Lenovo’s new tablets sure are flexible. Product engineer Ashton Kutcher (of Dude, Where’s My Car? fame) on Tuesday introduced the Yoga tablet, which runs on Android and features an adjustable kickstand, capable of 135 degrees of rotation. It also houses a battery that Lenovo says is capable of up to 18 hours of use.
The Yoga tablet comes in two different sizes – an 8-inch version that weighs 0.88 pounds and a 10-inch model that weighs 1.33 pounds. From a hardware perspective, it looks like Lenovo is aiming right for the mid-range of the market. Aside from the display size, both tablets feature the same specs, including a 1280 by 800 IPS resolution. Both are powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core MediaTek MT8125 chip with 1GB of RAM. And there’s 16GB of internal storage, though luckily, each tablet comes with a microSD card slot for up to an additional 64GB.
There’s a 5-megapixel rear camera and 1.6-megapixel front-facing camera on each slate, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity. A 3G model is planned as well, but only for select regions.
The tablets are running a somewhat dated Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean), along with extensive customizations from Lenovo. If you’re a big fan of stock Android, these may not be the tablets for you, as there isn’t even a traditional Android app menu.
More interesting than the hardware is the design of the tablet, which features the aforementioned kickstand. Named after Lenovo’s convertible Yoga PCs, the Yoga tablet can rotate 135 degrees, allowing you to use it in three different ways. The kickstand can collapse completely, letting you use the tablet on your lap. Or it can extend fully so that the tablet is able to stand on its own, which is good for watching video. Perhaps most useful is the “tilt mode” between the two, in which the tablet sits propped up on its battery, which should make it easier to type.
The look of the Yoga tablet reminds me a lot of Sony Tablet S, which featured a similar wedge-like design, sort of like a rolled up magazine. Here that’s partially to support the kickstand, and partially to house a massive cylindrical battery which Lenovo claims is capable of up to 18 hours of usage.
The 8-inch slate is on sale today for $249 exclusively from Best Buy and Lenovo. The 10-inch tablet costs $299 and is available from additional outlets.