The Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab (we will just refer to it as the Yoga Tab for the review) is a media-focused tablet. This device is fantastic for consuming media and browsing the web with stand out features such as a 10.1 inch Full HD (1920×1200) display, dual 2-watt speakers, and a built-in stand on the back. This review will discuss the pros and cons of the device and whether or not I think you should spend your hard-earned money on this tablet.
Let’s get the specifications out of the way. While they may seem underwhelming don’t forget this device’s target demographic. With that being said, below are the specifications.
- 10.1 inch Full HD Display (1920×1200)
- Snapdragon 439 processor (8 cores 4x A53 at 2.0 ghz and 4x A53 at 1.45 ghz)
- 4gb ram and 64gb of expandable storage via micro sd card
- 2x 2-watt speakers
- 5mp rear camera 8mp front camera
- Rear kickstand
- Currently running Android 9 on the February 5th security patch
- 7000 mah battery
- USB C port (USB 2.0 speeds) and 3.5mm headphone jack
- Plastic and metal construction
The device does a fantastic job for its target audience. The second you turn on the display you know you’re in for a great media experience. The display is bright, vivid, and sharp enough to watch a video. The device is also light enough to hold in one hand and still be comfortable for longer periods of time.
The speakers are really loud and very impressive with all the quality they hold. You might think the round bottom would make the device uncomfortable to hold, but it’s nice for gripping. The kickstand on the back of the tablet is sturdy and works in a lot of different scenarios. It works great to prop up on your table or in bed to watch a movie. It also works well for propping the tablet up on a slight incline to browse the web. I found a whole bunch of uses for the features that come with this speaker hump and I feel as though you need to experience it to appreciate it.
Having 64gb of storage and 4gb of ram may not seem like a huge bonus, but it’s nice. Given how inexpensive the tablet is it’s nice to be able to store a few movies or some apps on the device without worrying about expandable storage. With 4gb of ram, you may not be looking at a multitasking powerhouse but I did not find too much lag. There was one instance where I needed to reboot the tablet to clear out the ram, however that was after 4 days of constant usage. I noticed this when I had 6 chrome tabs open and was using Youtube and Crunchy Roll a lot. If this happens to you then a quick reboot should fix it. I wasn’t incredibly concerned about this though as it hasn’t happened since in the 9 – 10 days since I received the tablet.
The last pro I want to talk about is in the battery life department. This tablet is incredible. The 7000 mah battery paired with the Snapdragon 439 makes for a 2-day tablet. I could easily stream video for 5-7 hours over the course of 2 days without having to worry about a charge. IF you like to binge then this is your tablet.
I want to jump back to the battery department quickly. The device ships with a 5 watt 2 amp charging brick. I thought if I paired it up with one of my faster USB C chargers then it might give me a better result. I hate to say it, but I don’t think that will be the case. Although I am not an expert on charging speeds, however, I plugged the tablet into a 60-watt USB C charger (hoping the device would regulate to the fastest possible charging speed). The device went from about 10% to about 75% in about 3 hours though. Not very quick, therefore I would recommend overnight charges on this device.
Lenovo has never traditionally been the best with updates. When I received this device it was running Android 9 with the November 5th security update. At the time of writing this, that update is about 5 months old. While security patches may not be the end all be all for everyone, it does mean that this device probably hadn’t had a software update since its release! No bug fixes, no security patches, nothing. As I was beginning to write this review though I noticed an update for the device. The update clocked in at 100mb and gave bug fixes and the February 5th security update (meaning this update took over a month to produce).
Given this tablet sells for about $250 I can understand why they don’t give it much software support. I’m not even asking for Android 10 here! All I would ask is that the manufacturer gives the device a little software TLC every 3 months or so. Hey, maybe these bug fixes will solve the lag problem. If I notice anything I will make a note in the review.
If you are using this device as a camera, my best advice is, don’t do it. I took a picture or 2 with the 8mp rear camera and it is honestly awful. If anything using the 5mp front camera for video chats works fine. Just don’t think you’ll be doing any Instagram worthy photo shoots with this camera. It’s not worth it and I did not expect the camera to be great.
Not great but not terrible:
The Snapdragon 439 has me caught in the middle. While the chip was picked specifically for its low power draw, I feel this tablet could have benefited from a slightly higher power chip. With such a nice display you might want to boot up a game. I experienced a slight lag even in Alto’s Adventure. Unless you’re playing something like Words with Friends then don’t expect this device to handle much more. I would have recommended even using the Snapdragon 632 which is still power efficient but is a little more snappy. Especially with the amazing Full HD display, it was sad to see lag. The 632 is definitely more tailored for handling higher resolution displays and can handle gaming a little better.
The software also isn’t terrible but also not great. While it is nearly stock Lenovo’s gesture system isn’t fun (in my opinion), and it adds this weird side Youtube bar which just seemed repetitive. There was also a little bit of bloatware but nothing unmanageable. On the bright side though the stock launcher has the Google Feed on the left, and the software is manageable on the hardware given.
The last factor I would have wanted to be a fingerprint sensor. While not mandatory, it would have been nice. Even putting it on the side near the power button would have made unlocking the tablet more secure and manageable. There is a built-in face unlock feature but it’s slow, not secure, and not super accurate. Better than nothing, but the fingerprint sensor could have been nice.
I understand some of the aspects I want in the device would make the device more expensive. These are things I wish might be better or added. They could have enhanced the device a little more to make it a no brainer. That being said, I hope you as readers understand that I know why these decisions and cuts were made.
I like the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab. At its MSRP of $299, it’s tough to recommend, however, given the sale prices I’ve seen of $199 or $250 I think it’s an easy sell over a Fire Tablet or even an older iPad. Given the current state, we’re in as well, having the ability to watch Netflix or Youtube on a beautiful display and watch it for many hours is incredible. Doing that with the dual 2-watt speakers and the fantastic kickstand makes this device a binger’s dream. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for productivity or gaming I suggest you look elsewhere.
Would I spend my hard-earned cash on the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab? It depends on who will be using the device. If the device was purely for me than no. I just don’t consume that much media on a regular basis. I want a device that does media well but is not its sole focus. If I was recommending a tablet to someone who watched a lot of videos and might browse the web and Facebook than this would be on the top of my list. It has a great display and unbeatable speakers. If you were thinking of a refurbished iPad or an Amazon Fire Tablet than definitely give this guy a look. A link will be listed below.