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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.

Windows 10 – Good or Bad for Touch and Mobility?

Is it too early to be worrying about Windows 10 and how the changes will affect touch and mobile users? I don’t think so. The test and feedback program starts today (October 1st, see preview.windows.com) and as a touch-focused user that was very happy with the clear split between sandboxed, touch-friendly RT apps with sharing and always-on capability and the desktop as my productive, mains-powered space i’m now looking at a mash-up that could be more confusing than ever. In my eyes Microsoft has re-positioned touch and mobility back down the list of priorities and put a big question-mark over the future of touch-focused apps on Windows PCs.

A summary of the announcements from yesterday can be found in my summary here but in essence, all you need to know is that Microsoft are bringing back the single-desktop environment and allowing the RT apps (to be known as Universal apps) to float into it. Think about this…

Why develop Universal apps?

Skype will have a touch-friendly cut-down application and a desktop application that can run side-by-side on the desktop. One will be sandboxed and allowed to run when a PC is in Connected Standby/InstantGo and the other is the fully featured desktop app. Where will Skype go from here? Facebook will be fun too. You can choose the RT app, the IE desktop web site or the IE Metro web site. Evernote will have an app, a desktop app and a browser app. Not only is this confusing for users but it also brings up the question about future development of Universal apps. Why develop an RT/Universal app that will sit on a desktop and compete with the other app you’ve written?

Microsoft are going to have to promote Universal apps hard if they want the Store to work on Windows 10 PCs. The only place they can really start today is by encouraging developers to make Windows Phone apps (which will also be known as Windows 10) that are Universal apps that can run on the desktop but will those developers bother to consider a 2K screen layout? Microsoft will have to prove to developers that the economy for Windows Universal application development is going to improve drastically before the developers make any moves.

Above: Windows 10 Universal Apps on the Desktop.

Above: Windows 10 Universal Apps on the Desktop.

Universal apps ready for the desktop limelight?

Will floating RT apps onto the desktop make them more popular? If so, the economy for Universal apps changes for the better but if not, if users discover cut-down versions of their favorite apps and games, they might ignore Universal apps altogether even if they do bring better security, better sharing, better battery life and better touch user interfaces. Universal apps may not be fit for putting in front of desktop users. If they’re not good enough they’ll suffer, regardless of security advantages. In terms of software development for Windows, the financial planning just got a little harder. It’s very possible that Universal apps become 100% reliant on the Windows 10 phone market.

Microsoft’s message to developers today is nothing more than this: “The most important thing you should take from today’s announcements is that the best way to prepare for Windows 10 is to keep building universal Windows apps.” [Source.]

Touch second?

In the launch event yesterday Microsoft spoke primarily about desktop and business users. Microsoft did, however, mention a feature called Continuum. It’s not yet built into the preview version of Windows 10 and all it looks like is an auto-sensing UI feature. If you’ve got touch you’ll get a full-screen start page as you do now. Applications started from that screen will then float onto the desktop where you’ve got keyboard and mouse-focused controls. Is that a Continuum, or a hybrid?

Snapping Windows together will definitely become a hybrid. Do I really want an old, non PPI sensing Windows dekstop app floating next to the Skype Universal application?

“We’re not talking about one UI to rule them all – we’re talking about one product family, with a tailored experience for each device.” [Source]

Continuum is where touch users will need to focus over the next 6-8 months but I suspect the first previews won’t really tell us much about the feature.

Windows 10 feedback

My first feedback to Microsoft would be this: Allow me to turn off desktop apps. Allow me to go into a Universal applications mode where the DAM (desktop activity moderator – as found on Windows systems with Connected Standby) hides and pauses all desktop activity leaving me with an efficient, secure, sandboxed, touch-friendly selection of apps. I don’t want a RT-style build with a desktop that is completely disabled though. I think the education market would appreciate this too – Chrome OS owes part of its success to sandboxing.

