Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 full review
The Yoga Tablet is what Lenovo is calling its biggest launch of the year and the 10in tablet costs a very reasonable £249 (£219 at some retailers) – a smaller Yoga Tablet 8 is priced at £199. The Yoga Tablet 10 takes on the iPad Air and Nexus 10 tablets among others.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10: Design and build quality
This tablet is all about the design and has is part of the Yoga family of laptops and tablets because it can be used in various different 'modes'.
For starters, this tablet is one sleek and sexy product which feels great in the hand and makes you just want to hold it. It has a similar design to Sony's Tablet S which has a folded newspaper style wedge shape putting most of the weight in your hand and therefore making it easier to handle in portrait mode. It weighs just over 600g but feels lighter thanks to the design.
We don't particularly want to use a 10in tablet in portrait mode so this makes much more sense on the Yoga Tablet 8. The Yoga Tablet 10 doesn't look like Sony's wedge shaped tablet, though. It looks more like a super-sized Apple trackpad with a screen - a cylinder attached to an extremely thin tablet.
The device is both aluminium and plastic in build. The rear cover and screen surround are plastic while the stand and edge of the tablet are aluminium.
If you grab the heavy side of the Yoga Tablet and hold it on portrait, you're using it in 'hold mode' but there are two other modes. Putting it on a flat surface means the rounded part angles the screen towards you to make what Lenovo calls 'tilt mode' and finally a flip out kickstand puts it into, er, 'stand mode'.
All this means it's a wonderfully versatile device. A magnetic Bluetooth keyboard cover giving you laptop-esque productivity might sound tempting but it costs £79 and the plastic build quality doesn't warrant this price tag. We also love the fact it has front facing stereo speakers, something which is normally overlooked.
Lenovo Yogo Tablet 10 video review
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10: Hardware and performance
So far so good but it's not a complete fairy tale here. The Yoga Tablet has a reasonable 16GB of storage on-board or you can double this to 32GB (although we can't see this model for sale) plus a microSD card slot (up to 64GB) to back it up.
However, the screen resolution of 1280 x 800 is a bit of a let-down compared to what’s on the market at the moment so this is the main reason for the tablet's cheaper price. The Yoga Tablet 8 has the same resolution though so the pixels are packed more tightly and things look a fair bit crisper.
Lenovo has fitted the Yoga Tablet with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and so far it seems fairly nippy but is best described as mid-ranged. Web browsing can be jerky and switching between apps a little slow at times. Spend more money on a Nexus 10 or iPad Air and you'll find the experience much smoother.
Our benchmark results echo this but don't read into these too far, we provide them only for reference. Geekbench 2: 1310, Geekbench 3: 1071, GLBenchmark 2.5: 13fps, GLBenchmark 2.7: 4.5fps and SunSpider 1.0.2: 1433ms.
If you like taking picture with your tablet then the Yoga Tablet has a fairly unimpressive 5Mp at the rear if you care for tablet photography. The front facing 1.6Mp camera is likely to come in more useful for video chats. Hands-free ones if you put the Yoga Tablet 10 into stand mode, although the webcam is strangely positioned at the side when in this mode.
A much more unique and useful feature of the Yoga Tablet 10 is the front facing stereo speakers which provide an audio experience superior to most tablets. The speakers complement the stand mode for those who enjoy watching movies and TV shows on their tablet.
For an extra £30, you can get a version of the Yoga Tablet 10 with a SIM-card slot giving you 3G mobile data. For the price, we're not surprised to see a lack of NFC or other advanced features such as an infrared transmitter. You do get standard 11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0, though.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10: Software
The Yoga Tablet is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with a few modifications. The general style of Android has been changed including fonts, buttons etc and while the default looks a bit on the childish side, there are a couple of better themes to choose from.
A Smart Side Bar comes in from the side of the screen akin to the Windows 8 Charms Bar giving access to your favourite app shortcuts and the buttons to switch the sound and visual settings between the three modes.
The other major mod is that there is, unfortunately, no app menu. While this makes this simpler, it clutters the homescreens and just isn't really something which needs removing from Android.
Lenovo pre-loads apps including AccuWeather, Skype, Navigate 6, ES File Explorer, Norton Mobile Security and Kingsoft Office. Whether you find these useful or not we cannot say, but if you don't then they can be uninstalled.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10: Battery life
In Lenovo's own words, the Yoga Tablet 10 has "epic battery life" and at a quoted 18 hours, it sounds like this may be the case. This figure is gained with a pretty varied usage though, rather than a more traditional video playback test – 12 hours are spent reading an eBook.
We've given the Yoga Tablet 10 our usual BBC iPlayer playback test and it performed extremely well. The 8in model gave us 12 hours playback and the 10in tablet managed a slightly lower but still impressive 10 hours.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10: Specs
- Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS
- 1.2GHz Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
- 10.1in screen (1280x800, 149ppi)
- 16GB internal storage
- microSD card slot (up to 64GB)
- 1GB RAM
- 5Mp rear camera
- 1.6Mp front camera
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- WiFi 802.11b/g/n
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Size: 261 x 180mm