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At this point in the life cycle of the tablet, we pretty much know what to expect: A small, flat, handheld, rectangular touchscreen that lays flat on another flat surface. It’s not a broken design, and let’s be honest, it’s really hard to innovate by introducing another shape (like a triangle).
Enter Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet. This device takes the standard rectangle, and takes away the ability to lie flat by putting a cylindrical battery along the long edge of the device, creating a novel tablet experience in either an 8 inch or 10 inch model. Another new feature is the unique kickstand that allows you to have the tablet sit up like a television screen – upward facing dog in keeping with the yoga theme – or to raise the far edge off of the table (perhaps like the plank pose).
Let me drop the specs in here, before I dive into the device itself. Out of the box, it runs Android 4.2, affectionately known as Jelly Bean. Under the hood, there’s a Quad Core 1.2 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of onboard storage, expandable storage up to an additional 64GB, Bluetooth 4.0, 5M rear camera and 1.6M HD camera, dual front-facing speakers, HD display (1280×800) with multitouch & 178° wide viewing angle, and a reported 18 hours of battery life.
Eighteen hours. That is 1,080 minutes of battery life. Like, 75% of a day. It’s a bold claim. And the tablet is able to deliver on the longer battery life. Though, it looks like the increase in battery life is due to a screen that, while high definition, has a lower pixel density than comparable tablets making the screen look not as good as, say, a Nexus 7. It’s not a bad screen, but it could be better.
Other than that, this tablet is a little beast. It’s blessed with responsiveness in both the CPU and the screen. Apps load quickly, as do websites. Just for fun, I tested the device using OverDrive Streaming Video and OverDrive Media Console. Streaming various videos worked really well, with no lag. The picture was clear, and the sound was rich thanks to the speakers on the front of the tablet. These speakers are surprisingly good considering their size – I mean, let’s be honest, tablet speakers are not the kind that are known for being earth-shattering, but the Yoga Tablet packs a nice sonic punch that is just as satisfying when listening to an audiobook in OverDrive Media Console.
Checking out an eBook was another pleasing experience. The screen, paired with the tablet’s design made form factor surprisingly book-like. To hold the device in your hand in portrait mode feels like holding a book by the spine. It seems like a bridge between those who still like the look and feel of a paper book, and those who wholeheartedly embrace digital reading.
All-in-all, the Yoga Tablet is a fine device, designed for providing a solid multimedia experience. Whether you’re watching movies, reading books, playing games, listening to music, or surfing the web, it’s a versatile device that can handle whatever you throw at it. Add to that the low price tag, and it’s a pretty good deal.
Provided by Justin Noszek is a Support Services Specialist at OverDrive.
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