Lenovo's Smart Clock series looks like something that fits right into Google's smart home lineup, and it does, despite being third-party hardware. The second generation of the Smart Clock has been leaked more than once already, but today it gets official. the design looks a lot like the original, with the biggest change being an option for an add-on wireless charger for your phone.
I love kickstands. Everything should have kickstands, and the fact that everything doesn't is a damn tragedy. That's especially true for tablets, little slabs of fragile glass that are designed for media consumption. Despite some sterling work from Microsoft, Lenovo, and (occasionally) Samsung, tablets with kickstands as an integral part of their design are still rare. But with this cheap add-on from Moft, you can give almost any tablet the kickstand it deserves.
Lenovo has announced the Yoga Tab 3 Plus, a mid-sized tablet that the company claims is better than a portable television, at IFA in Berlin. The Chinese company is specifically touting the Tab 3 Plus's screen and audio.
Lenovo's Yoga series of Android tablets has always been unique, with its curvy design and integrated kickstand. Despite a tepid reviewer response to the last generation (mostly to do with a downright awful software skin), the company is powering ahead with a third revision, this time omitting the bombastic 13-inch model and moving some of its features down to the 10-inch version. The more pedestrian Yoga Tab 3 will go on sale in October, with the more spec-heavy Tab 3 Pro starting in November.
Lenovo's kickstand-packing Yoga tablets are already unconventional, but the new Tablet 2 Pro is downright odd. In addition to a relatively huge 13.3" screen and a built-in subwoofer, this beast of a device packs a pint-sized Pico projector into the curve of its kickstand hinge. Lenovo claims that the Tablet 2 Pro was developed with "product engineer" Ashton Kutcher, in case it wasn't already weird enough. The redesigned kickstand also includes a cutout that pulls double duty as a hole for the camera and a handy hanging point.
Here's a video with young, attractive people using a $500 tablet to match their $500 van.
Lenovo's initial Yoga tablets were novel thanks to their curved chassis with plus-sized batteries and integrated kickstands, but the lackluster specs (headlined by MediaTek processors) turned a lot of hardware fans off. The refreshed version of the 10-inch Yoga fixed that with a slightly better Snapdragon 400, 2GB of RAM, and a 1920x1200 screen. You can pick up a Yoga 10 Tablet HD+ for $100 off from Amazon, bringing the price down to a more reasonable $249.99.
The extra junk in the trunk from the case gives the Yoga a three-stage kickstand that folds up when not in use, not to mention a little extra space for stereo front-facing speakers and a 9000mAh battery.
Regular slate tablets are not for you. No sir/ma'am, you demand flexibility and utility from your electronics. Lenovo's Yoga line might be more accommodating for your needs, since it uses a unique chassis that combines a kickstand, an ergonomic handle, a massive battery pack, and a pair of stereo speakers into one bulbous side of the device. Today's Best Buy deal of the day is the 8-inch Yoga Tablet, on sale for $70 off.
That still makes the Yoga Tablet 8 $179.99, which is a bit of a tough sell for a device with a 1.2Ghz Mediatek processor, 1GB of RAM, and a pedestrian 1280x800 screen, putting it at about the same technical level as the original Nexus 7.
My love of devices with built-in kickstands is well-documented. So it's no surprise that Lenovo's Yoga Tablet line, which is more or less built around the kickstand (or at least a big, rounded, multi-purpose hump that holds the kickstand and several other neat things) would catch my attention. The first versions were brought down by sub-par hardware, but Lenovo is back with the Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, which addresses a lot of the issues with the original.
First and most importantly, the device gets a considerable specification boost. The screen is now a full 1920x1200 panel, which has become more or less a must have when you're selling a full 10-inch tablet.
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.
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.
We first heard about Vavo through its Kickstarter campaign – which was successfully funded by roughly 200% – back in June of last year. The product has been available in the retail scene for a little while now, and I've actually had a pair of them (one white, one black) for the last few months. As such, I've had plenty of time to get a feel for VaVo's strengths, as well as its weaknesses.
With that, let's take a closer looksee.
What is it?
As described by UDS, VaVo is "an ultra portable universal smart phone and smart device accessory. It has 2 simple functions, propping your device at a variety of angles and mounting your device on flat vertical surfaces for viewing purposes."