When last I communed with a Windows-powered Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 (the 10-inch version), the experience was soured by the worst auxiliary keyboard I've ever experienced. Thankfully, Lenovo didn't see fit to saddle the Windows version of the smaller $300, 8-inch Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen with something similarly irritating. The Yoga Anypen is a neat little tablet with an innovative design and versatile digitizer, though not necessarily a platform for serious business use.
What 'Anypen' means
The headline feature of the Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen is its advanced digitizer. You can use a pencil, ballpoint pen, or just about anything with a metal tip 1mm or larger. Most digitizers require a capacitive stylus with at least a 5mm tip. You might want to avoid X-Acto knives, but other than that you're good to go. You may of course, also use your fingers.
Another unique aspect of the Yoga Tablet 2 design is the cylinder running along one edge that allows for a far larger battery than a normal, flat tablet can accommodate. The battery tube also allows a grip that uses all your fingers, yet doesn't place your thumb near the display. Many is the time I've accidentally flipped pages on an iPad Mini.
The Yoga Tablet 2 (both sizes) has a distinctive kickstand that jackets the battery tube. It clicks into place at about 42-, 85-, and 180-degree angles, but you can manage angles in between due to the large amount of friction. Even more unique is the hole in the kickstand for hanging the Yoga Tablet 2 on a wall, for storage or an ad-hoc cinematic experience.
Beyond that, the Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen (with Windows) is, well, a smallish Windows tablet running Windows 8.1. Its outstanding feature in that regard is the free year of Office 365.
Hardware-wise, you're talking a Bay Trail Atom Z3745 CPU, 2GB of DDR3/1066 system memory, an 8-inch 1,920x1,200 touchscreen display, and a 32GB eMMC SSD. Generally nice specs, but not a lot of disk space for running Windows. Indeed, with only 19.7GB of free disk space before we installed anything, we were unable to use our 20GB data sets for read/write testing.
Performance and run time
In my hands-on, the Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen seemed lively enough, but the numbers are strictly Atom: PC Mark 8 rated the tablet at 1,375 in the work test and 897 in the creative test. 3D Mark didn't measure playable frame rates until it got to Ice Storm Extreme, a Web graphics game where the Tablet 2 Anypen scored 7,967. While that's quite nice compared to last generation Atoms, it's not Core-like. Overall performance, in fact, is pretty much identical to the 10-inch version's. In fact, you could look at the 10-inch Yoga Tablet 2 results from our Surface 3 review and pretend it's the 8-inch version and not miss a beat.
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