Yoga Tablet Software
The Lenovo Yoga 10 HD+ tablet comes equipped with Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean”, but Lenovo promises an over-the-air upgrade to version 4.4 “Kit Kat”, although they haven’t announced a schedule for this.
As with the previous generation Yoga tablets, Lenovo resisted the urge– all too common among vendors of Android devices– to impose their own skin or user interface on top of the standard Android interface. Aside from a pre-configured home screen and some utility software, it’s pure standard Android 4.3:
The new high-definition screen, at 1920 by 1200 pixels as opposed to the previous-generation’s 1280 by 720 pixel display, makes a dramatic difference in how things look on the screen. With the older version of the tablet, Lenovo configured large on-screen fonts to avoid the “jaggy” look, but in doing so cut off the names of some included applications, such as “Amazon Kindle” and “News & Weather” as shown below.
This is no longer a problem. However, competing 10″ tablets such as the iPad Air (2048 by 1536) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and Google Nexus 10 (2560 by 1600) still surpass it in resolution, although you’ll pay more (in the case of the iPad Air, much more) for those extra pixels.
The Lenovo Yoga tablets come with Dolby-certified sound systems controlled with a special application. Using this app, you can define customized sound profiles, and even set the tablet to automatically select a profile based on its position and whether or not the aluminum foot is extended. For example, if the tablet is in landscape orientation with the foot out, you could set it to use the “Movie” sound profile. The sound produced by the Dolby-enhanced front-facing speakers is (to my ears) noticeably better than the sound produced by the iPad Air’s speakers, which fire to the side, but remember that these are still very small speakers that are limited by the physics of their size; a common, no-name brand of cheap unpowered desktop speakers will probably sound better overall.
Lenovo’s “Smart Slide Bar” can be invoked with a swipe from the right side of the screen when the tablet is in landscape mode…
Or the left side of the screen when the tablet is in portrait mode:
As with the older version of the Yoga 10, when in landscape mode, the large upper icon will invoke your Movies, while when in portrait mode the large upper icon is for the Kindle application.
Swiping down from the top right portion of the screen opens this quick-access control panel. The “Sound & Visual” icon lets you invoke customized settings you’ve configured for each of the three given orientations.
You can make very fine adjustments to the tablet’s power usage with the Lenovo Power Control application. You can set timers (sleep, auto-power off and on), enable and disable various subsystems (WiFi, Bluetooth, audio…), and even display a chart showing the historical power usage of various applications and hardware bits, so you can see what’s using the most power. This is all cool, but in real life I found the power capacity of the tablets so large that I pretty much ignored this stuff. Additionally, you can select between Normal or Power Saving modes, and even “freeze” specified background applications to help conserve power.
More Yoga 10 HD+ software and features in the following section…