Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch) Android Tablet Review

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch) Android Tablet Review

Lenovo's new Yoga Tablet 2 arrives, powered by the Intel Atom Z3745 processor with one of the most interesting designs yet.

| Apr 9, 2015 at 3:14 pm CDT
Rating: 79%Manufacturer: Lenovo

Introduction, Specs, and Availability & Price

Lenovo is a brand that is becoming more and more known throughout the consumer world, as they are better positioning themselves against the South Korean electronics giants in LG and Samsung, as well as the US giants like Apple and Google.

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It was only recently that Lenovo acquired Motorola Mobility, the division of Motorola that makes handsets, but we're still not seeing the fruits of that $2.9 billion labor. We will in the coming years, but for now, Lenovo has its own interesting devices to sell to the world, in the form of their growing Yoga range of devices.

The Yoga range of devices spans multiple Ultrabooks and tablets, and as a big fan and user of the Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook, I was excited to see the design win of the Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch). This is what we have here today, the 10-inch version of Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2, powered by Intel's Atom processor. Let's dive right into the specifications of this tablet, and see what makes it tick, inside and out.

Specs

Lenovo has a tight partnership with Intel, so the company leveraged this with the Yoga Tablet 2 using Intel's Atom Z3745 processor. This is a quad-core processor with a base clock of 1.33GHz, and Burst clock of up to 1.86GHz, all while consuming less than 2W of power. The Atom Z3745 chip has Intel HD Graphics, with a Base clock of 311MHz, and Burst clock of up to 778MHz.

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The Atom Z3745 processor is 64-bit capable, has 2MB of L2 cache, is built on Intel's 22nm technology and supports up to 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM. We have 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, 16GB of on-board NAND storage, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, two 1.5W Dolby audio front-facing stereo speakers, a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 IPS-based multi-touchscreen, and Android 4.4 KitKat inside.

There's also a microUSB port for charging and syncing the tablet, an audio jack for headphones or speaker out, and micro SD card support for storage. We also have an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, backed up by a 1.6-megapixel front-facing snapper.

Availability & Price

Lenovo sells the Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch starting from $269.99 on its website, and the same $269.99 price applies on Amazon, too. As for availability, Lenovo's website states 1-3 business days at the time of writing, so I don't see you having a problem acquiring one at all.

PRICING: You can find the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch) Android Tablet for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch) Android Tablet retails for $282 at Amazon.

Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.

Key Features & Four Ways to Use Your Tablet

Lenovo has done quite a good job cramming some great features into the Yoga Tablet 2, considering its $269.99 price. We have the great IPS-based 10.1-inch 1920x1200 display, which looks quite nice, even when there's some light reflecting off of it.

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The front-facing large-chamber stereo speakers are great, with Lenovo using Wolfson Master HiFi audio processing and Dolby surround sound for a great audio experience. I used the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 for YouTube, watching movies and a heap of music, where I was blown away with the audio quality.

One of the most unique things about Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2 comes in the form of the battery cylinder which is on the side of the tablet, and a kickstand. This allows you to use the Yoga Tablet 2 in countless ways. There are some great features on the Yoga Tablet 2, most of which find themselves under the "Four Ways to Use Your Tablet", which you'll find below.

Four Ways to Use Your Tablet

One thing I loved about, and still love about my Yoga 2 Pro Ultrabook are the 'Four Ways' I can use it. On the Yoga Tablet 2, we have four modes in which you can use it; Hold, Tilt, Stand, and Hang. These modes are mostly self-explanatory.

The 'Hold' mode is the one that most are used to, as you will hold your Yoga Tablet 2 as you would any other tablet - in your hand. This is the most comfortable way to use it, but Lenovo aren't finished with 'modes' that you can use your new slate just yet.

'Stand' allows you to use the hinge as something to lean on, so you can use the Yoga Tablet 2 standing up to consume video or for music playback.

'Hang' mode uses the hole found in the hinge that lets you use the Yoga Tablet 2 in one of the most unique ways possible. This is going to be great for people who want to use the Yoga Tablet 2 in the kitchen or in the garage and have something to hook it up to.

Build Quality & How It Feels

The box that the Yoga Tablet 2 arrives in is nice, which we'll take a look at before peering at the tablet itself.

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Here we have the front of the box, where we can see some of the flexing that the Yoga Tablet 2 is capable of.

