Artist Review: Lenovo Yoga Book (Windows version)

I managed to borrow the Windows version of the Lenovo Yoga Book from a friend for this review. If you don't know, I've already reviewed the Android version of the Yoga Book a few weeks ago. I was just interested to find out how the Windows version perform compared to the Android version from the artist's perspective.

Since I've already reviewed the Android version, I'll just talk about some of the key issues and differences I noticed rather than rehash what I've already said.

I've also made a video review if you're interested. It covers the same content as the text below.

Halo keyboard

After using the device for a few weeks, I haven't gotten used to typing on the keyboard and I probably never well. The concept is cool but when it's not actually productive to type on this. Because there are no individual raised keys, I have to look at the keyboard when typing. If I have to look at the keyboard, I would rather look and type on the on screen keyboard.

Battery issues

Charging the battery can sometimes be quite fast while on several occasions really slow. I'm not sure if it's a case of me not connecting the cables correctly or not but there was once I charged it over night and the next day it charged to 90% instead of 100%. Battery life is quite good though, at 7-9 hours, depending on what you do of course. But generally speaking, I would say the battery charging is quite slow.

Ideally, you will want to use the charge provided by Lenovo. Other charges charges the device really slowly.

Transferring files

Since there are no standard sized USB ports, you have to transfer files wirelessly. Transferring huge files to and from the Yoga Book is very tedious. It really comes down to how good your wifi connection is. It really made me realised the importance and usefulness of a standard sized USB port.

You can of course get an a micro USB to standard USB adapter. These things are very cheap on eBay. Lenovo should have included one because it's so convenient.

Storage speed

There's 64 GB storage on board with 4 GB of RAM. The storage speed is not very fast. Extracting a zip file is much slower compared to other computer systems. I did not measure the time, but trust me, it's slow.

Since the OS and apps are install on the storage, you can expect them to launch a bit slower too, especially large desktop apps that require more memory. How slow? It's about the same time as launching apps from 3.5-inch hard drives.

Tablet apps load much faster.

You can draw on the screen

The stylus can be used to draw on the screen. However be prepared for broken lines or weird looking strokes.

Drawing and writing performance

As mentioned in my review for the Android version, when it comes to capturing strokes, the Yoga book is very accurate.

Below are some stroke samples from various apps that I've tested.


In order to get pressure sensitivity working, you need to install Wintab drivers. Strokes above are drawing in Photoshop. It's fine when used to draw lines, but when you start adding more layers, styles, or draw in large dimensions, the lag will become more noticeable. There's only 4GB RAM on board and that has to be shared with Windows OS as well.


There's some slight line skipping with Adobe Illustrator. See the cube that I drew on the left. Line skipping happens when drawing fast.

Using desktop graphics apps isn't very productive on the Yoga Book. When using Photoshop and Illustrator for example, I would often use keyboard shortcuts and since the keyboard area is used for drawing, I would need an external keyboard to access those shortcuts. Also, the user interface is designed for desktop use, so if you make a mistake, there's no undo button and you have to undo via File->Edit->Undo. Imagine Undo-ing a few times with the stylus.

Not being able to access shortcuts is quite detriment to productivity and is one good reason to not use desktop apps for drawing purposes. Desktop apps don't usually support finger gestures, unless if you're using Adobe CC.


Art Rage works well.


Sketchable works well too. Generally speaking, tablet apps work very well on the Yoga Book. Perhaps because their system requirements aren't that high. Tablet apps are also optimized for small screen tablet use, with user interface catered for that too. So you can access shortcuts via the buttons on screen easily. Some tablet apps also support touch features such as rotate, pan and zoom.

Note that I was also able to draw a straight diagonal line perfectly with a ruler. Usually tablets have the jitter diagonal lines problem but not so with the Yoga Book.


Medibang Paint Pro works fine for the most part but when you start drawing really fast, the lines will appear angular. Draw slow and there's no issues. That's weird.


Mischief has issues with Wintab. The initial stroke has tendency to be straight. So if you're drawing curves, or a circle with your first stroke, it may come out straight before it starts curving. It's a deal breaker. The workaround is to turn off Wintab when using Mischief and turn it on again when using other apps. Inconvenient. Or just skip using Mischief altogether.


I also tried taking notes with Wacom Bamboo Paper. It was able to capture my handwriting very well. The experience of writing on the keyboard area is great. There's a nice tactile feeling that's better than writing on glass. And since you're not writing on the screen, there's no palm rejection issues to worry about. There's also no lag so the words appear instantly as I wrote. Great.

Conclusion

You'll have a more pleasant experience with tablet graphic apps on the Windows version Yoga Book. If you use desktop apps, it's not going to productive, it also starts to lag rather quickly and it takes a while to load as the apps are often big.

One advantage of the Windows version is the fact that you can run desktop apps. So if you want to run things like Microsoft Office, you can do so. But since I'm reviewing from the artist perspective, I'm just pointing out that desktop graphic apps are going to be slow.

Personally, I find the Android version more enjoyable to use because all the apps are already designed for tablet use. But ultimately, it comes down to what apps you use and what you want to do on the Yoga Book. The Windows version is also more expensive so overall, I'll give the Android version the recommendation.

That's all. I hope this review is helpful.

If you really want to get the Windows version, at least watch my video review to see how the drawing experience is like.

Availability

You can find the Lenovo Yoga Book and more reviews on Amazon. Links below.
Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr | Amazon.it | Amazon.es | Amazon.co.jp

If you make any purchase through the links, I get a little commission at no extra cost to you.

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