Review | Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8: Innovative Multimode Tablet

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 on hand

It was just timely this little wonder of a tablet came in when my 2-year old Apple iPad 2 is conking out. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 is one of the many Android-based tablets currently saturating the market and this definitely gets curious looks for its unusual design that clearly sets it apart from the common and boring flat-rectangular style tablets. As a disclaimer, Lenovo Philippines provided this Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 when I was invited to join their 18-hour challenge testing the tablet’s battery life and for review. After our  challenge, I took the tablet for a trip to really see if it could work with how I travel. Don’t expect this review to be technical but as a practical user experience review.

Yoga tablet unboxing
Yoga tablet unboxing

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 Quick Specs

  • MTK 8125 Quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 (1.20GHz 533MHz 1MB)
  • Android 4.2 out-of-the-box (Expected to have Android 4.4 KitKit end of June 2014)
  • 8″ IPS 800×1280 display
  • 1GB [email protected] 800 MHz memory
  • 16GB eMMC hard drive
  • 802.11b/g/n WiFi wireless
  • Front 1.5M, rear 5.0M cameras
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 2 Cell 6000mAH Li-Polymer battery
The barrel side of the tablet has the battery, kickstand, rear camera, slot for micro-sim and micro SD
The barrel side of the tablet has the battery, kickstand, rear camera, slot for micro-sim and micro SD

18++ Hours Power Guarantee

I guess it is no surprise that Lenovo is marketing the Yoga Tablets to be a power-packed devices and from our 18-hour challenge in the metro, it does live up to the hype and more. Yes that round barrel design on one end of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet isn’t just for its unique design aesthetics but also houses the 2 Cell 6000mAH Li-Polymer battery, the same ones used to power their Lenovo laptops. So from the time I got the unit at full charge, I was like a boy with a new toy, I fiddled it around, installing apps, downloading games, watched movies, took snaps, updated my social media and listened to music while we go around metro manila for some bingeing and a few fun activities like doing golf swing practice or making candy. For the record, without charging or turning the unit off the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 lasted 22 hours surpassing its guaranteed uptime on heavy use. On average use I found that the tablet can last at least 2 days charging it every other day. It also helps that the Yoga tablet has a native Power ManagerHD battery app to optimize power use and also automatic sleep time where the tablet would shut down and turn on at an appointed schedule.

The Hold mode of the yoga tablet 8
The Hold mode of the yoga tablet 8

Road-worthiness

Now on to the real-world use. Slapping in a micro-sim card and additional SD Card, I was able to test its connectivity on the road. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 has 3G/HSDPA which is quite good already for general use in the Philippines since most areas haven’t fully utilized LTE. Instead of bringing my WiFi wingle USB or a pocket WiFi, I managed to just use the yoga tablet as a hotspot connecting about 2-3 devices at a time without a problem. On the road, it also helped us guide our navigation using the Waze and Google Maps apps and its GPS receiver.

The Yoga Tablet 8 also has telephony features which for me is an advantage from its bigger brothers yoga tablets 10 and 10HD. Messaging and phone calls can be done on the tablet, though it would be easier with a good headset to go along with it.

Yoga tablet in Stand mode
Yoga tablet in Stand mode

MultiModes and Functions

Coming from a full-sized tablet, the 8-incher Lenovo Yoga Table 8 was light and very portable almost the size of a soft paperback edition book. The barrel may seem strange at first but does makes for a good grip when holding it on the side which is one of the three modes – Hold, Stand and Tilt. Each of this mode has corresponding settings for color temperature, brightness and audio on the Yoga Tablet and can be set through its smart tabs. The Hold Mode I actually use a lot especially for reading ebooks on MoonReader+. Also good for taking quick notes on Evernote.

The Stand Mode is very neat mode to have since the Yoga Tablet has its own kickstand at the barrel. This is for watching movies or listening to music. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 can play just about any movie formats at ease especially with apps like MX Player or VLC. The IPS 800×1280 display may not be the sharpest of the bunch out there but renders fairly well and it has very good viewing angles making watching movies with friends a lot easier. The speakers are also found at the front beside the barrels making the audio a lot richer than most tablets out there.

The Tilt Mode is good for placing the tablet on a surface, ideal for browsing really, I even pull the kickstand out sometimes for more elevation. While I think the modest resolution isn’t enough real estate for writing using the native keyboard since I got used to more space when writing on the iPad.

Using the yoga tablet for movies, emails, ebooks or just eating along with it
Using the yoga tablet for movies, emails, ebooks or just eating along with it

Imaging and Performance

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 has a front 1.5MP and 5MP rear cameras found near the barrel. I can certainly say the camera isn’t its strongest point. The 5MP camera focuses slowly and the images tend to be grainy and washed out. The front camera is a lot more decent especially for Skype or Google+ Hangout sessions.

The Android 4.2 running Yoga Tablet has an average performance overall, it’s not beast of a hardware but on average can handle most general task I can throw at it. I have about 70 apps in the tablet from a few games, multimedia, social media, imaging, productivity, maps and browsing. I had no problem between apps transition and use. The only hiccups I get is one of the newsreaders as it would crash due to memory issues on rare occasions. I do find that it uses up memory quite often so it helps to have apps like Clean Master to optimize and monitor memory usage.

Me and my yoga tablet by a lake in Nueva Vizcaya
Me and my yoga tablet by a lake in Nueva Vizcaya

Verdict

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 isn’t a beast of a hardware but its innovative multimode design, decent performance, and features at its price point channels a yoga pose-like balance. Hardcore gamers and photo enthusiast can look elsewhere but for travelers like me, I find the size and form ideal, the performance sufficient, the media features from movies to music capable, messaging and telephony a plus, connectivity reliable and the battery life a monster.

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 has a SRP of Php 14,999 for the 16GB internal storage. Available at Lenovo Mobile stores and most electronic and gadget stores in the country.

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