Lenovo have gone really big with the latest in its line of Yoga Tablets. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a supersized 13 inch screen and a built in projector. This may be the most compelling tablet Lenovo have made to date. Decent internals and a surprisingly good screen, all for a moderate price. Steven Ambrose spent some time with the new Yoga….
Design and specifications
The Lenovo Tablet range launched a short while ago with an 8″ and 10” tablet. At that time they represented excellent value with a unique design that really worked for most tablet users. Lenovo have taken the same design ethos to the next level with the new Yoga Tablet 2 Pro.
There is the signature cylindrical bottom which holds the batteries and this gives the Yoga range its distinctive look. The round bottom makes the Yoga range easy to hold and incorporates the inbuilt kickstand that allows multi-mode use of the tablet from reading to presenting to now hanging on a hook in the kitchen.
The overall build quality is excellent with a clever combination of machined aluminium to well integrated gray plastic. Finish is solid and the Yoga Tablet feels premium, well balanced, and substantial in actual use. Due to the overall size the Tablet 2 Pro is not the lightest available, but it is well balanced in actual use.
The projector is cleverly hidden in the bottom bulge and unless you know where to look, you will not notice it at all. Front facing speakers also blend well with the overall design.
The 13” screen is a stand-out both for its extremely high resolution colour accuracy and overall brightness. The actual resolution is QHD which is far higher than standard HD and in practice makes text ultra-sharp and pictures and video clear and bright.
The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a quad core 1.86 Intel Atom processor with 2 Gig Ram which is fairly unique and in my experience the Intel processors perform way better in real use than the sheer numbers may predict. Overall the performance was good with a little delay on switching apps and screens on occasion. There are more powerful setups available, but the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro should handle most tasks with relative ease.
The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro comes with Android 4.4.4 software standard as well as a comprehensive overlay which very effectively masks the base operating system. The extensive skin may also be one of the reasons that the Tablet has occasional performance issues when changing screens and apps.
Lenovo’s custom overlay allows a number of interesting features with a very iOS like swipe up from the bottom for a quick setting panel. Multi window tasks are also part of the skin and the 13” screen make this useful and welcome.
The projector support is built into the overlay and swiping up allows you to activate and deactivate the projector, which will them mirror your entire screen, or allow you to dim, and even switch off the Tablet screen, for better battery life, useful for watching video in a dark room.
The size of this tablet and the projector make the Lenovo Tablet 2 Pro fairly unique on the market. The screen is a delight to use, being super sharp sensitive to touch, and bright. The color accuracy makes it a pleasure to share photos, presentations, and video. Working on the screen can however be challenging with a huge standard keyboard not well optimized for such a large screen and two handed use.
It is best to use the kick stand to hold the back of the Tablet up to allow typing in the best fashion. The SwiftKey keyboard replacement did a far better job in this regard, and is highly recommended as an essential first app download. SwiftKey Tablet is free on the Android App store.
The Projector is a mixed bag. It is unique and very well integrated and allows large pictures to be projected onto any surface. Obviously the whiter the background and the darker the room the better the picture. Projectors all need dark rooms for best performance but the limited brightness of this projector makes this even more critical.
The projector is fine for presentations that are not too complex, and or for videos in the quiet of your home with little light in the room.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is a clever, well thought out and well executed product. The 13” screen and projector make it fairly unique, and at the same time, limit the tablet to fairly specific applications. Presentations to small groups and home entertainment are obvious uses, and in this regard the Tablet is really good. The Lenovo’s overlay on Android is user friendly if a little bloated. The enhanced functionality such as the dual screen ability is useful and reasonably well executed. The sound and the multimedia capabilities are the standout features. This is not a tablet to use for reading and casual email, although this can be effectively done.
Once again Lenovo have created a well made, useful and truly innovative product, that has real-world uses, all at a very affordable price.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is available from all good electronic outlets across South Africa for around R8999-00.
For more information go to www.lenovo.co.za