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The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro's hardware made quite an impression on me. Unfortunately, the tablet has a couple of problems on the software and performance side that hold it back from greatness.
Things start well, with a lightly customised version of Android 5.1.1. This is recognisably Google's popular mobile OS, with minimal bloat. There's just a single starting home screen, and only a discrete (and easily removable) Netflix widget and a Google search bar on show above a small selection of apps and folders.
The pull-down notification and settings menu is recognisably Android too, although I'm not a massive fan of the way it's been tweaked to blur out everything else when it's down; it almost feels like you're navigating to a separate app rather than dipping into a quick side menu, which is what it's intended as.
Bringing up the multitasking menu through the established Android virtual buttons along the bottom of the screen highlights one of the persistent issues I had with the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro's software. It's a little glitchy.
I found that pressing the virtual multitasking button would frequently result in the horizontal list of open apps stuttering and flickering, interrupting the flow of the experience and making jumping quickly between open apps a bit of a challenge.
Meanwhile, interface buttons (such as the settings shortcut in the notification menu) would often seem unresponsive, requiring a second or third press to activate.
Performance also wasn't great during my time with the Yoga Tab 3 Pro. General home screen navigation was fine, but Chrome performance was pretty terrible at times. Scrolling and general navigation through content-rich websites was often sub-par, especially when embedded videos were involved; starting up those videos would often make things worse.
How much of this is to do with the Yoga Tab 3 Pro's Intel Atom Z8500 quad-core CPU, I'm not sure. A relative lack of RAM – just 2GB – probably doesn't help.
Running the tablet through several Geekbench 3 tests suggests that it's a mid-field runner at best. An average multi-core score of 2974 pitches it roughly halfway between the entry-level Tesco Hudl 2 (at 2147) and the top-end Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (at 4077).
Putting the tablet through its gaming paces also suggests that the hardware is adequate. Dead Trigger 2 – always a good hardware test – ran well on High settings here, as did Trials Frontier and 2D fare like Badlands.
All of which suggests to me that it's the Yoga Tab 3 Pro's software that needs addressing. It simply doesn't run as well as it should in general usage at present, which is a major issue given its multimedia aspirations.
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