Outside of China and other Asian markets, Lenovo isn’t as well known for their Android smartphones and tablets. The Chinese company does have some great products on offer though, and continues to introduce new and interesting features to their products. Aiming for a more global presence, with a strategy that now includes Motorola, Lenovo is certainly one of the many Chinese companies on the cusp of making it big in the Android world.
Following the launch of its Yoga tablet series back in October last year, the successor of the 10-inch variant was introduced at MWC 2014 in February. Offering major upgrades across the board in terms of specifications compared to its previous iteration, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ has a lot to offer, all at a reasonable price point. Here’s our in-depth review of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+!
In terms of build quality and design elements, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ looks like any other budget-friendly 10-inch tablet available, with its mostly plastic build material and relatively large bezels around the display. That said, the tablet is also quite thin and lightweight. This particular review unit comes with a silver and gold finish, and features a textured back that allows for better grip while also keeping away fingerprint marks.
Of course, you can’t miss the metal cylinder along the bottom of the device, that serves as a kickstand, with everything, such as the microUSB port, volume rocker, power button, and headphone jack, found on or around this barrel. A microSD card slot is found under the kickstand. The rear camera is also found at the bottom of the back of the tablet, once again on the barrel, a placement that is somewhat awkward.
While the metal cylinder is what makes this tablet unique, it not only makes the tablet asymmetrical, a design choice that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it also results in quite an uneven weight distribution, which does take some getting used to. That said, the built-in kickstand allows you to prop the device up at a couple of different angles, and definitely helps make this tablet a great media consumption device.
As the name suggests, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ comes with a 10.1-inch display, with a 1920 x 1200 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 224 ppi. Graphics and texts do look sharp, viewing angles are good, and brightness isn’t an issue. That is unfortunately where the good news ends. Where this display falls short is with regards to colour calibration, with the contrast ratio being off. You get a lot of warm tones, resulting in an overly pink looking display. The colours looks very unnatural, and is particularly noticeable when looking at people, or anything with flesh coloured tones in it.
Packing a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, clocked at 1.6 GHz, the Adreno 305 GPU, and 2 GB of RAM, the specifications of this tablet are decidedly mid-range, but performs admirably for what it is. Everything runs smoothly for the most part, but I did notice some frames getting dropped consistently during animations, and some apps are slow to load. It may not be the fastest tablet around, but the issues in performance, which may be due to the software experience as opposed to any hardware shortcomings, don’t render the tablet unusable by any means. Games work well, and overall, the tablet does get the job done.
As far as the speakers are concerned, Lenovo gets points for placing the dual speakers up front, which definitely ideal for something that is meant to serve as a media consumption device. Apart from the great placement, the speakers also perform very well.
One of the better aspects of the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is with regards to battery life. Featuring a battery with a whopping 9,000 mAh capacity, this battery lasts a long time, even with heavy use. With my usage consisting mainly of gaming and watching Youtube videos, I was able to get up to 8 hours of screen on time, which is quite impressive. Also important to note is its standby capabilities, with the battery losing just one or two percentage points, when left unused overnight.
The camera isn’t a defining feature when it comes to tablets, and that is certainly the case this time around as well. The 8 MP rear shooter is decent though, and while the picture quality isn’t going to blow you away, it will serve as an able replacement in a pinch. The camera UI is simple and straight forward, with the usual array of modes and settings available. Low light performance is poor, but great camera performance isn’t the primary reason for anyone to pick up a tablet.
Finally, when it comes to the software, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ was originally running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but recently received an official update to Android 4.4 Kitkat. On top is Lenovo’s custom UI, which may not be the heaviest skin around, but does have some quirks to it. For starters, an App Drawer isn’t available, so you’ll have to resort to Folders to avoid cluttering up the home screens. Persistent notifications from some pre-installed Lenovo apps, such as SecureIt, also clutter the notification shade, which can be annoying. The cartoon-ish icons and the default colour scheme aren’t the prettiest either.
Some notable features include Smart Bar, that can be accessed by swiping from the left or right edge of the screen, giving you some recently opened applications, and the ability to adjust your sound and visual to the display’s orientation on the fly. The tablet also comes with a multi-window feature, allowing you to run four applications side by side, if you’re really looking to get some work done. That said, the software experience feels clunky overall, and seems to draw away from the Android experience, instead of adding to it.
|Display||10.1-inch IPS LCD display, 1920 x 1200 resolution, 224 ppi|
|Processor||1.6 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, Adreno 305|
|Storage||16/32 GB, microSD card slot|
|Camera||8 MP rear shootern1.6 MP front camera|
|Connectivity||GPS, microUSB 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC|
|Software||Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradable to Android 4.4. Kitkat)|
|Dimensions||261 x 180 x 8.1 mmn615 grams|
If you’re hoping to pick up the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, it is available directly from Lenovo or Amazon for $349.99. Two available colour options are gold and silver, and while just the Wi-Fi only version is available in the US, a 3G version can also be found in some other markets.
So there you have it, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+! What is unique about this tablet is its built-in kickstand, that is not only very helpful, but results in a different design aesthetic. Also impressive is the battery life, but what lets the tablet down is its sub-par display and clunky software experience. That said, it is still an impressive mid-ranger, and should compete nicely with other tablets in this price range.