A few weeks ago, Matt Lyons gave you his impressions of the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2. That device earned high marks for design and battery life, but had some issues with the screen and Wifi connectivity. I’ve had a chance to test out the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro. Does the Pro model improve upon the pain points of the original? What does Pro even represent? Keep reading to find out.
I knew admittedly very little about the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro before my review unit arrived. I’d seen info on the newer line of YOGA laptops, but I’d somehow avoided (or forgotten) any information on Lenovo’s line of tablets. I was therefore pleasantly surprised with what I found when I opened the box.
The YOGA Tablet 2 Pro is big…Very big. Just over thirteen inches big. You get the idea, but I never found this device to be unwieldy or uncomfortable to hold. The device itself is exceptionally thin, except of course for the rounded battery compartment at the bottom of the screen. The larger battery cylinder makes this tablet much easier to pick up, and actually made the device more comfortable to hold, especially in portrait mode. Even in landscape, the YOGA 2 Pro was easy to carry. The rounded area provides a good base for your hand to lean against. One very minor quibble, the power button is located on the left end of the battery cylinder. I’ve got big hands, and I found that once or twice the meaty part of my palm would hit the power button, turning off the screen. Probably not a concern for most, but but something to keep in mind.
One of the other unique features of the YOGA line of tablets is the kickstand. Matt lamented a bit about the kickstand on the YOGA 2, but I can say with the utmost certainty that Lenovo has learned and improved upon the kickstand experience significantly on the YOGA 2 Pro. The YOGA 2 Pro kickstand has a cut out area which can be used to hang the device, as does the YOGA 2, but on the Pro, that cut out area is put to much better use. The square cut out fits perfectly around the camera, subwoofer, and – quite conveniently – kickstand release button. You just push the button and the kickstand pops out, ready to be rotated to whatever position you’d like. This kickstand has plenty of muscle behind it too. It holds the YOGA 2 Pro in a standing position and is really quite sturdy. I had to worry more about the entire device sliding around on whatever surface it was placed more than I had to worry about the kickstand giving out.
I can’t possibly go on about the hardware of this device without getting into the “Pro” discussion. While some of the internal specs have been bumped up on this model, the real difference in the Pro model is in the Projector. Yep, there’s a Pico projector built right in to the other end of the battery cylinder. I’ll talk more about the projector a little bit later, but it’s really pretty cool.
Otherwise, the specs for this tablet are really pretty decent – Intel Atom Z3745 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage with SD expandable storage, 2x front large-chamber speakers with JBL subwoofer (and more audio tweaks that we’ll discuss further down), your typical radios – Wifi, Bluetooth, cameras, etc.
The YOGA 2 Pro has a 13.3″, QHD display with a resolution of 2560×1440. The display is big and vibrant, and is honestly very very bright. Even at half-brightness there were times where I almost wanted to tone it down even further. Where the Horizon 2e that we reviewed was far too big to be used as a tablet, The YOGA 2 Pro is just about perfect. Some may prefer smaller form factors for their tablet, but under the right circumstances, the larger screen is really ideal. Games and videos look spectacular, and the extra screen real estate is definitely welcome for just these instances. Everything that I ran on the YOGA 2 Pro was very clear and crisp.
The YOGA 2 Pro runs on a slightly modified version of Android 4.4.2. If you’re familiar with Android, you probably know what you’re getting yourself into. The same caveats that are present in the YOGA 2 are present in the YOGA 2 Pro – Minimal extra bloat, notification shade settings only affect notification shade, etc. One welcome addition – albeit in a rather limited capacity – is multitasking. Select apps – Chrome, Gallery, Calculator, Videos, File Browser, and Email – can be opened into multiple small windows (3 open at a time, tops) which can be moved around the screen. These windows can’t be re-sized though, so you’re stuck with each of these six apps taking up about 1/4 of the screen. It’d be really nice if more apps were available – Google Drive integration would be particularly helpful – or more options were available for the currently selectable apps, but it’s a good start, and something that isn’t possible with stock Android.
