Lenovo Yoga 2 Tablet Pro Review – A Huge Tablet With Illuminating Features
With so many options out on the tablet market, it can be difficult to make one Android tablet stand out from another one. The Lenovo Yoga series certainly tries, and succeeds, with their Yoga lineup, but the Yoga 2 Tablet Pro tries in another way, and it’s impressive. The Yoga 2 Tablet Pro brings a huge, high resolution 13.3” inch display and one hardware feature that absolutely blew me away.
- 13.3” Inch 2560×1440 IPS Display
- Intel Atom Z3745 Processor
- 2GB RAM
- 32GB Storage (expandable via microSD)
- 8MP Rear Camera
- 1.6MP Front Camera
- 1.5 Watt Stereo Speakers w/ Dolby Digital Plus
- 854×480 Pico Projector
The hardware on the Yoga 2 Tablet Pro is actually pretty impressive. The tablet has a premium build with hints of aluminum on the left side/bottom kickstand and a plastic back. The entire tablet feels extremely well built which is surprising considering just how inexpensive this device is. On top, we’ve got the large 13.3” inch display with two large front facing speakers below. On the bottom, a kickstand, camera, and subwoofer. The device is thin and lighter than expected, but it is absolutely massive. I’m used to carrying around big tablets, but 13.3” inches is just huge. It is great for watching movies, but trying to do other things like surfing social media, reading books and playing games can be a little tough on such a big device. However the device’s weight makes up for this a bit. This is a big device, but it’s a lot lighter then you would think. The “hinge” side also makes it easier to grip the device with confidence. The hinge also holds a few fun tricks. First of all, it makes the tablet easier to hold in portrait mode. Second, you can set the tablet up in two different desk modes to prop the display up at the right angle. Last but not least, you can actually hang the device up on a nail so it lies flat against the wall. This is great for being able to see the tablet perhaps while cooking in the kitchen or out on your workbench.
With everything good, comes something bad and the number one downside of the Yoga 2 Tablet Pro and the rest of the Android tablets in this series is the software. The tablet runs a heavily modified version of Android KitKat that quite frankly, looks nearly identical to iOS. I don’t think I’ve even seen a company put so much work into making Android into iOS, at least not on a device in the mainstream market. The results of this heavy skin is software that lags for no reason and a not so pleasent experience. The software certainly gets the job done, but I’d much rather work on a device with less of a skin on top of the software. The software does have some good points though. For instance, the “control center” at the bottom provides useful toggles in a quick and easy to access location.
The Intel Atom Z3745 powering the Yoga 2 Tablet Pro is a powerful little chip, but it shows it’s powerful only at certain times. As I mentioned, the usual interface on the tablet lags quite a lot, but graphic intensive games play without skipping a beat on the Yoga 2 Tablet Pro. It’s a bit of a puzzle to me, but it’s not a bad thing. The Yoga 2 Tablet Pro is great for playing some games thanks to it’s big gorgeous display. However, I wouldn’t recommend playing anything that requires use of the accelerometer since this tablet is just so big.
The Yoga 2 Tablet Pro packs a huge 13.3” inch, 2560×1440 display which is, well, huge. It’s bright and crisp as you’d expect from a premium tablet, but it’s just so huge. That size is great for watching movies and in some cases playing games, but overall it’s pretty impractical. Throw portability out the window, I can’t recommend bringing this tablet out of the house at all. Overall though, the display is crisp, bright, and beautiful.
Another high note of this tablet was the speakers. With two bottom mounted front facing speakers, this tablet was bound to have good audio, but I was very impressed with the sound that came out of this tablet. The speakers sound great with good, loud sound. The Dolby Digital audio was a huge plus as was the subwoofer on the back of the tablet. Turning off these features still provided a good audio experience, but not nearly as good.
Here’s the fun part. The Lenovo Yoga 2 Tablet Pro stands out not because of the big screen, but because tucked on the side of the tablet is a projector. The projector does just what you would think and projects whatever is on the tablet’s display onto a nearby surface. In my case, this was a grey wall in my bedroom. I had the projection at about the equivalent of an 80” inch television and I really enjoyed the results. It takes a bit to get the projector to focus correctly, but once you’ve got it the results are pretty decent. Now don’t get too excited, this projector isn’t anything mind-blowing. It only displays at 480p resolution and it’s very dim, nearly impossible to use in anything but dark conditions. I could only really use it at night, but when I did use it I really enjoyed it.
The Yoga 2 Tablet Pro packs a pretty huge 9,600 mAh battery inside that is, at least in my experience, capable of powering the device over two days of moderate use. My best battery life pull on the tablet was made up of about 4 hours of screen time with about 3 hours of projector use over the course of about 36 hours or so. That’s not bad at all if you ask me and is about what I expected considering just how much power that projector uses in comparison to the display.
Final Thoughts – Is It Worth It?
So in the end, is the Yoga 2 Tablet Pro worth spending your hard earned dollar on? I would say yes, but only under certain circumstances. This definitely isn’t a portable tablet, and not one great for general use either. This is a tablet meant for those who value media, media, and more media. If you watch hours upon hours of movies and tv shows every day, this is a pretty good option for you.
At $469, this tablet is very well priced and I don’t think you’ll feel like you’re not getting your money’s worth out of the device. If there were things I could change though, it would be around the software and the projector. I wish Lenovo would go a bit lighter on the skin. I’m not saying they need to throw stock Android on this device, but they do need to rethink their software skin. As for the projector, I feel like a bump to at least a 720p projector would be a huge step up. If not just a brighter projector. If the device costs more because of it, so be it. I think it would be worth it.