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Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro – 13.3 inch screen and an integrated projector, a very unusual tablet indeed [Review]

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There are tablet computers, and then there are ‘tablet’ computers. Most of the genre, except for the iPad masters, offer a lot of me-too tech, or simply a lower price to try and win customers. But occasionally there’s a tablet which really tries to be different, and so it is with this new tablet computer from the Lenovo stable. Big, brassy and bold. And that’s just the box.

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is an Android and Intel powered tablet computer which is definitely trying to offer something different to the market. And for that alone we have to applaud the company’s courage. It’s easy to play it safe, but we need more daring, because that’s what drives technology forward, right? This new tablet offers lots of daring, coming as it does with a massive 13.3 inch screen and an integrated projector. But is it enough?

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First impressions
Boy it’s big. It doesn’t sound a lot, but a 13.3 inch screen in a tablet is a big old thing to carry around. You’re not going to tuck this into your back pocket any time, it’s strictly for the large bag brigade. The specs are also big and solid. The tablet comes with an Intel Atom processor running at 1.6GHz, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage and a really nice 2560×1440 resolution touchscreen. It runs Android 4.4, sports a 9600mAh battery, an 8 megapixel rear camera (1.6 mp front) and microSD card storage support up to 64 GB. Check out our video overview below to get an idea of how it performs.

In use
That big screen really does stand out when you’re running multimedia, especially when compared against your standard 9 and 10 inch tablets. It’s the closest to a laptop you’ll get in tablet form, and it actually can be quite tiring to hold for extended periods. So thank goodness for the neat Lenovo Yoga default view stand, which gives some nice support for longer viewing periods.

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The box contains just a power block, USB charge cable and a minute user guide, but really you don’t need anything more. Just power it up into Android and it’s like an over-grown Android smartphone, only with more cool bits. We found the processor to be pretty meaty with an Antuttu benchmark score of 35035, which suggests some solid performance where it counts. As you’d expect with this kind of processing power and 2GB of RAM, the tablet eats up basic tasks like browsing, maps and the like. Even games run nice and smoothly, although very intensive 3D games may suffer from a little bit of glitchiness here and there.

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For most people it’s the integrated projector that’s intriguing. Does it work? Well the answer is yes it does. The projector won’t win any awards for brightness with 40 – 50 lumens on tap, but it’s definitely good enough to watch on a nearby wall if you want to share your viewing with more people in a room. The specs say you’ll be able to beam up to a 50 inch display from 6 feet away, which is plenty large enough, even though you will definitely need to lower the ambient light to watch movies properly.

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If you’ve seen our review of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 you’ll know that we’re fans of that device’s amazing battery life, which is beats out just about every other tablet on the market. We had high hopes for this Tablet 2 Pro since it shares the same cylinder style battery pack, but it’s clear that this model will struggle to match the battery time of its smaller cousin. It’s still not bad, you should be able to grab around a day’s worth of use out of it, if you don’t abuse the gaming or projection viewing too much.

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The 8 megapixel camera is a surprise too, since it seems to work rather well for a tablet camera. Notice our slight sniff of disdain, since Android tablets are notorious for providing rather average or below average results from their cameras. This Lenovo will definitely produce good enough shots for your scrapbook. Just don’t expect to throw away your dedicated cam any time soon.

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Conclusion
We love experiments in design, and this Tablet 2 Pro is just that. You can almost here the design team asking whether it’s possible to make a tablet computer which actually works as an entertainment center, and this is the result. The projector, which some may consider a gimmick, actually works surprisingly well, if you accept the limitations of all small portable projectors, and the rather large screen is a real eye-opener (!) on a tablet of this class. If you’re in the market for a large (and we mean large) tablet which comes with a great screen, very loud speakers and a decent battery life, then this is definitely an option to take seriously.

Price: $399.99

Specifications:
Processor – Intel® Atom™ Z3745 Processor
Operating System – Android™ v4.4 Kitkat
Hard Drive – 32GB EMMC
Micro SD card up to 64GB
Memory – RAM: 2GB LPDDR3
Audio – 2x Front large-chamber speakers, JBL subwoofer, Dolby Audio
Battery – Type: Li-ion, 9600 mAh
Usage Time: Up to 15 hours
Display – Size: 13.3″ (2560 x 1440) IPS display
Type: Capacitive touchscreen, 10-point multitouch
Weight – 2.09 lbs
Color – Platinum
Integrated Cameras – Rear: 8MP f2.2 Auto-focus, Front: 1.6MP HD
Sensors – G-Sensor, e-Compass, Ambient Light, Hall, Vibration
Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, MiMo, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Dual Band
Bluetooth 4.0
Ports – Micro USB / 3.5 mm audio jack / Micro SD card

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


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