29
Oct
Yoga Tablet Stand Mode

Tablets are in a bit of a rut as far as form factors go. Aside from ASUS' Transformer models and imitators, they're basically all monolithic slates with very little in the way of variation. Lenovo is trying to buck that trend with its new Yoga tablet line, which borrows the name from the company's flexible and well-received convertible laptops. These tablets feature an exaggerated curve on one side of the case (sort of like a more pronounced version of the Notion Ink Adam). The tablet hits retailers tomorrow in 8 and 10-inch versions.

Stand Mode Yoga Tablet Tilt Mode Yoga Tablet Yoga Tablet Hold Mode

The curve has multiple functions, according to Lenovo: it works as a handy reversible grip in portrait mode and props up the tablet when it's lying flat. But the most interesting feature is that it hides a tiny roll-out kickstand, which can hold the tablet up at a slightly higher angle when flat or like a picture frame or monitor when upright. I love me some kickstands and wish that more manufacturers would integrate them into case designs, so you can color me intrigued. The fact that the Yoga will be offered in an 8-inch version - my tablet "sweet spot" - doesn't hurt.

Yoga Tablet Stand Mode Yoga Tablet Tilt Mode

Unfortunately the internal specifications leave a lot to be desired. Both the 8-inch and 10-inch tablets use a lackluster 1280x800 resolution, and the power plant is a 1.2Ghz quad-core MediaTek 8125 based on the Cortex A7 architecture paired to just 1GB of RAM. That might not be enough to reliably run Android 4.2 and Lenovo's software enhancements. 16GB of storage plus a MicroSD card slot, a 5MP rear camera, and USB on-the-go (which can charge your smartphone from the tablet battery) round out the internals. The batteries are pretty big at 6000mAh and 9000mAh, respectively, which Lenovo quotes at up to 18 hours. Dual front-facing Dolby-certified speakers are a nice touch.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet Lenovo Yoga Tablet_2 Lenovo Yoga Tablet_3

Pricing isn't all that competitive, either, considering the last-generation hardware. The 8-inch Yoga Tablet will run you $249 from either Best Buy or Lenovo's website, while the 10-inch version bumps up its price to $299. The larger tablet will be available from most major American retailers. If you're in the market for a matching keyboard, Lenovo will be happy to sell you one for a pricey $69, and other first-party accessories will also be available. Those are high premiums to pay for a non-traditional form factor - I can't help but think that Qualcomm internals and 1080p screens would go a long way towards making them more palatable.

Lenovo Unveils Its First Multimode Yoga Tablet

Debuts three innovative modes and up to 18 hours of battery life

October 29, 2013 10:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Multimode computing leader Lenovo (SEHK:0992) (Pink Sheets:LNVGY) today debuted its first multimode Yoga Tablet at a livestream launch event with Ashton Kutcher, the company’s newest product engineer. Known for pioneering innovative multimode devices like the Yoga convertible laptop, Lenovo now brings people a new way to get the most out of their tablet experience.

“Watching and discovering that people frequently use tablets in three main ways allowed us to break the mold on the current ‘sea of sameness’ designs, giving them a better way to read, browse, watch and interact with content”

The game-changing Yoga Tablet features three unique modes, giving consumers a better way to use a tablet. Withhold, tilt and stand modes, the tablet adapts to the way people use it instead of forcing people to adapt to the technology. Additionally the Yoga Tablet has an amazing up to 18 hours of battery life1 to truly fit users’ ultra mobile lifestyles.

“Watching and discovering that people frequently use tablets in three main ways allowed us to break the mold on the current ‘sea of sameness’ designs, giving them a better way to read, browse, watch and interact with content,” said Liu Jun, senior vice president and president, Lenovo Business Group, Lenovo. “As consumers’ continue to demand innovative multimode designs we’re thrilled to have Ashton Kutcher on board with us to help further develop the immersive and complementary hardware and rich content experience.”

