Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro review: The ultimate portable home theatre
For someone in need of a tablet, passion for movies and a tight budget, this tablet is a redeemer
Even the best of tablets haven't managed to make us crave them as much as every other smartphone does. The trend-setter, Apple's vision for their tablets have been to be a replacement for your computer. With the iPad Pro series, they have inched closer to that dream, but still fall short of the at effectively replacing your Mac or Windows computer.
Since the very first iPad, we've been sold the dream that tablets will become powerful and compact enough to become the go-to device for computing, browsing the web, reading and consuming videos. Lenovo has been trying to do exactly that with the modular ThinkPad and the eccentric Yoga series of tablet and laptops. The approach has been simple — offer something more than just a bigger screen. This time around, they shoved a projector and really good speakers from JBL into their Yoga Tab 3 Pro.
The stand swivels around the circular spine of the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro. You can prop the tablet in the hang, stand, hold or tilt position. In the standing position, the sharp screen and surprisingly loud speakers excel. It turns into an ideal machine for watching videos or even reading. To use it on the lap, just place it in the tilt position and make most of the glass keyboard during browsing, replying to mails or sharing posts. However, I'd rather use a Bluetooth keyboard that at the least lets me feel key-travel when typing.
The tablet has a super-sharp 2560x1600 10-inch display and the Android Lollipop version pre-installed is tweaked to make it feel like using a desktop. You can use apps in windows instead of just the default full-screen mode -- a useful feature when you're using the it as a PC with keyboard and mouse. Something you are not likely to do, but the tablet is capable of pulling it off. It's windowed UI makes multi-tasking breezy fast and with apps like Outlook, Office and Chrome, you won't miss your computer. So, the tablet does have the capability to replace your computer if you only need basic applications that are now available on Android too. But, not if you plan on running heavy applications because that's not something an Intel Atom processor and 2 GB of RAM are capable of.
The curved side of the tablet makes it feel like you're holding a magazine rolled back. But because of the aluminium build, it isn't getting any points for single-handed use. You can also hang it on a wall from the hole in the kickstand. Why would you hang it though? Well, to use the projector of course. Just hand it on a wall, plug in the charger — if you plan to watch an entire movie and don't bother adding external speaker, the inbuilt ones are loud and clear enough. At any point, pull down the notification controls and select the projector option, or just press the projector button opposite to the power button under the curved spine. The built-in projector fires up and mirrors everything on the screen with no latency and with the JBL speakers, makes for a surprisingly uncompromising movie watching experience. The video isn't going to be crystal clear, but the picture size is big enough for a movie night.
The tablet isn't the most convenient one to carry around, but definitely a great one to have lying around at home — especially if you belive televisions are unnecessary waste of space. They can also prove to be a great companion on trips. Just make sure that you have a power bank and charger around while using the projector. While the projector isn't bright enough to impress in anything but pitch dark, it drains the battery really quickly. This also means that office presentations are not going to look impressive. However, playing games on it was fun and sometimes very cumbersome.
The screen is big enough for drawing on and you don't have to go hunting for a stylus to do so. The tablet detects the metal nib of a pen quite accurately. The experience might not be as smooth as using the stylus on a Surface or the Apple Pencil, but probably the best you'd get from stationary lying around.
Overall, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is an interesting device you wouldn't mind flaunting around. It's the right choice for someone who needs a tablet, loves to watch movies and doesn't have deep pockets. Lenovo has been bold enough to experiment and managed to make a tablet that will stand out. Despite the outdated Android Lollipop software and skimpy specifications, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro manages to feel like the ultimate portable-home-theatre. And when you're up and about, it becomes a bearable reading and browsing companion.
You can pick one up for ₹39,990 for Lenovo's retail stores.