Several hours prior to the Los Angeles spectacle at which Ashton Kutcher presented “the best Lenovo product of all time” (as its creators named it), the Yoga Tablet was revealed in Milan, Italy and Beijing, China, marking global availability of this Android tablet that stands out from all previous devices thanks to its unique design.
In accordance with the fundamental characteristic of previous Lenovo Yoga products, this peculiar device can be used and propped in various practical positions. This is enabled by a cylindrical battery situated along the lower side of the device, revealing a short deck that allows the Yoga Tablet to be placed in the landscape position (intended for typing and browsing the Internet), as well as the portrait position (for watching movies). In addition, the center of gravity has been shifted to the very edge of the device, allowing it to be held upright in one hand like a folded magazine or a book, making it highly practical for reading.
Still, apart from the practicality, which is not particularly new (the Sony Tablet S had a similar design, and the Surface tablets sport a kickstand), the 18-hour battery (well, what Lenovo claims is an 18-hour battery) is a significant feature. The Yoga Tablet comes with either an 8-inch or a 10-inch display, with an impressive 6000 mAh battery, or 9000 mAh, respectively.
TG was in Milan for the unveiling, and tried the Yoga Tablet. Indeed, the magnesium alloy body and very slim performance with the shifted center of gravity towards the cylindrical battery leave the impression of a premium device, and it is clear that this is not an average tablet. Apart from the decked edge, or round roller where the battery resides, the 8-inch model is just .22 inches thick, and weighs just .88 pounds, while the 10-inch model is .27 inches thick and weighs 1.33 pounds. Such elegance largely contributes to the pleasant usage of the tablet and despite the 10-inch model’s mass, this is a tablet you’ll never grow tired of holding.
On the other hand, the device features are decidedly mid-range. Both sport a 1280 x 800-pixel display, resulting in a relatively small display density of 151 pixels per inch on the 10-inch model. That matches the Motorola Xoom and other early Android tablets from 2011, and by comparison, the new iPad Air has a 264 ppi count.
This is why the imaging disappoints, and individual pixels can be spotted with the naked eye. Still, the screen contrast is above average, and provides a wide viewing angle, irrelevant of the surrounding lighting conditions. The colors are realistic, but not overly vivacious, and the Yoga Tablet’s brightness is at a high level.
The device comes with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and slight user interface modifications, something we got used to with previous Lenovo Android tablets. Both models are equipped with a quad-core processor running a 1.2 GHz clock. This combination of hardware and software provides complete fluidity and TG did not come across any glitches while testing the tablet, even though it is a mid-class product.
Yoga Tablet 8 and Yoga Tablet 10 will be available with 16 or 32 GB of internal storage with a microSD slot of additional 64 GB. Both have a 1.6-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear. The 8-inch model will cost $249 at launch, and will be a Best Buy exclusive, while the 10-inch Yoga Tablet will cost $299. Both will be available beginning Wednesday.
TechnologyGuide has both the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 AND 10 in house for testing, which we unboxed following the announcement. Take a look!