Whenever I think of Lenovo, I almost always expect something convertible. Lenovo has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to innovating within a space that others might have overlooked. First, it was the Yoga laptop that marked the first time we got to see a laptop bend and transform with ease into a Windows 8 tablet. Now Lenovo attempts to bring the same innovation to Android tablets. Today, I share my thoughts on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet which tweaks the overall experience of an Android tablet.
So, what did I really think about this Lenovo Yoga Tablet?
Let’s take a look at what makes this tablet different from all others on the market.
At first glance, you’ll notice that the Lenovo Yoga Tablet is shaped quite differently from all other tablets. It’s rather sleek and sexy at first glance. Then, upon holding it, you might think that you were holding something akin to a Macbook Air or a rather large HTC One. It feels luxe and might make you think it should be a little bit heftier just from the overall feel. It’s similar in weight to an iPad 2, although it might be a little heavier if only just by a tad.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet has a battery cylinder that allows you to comfortably hold the tablet in portrait mode with either your left or right hand. Surprisingly, this is pretty nifty while reading or browsing the web. It helps in reducing the strain on your hands and actually aides in a better grip while holding the tablet overall. Additionally, the Lenovo Yoga comes with a built-in kickstand that can be easily rolled out from the battery cylinder. This goes without saying but having a built-in kickstand comes in pretty handy while watching videos or wanting to display content for others. With the front-facing speakers, you can easily present video for your friends quite easily. The only downfall is that the overall sound emanating from the speakers are not that loud. However, this just isn’t the case when you plug in your headphones. The Dolby Sound kicks in and the overall listening experience is ten times better than just with the speakers. Needless to say, I’d recommend using your headphones if you intend to watch longer videos or are in a rather noisy environment. Even after poking around with the Dolby Digital Plus settings, which is an included sound management application, I wasn’t able to enhance the sound emanating from the speakers. Overall, playing around with these settings made the sound a little clearer but not much louder.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet features a front and back facing camera that are both descent. Not spectacular but definitely an upgrade from the iPad 2 and pretty much any other tablet I own. The only exception that comes to my mind might be the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Some photos that I have seen Double-Jump take with it aren’t half bad.
But then that reminds me that the over all placement of things on the tablet are just a bit confusing. From the camera to the buttons to the menu options, I found myself struggling to remember where things were.
For example, while taking a photo with the back camera, you have to remember to stow away the kickstand or you will have a nice little metallic piece peeking into your photos and/or videos. Additionally, depending on which hand you use, you will constantly be wondering where the Power, Volume, Micro-USB Port or Headphone Jack have gone. Since you can use the cylinder to hold the tablet comfortably in either hand, that means that the position of the buttons are constantly switching. This takes a little getting used to but once you’re actually using the tablet, you’ll notice that there’s no real “All Apps” view. The home screens just show all apps that you have installed but you will have to organize them manually if you want to understand where everything is. I, unfortunately, do not curate my apps and heavily rely on viewing all my apps in alphabetical order in order to find anything. It’s just what I’m used to. I wasn’t really able to figure out how to get past this.
Bottom-line is that are multiple options for doing things. Like, if you wanted to customize your home screen you could do it two ways: either through the Lenovo menu or by doing a long press that eventually brought up the widgets/apps that you could drag and drop into the home screens.
All in all, if you’re someone that likes watching media on the go (and probably not sharing it with anyone) this might be the tablet for you. The battery life is amazing and the overall picture quality and sound are superb (again, only in headset mode for the best listening experience). However, if you are a power Android user and prefer Vanilla Android menus, this might not be the tablet you’re looking for. The awkward button placements and weird menu schemes might not be your cup of tea.
If you’re curious to see how this tablet looks, check out the gallery below.
DISCLAIMER: The Lenovo Yoga Tablet was loaned to us for review purposes only. This review is the outcome of having the tablet in my possession for 30 days.