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Hands on: Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab review

A smarter tablet?

What is a hands on review?
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab

Early Verdict

The Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab is a thin, light, and comfortable-to-use tablet that should be perfect for watching movies on the go or chilling and reading a book.

For

  • Comfortable to hold for long periods
  • Built-in stand
  • Stereo speakers

Against

  • Display is just 1080p
  • Weak processor

Over the past couple of years, Android tablets have fallen by the wayside a bit. However, we're starting to see a bit of a resurgence, and with products like the Lenovo Yoga SmartTab, it's not hard to see why.

This tablet sees Lenovo trying to fix some of the major issues with tablets in general: they get lost easily, battery life tends to drain even when idle and they can get a bit tiresome to hold up over time – which makes people opt for extra peripherals and accessories.

We got a chance to go hands-on with the Lenovo Yoga SmartTab at IFA 2019, and while we weren't able to put all of Lenovo's claims to the test – except for battery life and other time-constrained issues. For the most part, this tablet seems like an excellent solution, though it may not be for everyone.

Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab handheld

(Image credit: Future)

Pricing and availability

If you want to pick up the Lenovo Yoga SmartTab, you can pick it up later in September 2019, starting at just $249 (about £200, AU$370). For this price, you'll get a 10.1 inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS display, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. You can, of course, bump up the RAM and the storage to 4GB and 64GB, respectively, but we don't have pricing information for that model quite yet. 

Still, $249 isn't a huge ask for a tablet, and while it is limited to a 1080p display, the internals should be good enough to get you through all your media needs. Just don't go expecting the Lenovo Yoga SmartTab to replace your laptop any time soon – that's what the Lenovo Yoga C940 is for, after all.  

Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab speaker

(Image credit: Future)

Design

Close your eyes – well as much as you can close them while still reading this preview – and imagine a tablet. If you're anything like us, you pictured something like a flat rectangle that's mostly screen.  

The Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab has a little bump on the side of it, that covers the length of the tablet. And, while it definitely looks a bit striking at first, holding it in one hand is kind of a dream come true. We personally use our tablet for reading most of the time, and we imagine this tablet would be incredibly comfy for long periods – even if we only got to hold it for a few minutes. 

But, this handle does more than just provide comfort –  it also allows for a little tab that you can rotate around to either use as a stand or to hang from a nail. That makes it incredibly convenient to just stand the tablet up when you're looking to watch some Netflix on the go.

On each end of the handle, too, you'll find speakers, so you're going to get some decent sound out of them. Granted, we tested this tablet on a loud show floor, so that's not exactly something we were able to evaluate completely.

Finally, on either end of the tablet, you'll find the ports. You just get one USB-C for charging and data, and a headphone jack. Not exactly the most connections in the world – but it's a tablet, after all.

Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab rear

(Image credit: Future)

Performance

The Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab is packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 and 4GB of memory (RAM) on the high-end, so this tablet isn't going to power through super intensive tasks. This tablet seems to be designed first and foremost for binging your entertainment, rather than gaming or doing any kind of productivity work. 

And, in our short time with the device, it seemed snappy enough. However, because we obviously didn't get the chance to put the device through its paces, we don't have any hard data about the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab's real-world performance. 

The tablet should be more than good enough if you're just looking for a convenient device to consume media on – and, really that's all it needs to be. Still, we would love to see a tablet with this design use a more powerful chip and more RAM – just imagine playing tablet games on a device that's actually comfortable to hold for more than 5 minutes. 

Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab buttons

(Image credit: Future)

Early verdict

The Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab isn't the most powerful device on the market, but it doesn't need to be. Where this device wins is its portability and comfort of use – and it wins big. Whether you're just chilling on the couch reading your favorite book, or watching some Netflix to distract yourself from a painfully long plane ride, the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab should be on your list.

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.