Lenovo Yoga Book C930 Google Books Test

The challenge:

The Best Buy I saw it at last week better have:

1) The Lenovo Yoga Book signed into their fast WiFi

2) The WiFi better let me get to my blog

3) The WiFi better let me download from my Google Drive

4) The Lenovo Yoga Book has to permit downloads

5) I better be able to figure out how to get that file picker (duh!)

That’s a lot of Ifs!

Did I surmount all that?

Well, duh. There’s a post, isn’t there?

When I got the Union Square Best Buy, I was horrified to see someone on the Yoga Book. Filth, go away! I peeked at what he was doing and it seems there was no WiFi! He gave up within a minute. Most people aren’t up to a challenge. Softies!

Despite not knowing a damn ting about Windows 10 (I am on that abomination, Windows 8.x, which everyone who had a hand in should die in a fire), I wasn’t about to be deterred by no WiFi connection.

I found how to connect, chose the Best Buy Fast Demo network — which usually demands a staffer to sign in! — and, miracle!, it connected immediately without any ID or password.

Then I launched the Edge browser (you people too need to die in a fire!) and tried to get to my blog.

Nope! Blocked.

So was Techmeme. So was WordPress dotcom.

Was that going to stop me? Piffle.

I went straight to Google Books. That wasn’t blocked.

I grabbed The People of the Abyss. Or tried to. No matter how many times I tapped on — with finger or stylus — Save PDF, I got nuthin’.


In a sensible browser like Firefox, I’d get a save dialog with the filesystem. Not with Edge! No download indication. I even opened both the Downloads and Documents folders and there was nuthin’!


I don’t know what finally coaxed it to work, but the PDF appeared — in the browser window!


That’s the same stupid shit I get on Android and iOS. Doesn’t the menu say Save? So WTF do they display it? What is wrong with these browser people? Die. In. A. Fire!

So there I am, looking at what I don’t want.

Was that going to stop me? Double piffle.

I thwarted the Edge beast by right-clicking, which gave me Save As…

And Edge — whose programmers really need to die in a fire if I haven’t mentioned it before — gave me UNTITLED as the default filename!


Not even iOS and Android are that stupid! They preserve the Google Books filename! Not die-in-a-fire Edge!

OK, so I call it Abyss and save it to Downloads.

What happened next?

You must wait. I didn’t go through all this foreplay to give you a post orgasm so quickly!

Next, I went to fetch The American Magazine.

There’s a thing about Google Books search.

It’s just about the same as YouTube Search.

Virtually fucking worthless.

I never get the same results on different machines. More people need to die in a fire.

No matter what I tried, I could not get the issue I usually use in tests. So I had to settle for whatever I could get.

Thus, this test is Near-Science when it comes to The American Magazine. The file I wound up with was 180MBs, not 290MBs.

And getting that was another adventure!

The way Google Books works is that after you grab one PDF, the next one requires a damn CAPCHA entry.

Well guess what Edge wasn’t showing me?

That damn CAPCHA screen!

Was that going to stop me? Triple piffle.

I right-clicked on Save PDF and had it open in a new tab. Die in a fire, Edge!!

I got the CAPCHA, entered it, and we’re back to the damn browser window display and then right-clicking it to Save As and losing the damn Google Books filename.

Stoke a very big fire for these people.

OK, so both PDFs are finally down. What happened?

It got easy from there!

Figuring out how to get this …

… wasn’t hard at all.

I selected Abyss and held my breath.

Wait. What? It’s already displayed? No spinner? No Loading progress bar? No delay at all? Just BAM!

But watch how slow the turn page will be.


What? It’s instant?

Tap tap tap tap tap.

Holy freakin hell! Look at that! It’s wonderful! No paging delay aside from the usual eInk delay. And I turned the tablet to Portrait and it was incredible! There was The People of the Abyss in low-power eInk in glorious easy-on-the-eye grayscale. All photos looked fine. And since the original hardcover is smaller than the eInk screen, the text was larger.

I was impressed as hell.

But that had to be a fluke, right? The People of the Abyss isn’t a large PDF.

Let’s bring this machine to its knees begging for mercy! Release The American Magazine!!!! Bwahahahahahaha!

Um …


Again it displayed immediately, again it paged through as speedily as eInk would allow.


Since the eInk screen is far smaller than the 8.5″ x 11″ page, the text was wee. But it was sharp. And if I was desperate, I could read it (and probably have to increase the strength of my reading glasses afterwards!).

All of this took Too Much Time. Because of the freakiness of Edge. If I hadn’t worried about hogging the machine, I would have run more tests. Hell, I might even go back next weekend — weather permitting — and do that.

What also took Too Much Time: Trying to figure out how to get a clipping of the eInk screen so I could post it.

I couldn’t do it for Abyss because my hand blocked the popup so I didn’t know what was happening. The popup said: Copied to Clipboard.

I managed to see that when I did The American Magazine.

And here’s the proof:


But there’s an opportunity for Lenovo to improve things. There should be an option to save such a clip to a folder, such as Documents (along with a default filename such as eInkClip and incremental automagic numbering, plz!). Just copying it to the Clipboard means having to open another program to deal with it. I tried 3D Paint and that flummoxed me. It wouldn’t paste in at all. Then I found the regular Paint program we mere mortals use and it pasted in fine and I Saved it. From there, thank god!, I was able to get to YahooMail and send it to my Gmail (Gmail is often blocked on demo machines now, for security reasons).

Another improvement Lenovo could make is in this dialog:

There are too few entries. It would be absolute hell to navigate through a long list of files! Either make the text smaller with two columns or add a Search function for the folder.

This is not The Ultimate Google Books PDF Machine, no machine — not even an iPad — is.

But, damn, I could really use this! Perhaps even more than an iPad Mini 4.

For one, it’s not a very big machine. It’s small and light and would be no problem to just plop in a backpack without any protective cover.

Second, I’ve never encountered a keyboard for any iPad that I could use. I’m still surprised that I could type on the eInk keyboard!

Third, desktop-class browser (although I’d probably add Firefox to use — which people say will chew up the battery but I’d use it only for Google Books PDF searches and downloads; well, mostly; ah, the hell with the battery).

Fourth, I’m impressed as hell at how fast it handles Google Books PDFs on that eInk screen. I could read without draining the battery. And do so without dealing with a backlight shooting into my eyes.

Fifth, this is a unique piece of tech. It sounds crazy until you try it. And if you can use it and have a need for it, it’s marvelous!

Sixth, I wish I had US$1,000. I’d buy that damn thing now.

Well done, Lenovo!

Hmmm… I wonder how it would deal with those PDFs from The Internet Archive? I feel more Science in my future!

Previously here:

Lenovo Yoga Book Demands A PDF Test. Dammit.
The Strange Yet Compelling Lenovo Yoga Book C930

This entry was posted in eBook Stuff, Other Hardware. Bookmark the permalink.

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