Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10
First look – out tomorrow!
By Thang Ngo
Australians are world leaders when it comes to mobile and tablets adoption, currently seven in ten Australians own a smartphone and forecasts are by 2015 eight in ten will have one and six in ten will own a tablet. Lenovo, the world’s largest PC maker, is making a play for the lucrative tablet with the 2013 Yoga Tablet, which goes on sale in Australia from tomorrow.
This silver slate is slinky and seriously sexy.
Not surprisingly, Lenovo chose Ashton Kutcher, whose hip and desirability ranking is through the roof, as product ambassador. It’s cheeky given Kutcher played Apple founder, Steve Jobs recently.
Noodlies, Sydney food blog is one of the first in Australia to get our eager hands on a Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 in advance of the Australian release on 8 November.
With this latest Yoga, Lenovo is looking to re-invent the tablet form – Apple has made slick slates desirable, but being cool costs, the top of the range iPad Air will set your wallet back $1,049 (128GB, 4G). Lenovo’s innovation is dialing up the sexiness while making the tablet more practical and affordable.
Yep, the Lenovo Yoga tablet is uber-practical with a innovative metal ‘kick-stand’ that stands the unit high for watching videos and lays low for desk or lap use. Then there’s the new cylinder at one side of the tablet which houses a larger battery to deliver an astounding 18 hours of tablet fun time. This also allows for a large, round on/off button on one end, making it super easy to turn on and off. On the other end is a discrete head phone jack. It’s heavy, though Lenovo claims this all-new design, which mimics an open magazine, makes its tablet more comfortable to hold, especially for extended use. After four days of intensive, continuous use, noodlies agrees. This Yoga is easier to pick up and grip, especially in portrait mode, and feels more balanced than flat tablets. But it’s the large, easy to locate on/off button convenience which I appreciated most as I’m always turning it on and off.
A reality check though, Apple users will find Android OS unfamiliar and challenging – it’s a different operating system after all. As a Samsung Note 2 user, noodlies was up and going in minutes especially when using the chrome browser.
For affordability, the Yoga is hard to fault, at $399, you get sex on legs practicality. To keep the price this keen there are obvious compromises. Firstly the Quad Core 1.2Hz chip isn’t as grunty as the Speedy Gonzales marvels found in Apple and Samsung tablets. However, after extensive use, noodlies is pleasantly surprised, no painful lags and sudden freezing. Even with constantly use of Evernote, using Google’s QuickOffice to edit Word, Excel and even PowerPoint documents (for a conference presentation this coming weekend), the Yoga handled every task with ease. As for blogging, I’m writing this WordPress post right now on the train tethered to my smartphone’s internet. For medium to heavy use, the Yoga is slick and efficient, and a head-turner to boot; be warned, strangers will sit next to you on public transport just for a gander. Unless you’re a gamer or do heaps of photo or video editing, speed won’t be an issue (who edits video on their tablet anyway?!).
Secondly, the 1280×800 screen resolution is on the low side. Even coming from an iPad 2, I noticed the lower resolution – the muted menu colour scheme doesn’t help either. Images aren’t as bright, very small fonts will have fuzzy edges. But when watching HD movies, none of that is apparent, I’m not sure why but movies and music clips are clear, crisp and bright. Together with the dual front Dolby speakers and standing up on the kick stand, the Yoga delivers a remarkably satisfying experience, on the move or by the bedside table.
Best of all getting content to the Yoga is a breeze, connect to your PC with the supplied cable and copy, no confounded iTunes to deal with!
Speaking of video and photos, while the rear camera is 5M, don’t get too excited, especially in low light the camera images are poor – but then again, does anyone seriously recommend using a tablet for video and photos?
The Lenovo Yoga tablet has a few experts scratching their heads. It’s a stunning looker and a compelling proposition with truly first-to-market innovations. Their beef is with the slower chip speed and screen resolution. “Oh why, oh but why Lenovo?” they lament – faster, brighter and Lenovo might have a potential iPad killer! But that would also bump the price of a Yoga into the wrong side of $500 – currently a 16GB iPad Air can be had for $598.
And that’s the point. Lenovo is aiming Yoga at the mass market, mere mortals like you and I who use a tablet to mostly consume media and at a stretch edit word or excel documents. We appreciate great design, comfort and practicality but we may not want to pay top prices for features we don’t need. This is a stylish and affordable tablet that we can take everywhere, use all the time and, at that price, we won’t cry if it gets scratched or show wear-and-tear. It will be an adjustment for Apple users, but those familiar with Android OS via their smartphone will find the switch a breeze.
That’s what Lenovo means when they say Yoga is #abetterway
For noodlies, the Yoga ticks the right boxes, stylish, practical, efficient, comfortable at a decent price. From today, my iPad 2 will be handed down to my partner. I’m staying with the Yoga. Though for the amount of typing I do, I’ll also be getting a Yoga keyboard/cover.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet was launched internationally by Ashton Kutcher on 30 October and is available to ship in Australia from 8 November, 2013.
Thanks to Lenovo, a long time supporter of noodlies, for getting a Yoga tablet into my eager hands before the official launch.