Lenovo just revived the spirit of Microsoft’s legendary lost tablet – Business Insider

Today, Lenovo took the wraps off the Yoga Book: A new
tablet/laptop hybrid, offered in both Android and Windows 10
flavors, focused squarely on helping users be productive. 

most tablets made in the last two years or so
, the Yoga Book
is taking its cues from Microsoft.

Unlike most of those tablets, the Yoga Book seems to be inspired
not by the Microsoft Surface, which even Apple has imitated
with its iPad Pro— but rather the Microsoft Courier, a
hotly-anticipated tablet that was first
leaked to the press
in 2008, and then killed
on Bill Gates’ orders in 2010
, before it was even officially

The Courier would have been a dual-screen “booklet” PC. Rather
than a keyboard, it sported two 7-inch touchscreens, connected by
a hinge. With those two screens, you could use it as kind of a
so-called “infinite journal,” sketching or taking notes with a
stylus on one side while reading the news or making appointments
on the other.

Here’s a video of what the Courier’s interface would have looked

Now meet the Lenovo Yoga Book, announced on Wednesday, and
shipping in the US by the end of October. 

lenovo yoga book
The Lenovo Yoga


It’s billed by Lenovo as a super-thin, super-light tablet. You
may have noticed already that it doesn’t have a keyboard, in the
traditional sense. Instead, it’s a funky kind of touchscreen,
called the “Halo keyboard” by Lenovo, that basically tries to
recreate the feeling of typing with a regular laptop keyboard
without actually being one.

The Halo keyboard also gives the Yoga Book its best, and most
Courier-esque feature:

lenovo yoga book handwritingLenovo

The Halo keyboard pulls double duty as a sketchpad, thanks to its
neat wide-open hinge. If you lay down a piece of paper on top of
the keyboard, and use the stylus that comes with the Yoga Book in
its ballpoint pen mode (seriously, it switches), any notes you
take will instantly be digitized and put on the main screen. It
does the same thing without paper and with the stylus in its
normal mode, but, well, that’s less fun.

Either way, as you can see, the spirit of the Microsoft Courier
lives on in the Yoga Book. The second screen isn’t quite the
full-on touchscreen promised by the Courier (the
Verge reports that Lenovo tried
, but the second
screen degraded battery life too much), but the core
concept of a dedicated sketchpad has clearly endured. 

There’s a case to be made that despite the hype, the Courier was
little more than a science project that
deserved to be killed
. But times have changed since 2010, and
maybe the moment is right for a stylus-driven tablet after all
these years.

The Yoga Book will be available by the end of October, starting
at $499 for the Android version and $550 for the Windows 10
model. And while it remains to be seen if Lenovo’s gamble on a
more offbeat kind of tablet will pay off, it’s very nice to see a
company finally think a little different.


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