Thursday, 30 October 2014

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2: Is this the best Android tablet at Rs 20,990?

The Android tablet space is choc-a-bloc with too many devices and brands. So many that it is hard to find more than a handful of devices that stand apart thanks to performance or innovation. There is, however, a new entrant to this list… one that could spoil the party for a lot of others. Meet the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2.
Specs: 8-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS display | Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core 1.86GHz processor | 2GB RAM | 16GB internal storage expandable up to 64GB | 8MP rear camera + 1.6MP front | Li-Ion 6400 mAh battery | Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
Price: Rs 20,990
Design
Without a doubt this tablet has the most innovative design at the moment. This 8-inch tablet, and rest of the series, introduces the kickstand which the simple prop that it is lets you use the tablet in three different modes. With the stand turned outwards, you can make the tablet stand for content consumption, lie down for when you want to write or hang from a wall if you are glancing at it during work. And adding a little hinge on one end makes it easier to hold too, like Sony showed us with the Tablet S a few years back.
The only issue that when you start out it’s hard to figure out how to open the kickstand. It seems Lenovo figured this out too and there is a sticker to explain the simple twist. Behind the stand is the flap that holds the SD card and micro-SIM. At one end of its hinge is the power button and on other the power port, the design couldn’t have been better. My only issue is that there is just one micro USB port on the entire device and that could be a bit limiting for some users.
Display and Sound
It is not always that you get a full HD display at this price point. The display is sharp and bright and great for consuming videos, even from a distance. And with Dolby Audio on JBL speakers this tablet has the best audio quality and volume in town. It can be as loud as a television if needed.
Performance
The tablet is powered by a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z3745 Quad Core processor and is a great work horse. Multi-tasking is smooth and there is absolutely no lag when using the apps or even browsing with multiple tabs on. However, I experienced some heating issues, especially while streaming videos on YouTube and that is rare on Atom tablets.
Software
This is the tricky bit. I am not sure all of us will be happy with Lenovo’s tweaked UI for Android KItkat. It is ideal for tablet use and it not run off the mill smartphone UI, but the new icons need getting used too. It is a bit like Color OS, either you like it or you just hate it. But there are some really good pre-loaded apps in the mix.
Camera
The rear camera is decent, but not great in low light or for shooting indoors. The rear lens is also on the hinge and you will have to flip the tablet every time you want to shoot with it as the natural tendency is to have the heavier side facing down. But I still think the camera is just an appendage for the tablet that should be used only for video calls. I am sure a lot of you don’t agree and would still use it to shoot the Taj.
Connectivity
The Yoga Tablet 2 is a 3G/Wi-Fi device and offers great mobility. No issues on this front.
Battery
This is another plus point for this tablet. Lenovo is promising 18 hours and given its track record with smartphones I am more than inclined to believe it. Anyway, I could use it for a full day on a 3G network on full charge. That should be enough for most users.
Verdict
Given the price point of Rs 20,990, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 is one of the best value for money Android tablets in the market at the moment. It gives you great functionality, a FullHD screen, good battery life and an overall experience that is better than what you have paid for.