Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro

Price when reviewed

A year ago, Lenovo signed movie star Ashton Kutcher as a “product engineer”. The degree to which he’s had any real influence on the design of the firm’s products is debatable, but from the design of the 13.3in Lenovo Yoga tablet 2 Pro, it’s clear that the company is expanding its horizons.

Lenovo Tablet Pro 2 hands-on review: projector and subwoofer

The most unusual feature in the Tablet Pro 2 – even after considering its size – is undoubtedly the pico projector located in the base of the device. With it, users can project a 50in 16:9 image onto any surface at a range of 2m.

Hands on: Lenovo Tablet Pro 2

But don’t get too excited at the prospect of creating a mobile movie theatre – image quality isn’t razor sharp, and in bright light the picture is fairly washed out. Used in a darkened room, however, it becomes a more viable proposition; the issue then becomes finding the right surface on which to rest the tablet.

In addition to the projector, the tablet sports a pair of front-facing Dolby speakers coupled with a “subwoofer” at the rear. We experienced the audio quality in a busy room at the London launch event, and while we can’t yet vouch for the clarity, we can confirm that the speakers achieve high volume levels.

The screen is easier to assess, however: it’s large at 13.3in and impressively sharp, with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440. We can’t wait to get this under our colorimeter for more thorough testing.

Lenovo Tablet Pro 2 hands-on review: design

We’re pleased to see that Lenovo has largely stuck with is innovative and unique design from 2013, which sees a hinged kickstand run down the length of the tablet, attached to a cylindrical bulge, which also houses the battery, projector and speakers.

Hands on: Lenovo Tablet Pro 2

This element of the tablet’s design is a real asset for the 13.3in Yoga Tablet Pro 2. The kickstand feels sturdy, and allows the tablet to be positioned at a gentle angle for typing or a steep one for watching movies. And with the stand folded away, that bulge acts as a grip, allowing you to get a firm one-handed hold on what would otherwise be a pretty unwieldy device.

Lenovo has also added a new “mode” to the kickstand, which it’s calling “Hang” mode. This sounds more exciting than it actually is, though: in fact, all Lenovo has done is drill a hole in the centre of the stand so the tablet can be hung on a hook.

Hands on: Lenovo Tablet Pro 2

Lenovo Tablet Pro 2 hands on review: specs

Aside from the gimmicks, though, the Pro 2 looks to be a well-specified tablet. Under the hood is an Intel Atom processor and 2GB of RAM, which makes flicking around Android 4.4’s home screens and menus effortlessly responsive. How it will perform under more rigorous benchmarking is yet to be seen, but we’ll report back just as soon as we get it into our labs.

The Yoga Tablet Pro 2 is pretty standard when it comes to storage options, though, which is a little surprising considering its heavy focus on entertainment and movies. It comes with either 16GB or 32GB, there’s a microSD slot for expanding on that, and there’s a model that comes with 4G as well. Lenovo claims a battery life of up to 15 hours.

Lenovo Tablet 2 Pro: verdict

The Tablet 2 Pro is an interesting device stacked with features and unusual touches, not least the inclusion of that pico projector, which should be useful for the odd impromptu movie session or presentation.

Combined with a large, high-resolution screen, flexible kickstand and (potentially) decent battery life, Lenovo could be on to a winner. If nothing else, it’s good to see a tablet manufacturer taking a different tack.

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