LAS VEGAS -- Lenovo showed off two new tablets at the 2015 International CES, and they couldn't be any more different. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 2 with AnyPen and Tab A7 are, respectively, targeting productivity- and budget-conscious shoppers.
Stylus fans should take note of the new Yoga Tab 2 iteration. Packed with AnyPen technology, the Windows 8.1 tablet can react to any metal object used to write or navigate it. Though I was able to use a pocket knife, keys, a screwdriver and a fork while trying out the tablet, more practical items that could double as a stylus include a pencil and pen. This writing versatility paired with a one-year subscription to Office 365 makes the Yoga Tab 2 with AnyPen an attractively portable option for students and workaholics.
The Yoga Tab 2 with AnyPen has a sharp 1,920x1,080-pixel-resolution IPS display and packs a 64-bit Intel Atom 1.86GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. Other features include an 8-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and a front-facing 1.6-megapixel selfie-taker. In typical Lenovo form, the Yoga Tab 2 with AnyPen offers full, clear audio thanks to its Dolby Audio and Wolfson Master Hi-Fi-powered front-facing speakers. It also brandishes the useful built-in kickstand we're used to seeing on Yoga tablets.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lenovo Tab A7 is a bare-bones budget tablet. Starting at $99 (£65 and AU$123 converted) for the 16GB version, the 7-inch tablet is priced to sell. Of course, there's a catch; the 1,024x600-pixel-resolution IPS screen is tragically pixelated and it lacks a rear camera. Despite my misgivings, during my time with it, the 7-incher performed smoothly for basic tasks, like browsing the Web and playing simple mobile games.
The Lenovo Tab A7 ships with Android 4.4 KitKat, but an over-the-air update to the latest Android operating system, Lollipop 5.0, is expected in spring 2015. The budget tablet houses a 1.3GHz MediaTek MT8127 quad-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB or 16GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot expanding memory up to 32GB. Lenovo also released a 3G-capable version of the tablet, the A7-10, which starts at $129 (£85 and AU$160 converted) and will only be available in select countries.
Cheap tablets often sacrifice sleek design in order to manage a low price, however the Tab A7 manages to remain thin and light. It feels comfortable to hold in one hand and I found it pleasantly compact. We're expecting to see more budget tablets at CES 2015 and, though the Lenovo Tab A7 isn't anything special, its rock-bottom pricing is hard to argue with.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 2 with AnyPen starts at $299 (£195 and AU$370 converted) and, like the Tab A7, will be available for purchase in North America in January. International availability has yet to be announced. Look to CNET for more information on these Lenovo tablets as it becomes available and check out our extensive CES 2015 coverage here.