If you like the idea of a stylus but prefer pen and paper, Lenovo’s latest tablet could be for you. The Yoga Book captures handwritten notes and drawings even through a paper notepad, though has some big limitations.
Available in both Android and Windows 10 versions, the device folds out with a screen on one half and a “halo keyboard” on the other. This bottom half is a touchscreen with three functions, the first being a virtual keypad. Although it offers haptic feedback, this still limits typing to around 40 to 60 word a minute.
The second function is as a graphics digitizer used with a stylus that works in much the same way as existing graphics tablets, though with a grain effect to make it feel a little more like natural drawing on paper.
It’s the third function that Lenovo considers the killer feature. You can replace the nib on the stylus with one containing ink, place a special pad of paper on the surface, and write on the paper with the results appearing on the screen. Tapping a button indicates that you’ve changed to a new page.
The writing or drawing is captured by a combination of the pressure from the stylus and a thin aluminium sheet in base of the pad. This field connects with the tablet surface and creates an electromagnetic field that can detect the stylus’s location even through the paper.
One big disadvantage is that there’s no optical character recognition to turn handwritten notes into text.