The best thing about the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 and 10 were their impressively long-lasting batteries. As for performance and value, well let's just say the tablets struggled to justify their respective prices. The new Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, however, at least attempts to offer something better. At least on paper.
The new tablet follows nearly the exact design as its elders, featuring a similarly thin aluminum body that leads to a cylindrical edge. The offbeat layout gives the tablets a well-weighted comfortable feel. Akin to folding back the pages of a magazine and holding it in one hand.
The tablet feels light and sturdy in my hands and thanks to the now longer kickstand, it stands more confidently and assuredly when placed in its vertical position. The longer kickstand gives you a higher angle when typing in horizontal mode compared to the previous Yoga 10-inch. As for aesthetic changes, in addition to the original silver, the new tablet is available in champagne gold.
The HD+ in the name refers to the new 1,920x1,200 full-HD resolution screen, up from the previous model's 1,280x800 display. The processor has changed to a 1.6GHz Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon 400. Last year's models use a 1.2GHz Mediatek CPU. As I'm largely unfamiliar with the Snapdragon 400, I'm unclear whether this will significantly affect performance; however, scrolling through pages of apps was a pleasantly zippy affair.
The rear camera, as well, gets a shot in the arm, up from the 5-megapixel shooter in the original tablet to an 8-megapixel capturer of souls. Pictures were decent, but would sometimes inexplicably have trouble focusing on moderately distant objects. Lenovo says that the firmware I looked at though wasn't final, so there's still a chance this will get smoothed out before release. There's a 1.6-megapixel shooter on the front as well.
Lenovo touts 18 hours of battery life for the HD+ and while the Tablet 10 lasts 12.4 hours and the Tablet 8 14.2, I have my doubts as to whether the HD+'s higher resolution screen will translate to longer battery life. I'd love to be pleasantly surprised though.
The HD+ is slated for an April release for $349. The tablet ships with Android 4.3, but will be updated in May to 4.4, according to Lenovo. Look for more coverage as we approach the release date.