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Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8 review

 Review: June 2016  

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8-inch is a low-cost tablet with a unique design. The Yoga features an integrated cylindrical core that houses the camera, speakers, battery and a built-in stand. You can use it to grip the tablet in portrait mode, or to prop it up in portrait mode for watching video.


A unique tablet design

You'll either love the Yoga Tab 3 or hate it. No other options are permitted!

Other tablets are designed to be slim and lightweight. The Yoga Tab 3 however, goes out of its way to be bulky, heavy and asymmetric. But there's method in its madness. The tablet is extremely well made for a budget model. But the feature that makes the Yoga Tab 3 unique is the cylindrical core along one edge. This cylinder is heavy, as it contains a large battery, a rotating camera, stereo speakers, and a built-in stand. The stand can be used to support the tablet in landscape mode, for watching video, or it can be used to grip the tablet with one hand in portrait mode, using the other hand to operate the touchscreen. You can also place the tablet on a desk and use the cylinder to tilt the keyboard; and you can even hang the tablet on a hook, for some reason we can't really fathom.

So that's four ways to use the Yoga that you can't with any other tablet. Are you sold yet? No? Well, let's mention that the cylinder gives space for some high-quality speakers, so it will totally beat a conventional tablet for audio. And that the camera rotates, so you can use it both front and rear. And that the Yoga has the best battery life of any 8-inch tablet.

These are all good things, but can't hide the fact that welding a heavy cylinder to the side of a tablet comes with some downside, not least that this is the heaviest 8-inch tablet ever! It's heavier than a lot of 10-inch tablets. It's bulky too. So, like we said, you'll either love it or hate it.

Budget specs

The Lenovo Yoga tab 3 is positioned at the bottom end of the tablet market. It's very cheap. And that means that it's not very well equipped.

You can see this with the low-end screen. Although this IPS display is bright and colourful, it's not very sharp at all, with a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution making text blocky. This isn't a problem if you're watching Netflix, but isn't so good for reading your email.

The CPU is low-end too, running at 1.1GHz, which is so slow it's really off the scale. Apps can take a long time to load, and you don't want to run anything heavy on this platform. The fact that only 1GB of RAM is available just compounds the problem.

The rotating camera is a neat idea, but don't expect too much from this 8 megapixel snapper.

Basic connectivity essentials are here - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB. And battery life is very strong, thanks to the device's 6200mAh battery and low energy consumption. 10 - 14 hours between charges is a real possibility with the Yoga 3.

Conclusion - a unique proposition

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 is a well-made tablet with a unique design concept, and one that lends itself to watching videos. The built-in stand and high-quality speakers provide the perfect platform for a Netflix binge, and the long battery life can power you right the way through a box set.

As a general-use tablet it's a less compelling option. The low-end specs and ungainly design limit what it can do. But always remember that this is one of the cheapest tablets currently available, so don't judge it harshly.

Other low-cost tablets include the Amazon Fire HD 8 and ASUS ZenPad 10.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8 features include:

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