Lenovo have produced a number of different tablets over the years, but their flagship series, the YOGA range, place much emphasis on the design of the tablet as well as the underlying components. Today, Lenovo have confirmed their third iteration of YOGA Tab devices, and I am writing about the flagship model, the YOGA Tab 3 Pro, which Lenovo are pitching as an entertainment tablet with features designed to encourage people to upgrade from the current tablet. First, let me write about the design aspects of the YOGA line of tablets but by way of background, the majority of tablets are a simple, slate-like design and this has remained constant for many years now. The biggest change between generations is an upgrade of internal components (faster processors, more memory, higher resolution displays) and newer software, but the design premise has remained similar. This means that for many people with a tablet, upgrades are incremental at best. That many tablets do not come with a plan means that people are not so inclined to upgrade their device. Lenovo have built their YOGA line of tablets, and especially the YOGA 3 Pro, around a different design with enough features to help persuade customers to upgrade. Their research points to how most people use their tablets for consuming media – that is, watching video or listening to music – and therefore Lenovo have built their tablet around these duties. However, Lenovo also do something different with the YOGA Tab: the device is as much about the design as it is about what is under the skin.
Here we see Lenovo combine reasonably powerful computer components with the YOGA Tab’s distinctive design, which consists of a large battery cylinder along one side of the tablet together with a built-in, rotate-out stand. The stand plus tablet orientation can be used to control certain aspects of the tablet, such as the screen mode, based on four modes: Hold, Stand, Tilt and Hang, which can change the screen mode and other device settings depending on how the device is being held (or the alignment) and on the stand position. This cylinder along the side contains a high capacity battery plus space for four large speakers and for the third generation YOGA 3 Pro, a projector. Yes: Lenovo have taken the projector idea from the larger second generation 13-inch tablet and shoehorned it into the 10-inch YOGA 3 Pro. In the case of this particular projector, it is described as a 70-inch display at 50 nits, complete with Digital Focus and Gesture Control.
Lenovo have not ignored the rest of the device and instead created what they believe to be the ideal media consumption device. The YOGA 3 Pro has a 10.1-inch QHD screen, that being 2,560 by 1,600 pixels, to give it a sharpness of 299ppi. Lenovo’s literature also highlights that the YOGA 3 Pro’s display also has 70% color gamet. Under the skin, there’s a quad core, 64-bit, Intel Atom x5-Z8500 System-on-Chip with a maximum clock speed of 2.24 GHz. This is a newer generation Intel mobile processor, built on a 14nm process size with the promise of both strong performance and power efficiency. The Atom X5 is backed up by 2 GB of RAM and either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, plus a MicroSD card slot that can add up to 128 GB of additional storage. There’s a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front facing camera, both of which include hand gesture control, plus those four front-facing speakers, which include Dolby Atmos 3D Surround Sound technology. There’s high speed, dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi radio, Bluetooth 4.0 and optional LTE connectivity, depending on the market. The hardware is wrapped up in a IP21 splash proof metal and leather chassis and is powered by a 10,200 mAh battery with the promise of eighteen hour battery life. Such a large battery might conjure up visions of needing to have it on charge for two days, but Lenovo have given the Pro 3 fast charging technology too. On the software front, the YOGA Pro 3 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop but Lenovo have given the Pro a large number of software features including the double tap wake up, smart slide, MultiWindow and voice control. Unfortunately, we don’t have any additional details at the moment as to how these features work – in particular, MultiWindow, as it would be good to see how Lenovo have improved the technology from the second generation YOGA Tab 2.
The YOGA 3 Pro is shaping up to be an interesting tablet, powered by a new generation, mid-range Intel Atom processor. Lenovo’s unusual design including the kickstand means that the YOGA is that little bit different from many competitor tablets, but if you are looking for a full size Android-based tablet for watching movies on the go, the YOGA 3 Pro is worth a look. It’ll be available from $499.