The Bottom Line
Nov 7 2013 - Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 10 definitely tried to be different and in some way it succeeds but ultimately it is undone by some budget class features. The tablet is designed to be affordable and it does achieve this compared to other 10-inch tablets. The kickstand and long battery life are its real stand out features although the odd shape can take a while to get used to or carry around. The problem is the tablet feels slow and has a subpar display when compared against many other tablets, many of which are even more affordable.
- Built-In Stand Offers Multiple Modes
- Very Long Battery Life
- Lower Resolution Display
- Kick-Stand Can Be Difficult To Rotate Out
- Processor Makes UI Feel A Bit Sluggish
- 1.2GHz MediaTek MT8125T (Cortex-A7) Quad Core Processor
- 1GB Memory
- 16GB Storage
- 10-inch WXGA (1280x800) Multitouch Display
- 1.6 Megapixel Front Camera, 5.0 Megapixel Rear Camera
- PowerVR SGX 544
- 802.11b/g/n Wireless, Bluetooth
- microUSB, microSD Card Slot, 3.5mm Audio Jack
- 10.28" x 7.09" x .74" @ 1.33 lbs.
- Android 4.2
Review - Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10
Nov 7 2013 - Lenovo definitely tried to be different with its Yoga Tablet 10 and it certainly does live up to it. Rather than a uniform thickness for the tablet, it instead features a rounded bulge on the left hand side. In fact, the profile view from the top of the tablet, the shape almost resembles that of the Apple Bluetooth Keyboard. This means that the weight is distributed to one side which makes it easier to hold. The downside is that it is very thick at roughly three quarters of an inch on the one edge. This can make it a bit trickier to store and transport. Weight is fairly reasonable at one and a third pounds but it feels very heavy compared to the new iPad Air. Its construction and build is actually quite good being a mix of plastic with metal accents.
The unique feature is a stand that is built into the tablet that rotates out from the rounded section. A fold out kickstand is not a new feature and is one of the prominent items of the Microsoft Surface tablets. The difference here is that the stand is designed to hold the tablet in either a tilt or stand mode. The tilt mode lifts it up at a slight angle off the table. The stand mode holds it more upright so that it could be viewed better when watching videos. It should be noted that failure to rotate the stand all the way out can result in an unstable position for the stand that will fall over when the screen is touched.
Powering the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 is the MediaTek MT8125T quad core processor that has been seen in a number of affordable tablets lately. It runs at a 1.2Ghz speed but it based upon a more power efficient ARM Cortex-A7 design which means that it does lack performance against many of the Cortex-A9 based processors but it still handles the basics of media playback just fine. Rotation of the screen between different orientations is certainly slower than one would expect in a modern tablet.
Storage for the tablet is fairly typical with a 16GB or 32GB version available. What is a bit different is the cost of upgrading. While companies like Apple put a premium for the extra storage, Lenovo is offering a much more reasonable $20 cost to move from the 16GB to 32GB version. Unlike many other Android tablets launched lately, Lenovo has included a microSD slot to expand the media storage space. The only downside is that the slot is behind the kickstand when it is folded which can make access to it difficult at times.
The display panel is probably one of the weaker aspects of the Yoga Tablet 10. The 10.1-inch screen features a very basic 1280x800 display resolution. This puts it very below recent tablets tablets such as the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX and latest Google Nexus 7 that feature 1920x1200 resolution for full 1080p high definition video. Beyond the resolution, the screen does offer a fair amount of color, brightness and viewing angles. It does reasonably well with bright lighting conditions but can have issues at times overcoming bright sunlight. The graphics feature the PowerVR SGX 544 which give it some gaming capability but it is certainly not best suited for that task with graphically demanding games..
Lenovo promises a lot in terms of the running time when it comes to the Yoga Tablet 10 with its 9,000 mAH rated battery. They claim that it can run up to eighteen hours when used exclusively in a reader mode and up to twelve hours for video playback. In digital video playback testing, the system was able to achieve just under eleven and three quarters hours which is very close to the estimate given by Lenovo. In fact, this puts it up there as one of the longer running tablets on the market and nearly on par with the class leading Apple iPad Air.
Pricing for the 10-inch Lenovo Yoga starts around $299 for the 16GB version and just $309 currently for the 32GB model. This makes it one of the more affordable of the 10-inch tablets on the market. It certainly is much less expensive than either the Apple iPad Air, Google Nexus 10 or Samsung Galaxy Tab which are all $400 or more. In every case other than battery life, each of those tablets offers better performance and displays. Instead, the Yoga Tablet 10 is more comparable to the smaller 7 to 9-inch tablets such as the Apple iPad Mini, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, and Google Nexus 7. All three of these are lighter than the Yoga Tablet and the Amazon and Google both have higher resolution screens. Both the Amazon and Google tablets are also more affordable.