Saturday, March 19, 2016

Yoga Tab 3 Pro - Review

Yoga Tab 3 Pro


Nice Projector

With the tablet market having reached the point of saturation, it seems like there is less and less difference between the products in the market. Each tablet seems to look the same, with the main difference being the material the device is made out of. Lenovo, never one to sit on their laurels, has decided that to stand out, you can’t just have a beautiful screen, a slim design or the best chassis, you also need it to be a projector for those nights binge-watching Netflix in bed.


PREMIUM FEEL

Picking up the device, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro is definitely one of the more premium products on the market. The tablet uses copious amounts of metal and aluminum all around the chassis, with a soft leather panel on its back which is both comfortable to hold and really nice to the touch. As if that wasn’t enough, Lenovo went ahead and made it P21 certified – this means it is splash proof and can survive accidental spills.

While there are many other premium tablets on the market, where the Yoga Tab 3 Pro truly differentiates itself is the cylinder on its left. Housing the power button and the rear camera, the cylinder has a pop-out kickstand which allows the tablet to stand and also reveals the hidden microSD card panel.

The kickstand itself is really sturdy, and allows quite a degree of flexibility when positioning the tablet, not unlike Microsoft’s Surface line up. So what’s so game changing about the cylinder? I mentioned that it’s the tablet’s differentiator, but it isn’t the kickstand I’m talking about – it’s the built-in projector.


PORTABLE CINEMA

Yes, there’s an actual projector built right into the cylinder of the tablet, and the short of it is that it’s pretty dope. Activated by pressing the dedicated projector button on its side, the 480p pico projector can project up to 70-inches at 50 lumens. Once the projector is set up, the software will automatically adjust the picture’s keystone and sharpness. A good many hours were spent watching Netflix in the comfort of my bed and I was really impressed with the quality of the video. Battery life is also pretty impressive with the projector on. Having streamed Netflix for almost 3 hours straight, the tablet only lost 40% of its charge, which means it’ll still last the rest of the day without being plugged in.

Of course, being a pico projector, it doesn’t come anywhere close to the quality of a full-size projector. It isn’t particularly bright, the colors don’t pop and its relatively low resolution means images aren’t the sharpest. Basically, if you want a truly cinematic experience, there are many projectors out there that are far more qualified to do the job. The kicker is that most of them don’t come attached to a fully-functional tablet. The ability to carry a small tablet to a friend’s house and project a 70-inch image onto a wall offers a truly unique experience to be shared.


JBL STEREO

Having included four front-facing speakers, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro delivers one of the best audio experiences on any tablet in the market today. The treble was sharp and the mids were full of life. Even the bass sounded pretty chunky. Putting the tablet next to its competitors such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, the Yoga Tab 3 Pro simply blew its rivals out of the water.

The included Dolby audio app allows further customization of the soundscape for the musically inclined, though I personally felt that the sound was already excellent out of the box. Having that many speakers also means that the volume can get pretty loud; this proved excellent when watching movies in the hall with some boisterous folk in tow.


BRILLIANT SCREEN

While praises have been sung about its pico projector, what about when the tablet isn’t used as a movie projector, but as a… tablet? Thankfully, Lenovo has packed what is possibly one of the best displays on the market. The superb 2560 x 1600 QHD resolution means that texts and images were extremely sharp and colors were threatening to pop out of the screen. Brightness levels were excellent, allowing good legibility even in direct sunlight despite its reflective nature. If there is something to be said about the display, it’s more oversaturated than balanced, leading to colors that pop rather than those that are accurate.

Lenovo has also done something pretty nifty with its display as its AnyPen feature allows any conductible material to interact with the screen like a stylus. This means that you can still use something like a pencil rubber to navigate the device even when your fingers are covered with cookie crumbs.


MIDDLING PERFORMANCE

Unfortunately, while the visual experience impressed, general performance around the OS left much to be desired. Despite packing one of Intel’s latest chipsets, navigating around was a laggy affair. There were stutters throughout the OS, whether I was just scrolling through the app drawer, entering into the settings menu and just opening apps. Opening the multitasking view also displayed dropped frames.

Once the app is in view however, general performance was decent, with minimal dropped frames even with the latest games. While the high resolution display might be to blame, I suspect it’s mostly on the software optimisation side; Lenovo has a lot of work to do to improve the overall experience of the tablet. At best, it’s an annoyance and at worst it can get pretty frustrating as it lags even for minimally taxing tasks.


ENTERTAINMENT TABLET

The Yoga Tab 3 Pro is without a doubt one of the premier entertainment-focused tablets in the market today. Its built-in pico projector is a killer feature, and it backs it up with excellent audio and superb battery life. Even with the projector off, the vibrant and beautiful display will ensure that any form of media consumption is done with a smile on your face.

What might wipe that smile off though is the constant lag experience when navigating around the device. While it’s not exactly deal-breaking, it’s jarring seeing the OS lag when everything else around it feels so good. Still, regardless of its software niggles, the tablet is likely to satisfy almost any movie junkie out there.


Verdict

A nice Android tablet with a built-in projector.

overall score
85   %


Specifications

SIZE: 247 x 4.68 x 179 mm, 664g
DISPLAY: 2600 x 1440 IPS
OS: Android 5.1
PROCESSOR: Intel Atom x5-Z8500
RAM: 2 GB
STORAGE: 32GB
MICRO-SD: Up to 128GB
CAMERA: rear-facing 13MP, front-facing 5MP
PROJECTOR: Casts up to 70-inch image
AUDIO: 4 Front-facing JBL Speakers with Dolby Atmos
BATTERY: 10200mAh, up to 18 hours usage
CONNECTIYITY: GPS, Voice call, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0
INTERFACE: microUSB slot, 3.5mm analog jack, Micro SIM card slot

By PCmatter

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