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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.