Two years in the past, when Lenovo first unveiled the futuristic Yoga Book, the corporate held it up alongside a hardcover Dr. Seuss e-book to exhibit how skinny and light-weight it was. It had a “Halo” keyboard: a backside half that lit as much as create a digital keyboard. You may write straight on this keyless keyboard, too, as if it was a notepad.
It was a complete lot of latest tech packed right into a tiny, $500, fold-over pill, however not all of that tech was fully-baked. The flat, matte keyboard got here with a steep studying curve. The pill was underpowered, particularly the Windows model (sure, Lenovo shipped each an Android and a Windows model of the 2016 Yoga Book).
Now, Lenovo is again at it once more with the brand new Yoga Book C930, unveiled on the IFA commerce present in Berlin this week. It has an improved keyboard. It has a greater processor. It makes use of E-Ink! It’s additionally $1,000.
In refining what the Yoga Book is, and who’s ought to be for, Lenovo has narrowed its potential buyer set right down to those that have sufficient disposable earnings to afford a Yoga Book as a secondary pc, or as a journey gadget. It’s exhausting to fathom thousands and thousands of individuals shopping for this. At the identical time, Lenovo—which has managed to broaden its picture past that of a strictly-enterprise laptop computer maker over the previous a number of years—deserves credit score for experimenting as soon as once more.
Lenovo says the Windows model of the 2016 Yoga Book bought a lot better than the Android model did; in consequence, this new Yoga Book (with the forgettable identify C930) will ship solely as a Windows 10 gadget. In some methods this implies it’s actually extra of a laptop computer than a pill. It ships with a seventh technology Intel Core i5 or Core M processor—not the newest, however an improve from the Atom processor within the 2016 Yoga Book. It has 4 gigabytes of reminiscence, and 258 gigabytes of SSD storage. There’s additionally the choice for LTE, which can turn out to be useful for these frequent vacationers Lenovo is concentrating on.
Its dimensions are nearly the very same because the final Yoga Book. This one weighs 1.7 kilos; the primary mannequin weighed 1.5 kilos. The high show on the brand new one is barely bigger: a 10.8-inch, quad HD, touchscreen show, in contrast with the sooner 10.1-inch show.
It’s the “keyboard” a part of the laptop computer that’s modified probably the most. It was a digitizer earlier than; now it’s mainly a second show. And it’s an E-Ink show, changing the “Halo” keyboard from the earlier technology. Users can select between a pair completely different E-Ink keyboard types to start out, and management the ink shade and distinction in settings.
The inclusion of E-ink additionally means you may fold it over and use it as a studying gadget. When it first ships, although, it should solely assist a PDF reader and never apps like Kindle. You can use a Wacom stylus on each high and backside shows, switching to a Lenovo-made note-taking app on the underside. In pre-briefings, Lenovo described a use case in which you’ll write a be aware on the underside half, choose it and remodel it into textual content, after which drag to repeat it right into a Word doc on the higher show.
It’s nonetheless a zero-travel keyboard, which means it’s completely flat, however Lenovo says the sensory suggestions has been improved each when it comes to vibration and sound. This haptic suggestions is supposed to present you a way of keys bouncing off your fingertips, even once you’re simply plunking them on a flat floor. Each particular person key can be a little bit bigger. The largest adjustment is likely to be on the AI aspect: Lenovo says it’s storing studying patterns for a way customers kind on the gadget. This isn’t to supply predictive typing, the corporate says, however extra about providing correct typing. If you are likely to hit your “J” key a little bit excessive, for instance, the keyboard will “know” that that’s the important thing you imply to hit.
Another new characteristic: the Yoga Book C930 features a “knock to open” characteristic. Because of the laptop computer’s chiseled edges, it is likely to be exhausting to wedge a fingertip in its entrance lips to get the factor open, despite the fact that there’s a slight indent there. So the laptop computer’s accelerometer detects once you double-knock on the highest of the laptop computer, and sends a present to a shape-shifting alloy that contracts, pushes some magnets round, and pops open the laptop computer. It additionally goes into “bag mode,” so it doesn’t unintentionally open in your bag, when the laptop computer is positioned at a sure orientation and movement is detected.
The Yoga Book C930 begins delivery in October. Given its dimension, it should inevitably draw comparisons to the brand new Microsoft Surface Go. And it’s definitely half of a bigger pattern of smaller, cell units working full-fledged desktop working techniques (or these with the ability to run full OS’s, no less than). But Lenovo thinks the Yoga Book’s note-taking capabilities and E-Ink set it aside. This isn’t meant to be a laptop computer substitute, however an addition. If you occur to be a type of individuals who can splurge on each a workhorse laptop computer and a $1,000 journey laptop computer, then I’ve a horrible joke for you: knock knock.