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Amazon Fire TV Stick does Miracast too for just $39

Every Windows 8 tablet I’ve tried recently supports Miracast but I rarely use it because it’s never plugged into my TV. I’ve thought about getting a cheap stick I can leave in the living room TV but never really got round to it. Now that the $39 Amazon Fire TV stick has been announced though I think the solution will be a no-brainer.

Amazon Fire TV Stick

Like Chromecast, the Amazon Fire TV stick can be directed to pull content from the Internet. It can handle protected content from Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Amazon Video and other streaming services and it’s got a partner app for Android-based phones that allows you to select content. Unlike Chromecast you won’t have the capability of directing content from a PC desktop like you can with Chrome but you will have Miracast – something that Chromecast doesn’t officially support.

Miracast is primarily a screen mirroring app but can be used to extend a screen which makes it useful for wireless tablet-controlled presentations. Miroring content from a powerful PC can also have advantages if you’re using rare codecs. Don’t expect a Chromecast or Fire TV Stick to handle Hi10p for example.

Amazon are pushing the Fire TV Stick as a high-performance solution so it could make it one of the more reliable Miracast solutions at this price level. I’m not sure it supports WiDi extensions though. The unit is based on a dual core CPU (Broadcom Capri 28155, dual-core 2xARM A9) with 8GB of storage and has 1080p and 7.1 channel Dolby Digital Plus support. With dual-antennas it also supports dual band WiFi a/b/g/n operation. There’s even a Bluetooth module inside for HID, HFP, HPP profiles so it shoud be possible to control this over Bluetooth and that’s possibly how the included remote control works.

It’s adding up to a good value package for many Windows 8 PC and tablet owners. At $39 it’s the perfect gift and if you’re an Amazon Prime user (or if you take a 30-day trial now) you can have the unit for just $19. (Amazon.com link)

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 thoughts and videos. (P.S. I’ve ordered one)

I can’t get the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 off my mind.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (4)

What has the Surface Pro 3, the Flex 10 and the Samsung Q1u got in common? A stand! The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (and 10-inch) has a stand too and at under 1 pound / 426 grams it’s the lightest self-standing PC in the world. That makes it interesting for me, especially as it’s got a 1920×1200 screen, a big battery, an LTE option and a starting price of just $299 (dual-band WiFi version.) According to a retailer in Germany that has it up for pre-order there’s a digital compass and GPS. This is too good. I hope not though because I’ve just ordered it. I’m expecting an early November delivery.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 specs and more information.

The other interesting aspect here is the battery. This isn’t the lightest 8-inch Windows PC because it’s got a huge 24Wh battery inside. In comparison to the Lenovo Miix 2 8, which is one of the lightest, it’s got 35% more capacity. [The capacity is quoted at 6500 mAh. We can assume that it’s based on a 3.7V battery. Anything else would be too much for this weight.]

Take a look at some of the images and imagine the use cases here. Bluetooth keyboard, kitchen, seat-back, car, armchair…

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (5)Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (6)

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (7)Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (8)

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (1)Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (2)

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (3)

Wolfson® Master HiFi™ audio processing and Dolby® surround sound

Don’t forget that Lenovo are touting good speakers too so the Yoga Tablet 2 8 could end up being your hotel-room best friend.

The camera could be the best camera yet on a Windows tablet…8MP rear camera with f2.2 wide-aperture lens, advanced glare-reducing glass and a BSI 2 sensor.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 (Windows) issues.

Here are the trade-offs you’ll have to consider. 1) It’s not the lightest. The Dell Venue 8 Pro remains the best ‘reader’ Windows tablet on the market. 2) The stand/battery might improve the portrait reading experience but it might cause problems when thumb-typing. 3) There’s no HDMI port. You’ll get Miracast for video-mirroring but it’s not good enough for an interactive experience in my opinion. DisplayLink over USB 2.0 works for basic office use though. 4) The SoC isn’t going to be any more powerful than those of the first-generation Baytrail tablets although there’s a possibility that the eMMC could be faster as it is on the Toshiba Encore 2 8 tablet. 5) Still no USB 3.0 and the charge+data issue remains. There may be hacks for the latter issue.

If you’re not feeling it for the Yoga tablet 2 yet, take a look at this video from Mobilegeeks. I’ll add more to this playlist.

4 weeks to wait for my hands-on. Can you wait that long or are you pre-ordering?

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 specs and information in our database here.

