Hands On: Lenovo bends over backward to improve its Yoga Tablet with new HD version

Lenovo is bending over backward to fix its Yoga, and it may have done it. The first Yoga Tablet (read our review) had some great qualities, but suffered from a dated, buggy interface and weak specs. We haven’t seen any shots of the interface yet (stay tuned this week), but the Chinese manufacturer just announced that it has refreshed the specs of the 10-inch version.

Called the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, the new 10.1-inch version will have a Full HD 1920 x 1200 pixel screen, a 1.6GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB of RAM, Android 4.3, 8-megapixel rear camera, and a new line of home-grown apps. This means it finally has a decent screen, won’t slow down as much, and will hopefully take slightly better pictures.

Updated by Jeff on 2-26-2014 from Mobile World Congress: I’ve added in my hands-on impressions of the Yoga 10 HD+, which has a few more enhancements than we thought.

The design hasn’t changed at all, which is a good thing. The Yoga still looks different than any other tablet because of the hot dog-sized cylinder on the bottom of it. This houses the audio jack and power button on either side, but it also gives the Yoga all its power thanks to its built-in stand and because Lenovo put the whole battery inside it, giving the Yoga 14-18 hours of battery life, or almost twice as much as tablets like the iPad.

We played around with a champagne-colored version of the tablet here at the show, and found it better put together than the first Yoga. Most notably, it no longer falls over with a stiff breeze. Lenovo has lengthened the kickstand inside the cylinder so it holds the tablet up properly. It still rotates out very nicely.

Because all the weight is inside the cylinder, and that’s naturally where you hold it when reading it vertically, the Yoga Tablet 10 feels unnaturally light and comfortable to hold when reading.

P2240284

Lenovo’s interface could still use a little work, but the high-resolution screen really helps smooth over some of its uglier aspects. We may still install a Launcher when we get our Yoga, though. Everything runs a little speedier as well, though this is no workhorse like the Xperia Z2 Tablet. For this new version, Lenovo has also fixed up its Mode selector. Now, when you put the tablet into a standing or reading position, it will bring up a menu to auto suggest apps and actions. You can turn this feature off if you’d like.

This was our first time trying out Lenovo’s slide-on keyboard attachment as well. It slips on the front of the Yoga, protecting the screen. Set it on a table and the keyboard will slide off and help you type. It has a Micro USB port to charge, and can be juiced up by the Yoga, which is capable of reverse charging.

Lenovo will ship the tablet with its new “DOit series of apps.” These are pretty standard.

  • ShareIt: Shares information between devices without using data.
  • SecureIt: Speeds your Yoga up and protects it from viruses.
  • SyncIt: Backs up your contacts, texts, and call logs to a Lenovo account.
  • SnapIt Camera: This is a new camera app that replaces the default Google Android camera.
  • SeeIt Gallery: This is a photo editor and manager.

ShareIt was our favorite app of the bunch. It lets you use Wi-Fi Direct to send images and content to other devices, and they don’t have to be Lenovos – not that your entire family isn’t using Lenovo phones, right? Several devices can create an impromptu chatroom and send files to one another.

We’ll learn more about the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ later this week when we see it on the show floor of Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona. Lenovo is aiming for an April release for $350.

News post originally published 2-24-2014.

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Computing

Does Qualcomm's latest laptop processor hold up against Intel's Core i5?

Qualcomm has been nipping at Intel's mobile CPU heels for years and now it might finally have overtaken it. To find out whether it's new SoC can hold its own in mid-range computing, we pitted the Snapdragon 8cx vs. Core i5.
Smart Home

Amazon shows off compact cashier-free store that could show up at airports

Amazon is testing its smallest Amazon Go store to date as it considers taking the grab-and-go technology to new venues such as airports and train stations. The compact store is a quarter the size of its current locations.
Product Review

How does the sleek MateBook X Pro hold up to the modern day competition?

Huawei impressed us with the MateBook X, a solid competitor to the 12-inch MacBook that beat Apple at its own game. Now, Huawei is taking a shot at premium 14-inchers with the MateBook X Pro, but it’s not without oddities – like a…
Wearables

How to use the ECG app, set up irregular rhythm notifications on the Apple Watch

The Apple Watch Series 4 is the best smartwatch iPhone owners can own, and it just got even better with the addition of the ECG app and ability to identify irregular heart rhythms. Here's how to set it all up.
Home Theater

Common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Mobile

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Mobile

G’day, Google: U.S. users can now give Assistant a British or Australian accent

U.S. Google Assistant users can give their Assistant a different voice. Google has updated Assistant with the ability for users to give it either a British or Australian accent, which could make it a little more personal for some.
Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Computing

Microsoft’s latest patent paves the way for Andromeda dual-screen mobile device

The latest patent discovery from Microsoft showcases a new hinge design for quickly opening a dual-screen mobile device with a single hand. Could this be additional proof surrounding the rumors of the company's Project Andromeda device?