Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro Review Editor's Choice

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Editors' rating:
The Pros

Innovative projector with rotating lens; Long battery life; Bright display; Great speaker; Elegant leather back

The Cons

A bit heavy; Projector could be brighter; Some bloatware

Verdict

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro offers a cool projector and long battery life, making it a great choice for entertainment.

Most high-end tablets provide a great media viewing experience for individuals, but what happens when you want to watch a movie with the family or share a presentation with clients? Lenovo's 10.1-inch Yoga Tab 3 Pro is a powerful Android slate that adds a rotatable mini projector for beaming content onto walls, ceilings or screens. In addition to its signature feature, Lenovo's $499 tablet has a host of other compelling features, including a kickstand, a premium leather chassis, a colorful display and more than 10 hours of endurance. The iPad Air is still the best choice for apps, but the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is our favorite 10-inch Android tablet.

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Design

As soon as I picked it up, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro felt like a premium product. Its metal and aluminum construction feels really solid, and the leather panel on the back is soft to the touch and really comfortable to hold. This tablet doesn't just look nice -- it's P21 certified for splash protection that will keep your Yoga Tab 3 Pro safe if it gets splashed while sitting next to the kitchen sink.

At a hefty 1.5 pounds, the 9.72 x 7.05 x 0.36-inch Yoga Tab 3 Pro is much larger than the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (0.86 pounds, 0.22 inches thick), the Apple iPad Air 2 (0.98 pounds, 0.24 inches thick) and the Google Pixel C (1.2 pounds, 0.3 inches thick). In fact, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is not much heavier, at 1.57 pounds. The Tab 3 Pro owes its heft to a cylinder on its left side that houses the kickstand, projector and high-capacity battery; this makes the device easy to grip without covering the screen.

Once you hit the release button on the back, a hinge pops out and lets you stand the Yoga Tab 3 Pro up at an angle when it is flat on a desk, prop the tablet up in landscape mode or hang it from the wall by putting a nail through the buttonhole. I found the buttonhole comfortable and easy to use, but I had to be careful in vertical display mode; if I bent the display too far back, it would topple over.

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On the top of the tablet, you'll find a micro-USB port, and on the bottom, there's a headphone jack. Under the hinge, there's a place to put a microSD card.

Display

The Yoga Tab 3 Pro's 10.1-inch 2560 x 1600 quad-HD screen is great for media consumption. When I watched a 1080p trailer for Captain America: Civil War, Chris Evans' blue eyes popped, and Iron Man's red-and-yellow armor was vibrant on the screen -- though sometimes, the panel seemed a little on the warm side. The same trailer on the Pixel C's 2560 x 1800 LCD screen had truer blacks but seemed on the cool side.

Registering 439.6 nits on our light meter, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro's display is brighter than the iPad Air 2 but just a tad dimmer than the Galaxy Tab S2. The Yoga Tab 3 Pro delivered a strong 99.4 percent of the sRGB color gamut (100 percent or higher is ideal) and a Delta-E color accuracy rating of 1.4 (0 is best).

In theory, you can use more than just your finger on the screen. Lenovo says its AnyPen technology lets any conductive object -- including keys, a pen or even a fork -- work as a stylus. I tried dragging a key and a pen around the screen, and they worked, but not half as well as my finger. Sometimes, I needed to make multiple taps or swipes, and I was often worried I would scratch the display. I never ended up scratching the screen, though, and Lenovo says you can even use a pocket knife on it.

Projector

If you want to watch a movie or make a presentation, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro makes it simple with a built-in 50 lumen DLP projector on the rotating hinge.

Lenovo claims this tablet can produce an image up to 70 inches, which seemed accurate in our tests. If you use a dedicated projector to watch movies or play video games at home, this won't replace it. Still, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro's projector is useful on the go, assuming you're in a fairly dark environment.

I went into one of our conference rooms, shut off the lights, pulled down the blinds and filled up a wall with the trailer for Captain America: Civil War that I had just watched on the display. It still looked great, but the picture wasn't as bright as I would have liked. Without a fairly dark room, images may be a bit dim, but the closer you are to the wall, the brighter the image will be.

The Falcon's red wings looked a little brown, and the fights and explosions weren't as clear as they were on the tablet's display. However, it was still a fine viewing experience for movies and photos. I can imagine a family using the Yoga Tab 3 Pro in the backyard or on a camping trip.

We also projected Google Sky Map onto the ceiling in hopes of recreating a planetarium, but unless you have a dark room with a high ceiling, you won't be able to fill the room with the Milky Way. Text from the menus was a bit blurry, and I couldn't get it to be as crisp as the video, even with Lenovo's digital focus.

Audio

Lenovo jam-packed a bunch of audio technology into the Yoga Tab 3 Pro, and it sounds amazing.

I tuned into "Today's Biggest Hits" on Google Play Music and was wowed by the four JBL speakers in the Yoga's front-facing soundbar as Shawn Mendes' "Stitches" filled the room.

Vocals were incredibly clear, especially when tuned with the built-in Dolby Atmos software, and I felt like the people who clap along in the song were in the room with me. Sometimes, the guitar got lost among the claps and vocals, but the music was loud, clear and immensely satisfying.

If it's too intense, you can turn off Dolby's software. The quality drops dramatically, and you get a more middling sound.

