BERLIN — Cool doesn't even begin to describe Lenovo's Yoga Book, announced Wednesday at IFA 2016.
The Yoga Book is about the size of a children's hardcover book — Lenovo compared it side by side with a hardcover Dr. Seuss book — and serves as a mini tablet, laptop and a digital notebook
The Yoga Book is thin, light and wild. Lenovo is launching two versions — Android ($499) and Windows 10 ($599) — later this year.
The device has a 10.1-inch full HD glossy display on one half and a matte surface on the other half. Its hinge allows the screen to fold 360 degrees backwards into a mini tablet.
With a touch of a button, the matte half turns on a "Halo" keyboard and trackpad layout. Typing on it is similar to typing on an iPad, which is to say, there's absolutely no tactile feedback and no actual key actuation. As much as I hate the shallow keyboard on the new MacBook, typing on a flat surface is even worse.
I would go as far to say typing on the Yoga Book's keyboard is terrible. I typed slower and made a ton more errors than on a keyboard with real key travel.
But there are a lot of cool features on the Yoga Book, too. The best is the digitizer. With the keyboard turned off, you can place a piece of paper on top and use a stylus with a real ballpoint tip to write or draw and the Yoga Book will make an exact digital copy on the screen for saving or sharing. It's basically digital carbon paper (if you're old enough to know what that is).
If this sounds familiar to Wacom's Smart Bamboo, that's because it is Wacom technology. The digitizer is sensitive enough to detect scribbles through a stack of paper.
Spec-wise, the Yoga Book is powered by a 2.4GHz quad-core Intel Atom x5 Processor, 4GB of RAM and has 64GB of storage (expandable via microSD card). Lenovo says there will be Wi-Fi and LTE models. There's also an 8-megapixel camera on the front. Lenovo claims up to 15 hours of battery life for the Android model and up to 13 hours for the Windows 10 version.
It's an interesting concept, to say the least. It's clearly aimed at students, notebook lovers and scrapbookers, but it's hard to tell if it'll ever take off.