How often have you looked down at the tablet in your lap, essentially nothing but a giant LCD panel, and wondered why, among its many features, it can’t also be used as a screen for another device? As Lenovo now demonstrates with its new Yoga Pad Pro Android tablet that includes a microHDMI port, there’s no reason it can’t.
Using a tablet as a second screen isn’t entirely unheard of, the iPad’s Sidecar feature, for example, allows them to be paired with an Apple computer and used to mirror or extend the screen. There’s always an app or a workaround needed to repurpose a tablet as a second screen, but with the new Yoga Pad Pro, that’s finally been streamlined: all you really need is the right cable.
Specs-wise, the Yoga Pad Pro is powered by a Snapdragon 870 processor with 8GB of RAM and offers 256GB of non-expandable storage. Its 13-inch LCD offers a 2K resolution with a 16:10 aspect ratio, Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and while you’ll find an 8MP camera up front facilitating video calls and the ability to unlock the device with your face, there’s no camera on the back. A 10,200 mAh battery allows for over 12 hours of non-stop video playback, and you get the usual connectivity options including Bluetooth, wifi 6, and a USB-C port on the bottom.
The tablet’s design includes an unusual chin on one end, which is kind of reminiscent of the old Sony Tablet S that was thicker on one end but seems to offer some better functionality on the Yoga Pad Pro besides being easier to hold. There’s a folding support bar that allows the tablet to be propped up at different angles and orientations, or hung on a wall (not something we’ve ever considered doing with a tablet) but the chin is also where you’ll find a microHDMI port for connecting everything from a laptop to a Nintendo Switch.
Including microHDMI instead of regular HDMI is a little annoying because it means you’ll either need to carry a special cable, or a regular HDMI cable plus an easy-to-lose adaptor, and neither is ideal. But it makes splurging on a large tablet, like the Yoga Pad Pro, easier to justify because it means you’re also getting a portable monitor that doesn’t need its own power source. When the tablet goes on sale at the end of the month it’s expected to have a price tag just north of $US500 ($641) which is decent given the added functionality, but currently, Lenovo has no plans to release it outside of China, so you might have to jump through a few hoops to get your hands on one.