Retro computing with a touch of modern and the home for all things, retroCombs (aka Steven Combs).

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9 February 2020

OPEN THE BOX: Lenovo YOGA TAB with Google Assistant

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.

It’s time. Time to leave the iOS tablet ecosystem. I’ve used an iPad for the entire 10 years of the device’s life and have moved from an original iPad to a 9.7 inch iPad Pro. I’ve not used an iOS phone for over five years and want a tablet that uses either Android or Chrome OS to make the useage of phone and tablet consistent.

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Finding a good, nay adequate, Google-based tablet is not an easy proposition. Google stopped making Android tablets a couple of years ago. Their last Chrome OS tablet, the Pixel Slate (which I own and love but is too large for bed and table-side use) was discontinued last year. The most popular tablets running the Android operating system are Amazon Fire tablets (#ad). And while they are good tablets, Fire OS is not pure Android and does not use the Google Play Store for apps. This means, no native Google apps on those devices without some “hacky” nonsense.

Lenovo Smart Tab with Google Assistant

My search for a tablet took over three months because I had very specific requirements. In January of 2020, I believed I would not find a tablet to meet the majority of my require (see video below) to purge iOS mobile devices. Review coming soon.ments shown in the list below:

  1. USB-C power adapter - I can carry a single charger for both my Pixel phone and tablet.
  2. 10 inch or larger HD screen - This will match the current iPad screen size and HD resolution is the minimum for text and video.
  3. 4 Gb memory - Android and Chrome OS run on 2 Gb but the experience is infinitely better when devices have at least 4 Gb.
  4. 64 Gb storage - I’ve yet to run out of storage on my Pixel 4 XL with 64 Gb.
  5. Fast processor - A sluggish processor means a sluggish user experience.
  6. Stereo external speakers - Many tablets have a single speaker; however, I plan to watch video and listen to music on the road with this device.
  7. Android 9.0 (10 preferred) or Chrome OS - I knew this would be a tough one. There are a ton of tablets out there and I’m amazed that many of them still run Android (see video below) to purge iOS mobile devices. Review coming soon.6.0! At this point in time, most Chrome OS devices available that serve as tablets are convertibles, like the Pixelbook I currently use. I want a pure tablet form factor.
  8. Excellent battery life - Another area where the iPad shines is in battery life. I can expect a good two to three days on a charge and want that same experience on the new tablet I choose.

In January of 2020 I came across the Lenovo Smart Tab with Google Assistant. The retail price was $350 but there was a $100 off opportunity when purchased directly from the Lenovo website. Amazon does not offer this device; probably because it prominently features the rival Google Assistant.

I began to read and watch reviews. Reviewers were generally positive with some mixed comments regarding processor power. Some loved the form factor, battery life, Dolby Atmos® powered speakers, and build quality, while others lamented that the processor couldn’t run the latest games and the speakers caused an unusual bump in the case. Since I am not a gamer, I liked the look of the design, and everything else about the device met the majority of my requirements, I decided to give this tablet a try.

This post is not a review of the Lenovo Smart Tab with Google Assistant, that will probably come later. What this post does do is provide a video I threw together that is an “unboxing” of the device. There was little information about the device and I am hopeful this video will help others make a decision about whether they too should give this tablet a shot. Here’s the video:

The unboxing was a good experience and includes a few surprises. It wasn’t the same premium unboxing experience you get with an Apple product but it was adequate and I didn’t pay extra for a package experience. Before the video ends, I do turn on the device. Let me know your thoughts on the device in the comments below and whether this video helped anyone.

Again, I hope to have a full review review online after I’ve had a chance to use it for an appropriate amount of time.