Nail, screwdriver or just a pen: Anything’s a stylus with Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 2

Lenovo solves the conundrum of whether it’s worth buying a tablet stylus only to use it occasionally. Its AnyPen Technology allows any pointy object to function with the Yoga Tablet 2’s screen.

Tablets are designed to be used with your finger, but sometimes, a stylus comes in handy. Except unless it’s stored inside a slot on the device, they get forgotten, lost, or if you’ve only got a passing interest in using one, simply never purchased at all. Lenovo’s new Yoga Tablet 2 solves the problem in a surprisingly obvious way. Its screen has something called AnyPen Technology, allowing any slightly pointy object to be used as a stylus, so long as it isn’t pure plastic.

Photo credit: Digital Trends / Jeffery Van Camp
Photo credit: Digital Trends / Jeffery Van Camp

Lenovo says it’s best operated with a graphite pencil or a ballpoint pen, which are probably the most likely candidates for a stylus alternative we regularly have on our person, but to test how well the Yoga Tablet 2’s clever screen tech works, we gave it a try with a screwdriver. The instrument we used was meatier than a precision screwdriver, but it worked as well as any mouse. We flicked through the Windows 8 operating system, and used it to write out sentences in OneNote without a problem.

Obviously, the screwdriver isn’t weighted correctly for anything too accurate, but it proved the tablet screen’s ability to recognise unusual implements, then deal with them without a fuss. The screwdriver is an extreme example, but it perfectly illustrates AnyPen’s convenience factor. Choose something more suitable — a favorite pencil for example — and you could do detailed work.

The AnyPen screen allows any slightly pointy object to be used as a stylus.

The Yoga Tablet 2 has an 8-inch screen attached to a familiar Yoga-style body, with its characteristic cylindrical bulge running across the base. This forms a handy grip, and houses a flip out stand to prop or hang the tablet up, plus it gives plenty of space for the dual forward-firing speakers.  It’s an unusual shape, but it makes the Yoga Tablet 2 comfortable to hold. The 8-inch screen size helps, and even in my mid-sized hand, it fit perfectly. The 426 gram weight isn’t light, but it never felt heavy or ungainly.

It runs Windows 8.1 and has an Intel Z3745 Atom processor with 2GB of RAM inside. The screen has a 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution, and was bright, colorful, and sharp. Other features include 32GB of internal memory with the option of increasing it to 64GB with a MicroSD card, plus a pair of cameras — an 8-megapixel on the rear camera and a 1.6-megapixel front cam. There’s no 4G LTE, but there is dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

If you’re not keen to invest in a high quality stylus, but still want the option to enjoy the control and precision one offers, the AnyPen-equipped Yoga makes sense. Lenovo will start selling the Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows 8 (and AnyPen) for $300 at the end of this month.

Highs

  • Use almost any pointy object as a stylus
  • Ergonomic shape
  • High resolution, perfectly-sized screen

Lows

  • We’d prefer Android over Windows 8
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