Lenovo YogaBook in-depth review - Flexible hybrid

Hybrid tablets litter the market- from ones that need a separate keyboard to ones that come with. They are very easy to carry along and yet very easy to get wrong too. Either the reclining angle is off or the keyboard not robust enough... The Lenovo YogaBook is a breath of fresh air amidst the marauding crowds. Beautifully built with a good battery and bright screen, it is the one to test out if you want to splash the cash on one this year.

 Lenovo YogaBook Review - Flexible hybrid
3.5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,12/5/2016 4:23:48 PM

6

out of 10

Performance

10

out of 5

Look and feel

10

out of 5

Ease of use

9

out of 5

Features

9

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Beautiful build quality | slim form factor | good battery life | bundled pen and writing pad

Cons:

No fast charge | Processor not fast enough

- By Sunetra Chakravarti

Around the time the YogaBook was sent through to us to review, our work-supplied MacBook had to be sent off for repairs so we got to use the YogaBook as our daily driver for all things work and play for a week and we cannot think of a more rigorous test for a piece of tech.

This meant two things- we could do with taking just a tote into work, instead of the backpack, something our back was thankful for. Secondly, it made us realise what a long way hybrid devices have come since the first netbook was launched.

Lenovo YogaBook in-depth review: Look and feel

We can guarantee that you will be surprised by how slim the YogaBook is! Compared side-by-side with the OnePlus 3T smartphone, they both have almost the same thickness!

In numbers, the YogaBook is just 9.6mm thick, and so you have the comparative numbers in perspective, most phablets stretch over 7.6mm these days. It is very easy to stick the YogaBook in the handbag and go. The screen size is 10.1-inches and with small bezels, the hybrid tablet isn't much bigger than that. The watch hinge mechanism is both super-useful and clever. It gives the user the ability to have the screen at any angle they please, giving gravitas to the word 'Yoga' in its name.

Lenovo Moto G5: Launch, specs & features

 It also seems very secure and unlike the hinge on the Microsoft SurfaceBook which is very prone to collecting dust and grime, the one here has grooves tiny enough to not get quite so dusty.

11 reasons your smartphone network data connection is patchy

The keyboard is called a 'Halo keyboard' and doesn't have any actual buttons or grooves. When you type, you get a type of vibrating feedback to know your using the keyboard has worked. While we were not convinced at the start that it would work, having used the YogaBook solidly over the past few weeks for work we can vouch for its accuracy and speed. There are no stutters or lags and as soon as you open up the laptop, the individually back-lit keys light up. Together with a very realistic 'typing sound' and haptic feedback, within a few days you will feel like you never stopped using a regular keyboard with individual keys. 

This makes the YogaBook incredibly easy to fire up and start working on and also gives it the kind of aesthetic appeal that is bound to wow would-be customers.

Xiaomi Mi5s in-depth review

The volume and power buttons are on the right side of the keyboard (not the screen) as are the speaker grills and it is obvious that Lenovo only kept the hybrid device wide enough so a headphone jack could be used. 

We think they made a mistake here because they should have allowed for the YogaBook to be charged using a Type-C connector and gone with the fast-charge option rather than the micro-USB that they went with.

Lenovo YogaBook in-depth review: Screen, Display & Audio

The YogaBook has a Full HD IPS screen and that makes for a very pleasant media consuming experience as well as giving the consumer perfectly reasonable viewing angles. However, if you are expecting clarity and sharpness as the Samsung range of flagship phones, then you will be disappointed. While the panel is light and bright, you get a colour gamut of 70 percent and a 1920x1200 resolution on the 10.1-inch screen.

 

However, the Dolby Atmos® speakers make up for the non-stellar display. Audio playback is crisp, powerful and with enough depth to give a well-rounded rich media streaming experience.

