In Depth

Lenovo Yoga Book: A tablet you can genuinely scribble on

Pen and paper at the ready – this new tablet has the most natural writing feel out there

One of the best gadgets spotted at this year's IFA technology show in Berlin is a new hybrid device from Lenovo with several party tricks.

The Yoga Book is designed to bridge the gap between a tablet and a laptop. Rival products do exist, but Lenovo's offering is a genuinely different proposition to Microsoft's range of Surface Books and Apple's range-topping iPad Pro.

One half of the Yoga Book is pretty conventional. There's a 10.1ins touchscreen tablet interface with a 1080p LCD display, an eight-megapixel camera, 4GB RAM, 64GB onboard storage with a MicroSD card that can be used to expand the tablet's memory and an Android or Windows operating system - all housed in a slim, very tablet-like casing.

The second panel features a watchband hinge that can fold 360 degrees. You can close it like a book, hide it behind the screen or prop the Yoga Book open like a laptop, just like any other hybrid device.

However, what is different is that this second panel is neither another screen nor a conventional keyboard. It's what Lenovo calls the "instant halo keyboard" and it is hiding a number of things up its sleeve.

The panel is finished in a rough matte glass and what you see displayed on it changes when you flip between its two features - typing and handwriting. Type and it illuminates the outline of a proper keyboard, with haptic feedback simulating the feel of the individual keys. Tap the small pen icon in the top corner, meanwhile, and the keyboard outline dissolves to allow you to use a stylus to jot down handwritten digital notes.

But what is really special is you can use a real pen and paper to scribble on the Yoga Book – brilliant if you find using a stylus to write on glass a bit disjointed.

It requires "a bit of finesse and jiggling" to get the paper-friendly slate ready for action, says Engadget, as you have to swap the nib in the stylus for an ink cartridge in order to make it a real pen – you can't just pick up a random ballpoint lying around.

Once done, however, you can place a sheet of paper or notepad over the panel and scribble away, with the text popping straight up onto the screen. Even a wedge of paper an inch thick gets the job done, says the site.

It's a nifty gadget - but one of its biggest draws is the price, says Alphr. The Android version will start at £449, with the Windows Yoga Book coming in at £549 when it launches later this month.

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