New Android tablets seem to be about as prevalent as KitKat bars at Halloween, but Lenovo’s YOGA Tablet 2 Pro distinguishes itself with some very innovative, new features. It has a built-in Pico projector, a cylinder shaped bottom that makes it comfortable to hold, and a first-of-its-kind, built-in subwoofer delivering rich, immersive sound.
Lenovo introduced the new tablet along with 8 and 10-inch Android and Windows tablets, and the Yoga 3 Pro ultra slim convertible PC at an event in London last week that I was lucky enough to attend. More on the YOGA 3 Pro below.
The YOGA Tablet 2 Pro was developed with Ashton Kutcher, who you may recall joined Lenovo as a product engineer last year. Apparently he had a lot to do with the design of this tablet. For starters, Lenovo told me Kutcher was the one who came up with the idea for the subwoofer. He met with a team of designers and engineers in Beijing and put out the challenge. The engineers were eventually able to get the subwoofer small enough so that it not only fit, it sounds amazing.
The enhanced audio system with 8 watts of sound isn’t the only innovation; this 13-inch tablet has a built-in Pico projector. You may wonder, as I did, why do I need a projector on my tablet? Lenovo’s Jeff Meredith, vice president, Mobile Business Group, told me their research shows 88% of users are consuming large amounts of digital content on their tablets at home. And more than half of them watch TV on their tablet. Of course, it helps that home is where there’s Wi-Fi so watching digital media doesn’t burn through precious data.
The YOGA Tablet 2 Pro with its 13-inch QHD 2560×1440 display is designed to be a media tablet. You can project movies, videos, games and photos to a wall or even your ceiling. Add in the immersive sound from the front-facing speakers and rear subwoofer and you can see why projecting movies from your tablet onto a wall for a 50-in theater experience will soon become a thing.
Those of you familiar with the YOGA design know it offers modes of use to enhance your experience. If you’re reading an e-book, you might prefer the Hold mode which affords a better reading angle. Tilt and Stand mode use the built-in kickstand for easy browsing. There’s now a new Hang mode so you can hang it wherever you like.
The tablet, which will be available at the end of the month starting at $499 runs on the latest 4th gen Intel Atom processor, has an 8MP rear camera, and comes with 32 GB of storage, expandable up to 64 GB. Battery life is projected at 15 hours, with 5 hours of video playback time.
If you’re in the market for a new PC the slim, light YOGA 3 Pro has a watchband hinge design that lets the device open to completely flat. That new hinge allowed Lenovo designers to shave 17% from the previous version, and when open the PC is thinner than a pencil. Like its predecessors, there’s Laptop mode, Stand mode for video chatting, Tent mode for watching movies or presenting and Tablet mode.
On top of the thin and light design, the YOGA 3 Pro now has Harmony, Lenovo’s software that adapts to the device’s different modes. For example, if you’re reading an e-book Harmony will automatically adjust the brightness depending on the existing lighting in the room. When the device is in tent mode, Harmony will enable software and mode-specific controls that help you understand what’s available.
The 13-inch YOGA 3 Pro has a QHD 3200×1800 display and is running Intel’s newest Core M processor, which means smooth playback, great multi-tasking and long battery life. You can choose from Clementine Orange, Platinum Silver or Champagne Gold when they become available at the end of October.