The Yoga Tablet 8 and Yoga Tablet 10 are the love children of a partnership between Ashton Kutcher and Lenovo. You heard that right, these tablets are hardly the first Android tablets from Lenovo, the company has been making Android tablets for years, but they are the first two products to come from Ashton Kutcher’s new involvement at the company. So how did Mr. Kutcher do? The Yoga Tablets manage to stand out in a world with way too much Android tablets, and that’s no easy feat.
Hold, stand, tilt. The Yoga Tablets are described as a multimode tablet, and they of course get their heritage from Lenovo’s popular Yoga Ultrabooks series. To that effect, this multimode design is super practical, as it manages to extend the versatility of the Yoga Tablet beyond what most other tablets can do on their own, at least without additional accessories. The tablets sport a kickstand which lets the tablet sit upright, which is perfect for watching a movie, having a video chat, or even using the device as an impromptu digital picture frame. The kickstand also lets you lay the tablet down at a lower angle, which is ideal for typing. Look ma, no accessory case required! Finally, Hold mode lets you grip the tablet more comfortably in your palm for reading in portrait mode.
The chrome painted trim of the Yoga helps complete the premium look of the tablet. This silver-like finish offers a premium look and makes it stand out in a world of black and white slates. At its edge, the device tapers to just 3mm. Its design is complimented by a laser-etched back housing. Finally, the thick rounded edge at one side of the Yoga isn’t just there to support the different Yoga modes, but it provides housing for its better than average battery.
The tablets come running Android Jelly Bean 4.2. Unfortunately, and oddly enough, Lenovo has neglected to include an app drawer. This means means that all your app icons end up living on the homescreen, so your homescreen ends up being quite cluttered. And to further take advantage of the 3 different design modes, Lenovo has preloaded the Smart Side Bar shortcut menu onto the Tablets which is able to identify which orientation you’re using. The Smart Side Bar offers you quick access to your most recent apps. Meanwhile, overall performance is ok. The system is powered by a 1.2GHz MediaTek quad-core chipset with 1GB of RAM. Under Quadrant, the system earned a score of 4529.
The IPS display on the Yoga is probably the most disappointing aspect of the tablet. The viewing angles are good, the display also gets pretty bright, and the 1280×800 resolution with a 167ppi is adequate, but it simply can’t compete with the displays that can be found on the likes of the iPad, Kindle Fire HDX, or Surface 2. Instead, its visuals aren’t as sharp as we would like and the colors are a bit washed out. That said, the display will be ok for most users, it’s just not in the Retina’s display’s league.
Accessories are often forgotten or neglected, but not this time. Unlike so many other Android tablets that lack accessories, Lenovo is offering a colorful selection of accessory cases for the Yoga Tablet 8 and 10. In addition, they are also offering slim keyboard cover with a magnetic wake lock.
The Yoga Tablet’s design is a seriously welcome change of pace in a world where most Android tablets look the same. But the Yoga Tablet 8 and 10 don’t just look more attractive then the average slate, their unusual Multimode design is practical too. But aside from being table to being able strut the Yoga Tablets into its hold, stand, and tilt positions, a major incentive here are the tablets above average battery life. These are tablets that will last the whole day with you. To that effect, we got nearly 13 hours of battery life on the Yoga Tablet 8 with wi-fi turned on and the screen set at a lower brightness setting. Overall, the Yoga Tablet 8 and 10 are solid affordable tablets, that could be excellent tablets if they offered a better display, and received some software tweaks. Pricing for the Yoga tablet 8 begins at $249 for the 16GB model, while the Yoga Tablet 10 retails for $299 for the 16GB model.
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The Good: Practical Multimode design is super unique and practical, above average battery life for nearly all day use, excellent premium and sturdy build quality, nice choice of accessories, competitively priced, built-in micro-sd card slot, Dolby front-facing speakers speakers are powerful, and better than average front facing camera.
The Bad: Display is disappointing, kickstand is awkward to open, Lenovo’s overlay needs refinements – eg: missing app drawer, not the lightest tablet.