Lenovo has just unveiled what it hopes is a tablet to shake up the otherwise pretty similar world of slates. Its new Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, rather uniquely, comes with a built-in Pico projector. But it's not just a one trick pony.
We got to spend some time with the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro to see just what that £449 price tag gets you. Is it worth splashing the cash?
Tablets were created to offer the simple functionality of a touchscreen phone but with a larger screen. So it sort of makes sense to take that to the next level and offer an even bigger screen. In this case it's a 16:9 widescreen 50-inch projected screen from 2 metres away.
Projectors have been built into mobile devices before but rarely have they looked so good. Thanks to the bulged bottom of the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro the projector is housed nicely along with those speakers. The stand also helps allowing it to be placed simply with the image steady and balanced.
In our experience the image caught up well with movement as it focused and displayed a varying sized 'screen' as we moved the projector closer to the wall or further away. Closer to the wall meant higher resolution but even at 50-inches it still looked decent. It won't replace your TV but for on the go it's impressive. It reminded us of short throw projectors, which also offer a really convenient way to get that large screen experience.
The battery, Lenovo claims, will last up to 3-hours. We didn't get a chance to test this but with the bright and clear image we'd be impressed if that was the case – especially with speakers running too.
We love the idea of projecting movies onto the ceiling while in bed.
For a tablet the sound coming from the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is quite impressive in the noisy environment we tested it in. Although from our limited time with it we couldn't imagine trading in our Bluetooth speaker jsut yet.
Lenovo has managed to cram in a 5W subwoofer as well as dual large-chamber speakers for front facing sounds. It's a JBL 2.1 Sound System. This hardware coupled with Dolby Audio and Wolfson Master HiFi multi-channel sound resulted in a sound better than most tablets.
Of course if you'd rather listen on headphones that's an option too, one that will extend battery life. But since projection is probably going to be in a group situation these speakers should come in handy. Lenovo claims the sounds are four times louder than other tablets. We're waiting until our review to judge this.
Hold a pose
The design of the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro is impressive. Clean lines, a metallic finish with that 3.7mm thin edge (at the thinnest point) and the large stand all make for a good looking device. But the design goes beyond looks.
The Hang, Stand and Tilt functions are all a result of the stand which extends out with a solid locking feel. This allows the tablet to be manipulated into different positions for typing, watching videos or reading, for example. This does work but a few more angles might be nice to make it perfect in every situation.
The bulk of the speakers, battery and projector actually make for a great handle which feels better in the hand than most flat tablets.
If the projector isn't in use you won't be let down as the screen is impressive. It's a QHD IPS display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution. In reality this is a pretty average 221ppi when spread out over the mighty 13.3-inch screen. But having a display that large on a tablet is really refreshing – it's a bit like a laptop without the keyboard hanging off it.
We use a MacBook Air, also with a 13-inch screen, and looking at this higher res tablet is really refreshing. The difference is pretty obvious and we could imagine going back to the Mac would be a challenge after using this tablet for a while.
The tablet comes with an Intel Atom processor which, in our experience, kept everything running smoothly. From loading up large movie files to multitasking we didn't notice any lag or wait times.
Storage is set at 32GB internally with the only option for more found by using microSD for 64GB. Although with 4G connectivity it wouldn't be too much of an issue to store things in the cloud. Since this is also aimed at business users we'd imagine a lot of them will ship with cloud storage in mind.
What could have been a gimmicky tablet is actually rather impressive. The addition of the great sound and Pico projector are not at the expense of the rest of the device. The QHD screen is excellent, the power from the Intel Atom does the job well and 4G connectivity is a plus.
The design, including stand make the tablet attractive and functional. Some might find the lump at the end annoying but for the extras it's a fair trade.
At £449 the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro isn't cheap. But if you want a little something extra from your tablet, and enjoy group video watching on the move, this could be the tablet for you.