The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is one of the most interesting tablets of this year. At least on paper, it’s the perfect entertainment tablet. We get a large 13-inch screen, four speakers, a large battery, a built-in kickstand, and a high-end processor. Another unique feature is that it has an HDMI port and acts as an external monitor. So, should you get it? That’s what you’ll learn in this Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 review.
Design & Built Quality
Let’s start with one of its highlights which is the design. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 looks very unique because, on one side, it has a thick grip that houses two of the four speakers, as well as a kickstand. That kickstand is metal and can be folded out at any angle you want. You can even use it to hang it somewhere. So, without needing any accessories at all, you can put it on your coffee table or hang it in your bathroom so you can watch a movie while taking a bath.
While the kickstand is made of metal, the rest of the body is plastic. On the back, there’s also a soft fabric-like material which makes it look and feel a bit higher-end. Sure, a full aluminum body would have been nicer, but I’m sure Lenovo choose plastic to reduce the weight. Because of its big screen, large battery, and kickstand, it weighs 803g.
On the front, we get an 8-megapixel webcam which certainly is good enough for video chats. There’s no camera on the back. But we do get a Time Of Flight sensor next to that front camera which you can use to unlock the tablet using facial recognition. That works well.
There’s no headphone jack and no microSD card slot but we do get a USB C 3.1 Gen 1 port. That means you can connect external monitors too.
Micro HDMI Port: A Very Unique Feature
On the other side, we get a Micro-HDMI port which is a very unique feature. No other tablet I can think of has this. It’s not meant to output a signal, that’s what the USB C port is for. Instead, it’s meant to input a signal. Yes, exactly, it means you can connect the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 to a computer and use the tablet as an external monitor for your PC.
I connected the tablet to my Windows laptop and the experience is fantastic. It’s a super interesting option if you need a tablet and want a 13-inch external monitor at the same time. And remember, this monitor has a battery built-in. I love this feature.
You can connect the Yoga Tab 13 to other devices that output a video signal too. I used it as a monitor for my Sony A7 III camera and that worked great. This really is a unique selling point.
Display & Speakers
Another highlight is the large 13-inch display. The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 has a standard LCD that supports 60Hz, is fully laminated, and has a resolution of 2160 x 1350 pixels. While I think that resolution is good enough, it’s certainly less sharp than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Lenovo’s resolution sounds high but on 13 inches, you can see some pixelation when looking at text at a close distance.
Other aspects of the screen are good but not outstanding. With 400 nits it’s bright enough for most environments but not as bright as an iPad Pro. Viewing angles are wide, colors look good, and I think it’s great for watching movies. It has a Widevine Level von 1, so you can watch Netflix with HD resolution, and HDR is supported as well.
So, I like the screen, but it’s not as good as other premium devices like Apple’s tablet and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+. Blacks don’t look as black as with those two and both competitors have 120Hz screens which the Lenovo does not.
I noticed one issue with the Yoga Tab 13. When holding it in portrait orientation and scrolling, I can see a kind of jelly effect or rolling shutter effect. Samsung’s 60Hz AMOLED screens have the same problem. This is an LCD but I guess that the screen is not drawn fast enough here because it’s so big.
Still, I think it’s a good entertainment tablet because of its large screen and its four speakers. While the sound is not as loud as from the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, it’s almost on the same level and is very pleasing. It certainly sounds better than the cheaper Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 FE.
Hardware & Performance
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB internal storage. There’s no LTE or 5G option.
You can see in my benchmark comparison that the performance is on a similar level as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+. So, the Yoga Tab 13 certainly is a higher-end premium tablet that can compete very well in Geekbench 5, 3D Mark, and other benchmarks.
My gaming test confirms this. All games I tried run great with the highest graphics. You can play Fortnite with graphics set to epic and the 3D resolution to 100% and it runs very well and is similar as on the Galaxy Tab S7+. Sometimes you might see some stutters but that’s the case with the competition too.
PUBG Mobile can be played with graphics set to UltraHD and it looks and plays fantastic. Another game I tried is Genshin Impact. Here I set the graphics to their highest and it’s playable as well. So, regarding gaming, the Yoga Tab 13 is a great entertainment tablet too.
Lenovo Precision Pen 2
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 does support an active stylus which is called Lenovo Precision Pen 2. That pen works with the Yoga Tab 11 and Lenovo Tab P11 series as well.