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On the back, we find out the details on the Yoga Tablet 2 itself, with its Intel Z3745 quad-core processor clocked at 1.86GHz, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM, and the 10.1-inch 1920x1200 IPS-based display.

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Here we have the front of the tablet, with the speakers on either side of the screen around the hinge. We have the front facing camera to the left, which would be at the top when you're holding the Yoga Tablet 2 vertically.

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On the back of the tablet, we have a microSD card slot behind that little flap to the left and the rear-facing camera that we'll get closer to in a minute.

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On the right side, we have a 3.5mm headphone/audio jack.

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On the left, we have the volume rocker and microUSB jack for charging/syncing the Yoga Tablet 2.

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Here we have a closer look at the display, and to the right we have the front-facing camera. Up the top on the left and right, we have our speakers.

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On its back, we have the rear-facing camera in the top left and that great hinge displayed at the top.

How It Feels - Real World Use of the Yoga Tablet 2

One of the best features of the Yoga Tablet 2 is that it has some great uses for its many different stand modes. The "Hang" mode was one of my favorites, especially for those with hooks around the house or in their garage. You could easily hang the Yoga Tablet 2 where you want, and have music or YouTube playing.

The design of the Yoga Tablet 2 is one of the most unique I've come across, as it changed the way I actually held it, too. I held the Yoga Tablet 2 from the bottom where its battery and speaker are found, as that's where the bulk of the weight is found. Even when I was sitting or laying down, my hand gravitated toward that part of the tablet to counteract the weight and balance it.

Display & Software

The display on Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 is a beautiful 10-inch 1920x1200 IPS-based display, but while it might sound great, in person it's not amazing. The rendered text and images look 'fuzzy', which is hard to explain in text. It's something you need to see in order to understand. In some apps and images, the images and text look super clear, but it's not an OS-wide fuzziness. It's a strange beast to explain.

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The pixel density is great, but the UI doesn't make any good use of it, so it is mostly wasted. Full HD content looked great on it, as I did a fair amount of Netflix and YouTube consumption on the Yoga Tablet 2.

Software

I'm such a big advocate of stock Android, but Lenovo has splashed so much of its own software onto the Yoga Tablet 2 that it's hard to get around sometimes. There's no app drawer, so you just continue to swipe to the right to get into your apps, and back to the left in order to get back to your home screen.

The UI is very similar to iOS, with some of the icons and splash screens really reminding me that it looked like an Apple device. We do have 4-app multi-window, which lists a bunch of apps that you can select, drag, and drop into four different applications that makes use of the display. You can also resize apps to use more of the screen, too.

If you swipe up from the bottom of the screen, you'll get a control center (see the Apple similarities here?) where you have access to quick settings and the notification tray.

Performance, Camera, Battery Life & Benchmarks

The general performance of the Yoga Tablet 2 was great, but the actual hardware performance of the Yoga Tablet 2 will be divided into below - where it gets destroyed in our benchmarks. The day-to-day use of the 10-inch, Intel-powered tablet is not too bad at all. You can't feel that it would be the type of tablet to get destroyed by its competition, which is why benchmarks don't always show off the real-world performance of a device.

The JBL speakers are more than impressive, with Dolby Surround Sound technology to help make the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 one of the better sounding tablets on the market. Blasting Netflix or YouTube while in 'Stand' mode is one of the best uses for this Yoga Tablet 2.

Battery Life

When it came to battery life, I did a bunch of real-world testing on it, which involved lots of YouTube, Google Play Music, Spotify, Netflix and web surfing. I got around two days out of it with the usual amount of use, and a good 9-10 hours of constant video playback.

Benchmarks

This is something I don't think a tablet should be sold on, but we have some benchmarks of the Yoga Tablet 2 if it helps your decision-making process. I do not recommend buying a device based on its benchmarks. I have these here to give you an indication of its internal performance, but real-world performance across these tablets is mostly the same - even if the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 gets utterly destroyed, as you're about to witness.

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The Yoga Tablet 2 doesn't do too well in Basemark X's gaming performance score with medium quality and AA disabled, with it being the lowest scoring device on our charts so far.

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3DMark performance on the Yoga Tablet 2 wasn't too bad, but it is still the lowest performing device on our charts yet again.

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We see the Yoga Tablet 2 continue its performance mediocrity in GFXBench 3.0, where it is toe and toe with the LG G3 smartphone.

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And again, the Yoga Tablet 2 continues to get punished by the much more powerful competition.

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For the Yoga Tablet 2's final benchmark, we let it have a rest - this is embarrassing.

