Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2
Alongside the glitzy Yoga Pro 3 and gimmicky 13.3in projector tablet, Lenovo also launched new versions of its Yoga Tablet 8in and 10in devices at its event in London on Thursday night.
Dubbed the Yoga Tablet 2, the range will unusually offer a choice between either Android or Windows 8.1 operating systems. The Android tablets will cost £200 for the 8in and £279 for the 10in model, and while there are no UK prices for the Windows versions yet, Euro prices are €249 and €399 respectively.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2: display
The 8in Yoga Tablet 2 has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, giving it a perfectly respectable pixel density of 283ppi. The result is that both text and images look very sharp. Using Windows 8 in desktop mode on an 8in device is still a chore, however.
It’s a similar story with the 10.1in Yoga Tablet 2, a tablet that also possesses a 1,920 x 1,200 screen. With more screen area and the same number of pixels, the pixel density is lower, but that doesn’t have too detrimental an effect.
Text and images still burst with as much detail as, for example, the Sony Z2 Tablet, although, in terms of colours it doesn’t quite have the same wow factor. Using the Windows 8 desktop is a touch easier on a screen this size, but you still won’t want to spend much time in this environment without attaching a keyboard and mouse.
As with last year’s 10in Android Yoga Tablet, a Bluetooth keyboard has been designed to accompany the tablet, but this time it’s an optional extra, and not included in the box. There’s no UK price available for that yet either.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2: design
The design of the Yoga Tablet 2 is very similar to that of last year’s model, too, with a large cylindrical spine running down one long edge of the device. This houses the battery (which Lenovo claims lasts up to 21 hours in the 10in model and 18 hours in the 8in), acts as a grip so it can be held more comfortably one-handed, and also plays host to the tablet’s ingenious hinged kickstand.
That stand allows the tablet to be propped up in a number of different ways, but this year, Lenovo has expanded its capabilities to include a new mode – dubbed “Hang” by Lenovo’s enthusiastic marketing team. This isn’t as exciting as it sounds, but it is eminently practical. Essentially, Lenovo has drilled a large hole in the centre of the kickstand, extended its range of movement so it can be folded flat, and the upshot is that the Tablet 2 can be hung from any hook you might have handy. Useful, perhaps, for watching a movie or keeping a recipe to hand in the kitchen.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2: specification
Elsewhere, there’s a pair of front-facing stereo, Dolby- and Wolfson-branded speakers. We can vouch for the fact that they go loud, but it was impossible to divine anything meaningful about audio quality over the hubbub of the launch event.
And Lenovo has opted to fit the Yoga Tablet 2 with a quad-core 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3745 processor (capable of bursting up to 1.86GHz) and 2GB of RAM. The result was snappy and responsive performance under both Android and Windows, while carrying out simple tasks such as flicking through the homescreen and opening menus.
Elsewhere, all models of the Yoga 2 tablet are equipped with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and there’s optional 4G on the 10in model but not the 8in tablet. Storage options, meanwhile, are a little less straightforward. The 8in Android tablet comes with 16GB, as does the 10.1in tablet with 4G, while the rest are equipped with 32GB each.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2: verdict
We liked the design of last year’s Yoga tablet, and this one certainly ups the ante. It expands on the clever battery-cum-kickstand-cum-grip design, improves the screen resolution from 1,280 x 800 to 1,920 x 1,200, and allows users to choose whether they want Android or Windows.
We’re disappointed that the Bluetooth keyboard is no longer included in the box of the 10.1in tablet, but if the battery life Lenovo claims for the new tablets turns out to be close to reality, we could have a winner on our hands.