The tablet market is a competitive place for manufacturers to operate in. In most cases, a tablet is a tablet with a similar design ethos: a simple slate-type object with a screen on one side, which is the main way to interact with the device. A number of buttons and ports are arranged around the edges and sometimes the rear. Over the years, there have been a number of changes to tablets but most manufacturers have stuck with the same general design. Sure: speakers have moved from the rear of the device to the front and in some cases, multiplied. We have also seen different sizes of screens in use, catering for many different tastes and budgets. However, one manufacturer in particular stands out as having designed and sold its tablets with a different form factor: Lenovo and the YOGA tablet, which has been sold in both Android and Windows flavors. Unlike most tablets, the Yoga series have a different form factor whereby at one edge of the device you find a cylindrical battery bump, which tapers out across the rest of the device. This battery cylinder is a bit of a misnomer as in addition to a large battery, Lenovo have taken to including speakers, notification LEDs and camera modules in this unit. Today, I am writing about the just-announced YOGA Tab 3 8.0-inch, which has officially broken cover. Like the older YOGA and YOGA 2, the YOGA 3 also includes the distinctive battery hump on one side and the retractable kickstand.
Lenovo have used the same four modes for the YOGA 3 as with the YOGA 2: these are the Hold mode, which is with the stand folded up against the chassis. There's Stand mode, whereby the device has the stand in the first position and the device is in landscape mode resting on the stand. There's Tilt mode, whereby the device is in landscape mode but resting on the retracted stand and battery module. And finally, we have Hang mode, whereby the stand is extended fully and you can hang the tablet on a hook or nail on the wall; perfect for watching a movie on your tablet as you are cooking! The device can be set up to reconfigure certain aspects of how it works depending on how the stand and alignment is set up. Ultimately, Lenovo are pitching the YOGA Tab 3 around it being a great device to consume media with.
For hardware, the YOGA Tab 3 is based around a 1,280 by 800 pixel, 8.0-inch IPS LCD panel. There's a 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, which is a 32-bit design optimized for low power consumption. This Snapdragon is backed up by 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage, plus a MicroSD card slot, which can take cards of up to 128 GB in size. There's a 6,200 mAh battery, an 8MP camera, which rotates for front or rear shots and includes hand gesture control. There are two speakers complete with a large-chamber design and Dolby Atmos 3D Surround Sound for good quality audio. The tablet also comes with Lenovo AnyPen Technology, single band 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and optional LTE. The YOGA 3 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop right out of the box. It'll be priced from $169 for the WiFi-only tablet and from $199 for the LTE-equipped device. Compared with the previous generation YOGA 2, Lenovo have taken a step back in some respects – the screen is of a lower resolution and there's 1 GB of RAM rather than 2 GB. However, the design of the YOGA appears to have been refined, such as the rotating camera, and Lenovo's battery life statistics show an improvement. The powerful speakers and long battery life should make this a great device for portable movie watching.