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Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (Windows, 13-inch) review: A good tablet undone by a cumbersome keyboard

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Connections, performance and battery

The cylindrical hinge also hosts the beefy battery. There's a subwoofer back there, too. Josh Miller/CNET

The tablet is powered by a quad-core, 1.3GHz Intel Atom Z3745 CPU paired with 4GB of RAM. This is an almost identical loadout to the previous model (the RAM has been doubled), so once again, don't expect miracles. We pitted the Yoga Tablet 2 against the Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi, which is equipped with an Intel Core M processor, and the Microsoft Surface 3 , powered by the new Atom x7 processor. Both the 10-inch and 13-inch Yoga Tablet 2s scored identically, and were trounced handily by their competitors in every segment expect battery life.

The tablet tackles HD video streaming with ease, and never felt sluggish as I fired up apps or slid about Windows 8. Tablet-friendly games like Halo Spartan Assault skipped along without missing a beat, but anything with more stringent hardware demands will bring this device to its knees. There's 64GB of storage space, and you can add a 64GB microSD card if you need a bit more room, bringing your storage total to 128GB.

The pair of speakers sound can get reasonably loud, and and you can crank them up a fair amount before before they start to sound a little distorted. Unlike the 10-inch model these aren't front-facing, which is a bit disappointing. They sit on either side of the tablet, and I find I block them occasionally if I hold the device in my hands. You shouldn't expect too much in the way of bass in a tablet this slim, but the subwoofer built into the back of the tablet will help out in a pinch.

Lenovo claims you'll see up to 15 hours of battery life. My use consisted of lots of video streaming and Web browsing, and I easily made it through two days before plugging the tablet in. In our official video-playback battery tests, the tablet lasted for just over 10 and a half hours -- the Surface 3 managed just over 7 and a half hours, while the Asus T300 Chi managed just over 5 hours. These results aren't surprising, as the Yoga Tablet 2's large cylindrical hinge serves double duty as its battery. The keyboard is a little tricker to gauge, as there's no official estimate on its battery life. Both the tablet and keyboard charge by way of a Micro-USB cable, so plug the keyboard in from time to time and you should be fine.


The 10-inch version of Lenovo's Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows was almost the perfect budget Windows 8 device: it offered a nice screen and solid performance for just $369. The keyboard was cumbersome, but was easy to deal with thanks to the tablet's small size.

The 13-inch model's larger size means its problems are not as easily overlooked. The keyboard feels like a lunch tray, and I find it near impossible to confidently balance it on my lap, as the tablet-end of the pairing constantly threatens to split from its keyboard-base thanks to weak magnets.

And at $599, you've got quite a few more options. I'd recommend the sticking with the $369 10-inch model. Another good option is the Microsoft Surface 3 ($499), paired with the optional keyboard ($129). You'll pay about $30 more and get a slightly smaller 10.8-inch display, but the end result is something that's far less cumbersome to work with.

Handbrake Multimedia Multitasking test

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch)
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (13-inch)
Microsoft Surface 3
Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi


Shorter bars indicate better performance (in seconds)

Apple iTunes encoding test

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch)
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (13-inch)
Microsoft Surface 3
Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi


Shorter bars indicate better performance (in seconds)

Video playback battery drain test

Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi
Microsoft Surface 3
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (13-inch)
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch)


Longer bars indicate better performance (in minutes)

System Configurations

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (13-inch) Windows 8.1 (32-bit) 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3745; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 64MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 64GB SSD
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (10-inch) Windows 8.1 (32-bit) 1.33GHz Intel Atom Z3745; 2GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz; 32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 32GB SSD
Microsoft Surface 3 Windows 8.1 (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z8700; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 32MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics; 128GB SSD
Asus Transformer Book T300 Chi Windows 8.1 (64.bit); 1.2GHz Intel Core M 5Y71; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1600MHz; 3839MB (shared) Intel HD 5300 Graphics; 128GB SSD

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