The scoop: Yoga Tab 3 Pro 10-inch, by Lenovo, about $500
What is it? The Yoga Tab 3 Pro is a 10-inch Android tablet with a built-in projector, built-in metal kickstand, giving users additional options for their tablet use than they might get from other laptops. It’s the latest upgrade to this line, the last one being the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro, which I reviewed last year.
For home users, the inclusion of projector means being able to stream entertainment on a wall (or ceiling) with the projector (and four built-in JBL speakers, an upgrade from two); for business users, the projector provides opportunities for presentations and the like without needing to connect to an external system.
Fitting the Yoga brand name, this device features many different modes/positions, including a Tablet mode, a Stand mode (unlocking the kickstand and letting the device sit on a desktop), Tilt mode (slightly unlocking the kickstand to allow for touch-typing on the display) and Hang mode (the kickstand has a hole that lets you hang it on a wall or other protrusion). Each mode has its pros and cons and is more or less useful depending on the situation you’d like to achieve. The goal, of course is to get you to use the tablet more often than just sitting on the couch reading, scanning your Facebook feed or playing a game.
The Yoga Tab 3 Pro also includes Lenovo’s AnyPen technology, which detects any “conductive object” as a pen – this means you can use objects other than your grubby finger to do things on the display. Half the fun is trying to figure out which random items on your desk is conductive or not (batteries, yes, plastic soda cap no).
Other specifications include the Intel Atom x 5-Z8500 processor (quad core, up to 2.24 GHz), 2 GB of RAM, 32GB of storage memory (with microSD card slot for up to 128GB of extra storage), and two cameras (13 megapixel rear and 5 megapixel front)
Why it’s cool: Like last year’s model, the inclusion of the projector offers some additional uses that are fun to play with initially – such as laying in bed and projecting a Netflix TV show onto the ceiling, or showcasing a web site on the wall during a meeting. The tablet’s display (2,560 by 1,600 pixels) produces a very rich and bright image, and the battery life (up to 18 hours of usage time and up to 49 days in standby mode) is quite impressive.
The improvements made to the tablet (additional speakers, more megapixels on the front and rear cameras, battery life) make this a more viable tablet for both home and business users. I suspect the battery life improvements are helped with the reduction in the tablet’s size (the Yoga 3 is 10 inches compared with the 13-inch Yoga 2 model).
Some caveats: Remembering the proper technique for accessing the projector and getting it to focus took some practice, as was the method for turning on the device when it went into sleep or battery-saving mode. The projector is a cool, nice-to-have-if-you-need-it feature, but if you don’t then it doesn’t really do much (and you still need a very dark room to watch things). Fortunately, the upgrades to the tablet and all the other features make this a worthy tablet if you’re looking for an Android model.
Grade: 4.5 stars (out of five)
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