Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review: an affordable, versatile slate
The Lenovo Yoga 2 8 inch tablet is the newest addition to the Lenovo Yoga line-up, enhanced with the AnyPen feature that lets you use any kind of pointy device as a stylus. Our Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review will try to emphasize the good and the bad parts about the slate. This slate isn’t the cheapest you can get, but in my honest opinion, it is among the best and most versatile ones if you don’t need a powerhouse tablet each day.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Lenovo’s slate is an iPad Air competitor, but it sure comes close when it comes to bang for buck. From our Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review, I hope you will find out most of the things you wanted to know about the slate, including prices, performance review, battery life and software features. You can get the Lenovo Yoga 2 8 in two different versions, one sporting Android and the other running on Windows. Currently, the Windows version is out of stock on the Lenovo website, but we suppose the slate will be restocked in the next couple of weeks.
Having a Windows tablet is a plus for most people because it offers more computing power and comes closer to a desktop experience, allowing you to use all Windows features. If you attach a keyboard to the Lenovo Yoga 2 8, you get as close to a convertible as possible, all the while keeping the small, compact format of the slate. The Android version of the tablet will set you back $230 at the moment, which is not too bad for an 8 inch tablet. Surely, you can get cheaper options, but the Lenovo Yoga 2 8 gives you the possibility of various usage modes, which in my mind, come in handy in daily use.
One of the things I didn’t like during my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review was the software. I played for about a week with the slate, and while the user experience was close to flawless, I would have liked to see an updated Android version running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Currently, the slate comes with Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box, which offers a pretty nice and comprehensive user experience, but a Lollipop update would be more than welcome with its Material design and features.
The main plus of my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review is the display, with which I was extremely content. It’s not the best display you can get out there, but for the price, it is sufficiently high-end. You get an 8 inch IPS display with a 1920*1200 resolution, which isn’t superb, but it still gives you accurate color reproduction, crisp and sharp one at that and sufficient viewing angles and outdoor visibility. I’m emphasizing display in my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review because the decent display coupled with the various modes you can use the tablet in makes for a pretty versatile and comprehensive experience.
You get a hang mode, stand mode, hold mode and tilt mode, each with its own optimized features that can be switched automatically. The kickstand supporting the tablet is sturdy and can be brought out with a push of a lever, which is a welcome improvement over its predecessor, which seemed to have an “unresponsive” kickstand which was hard to pull out. The hang mode is my favorite and a crucial part during my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review, because since I cook and am about the house a lot with my pets, I would find it cumbersome to carry the slate and place it around the house so that I can have good viewing angles. With the hang mode, I could just hang it above my TV or above the sink and go about my business without having to move the tablet.
The other modes come in handy when you’re an agitated person like me, who just can’t find a good spot to sit in. I try to find comfortable places in the house on the floor, on the couch, on a beanbag, on the chair and so forth, but each of these spots need a different viewing angle, especially if you tend to modify your sitting position a lot. For example, the tilt mode comes in handy when lying flat on your stomach, and the various viewing angles you can set the stand and tilt modes in are really helpful in these situations. The hold mode isn’t my favorite, because the roll holding the battery on the bottom of the Lenovo Yoga 2 8 is a bit too big for my hands. But I do like the fact that it feels cool to the touch and offers a good grip, so that I don’t have to worry about it slipping out my hand like flat tablets would.
One of my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review pluses would be the fact that the AnyPen feature allowed me to use anything as a stylus, with great responses. I’ve tried using a pointy knife, forks, scissors, ballpoint pen, pencil, bobby pin, bra wires and anything else I could get my hands on. The response isn’t always great, but it sure is fun to experiment. But I could only try this for about 10 minutes with the Windows version, because the Android version I have tested doesn’t have the feature yet.
The battery life was undoubtedly my favorite part to examine in my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review and I was very impressed. Its predecessor scored really well in my review, and the new slate is just as good when it comes to battery life. I tried the slate with moderate and mixed use, heavy use and light use. With light use, used for reading a few hours a day before bed and checking a few emails, I got a whopping 5 days of battery life out of it. That’s because I used little brightness, almost no WiFi and no media. With moderate and mixed use, involving some browsing, a few videos, an hour or two of gaming, some reading, some social media and some streaming, I got 3 days out of it, I would say roughly 20 hours, which is impressive in my mind for a tablet. With heavy use, playing a lot of games, browsing a lot, streaming more than 30 Youtube videos and uploading photos and videos to social media, I got a day and a half of battery life on the Lenovo Yoga 2 8. That’s still impressive in my mind.
Performance-wise, my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review would be a bit on the negative side. While the slate does perform well for a compact tablet running Android 4.4.4 KitKat, it could do better. The Intel Atom Z3745 processor and graphics do a good job, but a better chipset that works faster would have been better. 3 GB RAM would have been better than the 2 GB it currently offers, and I would have liked more than 16 GB internal storage. The camera experience is just average, with the 8 MP sensor on the rear and 1.6 MP one on the front. Overall, my Lenovo Yoga 2 8 review conclusions would be positive, but I would have liked a better processor, more memory (ROM and RAM) and better, faster cameras to work with. I would recommend this tablet for general media consumption and entertainment, some gaming, but not much more.