Respect to Microsoft for listening to customers feedback and offering up a preview program that will steer the final features and user-interface of Windows 10 but I worry that the 2-in-1, tablet and touch users are going to be under-represented. If you’re in that boat I encourage you to download the preview and give your feedback to Microsoft so that we can continue to have touch and mobility as first-class considerations in Windows 10.

Windows 10 is coming mid-2015 with Continuum and Unified apps store. (Event precis.)

At last. Microsoft have just announced the name of the next version of Windows and to everyone’s shock it’s going to be called Windows 10.

Windows 10 Logo

Windows 10 Logo

I’ve been following the live blog at The Verge and hundreds of tweets coming out of the event and it’s already clear that Microsoft is going to be focusing on business with Windows 10. A familiar look, security and management is being promoted which, for those of us into touch, is a worrying start.

As was previously rumored, Store-based Universal apps will be sandboxed and will run on the desktop. At this point we’re getting a little bit more worried about the touch UI that was Metro.

Microsoft appear to have implemented a new multi-desktop feature which allows the user to grab apps from another desktop and there’s an unexpected update to the command line. You can now CTRL-C, CTRL-V among other keyboard shortcuts

Touch users…

“We want to support those Windows 8 users who have touch machines and getting a lot of benefit out of them.”

Some edge swipes are still there, there is scrolling and pinch support. The charms bar was shown in a demo but apparently that might change.  The task view (swipe from left) will be removed and replaced with a desktop-style task switcher.

2-in-1 users can benefit from a new feature that Microsoft are calling Continuum which changes the look based on the input method being used.

Touch users can now breath a sign of relief. Here’s the Start screen on a touch-enabled device.

Windows 10 Start screen for touch users.

 

Above image via The Verge

Preview versions of Windows 10 under the Windows Insider Program  will appear at http://preview.windows.com

Windows 10 is said to be shipping “later in the year” 2015 which is later than expected. “At our Build conference in April, we’ll share more about Universal apps.” Of course we already heard about universal apps at this years BUILD.

Finally, in a Q&A it was confirmed that the new smartphone operating system from Microsoft will also be called Windows 10 but won’t have a desktop.

That wraps-up the first information we have about Windows 10. More will filter through over time so stay tuned!

HP Stream to join the confusing low-cost Windows Tablet party.

The HP Stream 7 and HP Stream 8 have been launched and the cheapest version will cost just $99.Both models come with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage . That’s all I’m going to tell you right now.

Hp Stream 7 advertising

Above: HP Stream 7 advertising

What can I say? Having had a bad experiencewith 1GB RAM on the Toshiba Encore 2 WT8 I just can’t get excited. I’m also confused about why manufacturers think this is a good idea? The platforms are likely to have been developed, tested and approved by Intel leaving HP and others to build the casing but there are major issues that will affect user perception of Windows tablets. Windows Desktop will slow down to a crawl after you’ve opened a number of browser tabs and a few apps as the Pagefile works overtime to switch data to and from memory. 16GB of SSD be become a major issue after a short time unless you know all the tricks that can help keep it in order.  Without a microSD slot though some of the tricks won’t even be possible.

Thank goodness there’s a 1280×800 screen with wide viewing angles on both of these tablets but that’s not enough for me to recommend them.  Yet…

Will Windows 9 bring cheap Windows tablets to life?

Windows does need a cheap tablet option but it won’t happen with Windows 8.1. Late today Microsoft will be talking about Windows 9 and we hope to see better support for small form factor devices and low-end platforms. The ability to turn off the desktop and have an RT-style default might be a help too and if we could just have support for Windows Phone 8 apps, that could solve the problem.  The Cortana assistant and a notification center will help too. Windows 9 should be a free upgrade on small-form-factor devices (it’s already free) so here’s hoping.

Until then, unless you have a specific need, a specific single task or RT-based need, be careful with these low-end Windows 8.1 tablets.

More information:

Mike Cane often highlights low-cost Windows tablet news on his blog.

HP Stream 7 site at HP.com

Hands-on with the Stream 8 and Stream 7 by Liliputing.

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