Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 hands-on review
Lenovo has recently announced its new line-up this month, including the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, Yoga Tablet 2 Pro and the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro convertible. The new Lenovo slates are already on the market, but many people are still wondering about their predecessors. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 and Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 are two tablets that have got great reviews over the past year and many people are extremely satisfied with what it can do, especially when it comes to battery life. I have finally had a chance to write an extended review about the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 and I played around with the slate for about a week. I love tablets and convertibles and have always been searching for the best bang for buck ratio I could find for a device. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet has impressed me, to say the least.
One of the first things that struck me about the Lenovo Yoga Tablet was its design and build quality, The Lenovo Yoga Tablet has a great metal chassis that feels great in the hand and is quite light, considering that the slate has a 10 inch screen. When I first opened the box of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet and picked up the slate, I though that it felt a bit fragile. That’s because it doesn’t feel like a 10 inch tablet, and its screen and corners aren’t as well protected as you would see on other tablets. I haven’t tried to drop it or damage it in any way, because drop-tests hurt my soul, but from my experience with the slate, if you drop the Lenovo Yoga Tablet in any position other than on its back, you can probably say goodbye to the display.
As you probably know, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet features a nice, sturdy kickstand. When I first tried to open the stand, I actually couldn’t. It’s not as easy to release as on other tablets, so the fact that Lenovo included a release button in the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, the successor of my 10 inch slate, is a very good idea. I had to force the kickstand open and I was afraid I would actually break the tablet while doing so. But that didn’t happen. While it is hard to pull out the kickstand, the stand itself works great and has a great balance, so the Lenovo Yoga Tablet won’t tip over when in stand mode. I found that the kickstand can be positioned in two ways when in stand mode, and the Lenovo Yoga Tablet won’t tip over in either of them. But if you don’t hit the exact spot the kickstand requires for the mode, you will find the slate tilting and tipping over. You hear a click sound when you hit the best spot for keeping your tablet standing, though, so it shouldn’t be too hard to hit the right spot.
In hold mode, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 is quite large, but it doesn’t feel heavy and your arm won’t get tired except after a full hour or so. The rounded edge which houses the power button and headphone jack, as well as the balancing unit for the tablet is quite comfortable to hold. It has that cold, metal feeling to it and I certainly felt that the Lenovo Yoga Tablet is a premium device when holding in. The tilt mode isn’t special and I haven’t used it that much, because I don’t usually sit on my tummy when using a tablet or any other form of technology, for that matter. Still, if you’re the kind that likes to lay on their belly and consume some media, or even do some reading, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet does offer great viewing angles for your convenience.
With the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, you’ll get a new hang mode with the kickstand, which will certainly come in handy. I can actually see myself hanging the Lenovo Yoga Tablet in my closet and watch a nice music video, or movie actually, while I’m trying to find a fitting outfit for the day. It would also come in handy if I were to exercise at home. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 has a great display which has superb viewing angles, and I found its presets for each mode quite useful and accurate. When I was using it in stand mode for playing certain games or viewing movies, it adjusted the audio, as well as the display to fit my viewing and hearing angle. When I used it in hold mode and had a reading application open, it dimmed the display and adjusted the colors so the whites didn’t bother my eyes. I’m not a fan of reading on tablets, phones, laptops or any kind of electronic devices for that matter, because my eyes tend to get tired quickly. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet helped a lot with that, I didn’t have to set it manually so that it wouldn’t bother my eyes, which is great.
My experience with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet was arguably brief, since I only used it for a week or so. Nonetheless, I absolutely loved it. Not because of its great performance and design, but because of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet battery life. Lenovo advertised 18 hours of battery life for the slate, which would have been admirable. Now, I am actually a power user when it comes to tablets, especially when I only have a short time at my disposal to play with them. In that short 5 day period (approximately) I had with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet, I only had to charge it once. I’m taken aback with what this slate can handle. After two and a half days of Blu-Ray videos, Youtube videos, benchmark tests, daily graphics intensive games, about 2 uninterrupted hours of Google Earth, music playing, poking around with settings and internet browsing, I still had 13% left on the battery. For me, to see that on a 10 inch tablet, is absolutely great. That’s fantastic actually. I would definitely recommend the Lenovo Yoga Tablet to anyone who is looking for great battery life and great specs, as well as a pretty big display to work with. No wonder that it works so well, since the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 battery is a 9000 mAH one. You should note that I didn’t use tethering or hotspot.
