Summertime, travel time, or something I once heard. Since the other device that Lenovo recently made available to us for a test was technically portable – to a certain extent … – I deliberately and knowingly wrongly approached this test. I am testing something for what it is not. Namely: the Lenovo Yoga Book. Or as I call it after a few days: the smallest and lightest gaming laptop in the world. (And certainly not the most expensive at less than 600 euros). With restrictions.

What is the Yoga Book really?

When I say “deliberately wrong”, I mean, of course, fully aware that Lenovo was thinking a lot when they designed a device weighing less than 700 grams – 690 in the Windows 10 version without LTE – but not, that someone would test this for its gaming suitability. So let’s first take a look at whether the yoga book is what it should be – a useful work multimedia device – before we start with what it doesn’t necessarily have to be.

Outside!

The manufacturer runs the Yoga Book as a tablet and not as an ultrabook, which actually only shows how fluid these “genre” boundaries are. The Yoga Book has a 10-inch IPS display with 1920×1200 resolution, which of course offers touch. The pixel density is high enough that no points can be seen with the naked eye from a normal distance. The luminosity is, you turn up the brightness, excellent and even in sunshine – rare enough these days – something could still be seen, even if pleasant reading is something else. If you fold the display 360 degrees on your back, you are holding a full-fledged Windows 10 tablet in your hand, because the device does not run a slimmed-down version, but a completely normal Windows 10 Pro, which also costs around 500 euros is included. There is an Android version that is around 50 euros cheaper, but you cannot simply update it to Windows – the community is still working on it. If you need LTE: If there is, it costs around 50 euros more.

Lenovo Yoga Book with Windows 10 free shipping to Amazon.de

Less than 700 grams, around 500 euros, over 1080p: The Lenovo Yoga Book as a tablet and laptop in the personal union that is not uncommon today in the smallest area.

So far, so tablet, but if you don’t open the two thin panels by 360, only for example by 110 degrees, you have a tiny laptop in front of you. With a total height of less than one centimeter, there is of course hardly any space for normal keys. Instead, you have a black plate in front of you, which you either use with the supplied stylus pen – it can be done, works perfectly – or, and that will usually be the case: a full keyboard is displayed. Lenovo calls the whole thing “Halo Keyboard” and it is a backlight for a kind of overlay of the stylus surface, on which you can then type directly.

That was also the point at which my skepticism was greatest and really huge. In my life I have tried quite a few “alternatives” to the keyboard, including typing on an iPad touch keyboard and other, far more exotic things. But none of it could compete with real keys for even ten minutes. But the Halo keyboard is okay. At first it is unfamiliar not to have any physical feedback in the form of a keystroke, even if there is an optional force feedback hum with every keystroke, if that’s what you want. I didn’t like it – it’s loud enough to make people around you pissed off – and so I type on an illuminated plate without any physical feedback, which was unfamiliar for the first hour. And always is if you use normal keys again in between. But it’s fine. Not so good that I would now type 2000 word articles on it, but good enough to write many paragraphs of this article directly on it, without any problems to type longer emails and also many of the articles you (maybe) read into our system. Working with this Halo keyboard is not only possible after a short warm-up phase, but also pretty much as fun or uncomfortable as it was before.

Amiibos as an alternative size comparison: If I had two Marios, the four of them could easily carry it away.

The mouse touchpad is also just a faded-in surface here, which also proved itself far better than I would have expected. The movements are precise, you have multi-touch gestures and even marking and dragging has been thought of. To do this, you have to hold the small area on the left with one finger and then move the pointer with the pad as normal. Doesn’t work any worse than many other laptops, even better than some.

You can switch between pen and keyboard mouse at any time by pressing a button, and all the other function keys that you would expect on Windows and laptops are available. The only thing that has been saved is the Pos-1, Insert and End keys, but remove is available. At the side, of course, there wasn’t much space for hardware buttons due to the tiny height: There is not much to get apart from power and volume. However, you have a 3.5 mm jack combo input for headsets and headphones, which is more than can be said for some new devices from other manufacturers. You will also find a very cute micro HDMI input, which can also be used to control a second monitor for extended desktop operation. The last entrance is the most important and it’s a shame

The Halo keyboard is unique, if only because it has no real keys. Typing is still surprisingly decent. Play? Not so much.

You can charge the Yoga Book via the micro USB, which is extremely practical. If you’ve forgotten your power supply, it hardly matters. A micro-USB charger is sometimes available in the better-stocked late-night sales. Any shop that has something to do with technology will always be able to sell you a 2-ampere fast charger like the one supplied here. However, you have to choose: charging or peripherals, both at the same time on the way will be a bit difficult. As an experiment with a passive 4-port USB port showed, it is possible to use a gamepad, keyboard and mouse at this one input – if the latter are not particularly power-hungry gaming devices – but then charging does not work. Especially since you first need a micro USB to USB adapter, which unfortunately is not in the box. Incomprehensible,

Inside!

