The latest Windows tablet from Lenovo is part of the new Yoga Tablet 2 series. It sets itself apart from the pack with AnyPen: a touchscreen that allows almost anything to be used as a pen.
When testing the mid-size tablet at CES, I found that AnyPen works as advertised. Any object capable of conducting electricity can be used to control this device. It worked quite well with a pencil and a knife, but not a plastic pen. The screen fully responded to these objects, and they could be used both the write on the screen and to navigate the operating system.
Just keep in mind, AnyPen is not pressure sensitive, so pressing harder on the screen doesn’t result in thicker lines.
Even so, this raises some exciting possibilities. For example, it would be possible to easily switch back and forth between taking notes with a pencil and paper to taking notes on the Yoga Tablet 2. And almost any item lying around can be used to tap on small controls in Windows apps – according to a company rep we spoke with, this is the use Lenovo thinks is going to be the most common, which is why AnyPen is being introduced in a mid-size Windows tablet. The same rep indicated that this technology is likely to appear in future Lenovo Windows tablets, but might not be included in Android ones.
The big question is how well the screen on this tablet is going to survive people scraping pencils, keys, and other hard objects across it. Lenovo seems quite confident, to the point of encouraging us to operate the Yoga Tablet 2 with a knife point, which did not leave any visible marks. The company claims that the display is protected with a meterial that harder than Corning’s Gorilla Glass.
At the heart of the Yoga Tablet 2 8.0 with Windows 8.1 is a 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core processor, with 2 GB of RAM. There’s 32 GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot for additional storage.
The 8-inch display has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and this is IPS panel so it offers wide viewing angles.m There’s an 8-megapixel main camera and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing one. The whole tablet weighs in at roughly 1 lbs.
Like all the models in this series, this device has a bulge on one edge that makes room for a very large battery. The design also includes a flexible kickstand.
The 8-inch version of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows is scheduled to be released before the end of January for $299.