Lenovo Yoga 2 Tablets have unique Windows tablet PC design

 

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows

 

The updated Lenovo Yoga 2 tablet range is now available in three versions and two of those are running Windows. The unique design offers something special for the portrait hand-holder and, some might say “at last” a built-in stand on a small Windows tablet. The two Yoga 2 tablets are running on the Baytrail-T platform (we’re not expecting any performance increases over the Miix 2 8 and Miix 2 10) and come with full HD displays.

0.94 pounds for the Lenovo Tablet 2 8 isn’t the lightest but you do get a huge 24 Wh battery that should give you at least 10 hours of video playback. An 8-megapixel rear camera, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage should be enough to keep Windows 8.1 (and a Windows 10 upgrade in 2015) running smoothly.

Starting price: $299

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10 offers the same design characteristics in a 10-inch format. The battery size gets bumped up by 50% to 35 Wh. Weight is 1.39 pounds. There’s a micro-HDMI port on the 10-inch version and an optional keyboard that you can see in the image above.

Starting price: $399

YOGA_Tablet_2_with_Windows

YOGA TABLET 2 (8″ Windows) Specs

  • Processor: Intel® Atom™ Z3745 Processor
  • Operating System:Windows 8.1 with Bing for Small Tablets
  • Memory:RAM: 2GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: Up to 32GB EMMC
  • Supporting Micro SD card up to 64GB
  • Display:Size: 8″ Full HD (1920 x 1200) IPS display Capacitive touchscreen, 10-point multitouch
  • Weight: 0.94 lbs
  • Color: Ebony
  • Audio: 2x Front large-chamber speakers
  • Dolby® Audio
  • Wolfson® Master Hi-Fi™ Codec
  • Battery Type : Li-ion, 6400 mAh
  • Usage Time : Up to 15 hours
  • Standby Time : Up to 14 days
  • Integrated Cameras: Rear: 8MP f2.2 Auto-focus. Front: 1.6MP HD
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, MiMo, Bluetooth® 4.0 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Dual Band
    Ports: Micro USB, 3.5 mm audio jack, Micro SD card
    Sensors: G-Sensor, e-Compass, Ambient Light, Hall, Vibration
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Price starting at $299

YOGA TABLET 2 (10″ Windows) Specs

  • Processor:Intel® Atom™ Z3745 Processor
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 with Bing for Tablets
  • Memory: RAM: 2GB LPDDR3
  • Storage: 32GB EMMC
  • Supporting Micro SD card up to 64GB
  • Display Size: 10.1” Full HD (1920 x 1200) IPS display
  • Type: Capacitive touchscreen, 10-point multitouch
  • Weight: 1.39 lbs *not including keyboard
  • Color: Ebony
  • Audio: 2x Front large-chamber speakers
  • Dolby® Audio: Wolfson® Master Hi-Fi™ Codec
  • Battery Type : Li-ion, 9600 mAh
  • Usage Time : Up to 15 hours
  • Standby Time : Up to 20 days
  • Integrated Cameras: Rear: 8MP f2.2 Auto-focus
  • Front: 1.6MP HD
  • Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, MiMo, Bluetooth® 4.0
  • 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Dual Band
  • Ports: Micro HDMI, Micro USB, 3.5 mm audio jack, Micro SD card
  • Sensors: G-Sensor, e-Compass, Ambient Light, Hall, Vibration
  • Microsoft Office 365.
  • Price starting at $399

The Yoga 2 tablet design is going to be good for hand-holding in portrait mode and the stand mode, as we know from convertibles like the Lenovo Flex 10, is a great option for coffee-shop or breakfast browsing but the design could hinder portrait mode thumbing, at least on the 8-inch version. If the speakers are high quality the 10-inch version could make a great all-round holiday / weekender PC and something to consider when looking at the Acer Switch 10 with the full HD screen.

The new Yoga 2 tablet 10 with the Bluetooth keyboard cover (it’s unclear if this is part of th Update: It’s included with the 10-inch version.) could combine to make a very lightweight and low-cost full-HD mobile PC option. Keep your fingers crossed for a quality keyboard experience.

If the build quality is there and the early reviews are good these two models could stand, if you’ll excuse the pun, well ahead of the basic Windows tablet crowd as we move towards Christmas 2014. Don’t forget that they’re very likely to get a free Windows 10 upgrade in 2015 too!

We’re tracking information on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 8 and Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10 in our database.

Press release Lenovo.

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