- Good price-to-product ratio
- Practical and modern body design
- Excellent battery life
- Yoga Tablet 2 Pro’s pico-projector
- Camera is not up to competitor's
- Loss of contrast in daylight
Quick TakePurchasers of the second generation of Yoga tablets will be pleased regardless of the size they pick because they are getting a premium experience, as well as devices with some unusual features and long battery lives.
The second generation of Lenovo Yoga Tablets arrived on the market precisely a year following the reveal of the first series’ models, two Android devices remembered for their good price-to-feature ratio, atypical design based on the back kickstand, and exceptional battery life. In the meantime, Lenovo offered a 10-inch Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, which introduced an improved chipset and an increased display resolution. Compared to that device, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 models do not offer that much improvement, apart from the (again) new chipset and several touched-up design details; however, it now comes in three screen sizes: an 8-inch version, a 10.1-inch one, and the version called Yoga Tablet 2 Pro with an exceptionally large, 13.3-inch display.
As the 10.1-inch and 8-inch Yoga Tablet 2 models differ solely in the screen diagonal department, we tested the 10.1-inch model. This review also deals with Lenovo’s largest Yoga Tablet. Apart from its gargantuan screen, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro also includes a kickstand rather out of left field, as well as a previously unprecedented novelty on tablets — a built-in pico-projector which replicates images from the screen to a wall or a projector sheet.
The Yoga Tablet 2 10.1 is priced at $299.99, while the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is $499.99.
The common denominator of all second-generation Lenovo tablets is that they have kept their fundamental characteristics: good price, peculiar design, and great battery life, while the number of shortcomings compared to the previous models has largely been reduced.
Build and Design
The 10.1-inch Yoga Tablet 2 only differs from its two predecessors in several details, given that it follows the same basic design characteristics the previous models featured: the very dark aluminum body which is now even smaller and slimmer (10.04 x 7.20 x 0.28 in. or 255 x 183 x 7.2 mm). It has been designed so that its center of gravity is slightly shifted from the middle towards the lower side which features a cylindrical bulge. This bulge holds the battery of exceptional capacity – 9600 mAh (compared to 9000 mAh featured on the previous model), as well as the kickstand, thanks to which the device can be easily and practically used in many ways.
The 13.3-inch Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is the largest Android OS tablet from any premium manufacturer available on the market; however, this does not mean that it’s too large. Instead, the dimensions are highly elegant and pleasant (12.1 x 8.8 x 0.5 in. or 333 x 223 x 12.6 mm). When it comes to display size, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro can almost be categorized as an ultrabook, but its design and performance make it much closer to tablets. The cylindrical bulge includes a battery with the same 9600 mAh capacity as the 10.1-inch model.
As with all other Yoga series products, Lenovo has designed these two tablets’ to give their users the option of using the devices in several positions – specifically four. Thus, they can be placed in the prone position, when the kickstand is folded (for typing and browsing the Internet) or the upright position (for watching movies, for example). Thanks to the shift of its center of gravity to the very edge of the device, it feels natural when held in hand in the portrait position, as a book or a folded magazine. Finally, compared to the previous models, the second generation of Yoga Tablets has gained a perforation in the middle of the kickstand, and so it can be hung from a wall or the back of a car or plane seat.
Both these Lenovo tablets have been crafted out of magnesium alloy, which heavily contributes to the solid feeling they offer, as well as the impression of working with a premium device. Their displays are not covered in Gorilla Glass, but are exceptionally smooth and enable pleasant finger-sliding motions without unnatural friction.
There’s room for complaint about the weight of either of these devices, given that the 10.1-inch Yoga Tablet 2 weighs 1.36 lb (619 grams), which is above average for a devices of its size, especially when it is so slim. The 13.1-inch Yoga Tablet 2 Pro weighs even more (2.09 lb), which is rather a lot for a tablet, but one must not forget the lush display it features. This is why the devices tire out the hand quite a lot (especially when the Pro model is held, of course), but the handy kickstand enables using the tablet in various positions without the need to hold it in hand.
The 10.1-inch Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 comes with a 1920 x 1200-pixel IPS screen, resulting in a pixel density of 224 ppi, while the 13.3-inch Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has a 2560 x 1440 IPS display, providing an almost identical pixel density of 220 ppi. In real-world use, they provide very similar imaging, with the same level of sharpness, color intensity, contrast power and its sustainability.
The biggest objection for the first generation of Yoga Tablets was their poor display quality; however, Lenovo improved this quite a bit on the 10.1-inch Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, released six months ago. Greatest results were achieved by increasing the resolution to Full HD format, which provided this more than decent pixel density. The latest Yoga tablets also boast improved screens, although their pixel density has remained the same compared to this ‘model-in-between’.
As far as the imaging sharpness goes, both models are above average for mid-range tablets, and individual pixels cannot be identified with the naked eye from the usual distance. The contrast is also above average, with exceptionally dark black tones, while white shades could be less ‘dirty’, meaning lighter. This contrast dynamic, with the focus dominating towards the darker side, reflects on color interpretation, as they are more vividness in the colder part of the spectrum, and are not overly saturated, as with some other more advanced tablets.
Thus, both tested tablets are very pleasant on the eye, especially when the brightness is set to the maximum value due to the dominance of dark tones. Contrast sustainability is the last detail which has been improved in relation to the previous model, even though it is not entirely perfect. The devices offer a wide viewing angle, but the dynamic color range drops when the device is used outdoors, with bright daylight.
Buttons, Ports, and Speakers
Ports and buttons are one of those cosmetic details which have been altered compared to the original Yoga tablets and have somewhat been rearranged. On all of these models, the right side includes just the hard-reset perforation, while the left holds the volume control keys and the microUSB slot.
The 10.1-inch edition has an audio-jack on the right side of the cylindrical bulge and the Power key on the left. The 13.3-inch model has the pico-projector lens on the right side of the bulge, while the audio-jack has been squeezed in right above the Power key on the left. The 10.1-inch device has a rear camera situated on the right side of the cylindrical bulge, while the 13.3-inch model includes the lens-focusing switch on the same spot.
No matter the screen size, the camera is situated under the kickstand’s perforation. Both models also have microSD and microSIM card slots under the kickstand.
It is praiseworthy that the tablets come with JBL subwoofers and stereo speakers on the front panel, which in deed makes the perception of sound more natural and pleasant than on many other devices of the same category.
The 13.3-inch Yoga Tablet 2 Pro comes with a pico projector. At any moment, the user can press a tiny key situated along the projector’s lens on the cylindrical bulge and the projector will automatically replicate the image from the tablet on a wall or a projector sheet or any other surface it is directed at. The kickstand offers a position in which the tablet sits upright at a table, at the same time offering a horizontal and well-aligned projection on the wall.
The pico-projector offers WVGA resolution (854 x 480) and imaging of satisfactory sharpness up to 50 inches.. This is a highly original option that sets this tablet apart from the pack, and is rather useful for business, as well as personal occasions.