The tablet segment which once showed lots of hope to the makers has been fading out recently. The phablets are winning over to replace their bigger counterparts. Yet we keep seeing new tablets coming out. One such tablet I’ll be talking about is Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro.
The Yoga Tab 3 Pro with its 10.1-inch screen, from average, home consumer perspective, is a huge one. And so is its price, $600 (INR.40,000). This tablet wants to be your weekend home entertainment system with inbuilt projector and Dolby speakers. Or it can be your companion for presentation at the client’s site. It’s an interesting mix of everything. Use cases are unlimited.
Lenovo has made sure you get a tablet with design and looks worth $600 tag. That’s how I’ll sum it up in one line. It’s still a good idea to have a look at it from every angle.
Lenovo has used high-quality material to make this tablet. The aluminum chassis give premium look and feel. The use of the leather on its back further complements it apart from giving it the grip. There’s plastic too on either sides, but the superb quality makes it indistinguishable from rest of the material.
A lot of thought process has gone into the design of this tablet. Lenovo didn’t take up a generic tablet, put a projector and speakers and then put it on the shelves. The cylindrical battery on the left side gives superb comfort level when using it one handed vertically. However, the position of the projector lamp is just where you’d grip the tablet, and so you will end up leaving fingerprints on it. There is also a kick-stand for Yoga Tab 3 Pro, which most people wouldn’t even notice unless you show it to them.
There’s a dedicated button to toggle the projector on the left (when using horizontally) while the power button is on the right. The right edge also has volume rocker along with the microUSB port. The headphone jack is on the left side. The Dolby speakers are placed right above the speaker and in such a way that the audio is perfectly thrown at the recipient.
Everything is designed keeping in mind the horizontal or projector mode. Most of us would use it vertically while reading something where we need a maximum number of lines on the screen.
The 10,400 mAh sure makes the Yoga Tab 3 Pro a bit heavy at 665gms, but it’s thickness of just 4.68mm offsets that for me.
As with my other review devices, I showed this one to my peers and none of them had anything to complain about its looks.
The main purpose of the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is content consumption. Secondary would be using it for presentations. The 50 lumens bulb of the projector on the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is quite powerful, but it would be better if you use it in the total dark for the maximum effect. Lenovo says the maximum output is equivalent to a 70-inch screen. However, the text on the screen will lose its sharpness. You can adjust the focus, but since it’s digital, the effect is limited. That’s ideal when you want to impress your client. Your boss will not approve if he can’t read the key figures in your presentation. So it’s better to settle for smaller but sharper image.
But if you’re watching videos a lot (that’s what I did), the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is more than enough. Unless you want to see pores on the faces, watching videos on a big screen is quite a fun experience. The screen would go off some time after you turn on the projector.
I personally feel Lenovo should come up with a Bluetooth keyboard to enhance the productivity. You can buy aftermarket ones, too. It would also be great fun playing games on this tablet or its projector screen. For that, I’d definitely want a nice gamepad. I hope Lenovo is listening.
I initially thought a Windows version would have been better as far as the productivity is concerned. But since all key Microsoft apps, like Word and Excel, are already available on Android, it is less relevant.
The one area where Android falls short is optimization for bigger screens. This is visible with the disproportionate navigation bar on the bottom, which is a pain to use in horizontal mode. I would have preferred it on either left or right side of the UI. There should as well be a split on-screen keyboard as reaching all the keys, especially those near the center, is not convenient. Yes, you can download one from Play Store, but an out-of-the-box solution would be much better.
Unlike its phones, Lenovo has kept the UI on Yoga Tab 3 Pro very clean with no bloatware. There are all default apps including those from Google, some 3-4 Lenovo apps and a Netflix app as Lenovo has partnered with it. There are no useless, resource heavy animations to slow it down. Most of the UI is carried from stock Android, which means there won’t be a learning curve.
Intel’s Atom processor is responsible for power production. It handles everything thrown at it pretty much effortlessly. It’s mated to 2GB of RAM, which is convincing. The software on the Yoga 3 Pro makes the most of the screen estate with multi-windows. You can two apps running in their respective windows with one more running fullscreen. The processor seemed to handle it pretty well. But with a QHD screen already putting a load on it and three apps running, it did lag sometimes.
However, I could play ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’, which is quite heavy in terms of graphics requirement. Although the graphics rendering was great, there was framedrops sometimes.
The 10.1 inch LCD display has great sunlight legibility. Chances of anyone using this outdoors, under a bright sun are less, though. It also has QHD or 2K HD resolution which is a perfect match for such a big screen.
The 10,400 mAh lasts quite long if you’re not using the projector or running the videos continuously. If you do play videos continuously, expect it to last around 5 hours before giving up. The charging isn’t a problem. Its powerful charger can charge it from 0 to 100 in 2 hours.
It’s 13MP rear camera clicks decent pictures. It’s far better than what you would usually see on tablets.
The version I received was a pre-production one and didn’t have cellular connectivity. However, Lenovo will indeed be selling a variant with a 4G LTE SIM slot. While most home/personal users will stick to using WiFi for all the intents, LTE variant will be picked up by working professionals.
The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro isn’t the regular, run of the mill consumer tablet. It’s more for prosumers. The $600 tag underlines that. There is no other tablet right now that packs a projector. You can certainly buy a 10-inch tablet from other brands like Samsung or Apple, but none of them would give you the comfort level of Yoga Tab 3 Pro. By comfort level, I mean the modes in which this tablet can be used.
The iPad Pro 9.7 base 32GB variant comes for $599 in US and costs a lot more in India. You will be stuck with 32GB forever. If you’re buying only for a big screen, then Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is an option, too. It matches Yoga 3 Pro in most areas and is better in others, like 3GB RAM and fingerprint scanner. However, none of the tablets I mentioned here have a projector.
Personally for me, the Yoga 3 Pro has just the right balance of everything. While the price tag is on a higher side, the feature set makes sure it’s worth it. If given a choice, my pick would obviously be Yoga 3 Pro.