As somebody who still heads into meetings armed with a pen and notepad rather than a gadget, I got the hots for the Lenovo Yoga Book as soon as I clapped eyes on it. The '2-in-1 tablet' – which is basically a laptop -- has a mad feature called the Halo Keyboard, and it’s gloriously weird.
Instead of rows of clack-clackable physical keys, it comprises a touch- and pressure-sensitive... well, flat surface, called the Create Pad. Stop groaning and hear me out. With the touch of a button, you can either beam virtual keys onto it and type by touching the right spots, as you would on a tablet, or use the bundled Wacom stylus to draw out intricate pictures of willies and stuff on the surface.
Now pay attention, because here's where it gets odd. The stylus doubles up as a pen that uses real ink, and the Create Pad is able to detect your strokes even when you lay a sheet of paper on top of it and get scribbling. That's right, a digital copy of your handwriting – as it's supposed to look and everything – and doodles instantly appears on the Yoga Book's 10.1-inch Full HD display. It worked perfectly for me, leaving a childlike grin stretched across my face.
The virtual keyboard isn’t perfect though. While the individual keys are well-sized and offer haptic feedback when you hit them, there’s no beating physical keys. I also found myself getting sloppy with spelling right from the off, as if I expected autocorrect and word suggestions to pop up on screen, which they didn't. The trackpad’s also a little cramped.
Those aren’t the only issues. Switching between stylus and pen modes is fiddly, and ink marks on the Create Pad met my early fears. It’s too easy to forget what you’re holding between your fingers. I came dangerously close (on multiple occasions) to writing directly on the screen, and furious rubbing with a tissue didn’t remove the existing ink marks on the machine (which were there before I arrived, honest!).
The Yoga Book runs either Android (£449, up to 15 hours of battery life) and Windows 10 (£549, up to 13 hours), and is available right now.
It certainly isn’t perfect, but I’m a big fan. It’s not only ideal for meetings, but also just for jotting down terrible ideas on the go. Its ridiculously tiny dimensions don’t hurt either. It's just 0.38-inches thick and weighs 690g. Simply put, you can comfortably hold it in one hand while scribbling away with the other. Perfect if you’re a poser like me.