Feb 06 AT 10:56 AM Nick Sarafolean 1 Comment

Review: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch

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Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch is a device that falls into a crowded market, and it hasn’t received much coverage. Yet it offers a low price, powerful specs and an innovative design that sets it apart from many others on the market. So how does it compare to other devices and what gives it an edge against competitors? We’ll cover that and more in our full review. Read on to learn more about the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch.

1. Hardware

The Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch is designed to be a portable and affordable tablet, but that doesn’t stop it from having a solid list of specs. Lenovo has outfitted the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch with an 8-inch 1920×1200 IPS display, 1.33GHz quad-core Intel Atom Z3745 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage plus a microSD card slot, 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera, 6400mAh battery, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and Dolby stereo speakers.

It may not best some flagships, but the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch features a great specs list for a tablet of its price.

2. Design and Build Quality

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Lenovo excels at designing products. The Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch reflects this with a design that continues to set it apart from other tablets while also securing it into a solid family of designs. The front of the tablet is an expanse of black glass, with a metal strip at the bottom that contains the speakers and wraps around to also contain the tablet’s most unique feature, a kickstand.

The cylinder at the bottom allows for a flexible kickstand that enables four different angles and usage modes. The tablet can rest at a very slight angle on a desk, rise up a bit more an ideal typing angle, get flipped around for a perfect angle for viewing media or the kickstand can become parallel with the slate and be hung upon a hook for a different viewing experience.

The rest of the device’s rear is less exciting. Much of it is a simple, textured plastic that feels good in the hand. A camera is positioned in the lower right corner of the tablet. The tablet has a pleasant weight and feels good in the hand. It works best to hold it in landscape, though the cylinder serves as a natural grip if you switch to portrait.

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch hits it home in the design department.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch design and hardware: smaller is better

3. Display

The display of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch is a big plus for the device. Some of Lenovo’s previous tablets have had serious display struggles, but the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch does away with these. The display is sharp and clear, with a high resolution of 1920×1200. Colors are bright and fairly accurate, with good amounts of saturation. Whites are white and blacks are surprisingly dark for an IPS display. The display is also free of light bleeds.

Big thumbs-up to Lenovo for ironing out its display problems.

4. Software

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On the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch, software is a major sore spot. Lenovo has included its own custom software, which is poorly designed and a blatant rip-off of iOS. To add onto the problem, Lenovo has yet to update the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch to Android 5.0 Lollipop, so the device is stuck on the outdated Android 4.4.4 KitKat. Performance has improved over past software, but it’s still not great.

If Lenovo wants to fix the problem, it should ditch its own software and use stock Android.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch software: still problematic

5. Performance

Performance on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch won’t blow you away, but it shouldn’t disappoint you either. With a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM, the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch handles most tasks with some amount of ease. That being said, animations often stutter and apps can occasionally take a second or two to load. Most of the performance issues seem rooted in software rather than hardware, indicating that they could be fixed with a patch.

The performance on the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch won’t stun you, but it’s perfectly acceptable for a mid-range tablet.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch performance: benchmarks vs reality

6. Camera

The camera is a tablet camera. It’s not designed to take incredible shots, but rather to be there in case you happen to need a camera. As such, the shots that come from it are noisy, over or under exposed and generally lacking in clarity. The front-facing camera fares slightly better, performing better than expected in low-light, partially as a result of a software fill light function.

The only issue with the front-facing camera is that it’s on the left side of the display. When you have the tablet in landscape orientation, using the front-facing camera is a very awkward experience because your eyes will naturally look at the screen, rather than the camera, giving the impression that you’re looking away. This is a minor inconvenience, though.

7. Battery

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Lenovo has mastered the art of producing tablets with good battery life. Lenovo’s tablets can hold an extremely long charge, primarily due to their large batteries. The cylinder that enables the kickstand also contains the battery, which is 6400mAh in the case of the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch. You can compare that to the 4900mAh battery found in the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4, which has significantly worse battery life.

With normal usage, it shouldn’t be hard to get a full two days out of the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch. That number can rise or fall a bit depending on how hard you push the tablet, but two days of usage is what many users will likely get.

We applaud Lenovo on creating another tablet with wonderful battery life, which is a feature that’s oft overlooked.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch8 / 10

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The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch is a tablet that has flaws, but also has features that make us love it. The design of the device is both beautiful and functional, while also remaining unique in a market of increasingly similar designs. When it comes to media consumption, the display and Dolby stereo speakers of the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch make it an obvious choice. And when it comes to battery, Lenovo has you covered with enough juice to keep you binge watching for a good long while.

Lenovo’s software is far from perfect, though, and holds the tablet back from being even better. It slows down performance and drastically hinders the UX by creating software that doesn’t look good or function well. It’s also likely that it’s a major factor in the lack of an update to Android 5.0 for the Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch.

Even with those problems, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch still shines as one of the best mid-range tablets on the market. It’s priced competitively, with Lenovo selling it for just $229 through its website. With all its features paired with a low price, we’re left to wonder, why aren’t more people talking about this?

Click here to purchase the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8-inch for a discounted price through Lenovo’s website.

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @Zricon15.

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