Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10

Though it feels well built and has a handy kickstand, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet’s poor performance makes it hard to justify even the low cost.


5.7
CNET Rating

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Lenovo added two tablets to its convertible Yoga line with the Yoga Tablet 8 and Yoga Tablet 10. Though they're aesthetically unique, with a design that features a rounded spine and kickstand, their identical internal specs, mediocre screens and heavily modified operating systems prove less than exciting.

Design

A major selling feature of the Yoga 10 is its sturdy and unique design. It looks a lot like an Apple Wireless Keyboard, with its thin body and cylindrical edge on one side.

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Officially, it measures 262mm wide by 180mm tall, and at its thinnest point, it's just 3mm deep. It also weighs only 590g. It has a silver polycarbonate textured back cover that looks like metal and feels smooth. The spine also props up the tablet so you can lie it flat on a surface and view the screen at a slight angle, which makes it easier to type on the screen.

The fully extended kickstand.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

Behind the kickstand, there's a microSD card slot that can add up to 64GB of extra storage.

Here you can see the tablet's spine and oversized power button.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

On one end of the spine, there's an oversized power button that's easy to press but recessed enough that you won't accidently hit it. It's so large that you can blindly feel around for it and press it without looking, which is nice. It will glow when the battery is getting low and you need to charge the tablet. Above the power button there's a micro-USB charging port.

Unfortunately for the Yoga 10, it has the same 1280x1080 resolution (167ppi) that's on the smaller Yoga 8. On an 8-inch screen, that resolution isn't terrible, but stretched to 10 inches, it looks, well, stretched out. Icons look fuzzy and photos aren't as sharp as they are when viewed on other screens. Luckily, all but the tiniest text is easy to read, so you won't have trouble reading books or websites.

Colours on the Yoga 10's screen look artificial.
(Credit: Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET)

The Yoga is running Android Jelly Bean 4.2 but has a completely custom design from Lenovo. There's no app drawer, so all the apps live on your home screens, which can get messy. There's also a lot of wasted space on the sides in landscape and at the top and bottom in portrait mode, which bothered me.

The tablet comes with a handful of custom apps from Lenovo, several third-party titles and the typical Google Apps suite. There's a maps-and-navigation app called Navigate 6, a voice recorder and a power management app, which changes settings to keep your battery alive longer. There's also Norton Mobile Security, Kindle, AccuWeather and Skype.

Performance

Inside, there's a quad-core 1.2GHz MT8125 MediaTek CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. The tablet's 5-megapixel back camera with auto focus does a decent job of snapping both close-up and wide shots. It's not a major selling point, but the performance is commendable.

For video chatting, there's a front-facing 1.6-megapixel camera on the left-screen bezel. It's actually one of the better front cameras I've seen; the image looks clear, and there are minimal lighting problems. Other features include an e-compass, accelerometer, GPS and an automatic brightness sensor.

The tablet struggles to handle graphics-heavy games like N.O.V.A. 3; it took more than five minutes to load the first level, and the graphics in the game were often blurry. It did, however, play Temple Run 2 without issues, though the colours looked oversaturated.

The front speakers use Dolby Digital Plus technology to boost audio quality.
(Credit: James Martin/CNET)

The speakers have Dolby Digital Plus DS1 technology, which is meant to enhance the overall audio quality. There's an option in the quick settings menu (which appears when you swipe down on the right side of the screen) to toggle the Dolby sound enhancement off and on, and there's also an app where you can select sound profiles for gaming, watching movies or playing music.

The Yoga 10's long battery life helps makes up for its other weak points. It's sporting a 9000mAh battery, which is on par with the batteries you find in laptops. That should give you nearly all-day battery life, and Lenovo says that it will last for 13 hours while browsing the internet on Wi-Fi with 50 per cent brightness.

Conclusion

Given that most 10-inch tablets are used as at-home entertainment devices for watching videos and playing games, it's hard to recommend the Lenovo Yoga 10. Although its kickstand makes it really easy to prop up the tablet on a table so you can sit back and watch a movie, the awful screen and poor speaker quality really put a damper on the whole viewing experience.

However, for US$100 more, you can get one of our top picks for a 10-inch Android tablet, the Nexus 10. The Nexus 10's screen is far superior to the one on the Yoga, it has much better performance, and it's running a pure version of Android.

Via CNET.com



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