Lenovo YogaBook in-depth review: Processor, battery & software

 Our review YogaBook is the Android version but there is an additional Windows 10 version available as well. Android has come a long way by way of work apps and is as good as using Windows for work. Having the Android-totting YogaBook was fantastic as we use Google's apps at work and so the transition was seamless from our work laptop to the YogaBook.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Leaks, features, pricing and release date

As long as you log onto Google Drive and proceed to save your documents, photos and spreadsheets on there, you are fine. There is 64GB storage on-board and the hybrid tablet/laptop additionally has a microSD card slot so you can increase its memory by a further 128GB.

There is a 8,500mAH battery onboard and by virtue of the Yogabook running Android 6 and its host of battery saving options, we had little need to charge the device with as much frequency as our work laptop. The battery on the YogaBook lasted forever and we got an easy two full days of working on it. This included browsing, writing and watching short videos as part of our daily work.

Wondering why the Note 7 fizzled and popped? Here is the answer

In what is probably the only buff note in an otherwise excellent product, Lenovo have opted to go for a quad-core Intel® Atom™ x5-Z8550 processor which although good to start off with and light browsing, isn't the best if you are a heavy user. We found it to be really good for sporadic use when on the move. However, it struggled when we unleashed the full range of work apps that we usually have to use and found that it is simply not powerful enough for the likes of Photoshop, InDesign and Final Cut. 

Lenovo YogaBook in-depth review: Stylus and electronic digitiser

The Lenovo YogaBook ships with a 'Real Pen' that looks and works like a regular Biro alongside a smart notepad. However, the notepad has a magnetised back so you just need to slot the notepad over the keyboard section of the YogaBook, click on the Pen symbol and it will convert all your doodles, scribbles and notes to electronic ones on the screen. It seems like a difficult ask but the YogaBook manages it with elan. 

Lenovo's Note Saver app is fantastic and does a very good job of digitising all your musings. Wacom’s passive electromagnetic resistance (EMR) technology is used to track the pen and using Bluetooth, it syncs notes with tablets and phones. The pen detects 2048 levels of pressure and was more accurate than we ever thought it would be and we were also able to use both hands simultaneously: writing on the 'Create Pad' and zooming in on the touchscreen together. 

Huawei Mate 9 and Lenovo P2 are Three exclusives

Should I buy the Lenovo YogaBook?

If you need an ultra-portable device to work through your emails during your commute  then buy the YogaBook.

If you need a device to take notes that can electronically be saved during meetings and not have to lug your work-issue laptop around, then buy the YogaBook.

If you have been thinking of getting a tablet to watch Netflix or for gaming, then definitely get the YogaBook.

We loved how the battery refused to die, that the tactile keyboard was so easy to type on and that the screen, in laptop mode, could be contoured into every angle possible.

However, the YogaBook cannot be compared with a Microsoft SurfaceBook, a Surface Pro 4 or even an iPad Pro 9.7. Those are powerful beasts and frankly, the YogaBook with its quad-core Intel Atom processor doesn't have that kind of might. 

The YogaBook is not meant to be a laptop replacement and it isn't. This is a device to take to meetings, work on during a commute and then stream media on at the end of the day. And this it does beautifully and with pizzazz.

Lenovo YogaBook (Android) specifications

http://shop.lenovo.com

Price: £449

Operating System: Android 6.0 with Book UI

Dimensions: 256.6 x 9.6 x 170.8mm

Weight: 690g

Resolution: 1920 x 1200

Display: 10.1-inch IPS LED LCD Touch

Processor: Intel® Atom™ x5-Z8550 Processor (2M Cache, Quad-Core, Up to 2.4 GHz)

Camera: 8-MP Auto-Focus Front: 2-MP Fixed-Focus

Memory: 64GB ROM 4GB RAM; microSD™ supports up to 128 GB 

Battery: 8500 mAh

Fingerprint sensor: Capacitive Touch with AnyPen Technology

Misc: Dual SIM NFC; USB Type C (High Speed USB); 11a/b/g/n/ac WiFi wireless; Bluetooth Version 4.0; Dolby Audio™ Premium

Colours: Gunmetal Grey, Champagne Gold. Includes Real Pen, Ink Refills, Book, Pad & Paper