Disclosure: I was given the tablets to facilitate this review and am being compensated for my participation in the Lenovo Moms campaign. All opinions are my own.
2 weeks ago I watched live as Ashton Kutcher announced the new Yoga tablet from Lenovo. I had some prior knowledge of what was going to be announced, but I was no prepared to be blown away by a few of the features. I mean c’mon… now there are about a billion different tablets to choose from. Most of them look pretty much the same. The same slate, some thinner than others, some with better screens or a better processor, but pretty much the same form factor. A couple companies I’m aware of have branched out into different form factors, and haven’t quite been successful.
Enter the Lenovo Yoga Tablet. What you will notice right away is a sort of “handle” the device has. There is a big cylinder on one side of the tablet. This allows you a better grip when using the tablet and makes it feel much more comfortable to hold. What I didn’t realize at first was that this handle actually serves many purposes, which is where I think the other companies who tried to branch out of the standard slate form failed.
The cylinder has a roll out kickstand. So the tablet can prop itself up when you are watching shows, or reading, or whatever else you may do on your tablet. I knew I would be getting one of these tablets on my trip to New York City last week, and on the flight TO New York, I could not WAIT to get my hands on the tablet. I had propped my tablet up between the seat in front of me and the tray, and the person in front of me was so darn wiggly that it kept falling down, over and over again. After about the millionth time my tablet fell over, I gave up and held it in my lap, and gave myself a serious crink in my neck.
The kickstand also allows it to be used in 3 different “modes”. There is the stand mode where it is fully propped upright. Then you can flip it around and use it in the first “tilt” mode where you can use the tablet on a tilted surface, or the third “tilt” mode with the kickstand down, but the handle of the device further away from you, so it’s not quite flat on a surface giving you a nice viewing angle when on a desk (instead of having to get right on top of it).
If all this wasn’t enough, here is where I’m going to blow your mind. When I was in New York and we were learning about the tablets, the presenter mentioned briefly that the battery for the device was inside that cylinder, giving it 18 hours of battery life!!! I knew it had amazing battery life from the Ashton Kutcher announcement, but literally this piece of information blew me away! GENIUS I tell you!! Not only is it a good form factor decision, they put that space to WORK! My previous tablet’s battery life was seriously lacking, and while it had a feature that I really loved, I love the battery life more than any feature I could use in another tablet. Swim meets are long, VERY VERY long. I was lucky to get through a quarter of a swim meet on my other tablet’s battery life.
Not only does it have amazing battery life (and I’ve been to swim practice, used it during a lesson, watched a couple shows, etc and I haven’t charged it since Sunday morning), but you can use it’s amazing battery life to charge your other devices on the go!!! Seriously! What the WHAT?? I haven’t been able to test this out yet, because I’m having a hard time finding the right cable to get the job done. I am super excited about this though!
The tablet comes in 2 sizes, 10″ and 8″. I prefer the 8″, as it’s super portable and easily slips into both my big purse and my smaller purse. The 10″ is great for viewing movies and shows though, but they look fine on my 8″ as well.
The cons – The screen resolution is a little lacking, and looks a bit blurry on both models when viewing the icons (when playing games or watching shows I didn’t notice as much). I also would prefer to have an “app tray”. This is a button you push to be able to view all of your installed apps. Right now you have to leave them all on the screen. I have cleaned mine up by creating folders, which I was going to do anyway, but as someone who loves me some widgets, it’s annoying to have to have all of the apps on the home screens. I created one folder for all my “unused” apps, and tucked it out of the way, but these are situations where an app tray of ALL apps should be an option so I don’t have to have the apps I don’t use daily taking up space on my home screens.
Those cons though definitely do not outweigh the pros for this device. I am already looking forward to my daughter’s next swim meet, where my tablet will last the entire meet!!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com