Tablet speakers normally aren’t anything to write home about. They’re usually mono speakers, on the back of the device, tuned to be loud versus sound good. The Yoga 2 Pro throws all of that on its head by including two front-facing large chamber speakers and a JBL subwoofer. There’s also a Dolby Audio app in order to fine tune your aural experience. There are general presets available for music, movies, and games, or you can also tweak some settings to your own preference. When active, the speakers aren’t quite as loud but everything has a better mix to it. Music sounds closer to what would come out of a decent pair of headphones rather than the tinny loud experience that most tablet speakers provide. The speakers on the YOGA 2 Pro are a definite step up from most other tablets.
I didn’t end up installing a ton of apps/games during my time with this device, but the YOGA 2 Pro was always snappy and responsive. It boots up remarkably quickly, usually around 20-25 seconds. After sitting and waiting for what seems like forever for my Transformer to boot, the Lenovo is a breath of fresh air. There is the occasional hiccup in operation, but that may have more to do with Android than it does the Lenovo hardware. I didn’t have any of the Wifi issues that Matt had with the YOGA 2, I was able to get a strong connection throughout my house without issue. Games like Leo’s Fortune, Goat Simulator, and Hearthstone ran smoothly and looked fantastic. The large screen honestly wasn’t the best for playing Leo’s Fortune, but it looked great while it was running.
Lenovo touts an 8 hour battery life for general browsing, with up to 5 hours when using the projector. I didn’t end up using the projector anywhere near that long, but for general use I was routinely getting around 7-8 hours while browsing, watching videos, and playing games. I’ll take that out of a 13″ display! The secret of course is that the battery is in the large cylinder at the base of the device as previously mentioned. That allows for a more standard (and bigger) battery than is present in most tablets.
You’ve got the Google Play store, so any apps that work on Android 4.4.2 should work swimmingly. That also means you’ve got Play Music, Play Movies, Play Books, YouTube, etc. for all of your media needs. The YOGA 2 Pro comes pre-installed with the Kindle app, and overall you should have no issues finding anything that you’re looking for to run/watch on this device. In the end, it’s an Android tablet so Google services and integration will obviously work flawlessly.
While not exactly an accessory per se, the YOGA 2 Pro’s most intriguing feature is its Pico projector. The projector can produce up to a 50-inch 16:9 projection. The resolution is only 854×480 so you aren’t going to want to replace your HDTV or anything, but I can easily envision some great uses for this projector. If you travel for work and need to present information to potential clients, or co-workers you can easily display and interact with documents or presentations. Home uses are plentiful as well. You can show off your vacation photos, stream a movie in any room, or even do something crazy, like play Clash of Clans on your ceiling.
Maybe you take your YOGA 2 Pro camping? Load it up with movies before you go (because tents usually don’t have wifi) and watch Cabin in the Woods while in a cabin in the woods. The Pico projector has very serviceable auto-keystone correction to account for some awkward projection angles. Again, this won’t replace your television, but in a pinch it’s pretty cool to be able to project your tablet’s media onto most any surface.
Currently available for $469, the YOGA 2 Pro is a bit more expensive than many other tablet options. With that being said, at 13.3″ it’s also quite a lot larger, and has some features that you aren’t going to find on many competing devices. The Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro is really a premium feeling device, and feels very solid in your hands. For the build quality, features, and performance I have no problem recommending this tablet. If you’re in the market for a big tablet you really can’t go wrong with the YOGA Tablet 2 Pro.
The Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro is a great device for media consumption, games, reading, and any other normal tablet functions (it has a rear camera too, but we all know that we shouldn’t be taking pictures with tablets by now, don’t we?). The addition of the Pico projector adds to the functionality of an already capable tablet. The large battery powers the even larger screen to ensure that this tablet won’t run out on you anytime soon. If you want a premium, large screened tablet, look no further than the Lenovo YOGA Tablet 2 Pro.