Lenovo Laptop 101: Is a Lenovo Yoga Book Worth Buying?

Looking to get a Lenovo Yoga Book?

It’s rare to see experimental concept devices reach consumers. This is why the Yoga Book made a lot of waves when Lenovo first launched it back in 2016. The Yoga Book was a fresh hope of innovation in a market of iterative products.

The new Yoga Book C930 promises to be the ultimate all-in-one ultraportable. Besides your laptop and iPad, it also hopes to replace your Kindle and Wacom tablet.

All these are possible with the new e-ink screen. This streamlines all functions into one device.

All this gives the Lenovo Yoga Book C930 an unusual charm. Its design means it may not have the best graphics, nor will it be the best for writers. So, is it worth the $1000 price tag?

What is a Lenovo Yoga Book’s merit? Read on to find out!

A Sleek and Premium Design

The C930 follows the original Yoga Book with a slim and light design. It has a 0.93-inch thin profile.

This makes it difficult to open using one hand. The original laptop series also had this problem.

To circumvent this, Lenovo engineered a double “knock” feature to open the lid. It uses magnets’ reverse polarity activated with two gentle knocks on the lid’s edge. It’s a genius workaround that makes for a cool party trick.

As for the hinge, it can twist around to almost 360 degrees. Like all good hybrid hinges, it has a bit of a wobble when using it on your lap. Yet it’s as sturdy as they come.

Magnesium alloy makes up the lid and the underside. This gives it enough feeling of toughness for such a thin laptop. The magnesium alloy may not be able to compete with aluminum.

However, it remains the best choice for balancing lightness and strength.

Due to size constraints, the Yoga Book has limited ports. It has two standard USB-C 3.1 ports, a microSD card slot, and a SIM tray (only in select markets). There’s no 3.5 mm audio jack, so you’ll need a USB-C dongle to plug one in for music.

There’s also a fingerprint reader for secure sign-in using Windows Hello. The front-facing HD webcam also features a shutter covering it when it’s not in use.

The Displays

Two 10.8-inch screens greet you upon opening the laptop. Up top is the standard LCD with a 2560 x 1600 resolution, 400nits brightness, and an anti-glare coating. Where the keyboard should be, there is instead an e-ink screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The main display is a big upgrade from the original Lenovo Yoga Book. Despite the hefty bezels, it’s a top-of-the-line display with a wide color gamut (88% of the Adobe RGB color space). As for the colors, the accuracy is excellent, with an average color error of 1.76.

The e-ink screen is a black-and-white panel. A big complaint is the lack of a backlight, which makes typing in the dark difficult. Nonetheless, the 1080p resolution is sharp enough to serve the screen’s purpose.

The multiple modes of the e-ink screen are its biggest draw. It can function as a keyboard, e-reader, or note-taking device.

It has a handful of proprietary apps for the e-ink screen and makes switching between modes easy. It supports inking with a full-size active pen included.

Flicking down from the top of the lower display allows you to turn it into a graphics tablet or an e-reader. It’s alluring to read long texts and books on the C930’s e-ink screen.

It has the same low-eye-strain look as the Kindle Oasis though the Yoga Book is bigger and has more pixels. A downside is that you’ll need ambient light since the panel isn’t backlit.

Keyboard and Trackpad Experience

As a keyboard, the e-ink panel has haptic, audible, and visual feedback. An AI learns your typing style and supports up to 160 keyboard types and configurations. The C930 lacks the paper pad included with the original Yoga Book.

The monochrome screen makes the keyboard look convincing. Still, the lack of physical keys means there’s no click reaction when you type. The feeling is not too different from typing on an iPad.

The haptic feedback is minimal, only a buzz from the vibration motor. The animation and sounds supplement the typing experience. Still, it’s not the best typing surface that can replace the conventional keyboard.

It takes some getting used to and plenty of typos. It works, and you can achieve a degree of comfort from using the Yoga Book’s digital keyboard. However, it won’t be preferable for typing long-form documents.

Need your Yoga Book to create long documents? Hook it up a traditional keyboard via USB or Bluetooth! The 360-degree hinge makes it easy to flip it around and prop up the display.

As for the trackpad, it appears and disappears according to need. The lack of a physical click also takes some getting used to. Meanwhile, the surface’s textured glass ensures that using the trackpad feels good.

The stylus support in the Yoga Book is fantastic. You can use it to write straight on the e-ink panel.

The pen has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. This makes it on par with the Microsoft Surface Pen. It also makes for a smooth writing experience on both of the displays.

Drawing

You can also use the e-ink panel for drawing and sketching. There are several templates like grids you can use for drawing. All this has mixed results, however.

It feels smooth to glide the pen over the panel’s surface. There are also varying degrees of pressure sensitivity.

A gentle press results in a faint line. Adding more pressure, and you’ll get darker lines. Given the laggy reputation of e-ink displays, the lack of input delay on this panel is impressive.

Unfortunately, the monochrome panel is only best for sketching. The editing capability is also pretty rudimentary. You can undo the last lines, yet the eraser tends to wipe out larger parts of your work.

Performance

The Lenovo Yoga Book C930 comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of storage. There’s also a Core i3 variant in some territories.

A Lenovo Yoga Book is one of the lesser-powered devices you’ll find for its price. This is because it prioritized its sleek form factor over being a powerhouse.

The Yoga Book can run Photoshop and is decent if you’re only doing the basics. This means it isn’t ideal for more hardcore graphics tasks. The Intel HD 615 graphics chipset is mediocre.

Larger apps and games tend to have longer loading times. This contrasts with full-on quad-core devices you’ll find at this price point.

A game like Skyrim is playable at 800p resolution and with the lowest graphics settings. If you bump it up to a sharper 1200p, the framerate drops to 15-20fps. It’s low yet acceptable enough.

The Lenovo Yoga Book will be suitable for light and mobile use. You can use it for browsing, note-taking, short document editing, and drawing on the go. It definitely wasn’t intended to be a gaming device or for use with pro-grade apps.

Speaking of mobility, the SIM tray enables you to connect almost anywhere. That is if you’re willing to pay for a data SIM.

If you’re interested in other devices at this price point, you may want to check out the deals Lenovo offers.

Others: Battery Life and Audio

According to Lenovo, the Yoga Book’s battery life offers up to 9 hours of general use. Many users felt pleased with its performance. However, it’s not what you’ve come to expect from ultraportable.

The actual battery life is closer to 7 hours. This is better than the Surface Go, yet subpar compared to the Surface Pro 6, which lasts over 9 hours.

The video loop battery test lasts 9 hours yet still falls short of the Surface Pro, which lasts 14 hours. If Lenovo and Intel used an Amber Lake processor, it could have the battery life of an ultraportable. As it stands, it’s good enough yet doesn’t merit any praise.

Meanwhile, Lenovo put effort into the speakers. The thin build might’ve led you to expect thin sound as well. However, this isn’t the case with the Yoga Book.

The volume is decent, akin to what you get from good tablet speakers. Still, watching a 2-hour film would be better served by higher-quality speakers.

Get a Lenovo Yoga Book Now!

A Lenovo Yoga Book C930 is an interesting device with high ambitions. The main display is excellent, and the multipurpose e-ink panel is fresh. With a premium-looking light design, it’s a sure looker of an ultraportable.

However, the sleek and novel form factor does come with its drawbacks. Typing will make you miss the physical keyboard, and the lack of a backlight for the e-ink screen is a limitation. Still, if you’re looking exactly for the Yoga Book’s form factor, then it’s a decent device.

Want to know more about other laptops that can suit your needs? Check out our other reviews here!

About the Author: Jacob Wyatt