Lenovo Yoga Tablet: Hands-on preview

Despite a recent surge of inexpensive Windows 8-based tablets, Lenovo isn't giving up on Android quite yet. In fact, it's doubling down with two new additions to its Android family – the 8in and 10in Yoga Tablets.

These two tablets draw from the company's Yoga line of laptops, offering clever mechanisms for multi-mode use. We had a chance to get our hands on Lenovo's flexible new slates, so read on for our first impressions.

Up until now, Lenovo hasn't done the best job of wowing us with its Android tablet offerings. It has generally employed safe designs that ended up feeling pretty bland – but that all changes with the Yoga Tablets.

The key here is a clever hinge mechanism that can be used to prop the tablet up in multiple positions, or simply serve as a comfortable hand grip. It's a bit reminiscent of Sony's Tablet S, with the slate having a rolled cylindrical end that tapers down to a more svelte edge.

The rounded end accommodates a large battery pack, and the weight of the battery concentrated in the rounded end also helps the tablet feel lighter than it is in the hand. The metal hinge rotates out to prop the tablet up at a 90 degree angle, or to keep it at an optimal angle for typing on the tablet's virtual keyboard.

Speaking of which, Lenovo will also be selling a Bluetooth Keyboard Cover that helps transform the tablet into a productivity machine (pictured below). The keys felt pretty comfortable in our brief hands-on, although it's still limited by the tablet's small footprint.

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The 8in and 10in tablets are powered by a quad-core MediaTek MT8125 processor, and both sport 16GB of internal storage. The displays on both will also use the same 1,280 x 800 resolution. That's a bit low for a 10in tablet these days, but on the positive side, the display was nice and bright with a wide viewing angle. Rounding out the core specs are a microSD card expansion slot and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera.

The 8in Yoga Tablet is priced at £200 on Lenovo’s site, while the 10in model is priced at £250. Both products can be ordered from today – although there is a slight delay for the 8in model, as the shipping time is listed at one to two weeks on the Lenovo website (the 10in version ships in two to three days). Stay tuned for a full review once we get a chance to test these two tablets in our labs.