A tablet made better with Google Assistant.
Android tablets may have been outperformed by Apple’s iPad, which is why manufacturers are finding a way to make them more than just a tablet. Enter the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab, a tablet that features an integrated grip along with a built-in kickstand. These small additions along with support for Google Assistant Ambient Mode instantly transform it from a tablet to a smart display, which can be a perfect solution for many users.
From the outside, the main thing you’ll notice first about the Yoga Smart Tab is the round grip located at the bottom of its body. This grip instantly raises the screen when you’re typing in landscape, or sometimes it can let you hold the tablet comfortably when reading a book. The added kickstand instantly lets you use it in different angles, and even hang it on a wall since the kickstand also has a hole built for this purpose. It’s a simple design change compared to traditional tablets, but it is what makes the Yoga Smart Tab unique.
Volume rockers and the power switch are located on the right side along with a 3.5 mm port and USB-C on the other side. Behind the kickstand, there is a small flap where you can add a microSD card. The bottom part of the Yoga Smart Tab’s grip also houses the stereo speakers, which were admittedly loud with impressive bass output. Turning on the Dolby Atmos mode also made it even better – that’s something I haven’t experienced on an Android tablet before.
The tablet has a 10.1-inch screen, displaying a full HD resolution of 1920-by-1200 pixels. While similar tablets have more pixels, the Yoga Smart Tab’s screen is sharp enough to show text without any jagged edges and show videos and pictures in an acceptable quality. It doesn’t do well outside in sunlight though since most of the time I was just seeing my reflection.
Powering the Yoga Smart Tab is a Snapdragon 439 CPU along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which was capable enough for everyday use. It runs on Android 9 Pie, though there’s a good chance Lenovo will bump up the update to Android 10 soon.
But the main feature of the Yoga Smart Tab is Google Assistant. Yes, almost all Android devices already support it, but since Lenovo is marketing this as a smart display, there are a couple of things that make it different from the usual Android tablet.
Once you’ve activated Ambient Mode for Google Assistant, you can readily say commands using the ‘OK Google’ hot word. Three microphones surrounding the camera enable the device to hear your voice commands from a small room. From there, I can just randomly call out commands to Google Assistant asking to turn on the lights (assuming you’ve set up compatible devices with it), or even ask a random question.
Aside from that, Lenovo has included a productivity mode that will easily let you use it with any Bluetooth powered keyboard and mouse. It’s not a complete desktop experience, but I like that a feature like this is included. There’s also a kid’s mode for limited access to apps.
The main camera of the Yoga Smart Tab comes in at 8-megapixels. While not perfect, there’s pretty much good enough for a tablet of this type. There’s also a 5-megapixel front camera that takes okay images, though don’t expect excellent quality. The front camera can also be used for unlocking the device using facial recognition but since it’s just a camera, I don’t think it’s as secure as other device’s face unlocking methods.
Overall, the Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab gave us a fantastic design with pretty all the features that you will need on a tablet. The added support Ambient Mode is great, especially if you have various connected appliances in your home. It has its flaws, but solid battery life and good performance make it a decent alternative to more expensive tablets.
+ Google Assistant Ambient Mode
+ Great grip design
+ Integrated kickstand
– Average cameras
Final Rating: 3.5/5