- Editor's Rating
- Immense Battery Life
- Useful Kickstand
- Barely Average Processor
Quick TakeTablets for those who understand the value of a very long battery life, as well as those who are sick of the cookie-cutter shingle shape of the rest of the market.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 and Tablet 10 are a unique pair that comes equipped with huge battery capacity and sport a functional design that breaks from the monotonous shingle shape that pervades the marketplace. However, the rest of the tablets’ specs are more ho-hum then oh-wow. Keep reading to see if this compromise of form and function is worthy of your dollars.
We received both the 8- and 10-inch Yoga Tablets in our Test Lab, and except for the screen size they are just about identical. They are both available in 16GB and 32GB sizes with only $40 separating the 16GB Yoga Tablet 8 and the 32GB Yoga Tablet 10. The Yoga 8 with 16GB is readily available for $250 and the 32GB goes for just $10 more. Jumping up to the Yoga 10 will cost $275 for the 16GB and $290 for the 32GB edition.
Battle of the Bulge
The first thing people will notice about these Lenovo tablets is a pronounced cylindrical bulge that runs along one long edge of the tablet. This bulge is both a feature and a necessity. It is an necessity to house the huge battery packs for each tablet. Lenovo makes smart use of the physical addition by using it to house a kickstand that allows the tablet to be used in three different positions; slightly angled, more angled, and upright. With the kickstand closed, the bulge acts as a hand grip when holding the device in portrait mode. Apparently this versatility in positioning is what qualifies the tablet for inclusion in Lenovo’s Yoga family.
The bulge is also the housing for the tablets 5MP rear-facing camera and a pair of speaker ports that flank the wide hinge on the front of the device. The power button is a refreshingly huge metal one on one cap of the tube, and the other end is where the headphone jack can be found. The only traditionally placed controls (i.e. along the thin edge) are the micro-USB port above the power button and the volume rocker right above the headphone jack.
Lenovo also provided us with a set of their custom sleeves built for the Yoga tablets. Given the odd shape of the tablet, these custom sleeves are going to be your best options out there.
There is also a microSD slot that could be easily overlooked, as it is hiding behind the kickstand in an indent in the body. Oddly there are two indents in this space but only one leads to an actual slot. I would like to think the blank slot could eventually lead to a microSIM port on future models allowing upgrades to 3G/4G data.
The kickstand is quite stiff, and at first glance it appears that the only way to pry it open is to sacrifice a fingernail or two in a tiny groove along the edge. Taking a closer look though shows a helpful sticker indicating the kickstand can be grasped and twisted in your hand which provides enough of a gap to finish the job with a flick of the finger. Getting the kickstand open is definitely a two-handed job except for the most dexterous. Once open, the kickstand will lock into position when full extended. The kickstand does not have enough tension to be functional when extended anywhere except closed and fully open.
Overall the kickstand was a surprising convenience. I initially dismissed it as gimmicky, though I found myself using it more often than expected. While at a coffee house or lunch place with overhead lights, using the kickstand to increase the angle kept me from having to use my own body as a glare shield from the lights above. When reclining in bed or on the couch, I would flick out the kickstand and stand the tablet up on my chest. I would still have to stabilize it with my hand but it was not as stressful on my wrists as having to support it without the stand. Having the kickstand extended also helped when sitting in uprights seats typical of public transportation, in that I could put the tablet down on my lap without having to worry about sliding right off onto the floor due to the kickstands edge grabbing onto my pants or jacket.
Don’t stop now. Page 2 covers the performance of these two Lenovo tablets.