Last year’s Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ brought forth a tablet that had great design ideas but was ultimately held back by budget specs and some of the poorest manufacturer software that we’ve seen in the past year or two. This year’s model, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch, has worked to fix the mess of software. While it’s not perfect, there are certainly several advances, so let’s take a look.
Lenovo still has its own launcher installed on the Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch that ditches the traditional app drawer in favor of multiple home screens that contain all of your apps. The layout is similar to iOS, and while I’m not crazy about it, it’s something that I found myself getting used to quite quickly.
The Yoga Tablet 2 10-inch’s home screen setup isn’t the only thing that it has in common with iOS. Lenovo appears to have decided that it will simply mimic many of the same design cues that Apple uses, likely in an attempt to give users something familiar. The quick settings menu is a replica of iOS’s Command Center, complete with Gaussian blur and white icon outlines. It even opens with a swipe up from the bottom of the display. The notification tray is the same story, with a very similar design and plenty of Gaussian blur.
Going into settings shows even more of a resemblance. Holding it side-by-side with an iPad running iOS 8 shows just how close the two are. The differences are so small that novice users could easily mistake one for the other. Throughout Lenovo’s custom software, it’s easy to see that the company simply tweaked the design of iOS to fit the needs of Android. Even Lenovo’s icons are extremely similar to those from iOS. The Gallery icon is, at first glance, the same as the Gallery icon as in iOS.
Lenovo did add features that certainly distinguish its software from iOS. Multi-window, for example, is something that doesn’t have an equivalent on iOS. Lenovo has also improved Multi-window to have floating panes above other apps that can be resized or minimized to the system tray, much like Windows. The feature is surprisingly useful and far more fleshed out than Lenovo’s last attempt at Multi-window.
Performance has received a huge boost as well. Last year’s software was clunky, slow and lagged through every animation or swipe. This year’s software has been far more fluid and smooth, with animations actually functioning as they’re intended to. Apps open faster, pages scroll faster, and the experience has been much improved. Stutters still pop up, but the experience is vastly better than before.
When it comes down to it, Lenovo has made some good steps forward in the software department, albeit it at the lack of originality. The software pulls a bit too much from iOS for us to really give Lenovo points being creative, but we appreciate the more refined design and performance boost that has accompanied it.
Check out some screenshots below.