Now, this is interesting: a tablet design that isn't just a slightly different take on the iPad. Lenovo has announced the Yoga Tablet, which comes in 8" and 10" flavors and features a rotating cylinder on the side. The cylinder plays host to dual batteries and an adjustable kickstand that can prop up the tablet at different angles, like so:
The cylinder also helps one get a firm grip on the device, much like one would while reading a magazine. Behold:
Both 8" and 10" versions of the Yoga Tablet run Android 4.2 and feature MediaTek quad-core processors (the MT8125 for Wi-Fi models and the MT8389 for 3G offerings). They also pack 16-32GB of storage capacity, a front camera, a five-megapixel rear camera, a microSD slot, and Dolby DS1 audio. The dual batteries inside the cylinder deliver run times of up to 18 hours, and it doesn't look like they add much extra heft to the Yoga Tablet. The 8" version weighs 0.88 lbs, and the 10" model tips the scales at a still-reasonable 1.35 lbs.
So, what's the catch? Alas, Lenovo says the Yoga Tablet has only a 1280x800 display resolution. It sounds like the resolution is the same for the 8" and 10" models, too. Compared to all those high-PPI tablets out there, with their razor-sharp fonts and images, that's a little crummy. At least Lenovo isn't charging an arm and a leg, though. The 10" version of the Yoga Tablet is priced at $299, and the 8" model is $249. An optional Bluetooth keyboard for the 10" slate will set you back $69.
Lenovo says the 10" device can be found today at major online e-tailers, while the 8" Yoga Tablet is available exclusively from Lenovo's online store and from Best Buy.