Apps and Software

Lenovo has pulled back some of the customizations from its older Yoga tablets. The Yoga Tab 3 Pro runs near-stock Android 5.1 Lollipop. There is a little bloatware in the app drawer -- including Evernote, Netflix and McAfee Security -- but a multiwindow mode that lets you view several apps simultaneously is a great addition.

Lenovo provides a bit of its own software; some of it is handy, and some seems unnecessary. Sketchpad lets you draw on any Web page or app and can be useful. SHAREit and SYNCit help you move files and settings between devices over Wi-Fi. The Yoga Tab 3 Pro app is a bit redundant with its ad-like videos when there's a separate app for the instruction manual.

Any other apps you want will come from the Google Play store, where you'll find everything from games like Threes! and Monument Valley to social networking apps such as Facebook and Twitter. Some of the newest apps tend to hit iOS first (and sometimes exclusively), and some, like Instagram and Snapchat, aren't optimized for tablets, making them look like stretched-out phone apps. Still, you will have no shortage of great apps to use on the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro.

Heat

The Yoga Tab 3 Pro was comfortable to use. In our heat test, in which we stream a 1080p YouTube video for 15 minutes, the underside of the device reached 87 degrees. The very middle of the back hit 90.5 degrees, which is below our comfort threshold of 95 degrees.

Cameras

The Yoga Tab 3 Pro sports two cameras: a 13-megapxiel rear camera with autofocus and a 5-MP front camera.

I took a selfie with the tablet and was pleased by the results. (Pro tip: Make sure you have the camera situated on the top of the tablet unless you want a photo of only your shirt.) The image was sharp and clear, and you can see my beard and the stitching in my jacket. The wall behind me came out a little bit darker than it is in reality.

I turned the tablet around and took a photo of my desk toy. Captain America didn't come out as sharp as my selfie; it seemed to focus more on my monitor. But colors were accurate, and all of the details on the figure were preserved.

Performance

The Yoga Tab 3 Pro, which has an Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor and 2GB of RAM, delivered mixed results in various benchmarks, but I certainly didn't have any issues with its performance. I streamed music from Google Play Music while switching between multiple tabs in Chrome and then played a few games of Temple Run, all without experiencing any hiccups.

On Geekbench, which measures overall performance, the Yoga notched a score of 3,263. That's above the average for tablets, but below the iPad Air 2 (4,547), the Pixel C (4,444) and the Galaxy Tab S2 (4,175).

For Android devices, we use our video-editing test to measure processing power. The Yoga Tab 3 Pro converted a 203MB video from 1080p to 480p in 4 minutes and 50 seconds, beating the Galaxy Tab S2 by 10 seconds (5:00).

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In the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited graphics test, the Yoga beat both the Galaxy Tab S2 and the iPad Air 2, but the Pixel C blew them all out of the water.

In our PDF open test, in which we open a small but very-high-resolution file in Adobe Reader, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro was able to open the 5.8MB PDF in 12.5 seconds. The Pixel C completed that same test in just 5.96 seconds.

Battery Life

The battery in the Yoga Tab 3 Pro lasts and lasts. On the Laptop Mag Battery Test, which consists of continuous Web surfing, Lenovo's tablet lasted 10 hours and 35 minutes.

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The Apple iPad Air 2 lasted 9:20, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 lasted 7:32. The average battery life for a tablet is 9:02. Google's Pixel C went even longer, though, with 11:08 of running time.

Warranty

Lenovo sells the Yoga Tab 3 Pro with a one-year limited warranty with phone support and free parts and labor. As of this writing, Lenovo is offering a two-year warranty that includes free shipping and returns, for an additional $47.

Bottom Line

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is a long-lasting tablet with a vivid display, awesome speakers and a built-in projector that's pretty fun, even if it's not the most powerful. If you don't plan to beam content onto a wall, you should consider other alternatives, like the Pixel C, which has a more colorful display and better performance.You can also get the Pad Air 2, which weighs 0.5 pounds less and has a larger ecosystem of tablet-friendly apps. However, if you want a great tablet for family entertainment or the occasional business presentation, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is your best choice.

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro is a long-lasting tablet with a vivid display, awesome speakers and a built-in projector that's pretty fun, even if it's not the most powerful. If you don't plan to beam content onto a wall, you should consider other alternatives, like the Pixel C, which has a more colorful display and better performance. You can also get the iPad Air 2, which weighs 0.5 pounds less and has a larger ecosystem of tablet-friendly apps. However, if you want a great tablet for family entertainment or the occasional business presentation, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is your best choice.

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    CPU Intel Atom x5-Z8500 Processor
    RAM Included 2GB
    RAM Upgradeable
    Storage Drive Size 32GB
    Storage Drive Type eMMC
    Display Size 10.1
    Display Resolution 2560 x 1600
    Graphics Chip
    Graphics Memory
    Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
    Has Bluetooth Yes
    OS Android 5.1
    Camera Resolution 13MP
    Front-Facing Camera Resolution 5MP
    USB Ports
    Card Readers microUSB 2.0
    Card Reader Size
    Warranty / Support One-year
    Size 9.72 x 0.18 x 7.05 inches
    Weight 1.5 pounds
    Company Website https://www.lenovo.com/
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