- Great design and build
- Top-notch battery performance
- AnyPen and fun and useful addition
- Limited port selection
- Could use more internal storage
Quick TakeThe Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen with Windows is a great device with best-in-class design, excellent battery, and decent performance.
We literally stabbed the screen. We slashed, cut, and keyed it too. It wasn’t that the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen with Windows drove us to the point of violence, but rather that’s what Lenovo told us to do to the Atom-powered tablet.
The secret is the nifty AnyPen feature. In Lenovo’s words it “lets you use any ballpoint pen or graphite pencil as a writing utensil.” Knives, forks, spoons, scissors, push pins, and just about anything metal with a point work as well.
Is that enough to separate Lenovo’s latest Windows offering from the crowded field populated by Dell, Asus, Acer, Toshiba, and other Lenovo devices? Let’s find out.
Build and Design
The design is attractive, and proves ergonomically superior to rival devices. The sturdy kickstand enables two stand modes users will undoubtedly come to rely on, and the balled edge makes the tablet comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
The kickstand opens to about 180 degrees, with a notch stop at 90. It’s tight enough to support the tablet at any degree between the two extremes. It sports an opening in the middle where users can actually hang the Windows tablet from a hook.
It’s hard to imagine the situation where that would be necessary, but the hole takes nothing away, and there will probably be a handful of users who’ll take advantage of it.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen with Windows is a physically solid tablet, even though it weighs less than a pound. It’s really well built and both looks and feels like a quality device.
The 8-inch Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen has a 1920 x 1200 IPS display. That equates to about 283 pixels per inch, and is one impressive spec. It doesn’t match the iPad Mini 2 or 3, but it tops last year’s 8-inch Atom tablets, which maxed out at 1280 x 800, and even the 10.6-inch Surface Pro 2 with its 1920 x 1080 display.
It looks great, with excellent viewing angles and ample brightness at max settings. It’s a bit of a smudge magnet, and glare presents issues, but not enough to detract from an otherwise stellar screen.
Of course, AnyPen is the defining display feature. It essentially turns any metal or graphite point into a simple stylus. The “stylus” doesn’t offer pressure sensitivity or any other neat Surface Pen-like tricks (it does register the Surface Pro 3 pen tip as it would a knife or fork). It duplicates touch action, and that’s it. Any benefit comes from the increased precision, as the tablet recognizes a point diameter of around 1mm, according to Lenovo. So while it’s fun to play Fruit Ninja with a real knife, using a pen with the handwriting-to-text virtual keyboard in Word, or to navigate deep into a Windows 8 desktop file menu proves much more useful.
Any fears we had of scratching up the display were dispelled after a particularly vigorous round of Fruit Ninja with a Swiss Army Knife. Users probably could nick the display with some effort, but we’re confident after a week of testing that the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 AnyPen with Windows display can withstand the rigors of average daily use.
Overall, the AnyPen is accurate and reliable, and it’s easy to ignore for those not thrilled with the idea of knifing the display. That Lenovo did not have to sacrifice anything, like display sharpness or touch sensitivity, to include it makes it the perfect added feature.
There is a low bar for 8-inch tablet speakers, and this Lenovo Windows tablet clears it with room to spare. It’s not that the speakers are particularly strong though. In fact, they omit noticeably compressed sound at volumes suitable for personal use, and nothing more. It’s that the speakers are front facing, thanks to the Yoga design.
Too many tablets have side- or rear-mounted speakers, which don’t direct sound at the user. These do, and it makes a huge difference.
Buttons and Ports
This Lenovo Yoga tablet ships with the standard array of mobile tablet ports, which includes a 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB input, and a microSD card slot. Buttons include large power button on the side of the rounded edge, a small Windows key, and a reset pinhole. There is also a 1.6-megapixel, front-facing camera, and an 8-megapixel, rear-facing camera.
While similar devices don’t offer anything more, it’s still a disappointing selection. A mini-HDMI port or full-sized USB would put the tablet at the top of our best-of list. It runs the full version of Windows 8.1 and its Atom processor is extremely capable. It even ships with a free year of Office 365, so it could make for a half-decent desktop replacement in a pinch. That would require an array of wireless accessories, adapters, and splitters, meaning it won’t be practical for most users.