Lenovo planning Chrome OS edition of its Yoga Book hybrid tablet/laptop – ZDNet
Lenovo has a critical darling on its hands with the Yoga Book, a 2-in-1 hybrid that uses a “Create Pad” instead of a traditional laptop keyboard. That feature — which allows the user to switch easily between typing and pen input modes (including writing directly on paper that’s converted to digital data) — has helped the convertible device receive glowing reviews.
The Yoga Book is also a bit different because it not only comes in the expected Windows version, but also a model that runs Google’s Android OS. That’s naturally led people to wonder why Lenovo hasn’t released an edition using Google’s other OS — Chrome — which is more typically found on laptops. The company’s response: Wait a little longer.
Jeff Meredith, general manager and vice president of Lenovo’s Android and Chrome Computing Business Group. told Tom’s Guide, Lenovo will be launching a Chrome Yoga Book by the middle of next year. And in the future, Meredith says the Yoga Book could evolve to run whatever mashup of Android and Chrome Google is apparently developing as a single OS going forward: “Over time, we probably see the Android and Chrome versions melding together, especially based on the fact that we’ve now seen Chrome roll out the Google Play store capability into Chrome.”
A Yoga Book running Chrome would probably become the most interesting Chromebook on the market. While there are other 2-in-1 Chromebooks, including the Asus Chromebook Flip and Lenovo’s own Yoga 11e, none has the Create Pad functionality. Unlike many other Chromebooks, however, it won’t be cheap: the Android Yoga Book, for instance, starts at $499, more than $100 pricier than the Yoga 11e Chromebook.
Despite the accolades, Meredith disclosed that sales for the two currently available Yoga Books are “just average,” perhaps due in part to Lenovo’s decision to sell it exclusively through Walmart in the U.S. The company plans to add more retailers to the Yoga Book mix next year; we’ll have to see if that and a Yoga Book Chrome will help to boost sales of a device ZDNet’s own Sandra Vogel called “a reinvention of the tablet format.”