder if Lenovo had any confidence in the Yoga Book they say took them three years to make. But the more people have tested it, the more they’ve found the invention amazing.
You may also argue that Apple would have done a better job, at least on the processor and HD screen, but do you know how much Apple would charge for something like this? Besides, look at what they did with the iPad Pro, which is a knockoff version of the Microsoft Surface.
I can see many uses for this Yoga Book but one thing I’m sure of is this: illustrators will love it. It’s cheaper than the pro Wacom tablets they currently lust after even though it does the same thing plus more.
All photos: CNET