For years, Lenovo has established a reputation as being a manufacturer of solid, reliable PCs. Recently, however, Lenovo has ventured into the wide world of mobile devices, bringing both phones and tablets to the market. Its most recent Android tablet, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, has made it into our hands, ready to be reviewed. The tablet will receive our usual review treatment, meaning that each of its main aspects a once-over before being compiling them into one comprehensive review.
This first feature review takes a look at the design and hardware of the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ to see if it can compete in the increasingly competitive tablet market. Enough of the chitchat; let’s dive in!
Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ takes on a form factor that’s not often seen in the tablet market. The device is trimmed with aluminum but has a large swatch of lightly textured plastic that covers its back. The sides are fairly barren, with a volume rocker on the right side and a charging port on the left side. The front of the device is mainly black glass, with a camera on one side and a reflective Lenovo logo sitting beneath the screen. Resting beneath the screen is a rounded aluminum strip that holds the two stereo speakers and the standout feature of the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+.
The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ borrows from its predecessor’s design with a cylindrical battery that doubles as a kickstand. The aluminum cylinder features a power button on one end, with a headphone jack residing on the other end. In the middle is an aluminum kickstand that requires a bit of rotation to pop out. Once unleashed, the kickstand can be moved around for a near 90-degree content viewing angle, close to a 45-degree angle for looking down a bit more, or you can turn the tablet upside down and place it so that the screen is at an optimal position for typing.
The kickstand is surprisingly stable and is a feature that we’d love to see on more tablets. It made watching videos much easier since the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ can support itself on your desk, leaving you free to do whatever you’d like without having to worry about holding the device. The cylindrical design of the keyboard and battery also made the tablet easy to hold in portrait orientation. With the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+’s large size, however, you’re probably going to keep it in landscape most of the time.
Using the kickstand for typing could be useful as well. I tested this feature, but I’m terrible at typing with two hands on a touchscreen, so I was unable to tell if it was my lack of skill or a design flaw that made typing difficult. If you want my honest opinion, I’m going to stick with the former and say that I’m just a poor touchscreen typist.
For the most part, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+’s design is great. With its size and metal build, the device is unsurprisingly weighty. However, the large size makes it a bit hard to hold and use while simply carrying it. If you can, you’re almost always better off using it when it’s resting on the kickstand. The final thing to note is that while the aluminum is nice and sturdy, the stretch of plastic on the back is a bit creaky and has some flex in one spot. It’s nothing major to worry about, but it does cheapen the feel of the device.
Just as with any tablet, the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+’s display is important to mention. Last year’s Yoga Tablet 10 was highly criticized for its 10-inch 1280×800 display. Lenovo improved on that feature with this year’s model, adding a 1920×1200 resolution display. Before I go any further, I want to note that I’m coming from an LG G3, HTC One (M8) and Nexus 7 (2013). Maybe I’ve been spoiled by those screens, but I found myself disappointed by the Yoga 10 HD+’s display. Things seemed overly-pixelated for the resolution and colors generally looked inaccurate. It’s a noticeable improvement over last year’s display to be sure, but it still needs some more work to make it great.
The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ features Dolby stereo speakers. While the sound quality was only a bit above average, I can attest to the fact that these things can get loud. Quite literally, they will wake you from a sound sleep, as happened to me one night when the volume was about a third of the way up. If you don’t have better speakers, they’ll work great for watching Netflix, and when showing something to friends, they produce plenty of sound for everyone to hear.
The design and hardware of the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ are a mixed bag. While some features are great, like the kickstand and aluminum build, other parts left us a bit unimpressed. In particular, the display left us simply wanting more. But if you’re amenable to an okay display, the hardware of the Yoga Tablet 10 HD + is great.
Check out the gallery below for a few more pics.