Yoga Tablet: Three Modes And Longer Battery Life Give Tablets A Better Way

One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to tablets. Lenovo designers and engineers identified three challenges tablet users face: fatigue when holding and using the tablet; no self-supporting mechanism when laid on a flat surface; and an inadequate viewing angle when set on a table. These scenarios inspired Lenovo to break the mold on the “sea of sameness” design and to create Yoga Tablet’s unique modes.

With its exclusive cylindrical handle, hold mode is designed to fit an individual’s hand, so the Yoga Tablet is easier to hold and offers more control over the device whereas other tablets require two hands. Hold mode makes reading, checking social media and browsing the web easy and parallels how people hold magazines when reading.

To convert the Yoga Tablet into stand mode, simply rotate the side cylinder 90° so that the tablet stand deploys, allowing the tablet to stand by itself on a desk or table. Users can change the viewing angle to fit what’s comfortable for them from 110° to 135°. Stand mode makes it easy for users to comfortably watch movies, place video calls and interact with the ten-finger touchscreen without having to rely on add-on accessories.

Users can lay the Yoga Tablet down in tilt mode to type directly on the tablet, play games and just surf the Internet with a better viewing angle. To further enhance the rich content and multimode tablet experience, users can enable the tablet’s auto-detection software that automatically brings up frequently used apps in hold and stand modes.

The Yoga Tablet’s multimode design not only provides a better usability experience, it offers dramatically longer battery life of up to 18 hours1, which is significantly more than the amount of typical tablets. Its cylindrical handle packs in powerful, dual batteries and unlike most tablets, it uses batteries typically found in laptops. The Yoga Tablet can even charge other devices such as smartphones via its USB on-the-go2. The 10 inch and 8 inch models run on MT8125 for WiFi models and MT8389 Quad Core processors for 3G models with 16 or 32 GB capacity and feature Android 4.2. Also equipped with Dolby® audio, Yoga Tablet’s front-facing speakers create a powerful surround sound experience through the device speakers and with headphones.

Extremely mobile, both models are featherweights weighing in at 1.35 lbs for the 10-in model and 0.88 lbs for the 8-in model. They feature high definition 1280 x 800 displays, a 5 MP auto focus rear camera plus an additional front camera, a micro SD expansion slot, allowing up to 64 GB of total storage, WiFi and optional 3G in select countries and a micro USB connection and Dolby DS1 for rich audio. Lenovo offers an optional Bluetooth keyboard for the 10-in model that functions as a cover and even wakes up the tablet when it’s removed and puts the tablet to sleep when it’s attached. Users can also opt for a WD100 dongle in select countries to stream video content from the tablet wirelessly to a TV. Lenovo also offers a portfolio of services solutions for the Yoga Tablet including warranty extensions, upgrades and premium technical support.

Pricing and Availability3

MSRP is $249 and $299, for the 8-in and 10-in, respectively. Starting on Oct. 30, the 8-in model will be available exclusively at Best Buy stores and www.lenovo.com while the 10-in model will be available via major retailers including Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Fry’s, Newegg.com and www.lenovo.com. The Lenovo Yoga 10 Bluetooth Keyboard Cover is $69 and will be available beginning Oct. 30 via major retailers and www.lenovo.com.

For the latest Lenovo news, subscribe to Lenovo RSS feeds or follow Lenovo on Twitter and Facebook. Also follow news about the Yoga Tablet at #betterway. The press kit is available at: http://news.lenovo.com/betterway.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • asianrage

    If only Lenovo had stuffed Nexus 7 internals into the tablets.

    • sri_tech

      I also wish the same but honestly they make no profits if they fit nexus 7 specs. Not at these prices.

      It is the same problem for all the OEMs.

      • asianrage

        I agree. But Lenovo has scale, and they could have just propagate both offerings with the same internals. Shame too, I saw this, I decided that the N7 was a better buy.

        • hoosiercub88

          Not in the Android market they don't...

  • TSON1

    Ew those specs... I almost wish this was a Win 8 tablet with some nice Ivy Bridge specs or something..

