Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro review

Great for media, not so great for everything else

Lenovo Yoga 3 Tab Pro review

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You won't often hear much discussion about a tablet's camera in a techradar review, for a very simple reason: tablets aren't meant for taking pictures with.

If you doubt that, ask yourself why most manufacturers tend to fit mediocre or compromised cameras to their tablets, almost as an afterthought – and why we don't tend to give said manufacturers too hard a time over it.

But I have to admit, as tablet cameras go, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro's is pretty decent. Needlessly so, perhaps, but credit where it's due.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro review

It's a 13-megapixel unit, which should immediately stand out to you as somewhat unusual. Even more atypical was the quality of the shots I was able to get.

Don't get me wrong – it won't be challenging any modern flagship smartphone for quality, but the biggest compliment I can give to the Yoga Tab 3 Pro shooting experience is that it reminded me of a decent mid-range smartphone.

Shots were fairly crisp and colours were balanced. The autofocus picked up on objects that were very close to the lens, and the resulting macro pictures captured plenty of subject detail while artfully blurring out the background.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro review

It even coped with landscape shots that contained a challenging mixture of bright skies and deep shadows – this is often too much for lesser tablet cameras, with their small image sensors and poor optics.

It's a little ironic that the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro camera is so competent, given that it's one of the bulkiest and least wieldy tablets I've used in quite some time.

I should note that there's no flash, but even indoor night time shots under artificial lighting came out reasonably well.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro review

The reason for the camera's surprising competence is perhaps found in its placement in the chunky hinge section. Most modern tablets are simultaneously very thin and possessed of huge batteries, meaning that the camera module is often a point of compromise. That doesn't appear to be the case here.

Video capture is merely adequate by modern standards, with no 4K or image stabilisation, but the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro does the job.

Music, movies and gaming

Media is pretty much the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro's bread and butter, and I've already espoused its capabilities in this area.

It's worth repeating, though, that this is a truly excellent tablet for watching films on. The 10.1-inch QHD display is sharp, bright and accurate, while the tablet's four-speaker soundbar pumps out uncommonly loud and clear audio.

Meanwhile, the simple addition of that adjustable kickstand makes it oh-so-convenient to set up wherever there's a flat surface – or even a hook.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro review

Got more than two people who want to watch a film? Then there's that built-in projector, which essentially amounts to carrying around a 70-inch TV in your bag (albeit a somewhat dim one).

You probably wouldn't want to rely on those speakers for music playback, however. Google Play Music comes pre-installed, but I'd recommend keeping a set of headphones or a bluetooth speaker on hand if you want to make use of it.

While those speakers are loud and accurate enough in general, they lack the bass and sound separation that even a bog-standard set of earbuds or a cheap speaker can provide.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro review

I've already touched on the Yoga Tab 3 Pro's gaming performance. It's perfectly capable of running pretty much anything on the Google Play Store, and running it well. It's also a surprisingly comfortable tablet to hold for gaming, in spite of – or perhaps because of – its heft.

Turn it 'upside down' so the hinge is on top, and it'll rest on your supporting fingers in a most pleasing way. You might think differently after an extended gaming session, of course, but for the odd brief blast it's great.

Here, too, those speakers play their part. In particular, their front-facing nature means you won't find yourself covering them during gameplay, or when resting the tablet on your lap.