Of course, the inner workings of such a device are also exciting: You have an Intel Atom processor x5-Z8550 quad core with up to 2.4 GHz at work, which explains the good desktop performance. That and the 4GB LPDDR3-RAM, an energy-saving variant with the same specifications as normal DDR3 memory. As “mass storage” you have 64 GB eMMC, of ​​which 52 can be used with a full Windows installation, but they are also slow. 120MB / s of pure, sequential read is no feat, not to mention the 35 MB / s. This means that even a browser or Word need two seconds longer to start. Certainly no break in such applications, with games we will see later whether this is a problem.

Here the life support system of the Yoga Book in the form of the universal micro USB interface. I would have liked to show you the inner workings, but that would have meant opening the completely glued device once and for all. I didn’t find the innards that exciting after all.

Of course there is a graphics chip, but the Intel 400 is hardly a chip. It is something of a by-product of the Celeron development. After all, it runs at a maximum of 640 MHz on its 12 lean pipelines. But while the performance in general may not be great, it is able to play even 4K videos smoothly. Not that it is necessary here, so he can fully use the 1980×1200 to enjoy Netflix-side. A sound chip is there, but it is not read beyond a generic wave driver. Don’t expect advanced hi-fi on the Yoga Book.

All of this is to be expected in terms of size and orientation, but what has to be worried about with less than 700 grams is the battery performance. But lo and behold, this is where the miracle happens. If you turn down the brightness a little and don’t have a continuous fire in the WLAN, but surf normally, typing in Word on the side, ten hours are not an issue. In the case of hardship, there are twelve, but then there is no surfing. Even in the Netflix endurance run, he lasted seven hours and three films. Brave and fantastic for the weight.

The Yoga Book as a worker? Irreplaceable!

Let us draw an interim conclusion: As a tiny and fully-fledged workhorse, the book is the perfect always-with-you companion. Only a little heavier than a 10-inch tablet – depending on the manufacturer, these are around 400 to 600 grams – you have a complete Windows with all the programs you might need for this. They run reasonably to very well and the keyboard is a very good compromise between having to forego real keys in size out of necessity and the desire to offer something better than a touchscreen keyboard. The book almost disappears in the Manpurse, it can be charged with any micro-USB device in the world, the battery doesn’t last forever, but it is still close. With Bluetooth and a micro-USB adapter, you connect what is not there, the screen can do something … I don’t miss anything. Even if that’s “all”

Ideal companion.

But we’re here to see if there’s more. And so much is anticipated: Yes, there is a lot going on. But not all.

Das Lenovo Yoga Book as Gaming Laptop

I just didn’t put the gaming laptop in quotation marks, because let me say this in advance: The device can be used as a real gaming laptop. If you approach it with the right expectations. What you can of course cancel right away is the desire to start the latest 3D games. Is not, sometimes the frame rate is 0.5 instead of at least 5. But what are the limits? Here is a look at different games, so that you have an impression of what works and what doesn’t.

Size comparison 1: When folded, it is just as thick as Strip Fighter 2 (or any other CD case).

First of all: You need a controller or a mouse, either via Bluetooth or, even better, via USB. Courageous people, who otherwise also play RTS games with a laptop trackpad, are likely to capitulate with the touch surface of the book. It’s great for moving a mouse pointer across the screen, but nothing else. The keyboard is okay, even if even basic WASD controls require a lot of sensitivity, since you won’t feel where your fingers are. It happens quickly that you wander a few millimeters to the side and hit another key. Doesn’t matter much in first and second generation Sierra games, with a shooter like Far Cry the doom and frustration are inevitable.

Size comparison 2: My usual companion, a 1.4 kilo Yoga Thinkpad has a little more hardware power and real keys, but not only weighs twice that but is also a giant in the bag. Relatively at least.

The battery life is of course not designed for continuous gaming, in any case it no longer lasts the ten to twelve hours without WiFi and with half the brightness that you would otherwise achieve. But at least half, i.e. six hours, are easily possible with 2D games with these requirements. When 3D and a lot of arithmetic work is added, it goes down to three to four. After all, it’s still a long train ride.

Here are the benchmarks first:

3DMark has to be natural, this time first with the Ice Storm Extreme, which is a kind of minimal bench for 3D gaming. The Yoga Book managed 13,072 points here. Less than a simple notebook, but still very basic 3D is possible smoothly.

Graphics Score: 12.501 (61 / 46 FPS)
Physics Score 18.585 (59 FPS)

Cloudgate brings it to 2009 counters, which shows that the limits of 3D performance are already being pushed:

Graphics Score: 2213 (8,7 / 11 FPS)
Physics Score: 1520 (4,5 FPS)

The last test for which the shared memory of the graphics chip is still sufficient is Skydiver with a meager 1096 points. That means that even not so modern 3D gaming is left out.

Graphics Score: 1096 (4,5 / 4,5 FPS)
Physics Score: 1930 (24 Thread: 20,5 FPS)

Finally, the all-round blow with Performance Test 9.0, which ends with a relatively miserable 763 points. Who are the twelve percent whose PCs are even slower? You shouldn’t run benchmarks …

CPU Mark: 1870
2D Mark: 185
3D Mark: 251
Memory Mark: 627
Disk Mark: 583

It’s no wonder that the 2D performance is also catastrophic here. Every modern graphics card of the last few decades is also a 2D powerhouse and is loosely dependent on pure low-end onboard chips. The mediocre disk performance was predictable, as was the 3D smearing. In other words: The starting requirements of the Yoga Book as a gaming laptop are rather poor.

