Lenovo‘s Yoga series has made a name for themselves in the industry pushing the boundaries of shape, form factor and all around physical features in mobile computing. The Lenovo Yoga tablet stays true to its name in pioneering something completely new in an Android tablet.
Probably the most notable hardware of any Android powered tablet I’ve seen to date, when held in portrait mode one side on the device is slim as a razor, and the other side has a 3/4 inch thick round “handle” of sorts the length of the device. This serves the multiple purposes of giving you something substantial to grasp while using the tablet one-handed, and housing the tablet’s kick-stand.
At the top of the thick edge is a large, circular power button, balancing the 3.5 mm headphone jack on the bottom. The kickstand takes up almost the entire edge starting an inch from the top and bottom. To extend the kickstand you must grasp the edge tightly and begin to twist toward the screen. Beneath the kickstand on the back is the micro SD slot toward the bottom and the factory information sticker at the top.
The front of the device is a black slate aside from the rounded silver handle at the top and bottom of which the Dolby speakers are located. The MicroUSB charging port is at the top to the right of the power/sleep button opposite of the volume rocker which resides beside the headphone jack.
Running Android 4.2.2 with no mention of a software upgrade to come, the device’s launcher does not have an app-drawer, which can become an issue if you install upwards of 100 apps as it can start to look rather messy. But that’s what launcher replacements are for. Lenovo has implemented a “smart side bar” which offers quick access to apps like books, gallery and some of the recently used applications, however it is only accessible from the home-screen, so if you utilize the device’s stock launcher, all of those things would be immediately available anyway.
The performance is sub-par, but if you’re interested in purchasing one to use as an ebook reader, I would encourage that. The screen has good brightness and visibility even in direct light, and the software offers several options to accommodate using the device in “tilt, stand, and hold” modes. However any usage much more taxing on the processor than that would be out of the question. Even playing Words With Friends at times proved to be too much for this little guy.
Probably the best feature of this tablet is the bragged 18 hour battery life. With somewhat light use, I pushed the battery over 2 weeks without charging it. If battery life is more important to you than hardcore performance or high-end specs, at an MSRP of $299, this tablet is definitely worth considering.