Lenovo’s New Tablets Are A Promising Pair Of IPad Alternatives

Lenovo’s New Tablets Are A Promising Pair Of IPad Alternatives

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CNN —  

Lenovo has a pair of promising iPad alternatives in the pipeline with the Yoga Tab 13 and Yoga Tab 11, and we got to see them up close. These new Android tablets stand out with their slick fabric-coated designs as well as their handy kickstands that also allow them to be hung in your kitchen or living room when you’re reading recipes or checking the weather.

On top of these noteworthy new slates, Lenovo also took the wraps off of the Smart Clock 2, an $89 smart alarm clock that could be a good Nest Hub alternative, thanks to its included wireless charging dock.

Here’s our first look at Lenovo’s new tablets and smart devices slated for later this year, and why we think you should be excited about them.

Mike Andronico/CNN

The Yoga Tab 13 (starting at $679) is a premium tablet built for both work and play, with a bright 13-inch display and a solid amount of power and connectivity options. The Tab 13’s design immediately caught our eye on two fronts: its attractive Alcantara coating, and a unique kickstand that also doubles as a hanger for when you want a small display on your wall.

It’s rare that we see a tablet with Alcantara, which is the same soft-touch coating that we love using on Microsoft devices such as the Surface Laptop 4. It makes the Tab 13 comfortable to hold while adding some nice extra grip, and gives the tablet a distinct look that sets it apart from the all-aluminum backings of the iPad family.

This classy look is complemented by a built-in kickstand on the rear, which has a neat U-shaped design that also lets you hang the tablet on a wall or board. This could come in handy if you’re following a recipe in the kitchen, or want an easy way to check the weather or news in your bathroom or hallway — especially since you can command the Tab 13 with your voice via the Google Assistant.

Mike Andronico/CNN

We were also impressed by our short time with the Tab 13’s display, which gave a nice amount of colorful pop to the tablet’s blue and purple background as well as the litany of colorful app icons scattered around it. The 13-inch screen has a 2K (2048 x 1080) resolution and promises a high 400 nits of brightness, which seems ideal for watching movies or playing Android games on the go. It also boasts a low-temperature polycrystalline silicon (LTPS) screen, which are built to be faster and sharper than a typical LCD display. We’re eager to test out the tablet’s quad JBL speakers, which feature Dolby Atmos support for immersive spatial sound.

Specs-wise, the Tab 13 should be able to power through everyday tasks just fine. It’s running Android 11 with a Lenovo user interface on top with Wi-Fi 6 support for use with the latest and speediest wireless routers (there’s no LTE option for connecting on the road, unfortunately). It even packs a microHDMI to USB cable, which allows it to double as a portable monitor for just about any laptop or desktop. The Yoga Tab 13 starts with 128GB of storage for $579 and scales to 256GB, plus it supports a microSD card for expansion. In our brief time with Lenovo’s 13-inch tablet, swiping and tapping around the screen to open apps, folders and browsers felt instant and responsive.

If you want a smaller, more affordable version of this tablet, there’s also the $319 Yoga Tab 11. This slate has many of its bigger sibling’s key features like the kickstand, Dolby Vision support on an 11-inch screen and Google Assistant integration. This smaller Yoga Tab is powered by a more entry-level MediaTek Helio G90T processor, and unlike its larger counterpart has LTE support for keepi

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