When Lenovo first unveiled its Yoga Tablet series last October, I had to give it props for coming up with a unique design that cut through the staleness of all the slate tablets. The built-in cylindrical handle wasn’t just for looks either. It allowed the tablets to be used in different modes and made room for a long-lasting battery. But the lower-resolution screen was pretty much a deal-breaker.
Well, the company is addressing that issue with the new Yoga Tablet 10 HD+. Announced today at Mobile World Congress (sadly, Ashton Kutcher didn’t make the trip to Barcelona to introduce the tablet), the Android 4.3 device now features a full HD 10.1-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels — up from 1,280 by 800 pixels.
I got a chance to check out the tablet tonight at a press event, and I couldn’t help but think this was the tablet Lenovo should have launched with from the beginning. I watched a couple of movie clips and navigated through various apps and menus, and the display was sharp and bright.
The company also made the kickstand slightly longer, which provides more stability when the tablet is propped up on a table for watching movies or video chats. In addition, it angles the screen better when you lay the device down with the stand out for using the onscreen keyboard. When holding the tablet by the handle in portrait mode (like a folded over magazine), there wasn’t an uncomfortably uneven distribution of weight.
There are some changes under the hood, too. The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ now uses a slightly faster quad-core processor from Qualcomm, rather than MediaTek. In my brief time with it, I thought that the tablet felt very fluid and responsive. There wasn’t any stuttering when watching a video, for example.
There’s an eight-megapixel rear camera instead of a five-megapixel sensor. In addition, Lenovo introduced a handful of new apps designed to help users better manage and share their digital content. The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ will come preloaded with several of them, including Shareit, which allows you to transfer files between devices over a Wi-Fi connection. I’m typically not a fan of extraneous software on my devices, but will give them a try.
Like the original Yoga Tablet 10, the tablet has an estimated battery life of around 18 hours.
The Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ will be available in April, with prices starting at $349. The tablet will be available in silver and a new champagne gold color. When asked if the company would also upgrade the eight-inch Yoga Tablet model, a Lenovo spokesperson said that it is exploring the idea.
For a closer look at the tablet, check out our hands-on photo gallery below.
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