Aug 12, 2014 Nick Rego
Lenovo made a bold choice when it first introduced the world to its Yoga Tablet. The tablet’s unique design certainly made it stand out from competition, but its overall underwhelming performance and average screen quality didn’t win anyone over. Now the company is looking to improve on this with the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, an updated model that features a better screen and processor.
The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ carries forward the same unique design that we’ve seen before, but with a few minor improvements. The iconic bulge along one side is still there, which houses the massive battery and also acts as a comfortable grip when the device is held in portrait mode. The bulge also props the tablet at a discreet angle when laid on a table or your lap, which makes typing a lot easier as well. At the back is the kickstand, which firmly holds the tablet up in landscape mode, no matter how hard you may prod at the screen. It’s also slightly longer this time around for better stability, which is something users expressed concern about in the previous model. However the kickstand is still a bit of a pain to pop out – you have to grasp the curved end and twist out, and then pop out the kickstand afterwards. It’s something that you’ll have to learn to do as gracefully as possible, given that the kickstand is quite rigid and built to stand a fair bit of use and abuse. Cleverly hidden under the kickstand is a slot for a SIM card and microSD.
Other improvements in this model lie with the screen and camera. Previously the Yoga Tablet 10 had a resolution of 1280 x 800, which has now been bumped up to a respectable 1920 x 1200. The rear camera has also been upgraded from 5MP to 8MP, which I’ll cover later.
This time around the Yoga Tablet 10 is powered by a Snapdragon S400 processor and 2GB of RAM. This isn’t the most powerful configuration we’ve seen on an Android tablet, but it’s a welcome improvement from the previous MediaTek processor. Most apps will run perfectly, and while the UI isn’t our favorite thing about the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, it doesn’t lag or stutter here. You’ll be able to play most games here, as well as browse through websites and multimedia with ease. I did notice that the tablet did take a few more seconds to boot up compared to other 10″ tablets I’ve played around with, but this could also be due to the custom UI that Lenovo is using.
The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ features Lenovo’s UI which has been featured on its other devices as well. The biggest change here is the exclusion of the app drawer, so any app you install will appear on your homescreens. There are also a number of Lenovo apps that are installed, but in my opinion they don’t do anything critical and can easily be uninstalled or ignored.
The increased resolution means that you can actually enjoy the content you’re viewing. Videos and pictures look great on the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, and you can no longer pinpoint individual pixels with the naked eye. Having said that, the screen itself is a bit on the reflective side, you’ll need to adjust your viewing angles to compensate for that. You can always crank up the brightness to try and eliminate this, but bear in mind that you’ll be consuming more battery if you do.
Cameras on tablets have never been a selling point, and while Lenovo has bumped the resolution of the rear camera up to 8MP, it’s still a strictly average camera to use. Image quality is a little washed out in bright light, and of course low-light photography is unheard of. It’s also a little bit awkward as it’s located on the lower edge of the tablet rather than on the top edge or in the centre like most other tablets, but once you’ve snapped a few pictures with it you’ll get used to it.
What’s surprising about the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ is that it’s able to deliver a somewhat respectable level of audio from its front-facing speakers. On their own they’re actually quite average, but fire up the included Dolby app and you’ll be amazed at just how loud this thing can go. The bass is of course a bit on the meek side, but you can’t expect anything more out of a tablet in terms of audio quality.
The biggest selling point for the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ has to be its battery. The 9,000mAh battery is just insane, and as a result you can use the tablet for days on end, even with heavy usage. Lenovo has included a number of power-saving settings and apps as well, so when you bundle this all together you have a seriously impressive tablet that just won’t quit.
Lenovo have certainly been listening to consumer feedback, and it’s evident in the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+. The company has all-out eliminated most of the hassles that plagued the previous model, and come up with a robust Android tablet that will power through several days without quitting. Interestingly enough, there’s also an optional keyboard cover if you want a quicker typing experience, but sadly that didn’t come along for me to review. If you’re in the market for an Android tablet that looks different yet does what you need it to, you’ve found it here.
+ Unique design
+ Exceptional battery life
+ Improved screen
- Kickstand a bit difficult to open
- Unnecessary apps included
A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys playing videogames during work hours and tinkering with the latest gadgets.
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