The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro
The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro practically contains almost everything – save a stylus – that makes this 13” device interesting. Lenovo just demonstrated the flexibility of an Android hardware; how various manufacturers can create several features. The performance of the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, is, however, not very remarkable.
To start with, the specs of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro are as follows: it has a 13.3” screen with a 2560×1440 LCD, a 2gb RAM, and a 32gb storage plus a MicroSD slot. Lenovo used the Atom Z3745 for its CPU, a 9600mAh Li-ion for its battery, and Android 4.4.2 software. The tablet weights 2.09 pounds and has dimensions of 331.9 x 223.7 x 22mm. The back camera is competitive at 8mp and a 1.6mp front camera. Other features of the tablet include an integrated kickstand and a pico projector.
Design-wise, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 pro is enormous and heavy. It doesn’t even have the thin design that most companies are now leaning towards. Instead, the tablet has a curvy battery bump and/or integrated kickstand – 22mm at the thickest point – that distinguishes the Yoga tablet.
The good points about the design include:
- The large screen has a high resolution and colors are of good quality
- Brightness is above average
- The all-metal kickstand makes the phone remarkable and the best thing to place for your desk. The button for releasing it is integrated into the rear camera and the subwoofer panel.
The bad points, meanwhile, include:
- The screen gets a blue tint when the environment is a bit cold, and a light bleeding can be observed on dark backgrounds.
- The 16:9 aspect ratio may negatively affect the software
- The 18mm bezel size makes the device even more enormous than it already is, again defying the norm of thin bezels
- The entire tablet is made of plastic, which makes the device susceptible to creaking and wearing off.
- The focus slider for the pico projector is cheap.
- The heft makes it difficult to carry the device even with the presence of the grippable section.
The power button, volume rocker, USB 2.0 port, and headphone jack are all located at the tablet’s left side. On the right side is the pico projector lens hides and the button that will activate it. The kickstand serves as a tab that holds the MicroSD slot and a SIM card slot. The dual speakers are located at the front.
Lenovo partnered with JBL to create a speaker that has a 2.1 setup composing of stereo speakers below the screen and the subwoofer under the kickstand at the back. Here are some comments regarding the Yoga Tablet 2 speakers:
- Sound quality is still cheap despite the 2.1 setup speaker, and that is very disappointing.
- Low sound even in a quiet room. External sound is needed for you to actually hear the sounds, especially if you’re using the projector.
- The Tablet 2 Pro has a lot of similar hardware with other low-end laptops. Comparing it to the Toshiba Chromebook 2 which uses Skullcandy – a less trustworthy brand than JBL, mind you) – simple evaluations would show that Toshiba’s speaker quality is still more superior than that of the Tablet 2 Pro. This is unacceptable for a tablet with a pico projector.
- The JBL earphones that comes with the tablet have better quality than most freebies. It’s also a better option than the tablet’s speakers.
The 32gb storage is an industry standard, so there are no complaints on this aspect. The only recommendation is for Lenovo to include a slot for a standard SD card since the tablet is 13”. The Android 4.4 used by Yoga Tablet 2 uses only 6.5gb of space, so you are left with 28gb for installing new apps and media.
- Battery Life
The 9600mAh three-cell cylindrical battery is crammed into the tablet’s bump at the back where the kickstand, projector, and speaker are located. This is less remarkable than that of Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 because Samsung was able to fit the 9500mAh battery into a flat back. Here are some points regarding the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro’s battery life:
- The tablet has eight to 10 hours of screen time even with web surfing, e-mail, vidoes, and light games opened simultaneously. The tablet is rated to have a 15-hour battery life, but this could probably for light use only such as web browsing or reading.
- Standby time lasts for at least seven days
- The tablet charges only on its 1.8-volt wall-wart adapter or from sources with higher output such as the Nexus 6 adapter.
The tablet’s 8mp rear camera has an F/2.2 lens that works just fine.
- Camera quality is okay, with decent shots even on moving subjects or medium light.
- 6mp front camera is usable for video chats
- Lens have a tendency of overexposure, but it’s still remarkable.
- Jittery video shots. Considering the tablet’s size, that’s completely understandable.
Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is one of the few Android devices that has a projector, second only to the Samsung Galaxy Beam. It can be used to project up to 50 inches and is supposedly ideal to use for on-the-road video sharing or for instant presentations for businesses, but the projector of Tablet 2 Pro falls short of these expectations.
- The projector’s resolution is below the tablet screen’s resolution of 854×580. This is noticeable even if you don’t maximize the 50-inch capacity.
- Brightness is also lower than a standard projector, even in a dark room.
- The tablet plays decent videos while in projector mode from Chrome or Netflix, but struggles to play other videos. There is a waiting time of up to three minutes when playing videos from YouTube or Google Play. But after a long period of waiting, the app just crashes most of the time.
The verdict? Use your screen to play videos and avoid the projector altogether.
- Software skin and home screen
There are more negative than positive points to say about Yoga Tablet 2 Pro’s home screen and software skin:
- The Android skin is obviously a rip-off from iPad.
- Home screen has no app grid and customization is too limited.
- The notification bar is missing everything but the notifications.
- The custom quick settings menu is easy to be accidentally activated because it has a swipe up activation from the navigation bar.
- Multi-window feature supports only six apps: Chrome and five of Lenovo’s floating apps that is not really useful.
The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has built-in apps scuh as Brewster (its own social networking app), DAQRI (the 4D app), Evernote, Gamestore, Route 66 navigation, Kingsoft office suite, Security HD, and a file syncing app among others.
The tablet is loaded with too much junk applications just to increase the hardware margins. This is not acceptable for a supposedly premium device that costs $500. The good news is, you may use an alternative launcher and disable the apps that you don’t want or need. At least you have that option.
The Atom Z3745 and 2gb RAM used by the Yoga Tablet 2 is decent enough, but again, it’s not something that will give you the best value for your money. There are only brief moments of lag, but it still doesn’t bring the tablet anywhere near the top of the line.
Use of the tablet is more ideal for a desk than as a handheld device – it’s made ideally for that kind of niche. The location of the power and projector buttons make accidental activation of popups more frequent, which could easily make you annoyed. The kickstand is a notable feature of the device since it generally makes the tablet a good desk companion for work, since the e-mail notifications are more preferable than opening e-mails in a desktop computer.
Its large size is ideal not just for video viewing, but also for connecting a keyboard and mouse. However, the tablet’s shortcomings in terms of software and hardware makes it an expensive and gimmicky device. A lot can be improved in terms of Lenovo’s ideas for innovations, particularly in its execution.
Do you own a Yoga Tablet 2? Share your experience by commenting below!