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All hail the Halo

The innovative Lenovo Yoga Book takes us into the future

Lenovo uses the real estate freed up by having the keyboard and track pad only appear when needed as a mutant workspace.

The pace of technological advances in the 21st century means we’re hurtling into the future at an ever-increasing pace. Yet every so often a device comes along with a piece of innovation that not only shows what the future could look like, but that also showcases its practicality. The Lenovo Yoga Book is one such device.

More than just technology for technology’s sake, this is probably the best iteration of the 2-in-1 mobile device we’ve seen yet. And the key to its practicality lies in what the Chinese tech giant calls the Halo Keyboard. The stuff of sci-fi dreams, it replaces the physical keyboard with a selection of lights that mimic the keys. Now, while other companies have dabbled with this concept, Lenovo is arguably the most successful.

So it’s not quite a holographic keyboard, but it is the most comfortable and practical experience of typing on a flat surface. Yes, there are still some constraints — typing on a flat surface takes some getting used to, even if you’re comfortable touch typing, which isn’t helped by the small size of the device. But after a few minutes you become accustomed to the haptic feedback and can reach close to your regular typing speed.

Lenovo uses the real estate freed up by having the keyboard and track pad only appear when needed as a mutant workspace.

Lenovo uses the real estate freed up by having the keyboard and track pad only appear when needed as a mutant workspace. You can write and draw using a stylus, or slap a slab of paper on it and use it as a conventional note pad. And herein lies another factor that adds to the brilliance of the Yoga Book: Everything you write or draw is digitised instantly. This means you can so you can now take notes on paper — say notes in a meeting, or even the grocery list — and email or save it directly, eliminating the need to first have it translated.

An advanced 10.1-inch Full HD touch screen functions as the tablet of this 2-in1 that’s actually more like a 3-in-one — laptop, sketchpad/notepad and tablet.

In keeping with its futuristic character, this device is sleek and elegant, housed in magnesium. It is almost impossibly thin at less than 10mm, and the clamshell hinge that ensures you’ll always get the angle you want — it rotates a full 360 degrees.

The Yoga Book sports an Intel Atom 5x processor clocked at 2.4Ghz, which translates into extended battery life (Lenovo promises 13 hours, but we’ve managed to average around eight on heavy-usage days). It has 64GB internal storage with a microSD slot, Micro-USB and Mini-HDMI ports, and a headphone jack. In cameras, it features an 8MP autofocus rear camera and a 2MP fixed-focus front one.

The bottom line is the Lenovo Yoga Book is a conversation starter, but it’s also immensely practical and functional. It moves effortlessly between work and play, and is light and gorgeous enough to carry around.

Beam me up, Scottie!

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