An ultra-fast, extremely light and portable tablet with a crisp screen
Just after IDC and other research firms declared that tablet sales were expected to pick up, Lenovo had revealed its Yoga 2 series with a unique design that made quite a buzz in the market and had the Chinese giant selling its models like hot cakes. The most wallet-heavy among the Yoga 2 series was the Yoga 2 Pro that came with a pico projector. What does this device have to offer? Let us dive under the hood:
Design: The tablet simply put is eye-candy, especially to any gizmo lover. The device has a matte metallic silver paint finish and like previous Yoga slates, the Yoga 2 Pro’s most distinguishing feature is its cylindrical bottom edge, which not only contains the battery but also an aluminium hinge that lets you prop up the device at a variety of angles. Above the screen is a 2-megapixel camera. The plastic back of the device looks like the lid of a MacBook, except with the Lenovo logo sitting in the centre. Below that, a rounded square panel holds the onboard JBL woofer, 8-megapixel rear camera and kickstand release button. Not since the Toshiba Excite 13 has there been an Android tablet this large. Up front is the slate’s glossy display, which unfortunately attracts fingerprints and smudges. It is a little bulky but surprisingly the Pro weighs 948 gram; it’s lighter than the Microsoft Surface with its keyboard cover attached.
Display: The display is of course the reason the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is as large as it is. The tablet features a 13.3-inch LCD display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 221 ppi. While that pixel density may not inspire a lot of confidence, the display is actually fantastic. It is bright and vivid, colours are saturated. Watching videos are especially fun, and while gaming might be a little awkward because of the size, the display still makes for an enjoyable time.
Projector: When the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro’s 13-inch display just isn’t big enough to share, the device’s projector comes in handy. Built into one end of the Yoga 2 Pro’s barrel, the pico projector is capable of displaying a 50-inch-wide, 854 x 480 image (from 6.56 feet away) on your wall or screen. The device has to be put up in Tilt mode for optimal projection, or the image will be slanted. With a brightness rating of 30-40 lumens, the projected image looked somewhat dim when stretched on the wall above the 40-inch television in my living room. The user can turn the projector on or off by pressing the dedicated button on the tablet’s edge for a few seconds, or via the software control panel that slides up from the bottom edge of the display.
Once the projector is on, whatever is on at the moment on the tablet screen will be beamed, and the display will go to sleep after 10 seconds to conserve battery power. There was no discernible lag between what was displayed on the tablet and what was being projected. Lenovo includes a Projection app that lets the user project videos, pictures, PDF documents, slideshows and doodles. This app also lets the user turn on Split Screen projection, which will stream just the content playing on the Projection app and let you use your tablet as you regularly would without it being displayed.
Camera: The Pro features a 1.6 MP front-facing camera and an 8 MP rear camera. The cameras are good. The camera interface is simple, straightforward, and easy to use, and includes just the most basic of modes and functionality. The device was not able to produce good pictures with varying light conditions but clicking a picture with such a heavy tablet could also be embarrassing in the public.
Performance: Under the hood, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro packs a quad-core Intel Atom Z3745 processor, clocked at 1.86 GHz, along with a 2 GB of RAM. Applications do open and close as quickly as expected but the device handles graphically-intensive games quite well. The NOVA 3 game ran smoothly while Google Maps, Contacts, Camera and four Chrome tabs were open in the background. The projector is also a resource hog, and the tablet lags a little when the tablet is on.
Software & apps: The Yoga 2 Pro runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat with some handy Lenovo customisations that make common settings easier to reach. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen pulls up what Lenovo calls Bottom Switch, which is essentially a control panel. From this menu, you can toggle brightness and connectivity options such as Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and Airplane mode, as well as start the projector and camera.
The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro also comes with Lenovo’s ShareIt, CloneIt and SyncIt HD apps, which are also available for iOS and Windows. You also get Lenovo eFrame, which turns your tablet into a digital photo frame, and Lenovo Sketchpad for drawing over whatever is on your screen.
Verdict: While tablets between 7-inches and 10.1-inches are quite common, those with even larger display sizes fall under a more niche segment. If you’re on the lookout for an ultra-large tablet, one that you should consider is the latest high-end offering from Lenovo. A brilliant QHD display, booming JBL speakers, a handy onboard kickstand and a built-in projector make Lenovo’s handsome Yoga Tablet 2 a winning multimedia device that could
almost replace your TV.
Estimated street price: Rs 54,990