Tablets devices have come a long way over the past few years. We have seen the release of waterproof tablets, as well as the release of tablet devices that are aimed at the mobile workforce. However, Lenovo has taken the core concept of the tablet device and evolved it into something unique and innovative. For the past few years we have been waiting for the tablet/projector hybrid, and it is finally here.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is the first tablet to feature a built-in pico projector, which ultimately makes it stand out from the rest. To add to this, the projector is not limited to what it can display. With a simple touch of a button, you can essentially start projecting slideshows, movies, business documents, or even mobile games (as long as it is compatible with the device). The projector can be used on a projector screen; however, it also performs extremely well on smooth white wall. In order to get the best performance out of the projector, it will need to be placed in a room that hosts very little light. Granted, this is the case for most projectors; however, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro’s projector is not as bright as most portable projectors and will require less light to perform optimally.
When placed in a darkened room you can expect to project movies and images at an image size of up to 50-inches (127- centimeters). While reviewing the unit, we did manage to get the image size much larger than 50-inches without compromising on image quality.
When it comes to focusing the projector, Lenovo has placed an image focus slider underneath the projector. While it is incorporated quite well into the design of the tablet, it can be slightly tricky to get the projector to focus correctly. This is due to the fact that slider is extremely sensitive and a minor slip of the finger will push it out of focus. While the slider was a great design choice, having an actual dial, which could be locked into place may have been a better approach.
Apart from the focus slider, Lenovo has essentially brought out the ultimate business/entertainment device. By using a Bluetooth connection, you can stream the audio of any content through your home theater system. This allows you turn your home into your very own private cinema. If your sound system does not feature Bluetooth, you can still however push sound through an auxiliary cable. If you are lacking a sound system all together, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro features a built in JBL 8 watt sound system with sub-woofer. The overall audio quality of the speaker system is great, especially if you are projecting slideshows or movies to a relatively small audience.
Apart from the projector, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro also packs in a massive 13.3-inch WQHD display with Wide-View. While this makes the device slightly heavier, Lenovo has equipped the tablet with a rather unique kickstand. The kickstand can be found on the rear on the tablet and can be used to Hold, Tilt, Stand, and Hang the device. As the device is fairly weighty, the kickstand is a great way to take the pressure off your wrists while holding the tablet. Our initial concern with the kickstand was that the screen would eventually start sliding backwards; however, it did a near perfect job of keeping the screen locked into place at all times.
According to Lenovo, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro features a battery life of up to 15 hours (dependent on usage). During the review period we got around between 12- 15 hours battery life during normal day-to-day use; however, while utilising the projector, we only seemed to manage between 6-9 hours battery life. This is not entirely too bad for a device, especially one that features a built-in projector as well as 13.3-inch display.
When it comes to camera functionality, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro also comes with a front facing 1.6MP HD camera, as well as a Rear facing 8MP camera. The front camera performs well while using applications such as Skype. When it comes to the rear facing camera it too takes crisp clean photos, but it does not entirely perform too well at night.
The tablet essentially runs Android 4.4.2 or Windows 8.1, which is powered by a 4 core 1.86GHz Processor and hosts 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM. When it cones to storage, the device features 32GB of internal storage space, which can be extended upon, up to 64GB, with a MicroSD card.
While Android 4.4.2 runs really well on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, there are a few features that need to be worked on. When downloading apps the tablet seems to force you into placing these apps into prearranged categories like games, shopping, and social. To add to this, these categories cannot be deleted. This can be frustrating, especially if you like to organise your apps in a specific way. Additionally, the interface seems slightly watered down and has a iOS style approach to it. Granted, this is something some former Apple users may like, but if you have solely used Android, this may put you off slightly.
When it comes to build quality, the device is quite capable of taking a knock, just as long as the knock is no where near the bulb for the pico projector. In its entirety, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is a great looking device; however, portability may be limited due to the device’s size. It is not bulky, but it can take up a fair amount of space – especially if you try slide it into a handbag, or a laptop bag with limited space.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is a phenomenal device. Not only does it feature an astounding 13.3-inch display, but it also features a built-in pico projector. This allows users to take business to the boardroom, as well as transform their living room into a fully-functional home theater experience. To add to the features, the device can be connected to a home theater system via Bluetooth, or alternatively via an auxiliary cable.
The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro features a kickstand that will allow you to Hold, Tilt, Stand, and Hang the device just about anywhere. While Lenovo has definitely brought innovation to the table when it comes to this device, it is just unfortunate that the tablet runs a slightly watered down version of Android 4.4.2.
Overall, Lenovo has a great product in its arsenal, and is sure to give other device manufacturers a run for their money. The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro retails for a recommended retail price (RRP) of R8999.
Reviewed by: Darryl Linington