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Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen (8-inch) review: Versatile, but small for serious Windows use

Jon L. Jacobi | July 9, 2015
Forgot your pen? No problem, the Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen lets you write on it with a pencil, pen or even a fork.

Regardless, there were no frustrating waits thanks to the Samsung MBG4GC SSD, which scored 168MBps reading and 75MBps writing 4MB files under CrystalDiskMark. That's quite good for an eMMC-based SSD.

Battery life was 6 hours and 58 minutes, and that's measuring with PCMark's battery rundown test, which works uninterrupted. Unless you drink a lot more coffee than I do, you can add a few hours to that figure.

Multimedia and connectivity

The Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen rendered 1080 movies quite nicely, and the sound is adequate. There's plenty of volume, enough to create distortion if you crank it up all the way. The stereo separation is also better than average, due to the placement of the speakers on either end of the battery tube. The microSD card slot on the back can expand storage if you want to keep a decent collection of movies on board.

The only ports on the Tablet 2 Anypen are the headset jack and the micro-USB port, which can be used for temporary storage as well as charging the unit, or conversely, charging other devices. Having that large battery on board is handy. The Wi-Fi is 802.11 a/b/g/n, and there's Bluetooth for connecting peripherals. Alas, there's no WiDi or even MHL support via the microUSB so with the lack of video ports, you really are stuck with the 8-inch display. 

As with any tablet worthy of the name, there are cameras: an 8-megapixel back-facing for snapping photos, and a 1.6-megapixel front-facing for Skyping and the like.

The 8- or 10-inch dilemma: Size vs. weight

When it comes to mobile computing of the business kind, I generally recommend larger displays and keyboards. My theory is that usage far exceeds tote time, so go for the best computing experience. However, when it comes to tablets, smaller means lighter (the Anypen weighs a measly 0.94 pounds) and easier to hold.

As the Yoga Tablet 2 also comes in Android flavors, though without the Anypen digitizer, the display-size (8- or 10-inch) buying decision is complicated. The 8-inch version is better as a tablet, but should you then be opting for Windows? For real work, the screen items and text are small even when you magnify to 150 percent. I had to skip all the way to 200 percent (a custom setting) before my admittedly bad vision was comfortable using Windows. At that point the extra pixels are basically wasted.

Conclusion

The 8-inch Yoga Tablet 2 Anypen (with Windows) is a nicely realized tablet with long run time that lets you use just about anything as a stylus (I used a fork once). For tablet tasks, and the occasional light business chore, by all means.

For extensive business usage, opt for the 10-inch Yoga Tablet 2 but forgo Lenovo's misbegotten BC800 keyboard. Or, if I'm really going to be honest, buy an 11- to 13-inch laptop.

 

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