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PhoneRadar Awards 2014 – Best 8-inch Tablet of the year

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PhoneRadar Awards 2014 - Best 8-inch Tablet of 2014

The holiday season has already started and if you haven’t picked a gift for your loved ones because you have been juggling between what to give or not. If that gift you are searching for is a tablet, then, we may have just the right solution for you. We are going to do a face-off between the one of the latest and most exciting entrants into the 8 inch tablet segment in the market today- the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2, and its competition – the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 & the iPad Mini.

We are comparing which 8-inch tablet is the best among currently available tablets in the Indian market. Majorly, our comparison is based on the five aspects, Design, Display, Performance, Camera and the most important one, the Battery life.

Design

First start off with the design. Android tablets are not popular because they are not good with ergonomics. They may look easy to carry around, but it is quite an uncomfortable task to use the tablet in different situations. And here enters the Lenovo Yoga 2 tablet, which is among the most convenient to use, good looking and premium device currently available in the market. While looking at the Apple iPad mini, which has an amazing simplistic design that has been liked a lot by tablet consumers. And talking about the Samsung’s 8-inch entrant, the Tab 4, which basically sport the same ergonomics like its Galaxy series of smartphone.

So, in design point of view, it comes up the question that would you buy a tablet with regular smartphone aesthetics or a tablet with as simplistic design. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a tablet that has the ergonomics that allows you to place in a mode which is more convenient of your usage. And that is where the Lenovo Yoga 2 wins; the highlight of this tablet is its various modes. Let’s explore the ergonomics of the Yoga 2 tablet.

Stand:  This mode is very useful when you want to watch clips on YouTube or movies while sitting at your desk or bed. The stand for this device comes inbuilt, While for the Tab 4 and iPad Mini, you would have to get the flip covers, which would do the same, but with less convenience. Although, the flip covers prove helpful in few use cases as a kickstand, but it wouldn’t be as strong as one on Yoga 2.

Tilt: This mode becomes very useful when your tablet is lying on the desk, and you want to reply to emails, play games or even work on it. The screen has been engineered such that in whatever angles you view the device, the icons and text look beautiful. While there is no such option available on Galaxy Tab 4 or the iPad mini, you’ll just have to hold the tablet on your hands or purchase a dedicated stand for it to allow you to tilt the devices. Whereas the Yoga 2 doesn’t need one, as it has got an innovative kickstand, which can also be used in tilt position, that too with various angles.

Hold: Lenovo seems to have solved the most obvious thing someone does with their tablet, gripping it!. It is very easy to grip while walking around with a tablet in your hand. Makes reading your morning news, or those tons of articles you read throughout the day, wherever you go, super convenient. But Apple and Samsung didn’t think this through on their respective tablets, which is kind of disappointing.

Hang: This is the improvement from the first generation of Yoga tablet, which is again not present on the iPad mini and Tab 4. The hang mode can be useful in many cases, such as when you want to watch the recipes on YouTube while experimenting in the kitchen. Or whether you are trying to perfect that straight drive shot  during your in-house practice. And those are just a few use case scenarios suitable to the needs.

Display

The Lenovo Yoga 2 sport a Full HD display with pixel resolution of 1900 x 1200, which is slightly larger than even the original full HD. While the competitors, iPad mini and Tab 4 has an HD (720p) screen, which counts up to a PPI of 162, and 216, whereas the Yoga 2 has a PPI of 283. And to remind you that these tablets have the same 8-inch display.

Sound

With Dolby Sound and in-built JBL speakers, Lenovo Yoga 2 tablet has the best audio quality in the town. While we didn’t find the speaker output on either iPad mini or Tab 4, any interesting. That makes it an complete entertainment package.

Performance

Coming to the specifications of the tablets, which derives the performance of the device. The Lenovo Yoga 2 packs Intel’s Atom processor, which is accompanied by 2GB of RAM. The device runs the Android 4.4.2 Kitkat OS at the base, and is layered on top with Lenovo’s custom interface, which has some unique features to offer. With that Yoga 2 might have the latest and reliable computing power, but iPad mini is not behind in this aspect.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 - Internal Storage

As it is known for a fact that iPad mini has quite a snappy performance when it comes to handling multi-tasking with that A5 processor, it almost never crash, but that’s all thanks to the iOS platform. Whereas talking about the Galaxy Tab 4, it comes with Qualcomm Quad-core Cortex A7 chipset and 1.5GB of RAM. It is also powered by Android 4.4.2 Kitkat OS, just like Yoga 2, though; I would not prefer the TouchWiz UI over the Lenovo’s Custom Interface.

Memory

The Lenovo Yoga 2 only has a 16GB internal memory storage space, though, you will never feel cheated by storage thanks to the external SD card support of up to 64GB, which is exactly the same case with Galaxy Tab 4. While Apple doesn’t provide an expansion slot on its iPad mini, which comes with an option of internal storage, varying from 16 to 64GB with pricing.

Camera

The Yoga 2 packs an 8MP rear camera on the hinge of the device and front-facing camera of 1.6MP. While the iPad mini sport a 5MP shooter at the back and 1.2MP snapper in the front. And if we see on Galaxy Tab 4, it has a 3MP rear cam and 2.1MP front cam, putting up a bad competition among the INR 20K tablets in the market.

Battery

The most important thing in the tablet is their battery rating, up until now only Apple has managed to give a decent amount of battery on iPad mini, which can last up to 10 hours. But in our usage of the Yoga 2 tablet, we managed to get more than the claimed 18 hours of charge with 6400mAh battery. We even used the tablet during my recent trip to China and some battery was still left behind on the tablet, as it was charged only once. Not to tout about it, but Lenovo Yoga 2 is a clear winner in battery performance. Whereas the Galaxy Tab 4 doesn’t even stand a chance in the race with 4450mAh battery.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 - Battery Stats

Verdict

If there is anything clearer than which movie had the best scenes in 2014 (Of course, Interstellar), it is that Lenovo has truly cracked this segment, making the best tablet of the year. At a price point of Rs 20,990, the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 is indeed one of the best value for money Android tablets in the market at the moment. With great functionality, a Full HD screen, good battery life and overall experience, you feel that you’ve gotten more than what you paid for. As if this was not enough, the company has also provided 4G LTE connectivity as well as 3G voice calling, which is generally absent in the tablets at this price point.

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