I don't think that the Lenovo Yoga Book is for everyone, but for the people that it's for, this compact, extremely well built Android tablet is a dream come true! I specified Android because that's the version I ordered and am reviewing, as I felt that running the Android OS would help the Intel Atom CPU use more of its resources on the applications rather than just running the OS and the Android versions supports more of the Lenovo Book's strongest features.
Now to clarify, if you're getting this as your all-in-one solution for college or something, you're buying the wrong product especially if you know you're going to need to type of essays or program. The keyboard, while just "okay" after about a week or two of use is just that. I still regularly make mistakes on it and couldn't imagine writing this entire review on it. It's definitely usable for short posts to social media, messaging applications, or quick notes but not ideal.
But why would type your notes when you can just write them out? The Lenovo Real Pen is an absolute treat to use on the Create Pad and holding it like an actual notebook while taking notes just feels awesome to be frank. The included Lenovo Note Saver application is fine, but not being able to have ruled lines in portrait mode is bummer. But thankfully one of the included updates for the device installs the Microsoft Office Suite for use including One Note which is an absolute joy to use. With the grid lines enabled in One Note, I can crank out page after page of notes for my design and humanities classes without even needing to turn over a new page (but I do have to scroll down) and that's not even using the Real Pen's other unique feature.
The cap for the Real Pen serves several purposes, not only does it have a magnet to attach the pen to the Lenovo Book (which I think is just a bad design but I'll talk more about that in my dislikes section) but you can also use it to remove the touch tip in the Real Pen and place in one of the included ink pen inserts. These allow you to write on actual paper right on top of the Create Pad and the Lenovo Book will record whatever you write as long as you remember to turn on Note Saver even if you have the device folded over with only the Create Pad up. With the device folded flat, you can also use it in OneNote: several pages of writing condensed into a single and very long page on OneNote! And while the Android version doesn't support OneNote's "ink to text" feature on windows, since all of your notes are saved to the cloud you can always convert them on another PC with OneNote if you have it and have the need to do so.
The screen on it is suitable, but I would recommend a screen protector just because with my experience with using the device out in the field and in classes, it's going to get dinged up a bit and I wish I had one on it day one (again more on that later). I've already mentioned how the keyboard is okay for what it is (again don't recommend it as an outright replacement for a traditional laptop), and the inclusion of the mouse pad is fine addition that I think is really just made obsolete since the device is relatively small and just tapping on the screen to do something on an Android tablet just feels much more natural (also be sure to enable Android's "Any Pen" feature in settings so that you can use the pen directly on the screen, however it will not be pressure sensitive like it would be if used on the CreatePad). The pen itself is also just the right size for my hand, but I'm sure if you have one of the pencil or pen grips I'm sure larger ones would fit on it just fine. The 360 degree hinge on the device is another stunning and very eye-catching feature of the device. It is after all part of Lenovo's "Yoga" series and it definitely lives up to the name. The volume rocker is fine, the power button works, and the included micro USB (unfortunately not type C)charger is suitably long but I wish the outlet adapter wasn't so wide. But hey, on the bright side music buffs can rejoice because the two (yes TWO) speakers on the Lenovo Yoga Book support Dolby Atmos, have a rich sound, and can get quite loud. Also, it has a 3.5mm audio jack! It's not dead yet!
Now I've been rather positive on the device so far, and that's just because I think it's so useful for some of the other features that it can do. However there are definitely some problems I have with it. I'm going to bring up the keyboard again just because I know it's a major issue for a lot of people, but after having spent about a month with the device I think it's fine for short messaging and emails, but nothing longer. The magnetized pen cap for the Real Pen isn't strong enough, or the magnets built into the device. And yes I've tried all of the sides of the device (as it can be attached to either the left or right bezel of the screen as well as the sides of the Create Pad). A quick shake on any of them will knock the pen off and while I'm away that devices like the Surface Pro 3 have the same issue, it doesn't excuse the fact that it's an issue on the Lenovo Yoga Book. Thankfully, there are some really awesome pen loop holders with very strong adhesive you can buy right here on Amazon. Some people can certainly get by by just sticking it to the side of the device, keeping it in a bag, and being diligent enough not to lose the pen. But if at any point if you do lose it, be prepared to pay the consequences.
Seriously, the replacement Pen costs $39.99, ink replacements cost $14.99, and pad the paper (of which they include 1) costs anywhere from $17.50 to $19.99 magnetic back included. Wow, just wow.
So, as mentioned previously I bought the pen loop to make sure I didn't lose the pen. A $10 for a set of 6 of them is well worth it and gives me a place to secure the pen when not in use.
I use an emptied lead holder to keep one of the ink refills in or the touch insert when I have the ink in the Real Pen. I should also note that getting 3rd party pen inserts that also fit the Real Pen do work to some extent. I ordered a pack of 8, 2 & 11/16" sized ink refills which fit the Real Pen. However, when inserted all the way the Create Pad thinks that the pen is being pressed down at all times so I have to leave them hanging out a bit longer than the 1st party refills Lenovo sells for that ridiculous price.
And I use regular 8.5" x 11" paper to take all of my notes on which works surprisingly well. All you need to do is align the red ruled line on the left corner marking for the Create Pad's writing surface, level the bottom of the page to the edge of the Create Pad, then use the pen cap at the top of the page to hold it in place. It's cumbersome, but way cheaper and way more practical of a use for it (be aware that you will not be able to write on the whole surface of the page this way).
There are some other small gripes too in no particular order: no regular USB ports, I need a micro HDMI to HDMI adapter, the screen picks up finger prints more regularly than my phone does (they include a cloth to clean it), and the bezels are very large. I'm stretching with the last one because other than everything listed above, that's about it. I mean I have the Android version and I have no complains about Android, I personally love the OS and I'm very familiar using the interface as a small indie developer for the platform.
Keeping in mind the Lenovo Yoga Book's strengths:
+ Portable and stylish
+ Able to take notes and easily share them
+ Android OS lightweight and allows for HD video playback
+ Intel Atom processor makes this Android tablet very responsive
+ Surprisingly excellent speakers
and it's weaknesses:
- Sub-par keyboard (very dependent on the user)
- Real Pen lacks and confident way to tether to the device
- Expensive replacement parts
- Lack of most widely used ports aside from micro USB and the 3.5mm audio/mic jack
Make your own decision on whether or not you should buy this product. For me, I did my research and came to the conclusion that this product and I were a match made in heaven. Keeping in mind that I would basically ignore the fact that it has a keyboard on it at all, I very excitedly unboxed the Lenovo Yoga Book to bring to my classes and work, never regretting my decision to buy it.
Seriously consider whether or not you can make the most out of the device's strengths while getting past its shortcomings. I'll repeat what I said at the top of this review (wow this was long huh?) to close my thoughts: I don't think that the Lenovo Yoga Book is for everyone, but for the people that it is for, this compact, extremely well built Android tablet is a dream come true!
There are a TON of updates for the device out of the box that I highly recommend you download before actually starting to use the device. The entire process might literally take an hour.
Included in the box -
The Lenovo Yoga Book
1 Real Pen
3 Ink Refills for the Real Pen
1 Magnetic Notebook fir for the device
1 0.6A AC Adapter
1 Micro USB Cable
What I added and Recommend-
1 Adhesive pen loop sticker
1 Decorative Sticker
1 Screen Protector
8 3rd party ink refills
A ton of regular paper
I would also be wary about adding a case as you may not be able to flip the laptop 360 degrees or even flat with the case on.