  • sri_tech

    Nexus 7 is better choice unless someone wants 8 inch tablet.

    MediaTek with 1GB RAM and OEM skin sucks. Also the resolution is bad.

    • abqnm

      The resolution isn't bad, but it certainly is not great. At least they didn't pull a Samsung and go for 1024x600...

  • Michael Sheils

    Lovely design but the specs kill all interest.

    • roxannelgj914

      мʏ ʀօօмαтɛ'ѕ ѕтɛք-αυɴт мαĸɛѕ $85/нօυʀ օɴ тнɛ ƈօмքυтɛʀ. ѕнɛ нαѕ вɛɛɴ աιтнօυт աօʀĸ ғօʀ ғιʋɛ мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн нɛʀ քαʏмɛɴт աαѕ $21945 ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тнɛ ƈօмքυтɛʀ ғօʀ α ғɛա нօυʀѕ. ʋιѕιт нɛʀɛ fox200&#46com

      • Bob G

        They will. This is more like a way to get it out at the cheapest possible price point while aiming to show everyone what they can do with the form factor. Once the price for internal hardware drops, then they'll put in those parts. Gotta make a profit unlike the Nexus line.

  • topgun966

    Great design and idea, but man those specs ..... next

  • Mastermind26

    lenovo = le no-no

    • MyLeftNut

      Awful joke aside, nono means breast in my language, so you just called them "the boob." Which seems oddly fitting.

      • Cory_S

        So when that girl told me "nono touch" she really meant boob touch? I guess no really does mean yes..

    • Mastermind26

      Do not understand the downvotes. :/
      Are we that judgemental to awful jokes?

  • abqnm

    I can handle the MediaTek processor as they are not that bad, but it needs more than 1gb of RAM. For what I need, the screen is enough, although higher resolution never hurts.

    Aside from the RAM issue and the (likely) bloated manufacturer customization, this is BY FAR THE BEST design I have seen to date for a tablet. I may have to go play with one at Best Buy to see how it fares in real life. Plus I have like $70 in reward zone coupons to spend so it could make it worth getting the 8" for less than a Nexus 7.

    • hoosiercub88

      The resolution is probably the only thing that would let these run smoothly tbh.. I agree though, add another gig of RAM on there and bam.. I'd be in for a 10" version.

      • abqnm

        And to be honest, on an 8" tablet, 1280x800 is not bad and even on a 10" it is still plenty useable. Heck, the laptop I use most of the time is still 1280x800 and that is 13".

  • randumdood

    Nice job ripping off the Apple Mac wireless keyboard design Lenovo. Looks like a winner though!

  • Bakaouji

    Urgh. That resolution. Processor. Ram. :(

  • Anthony Tran

    This would be a cool tablet to have if they could keep the cost relatively low while also beefing up the specs a bit. That screen resolution is pretty lame and only 1GB of RAM? I like the design, but the specs do not match the price tag. I realize the N7 doesn't make Google/Asus any money really, but the Yoga doesn't have to have the same highest-end specs for the buck. Even if it used something like the Snapdragon 600 with 2GB RAM, and had a slightly less stellar panel at full HD then I could see the price tag being justified.

    Lenovo has to realize that they don't have the came clout as Asus or Samsung. They need to make a tablet that is stylish and powerful, yet reasonably affordable. Otherwise, most people will opt for a more recognizable brand.

  • Cro0707

    Last three pictures doesn't have "Lenovo" label on the bazel, which is good in my opinion.

  • A_Noyd

    That's the problem with every Lenovo Android tablet I have seen so far. They make stupid hardware decisions. There is ALWAYS something screwed up about them. They need to take Android more seriously if they expect to sell many.

  • darkNiGHTS

    Mediatek quad core not enough to run Android 4.2? You've got to be kidding me AP.

  • Raj

    there is a connectivity issue with OTG. when ever i connect a pen drive or a external hard disk it says external device is damaged. help me out on this plzz