In conjunction with the IFA consumer electronics conference in Berlin today, Lenovo is announcing new products: the Yoga Book, with a flat keyboard that doubles as a writing surface when used with the compatible stylus; and the Yoga 910, the next device in the Yoga convertible laptop series.
The Yoga Book, available in Android and Windows 10 versions (starting at $499 and $549, respectively), is the more distinctive device of the two. Because the keyboard surface is very pressure-sensitive, it’s able to create a virtual version of what you’re writing even when you’re writing on a sheet of paper sitting on top of the keyboard, or even on the back of the keyboard. As a result, you can have two copies of your handwritten notes. Because of its compact size, it might not be the best choice for full-blown desktop computing, but it could be a good choice for getting important things done when you’re on the go.
It’s a bit like Microsoft’s Surface, but the emphasis is on writing on the keyboard, not so much on the display. Seeing your writings appear on the display as you write on the flat writing surface might just be more natural for some people anyway. The outlines of the keys are there when you want to tap on them, and they disappear when you’re done with them, with the push of a button. While I found it a bit awkward to type on at first because there aren’t any real physical keys, I could see how you would get used to it after a while.
The device, which is the result of three years of development inside Lenovo, comes with 15 hours of battery life, an Intel Atom x5 chip, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 10.1-inch FHD display, weighing in at 1.52 pounds and measuring 9.6mm thick. It ships with a “real pen” stylus powered with Wacom technology that doesn’t need charging.
The Yoga 910 features a redesigned keyboard, a larger trackpad, a 13.9-inch 4K display surrounded by a thinner bezel, a fingerprint scanner, and an aluminum magnesium alloy case with a rubberized inlay. And Lenovo says it has up to 15.5 hours of battery life, using the latest Intel Kaby Lake Core i series chips up to Core i7. A headphone jack is onboard, along with USB-C connectivity. The laptop starts at $1,299 and becomes available in October.
For me, the Yoga 910 has a premium feel, it looks good from a distance, and it’s easy to type on. Judging by the positive reception of the Yoga 900, the 910 should fare well with consumers, too, but we’ll get a better sense once we get a review unit.