Now, if you’ve been paying attention … Ha… As if…
…you’ll know that in the past few years I’ve been developing apps for mobile devices, tablets, phones, etc.
And, in order to test, I have to buy a wide range of devices. iOS is fairly straightforward because anything developed for an iPhone has to work on an iPad. Them’s the rules. And Apple loves rules!
The larger screen of the iPhone 5, compared with the 4, presents some small problems, but nothing worth writing about. So I won’t. And to a developer, there’s essentially no difference between a non-retina iPad, a retina iPad and an iPad Mini. My development tool of choice, Livecode, handles them seemlessly.
But for Android apps, there’s a huge range of devices, with very different screen sizes, pixel densities and aspect ratios. (A total of 74 Android devices is currently available according to Android Magazine, and that’s out of 742 ever made.) Fortunately Livecode handles those too, but I still need to test.
Since a couple of my motorsport-related apps are for in-car use, and need the GPS chips to be present, I can’t buy the ultra-cheap Android devices. So, having already bought a suitable Android phone, I set about looking for a tablet.
After some time hunting through specs and prices, I settled on the Lenovo Yoga 8, which I purchased by mail order from Lazada. It arrived less than 24 hours after I clicked BUY! Impressive. Why “Yoga”? No idea. Googling doesn’t help. Maybe because you’d bend over backwards to have one?
I like it. I really like it. I’m leaving for a short trip tomorrow, and for the first time, I’m not taking an iPad. (Well, for the first time since I’ve owned an iPad.) The Yoga 8 will do fine. It’s small. It’s light weight. Android has the same or equivalent apps as the iPad. I simply don’t need the extra bulk.
Short pause while Paul makes his trip … and has to buy a charger because he discovers a phone charger is not powerful enough for a tablet … but is thankful the tablet is not an Apple product because chargers for Android devices, unlike Apple chargers, can be purchased just about anywhere.
Now, I’m sure I could dig out the specs and I could tell you the exact weight of the Yoga tablet in grams, ounces or fractions of elephant, but I won’t. The point is, it’s significantly lighter than an iPad, especially without a case. And the beauty of the Yoga 8 is that, except for times when you want to protect the screen, you don’t need a case. Not so for the iPad.
The iPad is like the Model T Ford in that the latter could be bought in any color you wanted, so long as it was black, black or black. Likewise with the iPad, you can rest it in any position you want, so long as that is flat, flat or – well – flat. I suppose you do have the choice of face up or face down. Duh!
The Yoga meanwhile has a tube-like structure on one side. That holds the battery, which, due to the extra thickness of that part of the case, means the battery is larger than average, and lasts longer than average. But the main benefit, I think, is that if you put the tablet flat, it isn’t! It’s immediately useable because the screen is angled towards you. Unless you’re daft enough to put the tubular part facing you!
Behind the tube there is a pull-out flap. You can lose a few finger nails opening it, but the benefit of the strong hinges is that the flap will stay in almost any position you want, giving you an almost infinite range of positions to stand your Yoga. (Hmm, yoga, infinite positions… is that how it got its name?) And the tube makes it very easy to hold, and it feels secure.
Another nice feature is the two forward-facing speakers, which give an acceptable stereo sound, unlike the one squeaky side speaker of the iPad.
Okay, the Yoga 8 is clearly not an Apple product. The hinged flap has sharp edges. That would never be allowed at Apple. Even so, the brushed-aluminum has a warm feel, and although the screen is not the same as a retina-quality Apple product, it’s more than adequate for those of us who no longer have 20/20 vision.
One thing I didn’t know until I opened the box is that the Yoga 8 comes with a case. Now there’s a novel idea. I paid an arm and a leg for a pretty-useless floppy iPad case … although it did have my name and phone number printed on it, in case I ever become so senile that I can remember neither. By which point, of course, I won’t remember where I put my iPad.
But clearly Lenovo doesn’t know me very well. The case they sent is green! I hate green! Worse still, it’s a bright lime green. Thank goodness I hardly ever need to use it. When I have to remove the tablet from its case on a flight, I try to keep the case hidden so that it won’t make the other passengers nauseous.
But the color reminded me of something that happened long, long ago…
When I was about four years old, my father, who always did his own interior decorating, decided to wallpaper the stairs and landing area, and put fresh paint on the doors and banisters. I think at the time, he must have been suffering from temporary color blindness. The paper he chose was large red polka dots on a white background. Or was it white on red? No matter. Something seriously migrane-inducing. And the color he chose for the wordwork was lime green! How could anyone … never mind, on with the story.
To a four year old, wet paint was too much fun to be ignored. So, small hands were applied to the doors, and then placed – artistically of course – in many and various places on the wallpaper. Hell, I couldn’t make it look any worse!
But after several minutes of the subconscious brain having fun, the conscious one kicked in, and realized the enormity of the situation. Father was not going to be amused. Newspaper down the back of the shorts seemed like a good plan.
As it turned out, I think he’d already figured just how mind-bogglingly disgusting his handiwork looked, and the following weekend it was all replaced with something infinitely more sober. And the newspaper was not needed.
I still love the Lenovo Yoga 8, but I’ll have to find a new case, if for no other reason than the fact it reminds me of my father’s hideous paintwork.