Thanks chiefly to smartphone and tablet users, the days when laptops are bulked out by a physical keyboard could be coming to a close. Flat touch-enabled surfaces that offer virtual keyboards when you need to type, and other functions when you don't, made a commercial appearance a couple of years ago when Lenovo launched the ambitious Yoga Book. Today, the company's Jeff Meredith joined Gregory Bryant from Intel on stage at Computex 2018 to give an early look at the Yoga Book 2.
The Yoga Book is a pleasantly thin 10-inch 2-in-1 that's a little different from others on the market, rocking one full-fat color display and one keyboard slate pad thing that Lenovo called the halo keyboard joined together to form a clamshell device. The idea is to see what you're doing on the upper screen and use the lower surface to create what you need. Or fold away the halo surface when not needed and use it like a tablet.
Though we were initially quite positive about the potential of the original Yoga Book when we had a quick hands-on in Berlin 2016, our full review of the production version revealed a few annoying niggles that left a sour taste. Lenovo readily admits that the first Book was something of an experiment, and has learned from that form factor pioneer to bring improvements to the second version.
Details about the next generation Yoga Book are pretty slim at the moment, but we do know that Lenovo has treated the 2-in-1 to a pair of touchscreen display panels and retired the halo keyboard.
There's a higher performance Intel CPU to facilitate the increased processing demands of a device that's likely going to be used more as a laptop than a tablet, and greater precision in the "inking" department could well see artistic creativity using the Book become more fluid and accurate.
Lenovo has also included some AI smarts for the keyboard to assist user input, likely following along the lines of predictive text input seen on just about all smartphone messaging apps today.
And that's it for now, other than a release date in time for the holidays at the year end. It will be interesting to see if Lenovo can deliver on its promise of a much better Yoga Book than the original. Not just more powerful, but better. But, we'll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, you can see a replay of Intel's Keynote on the company's Facebook page, skip to the 30 minute mark to see the new Yoga Book.
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