When you think of companies that make tablets, a few might automatically come to mind. One being Apple, Samsung, and maybe even Amazon, but there is yet another company that also has a line of tablets that you probably haven’t even given a close look at; and that would be the Yoga Tablet series from Lenovo. Lenovo, which made headlines recently in acquiring Motorola, has a variety of tablets coming in at a variety of sizes, even in different OS’. This time, we got the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch Android model for review. Is it a tablet worthy of your consideration? That is what we hope to find out!
The Yoga Tablet is very unique. It definitely looks different from the array of tablets in the market, and it feels different as well. What really sets the Yoga Tablet apart is its cylindrical side which serves home for the power button, battery, and headphone jack. While it certainly looks intriguing, this however, leads to uneven distribution of weight throughout the tablet. You feel it the worst when holding the tablet in portrait, which leads to an unpleasant experience.
Here on the Yoga Tablet you have a combination of a plastic back with elements like metal making up the kickstand and sides. While the tablet doesn’t feel like a million bucks, it does feel decent. The tablet feels solid in the hand, and feels nice and durable.
One of the best parts of this tablet is that it has a built-in kickstand, which makes it perfect for watching a movie on a table or on your lap. The kickstand can be set in 2 different angles, and can also be used in a mode that Lenovo calls, “Hang” mode. On the kickstand itself, there is a small hole that will allow you to hang the tablet on a wall or even on a tree.
With most tablets nowadays boasting Quad HD diplays, the Yoga Tablet remains firm at a resolution of 1920X1200 which provides an ample 236ppi. While not the sharpest display on the market, it does make watching movies and playing games a pleasant experience. Colors, however, did look a bit washed out for my taste, and not as poppy or vivid as some other displays are.
PERFORMANCE & BATTERY
As far as performance goes on the Yoga Tab 2, we still continue with this trend of decent, but definitely not the best. Running the show is a quad-core Intel Atom processor clocked at 1.3GHz, which does a decent job at handling day-to-day tasks, and a few games here and there. However, multitasking suffers a bit, and running heavy duty tasks can be bit troubling from time to time.
In terms of battery life, it was fantastic. A great sign to see, as you’re mainly buying this tablet for media usage. Heavy media users can expect at least whole day and then some, and more moderate users can expect to get maybe up to 2 days with the tablet.
I usually don’t mention sound quality on my tablet reviews, but this was an exception. The sound from this tablet is awesome, and impressive. With front-facing stereo quality speakers, and Dolby surround sound; you have yourself excellent sound quality that makes watching movie trailers to listening to music a fantastic experience. Lenovo got it right.
While the majority of tablets are not quite known for the best in terms of camera or picture quality, the Yoga Tab 2′ 8 mega-pixel camera did provide some “decent” pictures in reasonable conditions. Shutter-speed was quite fast, which was a surprise to me, and if you hold the tablet steady enough, you might be able to pull off a good shot or two.
The camera, however, struggles in low-light situations, and auto-focus can be a bit slow at times. My main gripe with the camera though, is its location. Most cameras are placed at towards the top of the tablet, but on the Yoga Tab 2, the camera is located in a very awkward position near the bottom where the cylindrical side meets. Naturally your hand will cover the area where the camera is, which means you’ll have to adjust your hand to not cover the camera lens.
As a whole, the camera does its job, and while you might be able to get some average shots, you might not want to rely solely on this tablet for pictures.
Running the show behind the scenes is Android 4.4.4 KitKat, on top of Lenovo’s own little skin. The result is somewhat of a mixed bag. I like the large and expansive icons on the device as it utilizes some of that big screen space, but I feel that the overall skin just looks too cartoonish and quite frankly a bit too all over the place. The skin, to be honest with you, looks unattractive and definitely could use a few tweaks here and there, and maybe even a face-lift.
In regards to software features, you don’t really have a lot going on, which is great, as we really don’t want any useless features either. One feature worth noting is much like iOS’ command center. With a simple swipe from the bottom up, it will prompt you access to a control panel, allowing you to change anything from volume, brightness, or WiFi. A handy tool, that works with, for the most part, on other applications.
One other feature that I found extremely handy was its dual-window mode, which allows you to run two different applications side by side. While its a great feature to have, you do have only a small number of apps on board that will work with this feature.
To sum it all up, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 2 10-inch Android model, is an average little tablet, with some great and not-so great specifications, leading to a mixed experience overall. While not the best, it is certainly not the worst. I personally love the kickstand, the sound quality was excellent, and the battery life was amazing. Priced at $249 (at the time of this review), it certainly isn’t a terrible option to choose from, especially at this price point. But those who have the extra cash, should probably explore some more better options.
We would like to thank our friends at Lenovo for sending us this review unit. We would also love to hear your feedback on the tablet, by leaving a comment down below.