In 2013, we’ve seen a lot of innovation in Windows-based tablets, in the form of hybrid/convertible tablets and laptops. One of the leaders in delivering new, cutting-edge devices has been Lenovo, notably in its line of Yoga convertibles, including the IdeaPad Yoga 11 and IdeaPad Yoga 11s we reviewed earlier this year, as well as the IdeaPad Yoga 13 we looked at in December of 2012. All three of these machines easily convert from laptop to tablet and back, via a 360-degree articulating hinge that lets you fold the keyboard fully behind the screen.
Now, the company has extended the Yoga brand to include two new Android devices, the $249 Yoga Tablet 8 and, the subject of this review, the $299 Yoga Tablet 10. (Our review of the Yoga Tablet 8 will go live shortly after this one.) At these prices, both models come with 16GB of storage. For a little extra ($50 for the Yoga Tablet 8, or $20 for the Yoga Tablet 10), you can get a storage bump to 32GB, which in both cases (but especially in the case of the Yoga Tablet 10), seems like a better value.
Lenovo’s Yoga approach is a little different here than in the Yoga laptops. Unlike in those, these new Android models don’t come with physical keyboards. The Yoga lineage, though, means you can still operate the tablet in various modes, or positions, here via a small kickstand that runs across the bottom rear of the chassis (when you hold the slate in wide, or landscape, orientation). We’ll look more closely at the Yoga Tablet 10’s modes on the next page.
Looking past the kickstand and the flexibility it affords in positioning the tablet, the Yoga Tablet 10 at the core is a midrange 10-inch Android tablet with a moderately strong feature set. Granted, its screen is low-resolution (1,280×800) and therefore far from the best on the market, but that’s not a surprise for the price. During our hands-on evaluation, we found that, for a 10-inch-class screen in a $299 slate, the display panel wasn’t half bad. In addition, the tablet performed reasonably well on our benchmark tests, the most impressive result being its nearly 14 hours on our demanding battery-rundown trial.
We also liked the Yoga Tablet 10’s built-in sound system. Couple the speakers with its decent display panel, and this Yoga plays movies well considering its $299 price tag. We should also add that Lenovo offers an optional, attachable Bluetooth keyboard dock (sold via its Web site for an additional $69.99) that allows you to use the slate as a sort-of Android-based laptop if you position it on a stable base.
Granted, the Yoga Tablet 10 doesn’t bring anything particularly new (aside from the kickstand and the positions it enables) to the Android-tablet market. But it’s well-built and attractive, and it performs relatively well—all for an on-target price.
Read full review at Computer Shopper.