Graphics performance on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet is spotless. Games like Asphalt 8, Despicable Me, Plants vs Zombies 2, Maze Runner, God of Light, World of Goo, Badlands, Angry Birds Stella and many more work flawlessly on the slate, with no lag, pixelation, frame skipping whatsoever. The Google Earth experience was also spotless for the first hour. After an hour of “traveling”, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet slowed down a bit and it couldn’t handle fast zooming anymore. There was some pixelation, some blurring and some lag, but that’s only after an hour of sightseeing in Bangkok, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, Egypt, Syria and more. Scrolling, tapping, swiping, zooming and similar gestures all work great and the resolution is optimal for a 10 inch tablet. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 resolution is 1280*800, which turned out to be sufficient for my viewing experience. Nonetheless, the display is a magnet for fingerprints. I constantly found myself cleaning it and wiping it. Outdoor visibility could also be better, since I could barely see a thing outside, even without bright sunlight.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean with a few pre-loaded applications from Lenovo. While the software and UI experience on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet are pretty stock, I did find the absence of an app drawer annoying. Of course you can add that if you choose a ROM, but that would require root. I mostly like the software experience and especially the notifications and settings bars. They are actually split in two, the notifications on the left and settings on the right of your screen. Switching from portrait to landscape mode happens very quick, just like switching between apps. The settings bar makes access to quick settings like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, usage mode, sound settings, brightness and the like very easy. The split bars on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet also make for an easier navigation and less clutter on your home screen.
Raw Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 specs include a quad core 1.2 GHz MT8389 CPU backed by 1 GB RAM and 32 GB expandable internal storage. There’s a 16 GB model available, too, but I had the bigger storage configuration. I also used a microSD card to expand storage, although I didn’t actually need the extra GBs. The Lenovo YOga Tablet 10 supports microSD up to 64 GB. The slate also features Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometed, GPS, ambient light, vibration, a microSIM slot (mine didn’t have one because it was a U.S. model, and U.S. and Canada models don’t have microSIM slots) and a compass. It also has a 5 MP rear camera and a 1.6 MP front camera. I wasn’t taken aback by either cameras on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet, but they do take average shots, which would suffice for the average user. If you plan on traveling with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet, the cameras should be competent enough for travel photos and selfies. The rear camera on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet isn’t great with low-light environments and it doesn’t have a LED flash to help with that. I really missed the LED flash and I wish the Lenovo Yoga Tablet had one, because this way you can basically say good bye to low light photography.
The sound quality on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet is great and loud thanks to the dual front facing speakers with Dolby Digital Plus DS1 technology. I found that both video and audio playback was spotless and the bass was pretty good compared to other models. You can also set your own equalizer presets and customize sound playback depending on what apps you are using. If you are watching a movie, the Dolby app will automatically set the equalizer to movie or the preset of your choice. I found this very useful, because I like game audio to be different from movie audio and the app on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 allowed me to customize the levels and make my gaming experience better.
Overall, my experience with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 was absolutely great. I really like the slate and the way I could interact it with, and I really enjoyed the customizable interface, as well as the extensive gesture support, great audio quality, awesome battery life, great processing speed. I also enjoyed the metal feeling of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10, although the slate did feel pretty fragile to me. The slim bezels on the tablet give it a nice appearance, and the matte design of the chassis looks and feels premium. The display resolution could have been better honestly. Another thing I didn’t like about the Lenovo Yoga Tablet was the hard to pull out kickstand, which made me feel like I was going to break the whole thing. I don’t like tugging and pulling an electronic devices. I really miss the LED flash on the camera and I wouldn’t recommend the slate if you want to use it as your main photography machine, because the camera app sometimes tends to be slow, low-light photos are sub-average and you don’t have many features to work with. The best feature of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 is certainly the battery life, which is absolutely great and I would definitely recommend the slate for anyone who wants a fast device that will last for a long time with a single charge. Oh, and sorry for the poor photo quality, that’s the best I could get out of my smartphone camera, since I didn’t have any other device at hand whilst making this review.