Hands on: Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows review

This Yoga tablet will lead the way for mainstream massive screens

What is a hands on review?
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Our Early Verdict

The Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows is a lovely device - if you're in the market for an enormous 13-inch screen. Other than that, it doesn't really stand out.

For

  • Microsoft 8.1 OS
  • Durable build
  • Nice display

Against

  • Screen may be too large for some

The new Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows practically matches the Android-equipped Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro spec for spec with a few differences here and there. The Windows Yoga comes packed with a 13.3-inch quad HD display, 1.86GHz quad-core Intel Atom chip, 15-hour battery, Bluetooth 4.0, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, kickstand and 64GB of removable storage.

The most obvious difference - Windows 8.1 instead of Android - the new Windows-based 13-inch Yoga Tablet 2 also lacks the Android version's built-in projector, as well as its rear camera, opting instead for a 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Yoga Tablet 2 is also slightly heavier at 2.27 lbs - and this is without the keyboard. The Lenovo representative noted that the tablet is for everyone, but it seems to be oriented towards businesses since its large size might be cumbersome to deal with.

Jeff Meredith, vice president of the Lenovo Tablet Business Unit, Mobile Business Group said in a press release: "the Yoga Tablet 2 Windows (13-inch) tablet now gives users who seek more productivity options and a larger screen size the perfect option" - which sounds enterprise related but then again, I can also see it as a great device for watching movies on, thanks to that huge 13-inch screen. I just wouldn't want to lug it around.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows

The newest function of the gigantic Yoga Tablet 2 is its ability to "hang." The kickstand attached to the back of the tablet features a square shaped hole that you can attach to a wall. The orientation of the tablet will of course, flip upside down to display correctly.

The Yoga Tablet 2 is packed with twin large-chamber speakers on the side of the tab and a JBL subwoofer on the back which is enhanced by Dolby Audio and Wolfson Master Hi-Fi for "studio quality sound" and "noise reduction."

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows

The speakers did a decent job of playing demo videos in the noisy room, where the placement helped the sound remain audible, but I'd definitely want to try them out again with a movie and some music.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows

The 13-inch tab's screen resolution is lovely at 2560x1440, which is slightly higher than the 12-inch Microsoft Surface 3 Pro's 2160 x 1440. Granted there's an inch difference between the two but Lenovo seems to be just as crisp or even more than the Microsoft tab. The Yoga's display also seems to have less screen glare than the Surface.

Early verdict

The Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows feels like a premium device and much like all the other Lenovo products, is really quite nice. I can see that the Yoga is trying really hard to compete with the Microsoft Surface 3 Pro, but since we live in a world where name brands matter, it likely won't be a household device. The Lenovo is also lighter on the specs than the Microsoft line.

At the same time, there's the possibility it could do well as a cheaper alternative to the Surface Pro 3 thanks to its $699.99 (£369, about AU$800) price tag - that's US$100 cheaper than the Microsoft tab. The Yoga could also succeed in the business sphere.

Like the other Lenovo tablets, the Yoga Tablet 2 will ship with a Bluetooth keyboard cover, which again is fantastic since you typically have to pay an extra chunk of change for keyboards (again, it's $130/£109 more added onto a Surface Pro 3).

which should help it continue securing a spot as a powerful laptop/tablet hybrid.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.