What Is It? – How’d you like a small notebook that can turn instantly into a tablet and almost as quickly into a drawing pad? That’s what the Lenovo Yoga Book is, a hybrid laptop that’s lightweight and small, and can save a drawing you make on paper into a data file. The Yoga Book comes as either a Windows 10 or Android machine – we got to try the Android – and it functions much as any other Android device would, with the usual Google installed apps plus a bunch from Lenovo, and of course you can add any from the Play Store. It does not, however, include a place for a SIM card, so connectivity is Wi-Fi or Bluetooth only. The Yoga Book has a 10-inch touchscreen, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GD of hard drive storage, plus a slot for a microSD card of up to 128 GB. It came with the Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system and an Intel Atom quad-core processor. It weighs barely 1.5 pounds and is only a little more one-third of an inch thick. There’s also a pen and a “Create Pad,” of which more about later. In laptop mode, there a backlit virtual keyboard – well, really a keypad – and you can turn on a little tactile and audio feedback. The keypad bends over backward, hence the “yoga” name, and the laptop becomes a tablet.
The drawing pad part is what’s most different about this model. Of course, with most touch screens you can “draw” on the screen itself, but this Lenovo comes with the Create Pad, which attaches magnetically over where the virtual keypad is (you turn the keypad off first), and using regular ball-point pen inserts in the supplied “Real Pen” you can write or draw on the paper the Create Pad holds. And what you write or draw also appears on screen in Lenovo’s app. You can also use a non-ink stylus for the pen, and “write” directly on the touchpad.
Is It 50+ Friendly? – The Yoga Book is nice and portable and is a good Android tablet. But that virtual keyboard is clumsy and difficult, and I found it just about as frustrating to use as an on-screen touch keypad. The ability to write or draw on paper is a plus, but for now you can only make notes or drawings to Lenovo’s Note Saver app, although you can save there or share as a PDF. The PDF can be uploaded to Google Drive, or sent to Evernote or by Gmail.
Frustration Factor? – The keypad. And changing the pen’s nibs. And losing them. The pen attaches magnetically, by its clip, to the side of the tablet, but not very firmly.
Is It Worth It? – The Lenovo Yoga Book, with the Android OS, sells for $499 right on their website. The Windows 10 version, alike in just about every other way, is $50 more. The price is about right for a good tablet, and the keypad and drawing ability may be a plus to some.