I like the feel of the stylus because it’s made of metal and is comfortable to hold. You charge it using a USB C port which is on the back. On the side, it has two buttons and the tip supports 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. So, it’s on a similar level as competing pens are.
Well, at least technically. While the stylus certainly works on the Yoga Tab 13, I always feel like the pen is not as precise as the Samsung S Pen or Apple Pencil is. And it’s not just a feeling. When writing with all those pens and their supported tablets, handwriting with the Lenovo does not look as precise.
On the Galaxy Tab S7+ and iPad Pro, it looks like the pens react instant because of their 120Hz screens. But since we’ve got a 60Hz screen here, it sometimes looks like writing or drawing lags behind the pen a bit. Especially when drawing fast.
There also is not a lot of software support for the pen. Sure, you can install all those note-taking and drawing apps from the Google Play Store like Nebo, Noteshelf, and Squid. And they do work fine. But I think Samsung Notes is a much better note-taking app. And features like Apple’s Scribble or the S Pen Commands are missing too.
When using the pen, the design of the tablet can be a downside. Because of this grip, it can never lie flat on a table.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that the Yoga Tab 13 does support an active stylus and the Precision Pen 2 does work fine. But it’s not amazing and the competition is better.
Software: Android 11
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is running Android 11 out of the box. In the past, Lenovo hasn’t been as amazing with updates as Samsung has been. But I’m guessing it’ll get at least one major software update. For the Yoga Tab 11, Lenovo did state already that it’ll get Android 12 for sure. But the Yoga Tab 13 is not mentioned yet.
Lenovo did customize the interface a bit but it’s not a heavy UI. For the most part, it’s standard Android with some pre-installed apps from Microsoft, as well as Netflix and Amazon Music. In addition to that, there are tons of Google apps that ship with the tablet. More than usual and that includes Google Kids Space which is a kids mode.
Another feature is the Google Entertainment Space. From here you can quickly select movies, games, and books from many services like Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Kindle Books, and so on. It might be interesting for some but I never thought it’s useful for me. In the home screen settings, you can deactivate it.
In my battery test, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 got a runtime of 8.75 hours. While it’s not on the top of the list with this result, it certainly lasts much longer than other large tablets like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, Galaxy Tab S7+, and S7 FE. For this test, I’m always looping an HD video at maximum brightness on YouTube.
Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 Review: Final Verdict
So, is the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 a tablet you should get? Well, that depends on what you’re looking for, of course. I love this design with the built-in kickstand and that Micro-HDMI port certainly is very unique and can be super useful for some. At the same time, we get a very fast processor that’s great for gaming. The 13-inch screen looks nice for watching movies and that’s supported by four fantastic speakers.
If you want this design and are looking for an entertainment tablet or have a great use case for that HDMI port, yes, I think the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is a great choice. But it’s not perfect and I think it’s not a great generic tablet for everybody.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 13 is a bit cheaper than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ but not by that much. And compared to those, it’s lacking a high-contrast screen, does not support 120Hz, there’s no official keyboard cover, and the pen is not as amazing. In the past, both Apple and Samsung have been better with software updates too which I think you should consider when getting an expensive tablet. And they certainly do offer more software features.
Let’s check out some of those alternatives in more detail.
If you’re looking for an Android tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ is the best competitor to the Lenovo Yoga Tab 13. While its 12.4-inch screen is a bit smaller, it’s a higher-end AMOLED display that supports 120Hz. The S Pen is included here and works better. I also love all the software features like Samsung Notes and Samsung DeX and you can get an official keyboard cover. The performance is about the same but it’s lacking the unique Yoga design and there’s no HDMI input either.
The 12.9-inch Apple iPad Pro is much pricier and does not have that unique design or an HDMI input either. However, its XDR screen is better, the Apple Pencil is better, and the performance of its Apple M1 processor is much faster than any Android tablet out there. So, if you’re looking for the best of the best, that’s the one to get.
In case you love this Yoga design but just don’t want to spend that much money on it, you can check out the Lenovo Yoga Tab 11. This tablet is smaller at 11-inches but has many similar features except for that HDMI port. Its performance is weaker but I think it’s a nice and much more affordable entertainment tablet.
- Unique design
- Very large screen
- Good speakers
- Powerful CPU
- HDMI input
- Long battery life
- No 120Hz display
- Stylus okay only
- Long updates unlikely
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