Why the Lenovo Yoga Book C930 Is the Most Innovative Laptop of 2018

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It was a good year for laptop innovation. From Asus' ErgoLyft hinge to the genuine leather-bonded HP Spectre Folio, there was plenty to get excited about in an industry that has lately played second fiddle to smartphones. But no other laptop released this year surprised us more than the Lenovo Yoga Book C930.

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The Yoga Book C930 was named to our sister site Tom's Guide's 2018 Innovation Awards for its dual-screen design. The Yoga Book C930 combines a traditional 10.8-inch, 2560 x 1600-pixel QHD display with a secondary E Ink display. The highlight of the thin and lightweight laptop's versatile design is its E Ink panel, which can transform into a keyboard, notepad and an e-reader.

I sat down with Lenovo to learn more about the development process of this unique device. Wahid Razali, the director of worldwide consumer-product marketing at Lenovo, said the original Yoga Book was meant for a new generation of mobile-first customers, whereas the latest edition is meant to be an "ultra-mobile, PC experience."

"This is our second attempt at an all-touch keyboard in a clamshell form factor, and there has been a lot of learning from there," Razali said. "One thing we were able to improve and build on is the perception of a physical response using brain perception and interpretation — giving visual feedback on top of physical touch (the vibration) — and sound feedback. Even though the response time won't exactly match your speed, your brain will close that gap and feel that you are actually touching a key."

lenovo yoga book c930 keyboard

In our review, we praised the Yoga Book C930's fluid pen response and surprisingly intuitive digital keyboard. One of the biggest challenges Lenovo faced when designing the E Ink display was making its flat, digitized surface feel like a keyboard with distinct keys. To do so, it combined a number of clever techniques.

lenovo yoga book c930 e ink

"One thing we were able to improve and build on is the perception of a physical response using brain perception and interpretation — giving visual feedback on top of physical touch (the vibration) — and sound feedback. Even though the response time won't exactly match your speed, your brain will close that gap and feel that you are actually touching a key."

If a secondary display isn't novel enough, Lenovo also developed an intuitive way to open the laptop. Instead of prying your fingers between the lid and deck, you can knock twice on a closed Yoga Book C930 and the laptop's lid will magically lift a few inches off the deck.

The Yoga Book C930 may not be for everyone, but this unique 2-in-1 is filled with unique features for power users who want more from their laptop. For more of this year's hottest gadgets, be sure to check out the 2018 Tom's Guide Innovation Awards.

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