But testing goes beyond gray theory, so here is a series of not scientifically selected tests, what is now feasible in real life.

This is how games run on the Yoga Book

Always works. In a technical sense. Ultima 4.

Ultima 4: To my endless fascination, the Yoga Book is easily able to conjure up the world of Britannia on the screen, in all its just-so-post-ASCII-tile-glory. A gaming dream, even controllable with the keyboard. Not that anything else is supported.

Every MS-DOS game until about 1993: Classic-Gaming is running. No matter if Sierra or LucasArts, this calculator is a good companion to really play all the treasures bought in sales and never installed.

Aged with dignity and universally executable: Icewind Dale in the original version.

Planescape: Torment: No problem if you connect a mouse. Without it, it’s a lot less fun, this also applies to Icewind Dale or Baldur’s Gate.

16-bit emulation: Not an issue. Whether Mega Drive or Neo Geo, if you want to have a little retro console fun, the Yoga Book is a perfect companion.

32-bit emulation: I’m sticking to the first PlayStation here, as the emulators are much wider here than for the bitchy Saturn and lo and behold, the original image is of course not a problem. Upscaling to 1080p is a bit too much to ask, but a 480p filtered looks like something in Rage Racer: Ridge Racer 4.

Far Cry is doing almost as well as it did in 2004 (for me).

Far Cry: Time to get a little more modern. It’s about to go to 2004 and you need a controller. Or an M / K Bluetooth combo, which, by the way, applies to all shooters. The Book’s keyboard, as good as it is for typing, is not suitable for WASD. But with a little tweaking and low details, 30 frames in 1280×720 can be achieved. A value that I would have been happy about back then.

Owlboy: Runs with no ifs or buts. The extremely personable Metroid representative with enchanting graphics and gameplay is a perfect companion on the Yoga Book.

This is the ideal case for the Yoga Book: A not too hectic 2D game like Owlboy.

Hotline Miami 1 & 2: Yes, it works without any problems. Connect a controller and have the finest kind of morbid neon fun.

Sonic Generations: No, you can’t. Even in 640×480, a resolution that is not entirely up-to-date and does not do justice to the colorful splendor, you can barely get 30 stable frames, let alone 60. Is not.

Dark Matters Redux: A nice, quite fresh, sideways scrolling 2D shoot-’em-up that, if you put it on the no less good-looking 1280×720 graphics set, never leaves the 60 frames, even in the toughest bossfight. Can be played perfectly.

Grimrock 2: If you turn the details down a bit, you still get a fairly stable 25 frames in spite of the 3D engine in 1440×900. For a game of this type, perfectly adequate to have the full dungeon crawling fun.

No, even XCOM needs more than 9 frames.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Nope, 9 frames are not enough, and that at the lowest resolution, 1366×768. In the first mission, where not much has happened yet, that’s just not enough, it’s not fun.

Mirror’s Edge: Wow, go. 30 frames can be extracted stably with a 1280×600 resolution and low details. On the small display, however, it still looks really good thanks to the very striking art design. Was fun.

Sure, it was nicer before, but plays decently: Mirror’s Edge.

And? Is the Lenovo Yoga Book the smallest gaming laptop now?

Yes and no. The Lenovo Yoga Book is an absolutely fascinating device insofar as you get a complete, real and functional Windows 10 in an ultra-modern-looking case. Here someone called it “like something from Deus Ex” and yes, it is. The touch screen in connection with the “improvised” Halo keyboard is a real winner when working and surfing – if you don’t want to edit large pictures in Photoshop.

If black is too noble for you: there is also gold.

And yes, if you also want to play something on the side, you have a large selection of titles that work. Except, of course, they’re not one of the big triple-A stories. No CoD in the past ten years will run ideally on a low-end onboard chip. No Assassin’s Creed, no bioshock. That wasn’t to be expected either. But! 2D, especially in the indie area, with a whole range of real pearls on the way – Owlboy, Hotline Miami – that runs without grumbling and is not much less fun. Older 3D titles such as Far Cry or Mirror’s Edge still look good enough on the small display, even in low resolution. And it’s a good opportunity to dedicate yourself to all these legendary RPGs like Baldur’s Gate or Planescape on long train journeys. So, yes, it’s a gaming laptop, if you broaden the definition like this that a very solid selection of games can run on the device. For 700 grams and a price below an iPad, you get a full-fledged PC and a machine that knows how to entertain you if you think something outside the famous box when choosing a game. But sometimes that doesn’t even have to be a bad thing.

Lenovo Yoga Book with Windows 10 free shipping to Amazon.de

For me personally speaking: With now the second device in the household and a few months of experience with the Lenovo Yoga Book, I can say that it is really an outstanding companion that I would not want to be without. And now I know that I can play with it too. Well, actually.

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