Camera Samples

Lenovo has included an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera on the Yoga Tablet 2, but for a tablet, the rear-facing camera is mostly useless - for me, anyway. The front-facing camera is to the left side of the tablet, which is odd... but it's in perfect placement if you are using the 10-inch slate in portrait mode.

When turning the Yoga Tablet 2 around, the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera is to the right. It doesn't matter about camera placement as much on the rear, but how about we show you some images we snapped with our Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2? Check them out below.

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What's Hot, What's Not & Final Thoughts

This is a quick wrap up on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, if you didn't want to go into the multi-page review above.

Four Ways of Awesome: The four ways of using the Yoga Tablet 2 is one of the best, if not the best part of the tablet. Thanks to Lenovo using an innovative design and putting the battery cylinder and kickstand into the side of the device, it opens up the Yoga Tablet 2 to many different ways of use.

Battery Life: The Yoga Tablet 2 has an all-day battery life, even with heavy use. Netflix and YouTube use for more than 8 hours is excellent, and if you're dimming the brightness a little, you'll extend that past 10-11 hours without an issue.

Great Audio: Audio is something important for a tablet, and especially so when you have the 'four ways of use' for the Yoga Tablet 2. As I'm writing this review, I'm watching some TV on Netflix and the audio is enough to blast throughout my office for all to hear.

Decent Rear-Facing Camera: One of the things that surprised me about the Yoga Tablet 2 was the decent rear-facing camera, that shot some somewhat great photos! Sure, you look like a bit of a fool snapping photos with a tablet, but if you need to - the rear-facing camera on the Yoga Tablet 2 isn't too bad at all.

What's Not

Lenovo's UI: I don't like what Lenovo has done with the modified UI on top of Android 4.4, and this is a big point that Lenovo needs to fix going into the future. It looks and feels like iOS, far too much.

No App Drawer = Confusing: This is a confusing part of the muddled UI, where the app drawer is not its own part of the OS, it's found by swiping to the right from the main home screen.

Abysmal Benchmark Performance: This isn't going to have a negative feel on the overall review, but it's something worth pointing out. Intel's mobile SoC gets utterly destroyed by every single other device in nearly every single benchmark we used.

Final Thoughts

Lenovo has a good tablet here, but there's nothing great. The display is nice, the quality is good, but there's nothing that makes this stand out against the iPad, Sony's offerings in its constantly improving Xperia lineup of tablets, or Samsung's various slates.

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One of the best parts of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 is definitely the four modes of use, where I found it really great to have the stand on the back where I could hold it or position it in very specific ways. Having the hole in the stand is genius on Lenovo's behalf, as people who use the tablet in their kitchen or garage are going to have one of the best uses for that stand. The rear-facing camera was actually surprising, something that I didn't expect from the Yoga Tablet 2. Not that you'd buy this tablet for the camera abilities, but it's a nice addition to the slate. The video quality was also surprising, which is another credit to Lenovo.

What I'd like to see from the next tablet from Lenovo is constant improvement in the form of the display, which I found lacked against Sony, Apple and Samsung. A 1440p display might capture consumers and have them interested, but it's not just the display.

The user interface needs to be scrapped or heavily watered down and stripped down closer to stock Android. I found the UI very, very clunky and hard to navigate - being one of the worst points of using the tablet. I'm coming in from using various iPads, iPhones, Samsung smartphones, Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, LG G3 and my Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone, and the Lenovo UI is the worst, hands down.

Other than that, the Yoga Tablet 2 is mediocre. It's nothing I would rush out and buy, unless you wanted to keep within the Lenovo family. The stand isn't something you'd buy the Yoga Tablet 2 for, but it is definitely a huge, huge plus for Lenovo. Even a house visit from Ashton Kutcher wouldn't be enough to have me recommend the Yoga Tablet 2, so Kutcher - get to work on the Yoga Tablet 3, okay?

PRICING: You can find the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch) Android Tablet for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch) Android Tablet retails for $282 at Amazon.

Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at PLE Computer's website.

Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:33 pm CDT

Performance70%
Quality including Design and Build90%
General Features70%
Bundle and Packaging80%
Value for Money85%
Overall Rating79%

The Bottom Line: While the Yoga Tablet 2 isn't the best tablet, it does have a saving grace in the four modes to use it. People who want a tablet for the kitchen or garage have a great purchase here with Lenovo's slate. Everyone else? Not so much.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

ABOUT THE AUTHOR -

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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