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Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star

What's Hot: Affordable 8" tablet with a colorful and sharp display, built-in kickstand and a big battery.

What's Not: It won't win any races against high end Android tablets, but that's fair for the $169 price.


Reviewed October 23, 2015 by , Editor in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

The Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 is the meatloaf of Android tablets. It's appealing and you know a lot of folks will hunker down with one, but it's not glamorous. That's not to say it's a bad looking tablet--- Lenovo Yoga tablets are in fact good looking thanks to their tapered silhouette, barrel hinge and metal flip-down kickstand that integrates so nicely into the overall design. But this is a $169 tablet with an 8" display, and for that price you know you're not getting top specs or a light tablet. The Yoga has a soft touch black plastic back that's grippy and it has fairly large bezels. It has a low end Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU. Did you know that there's a Snapdragon 200 series? Most folks know about the 800, 600 and maybe 400 series, but this is the lowly Snapdragon 212 (Lenovo avoids mention of that and refers to it by its Qualcomm MSM number instead). The good news is that mobile CPUs are so fast that even a low end CPU allows for a usable experience.

The Yoga Tab 3 is an Android 5.1.1 tablet and it's fairly clean without the heavy UI customizations Lenovo employed in older models. It has single band WiFi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, a GPS with GLONASS and an 8MP camera that swivels so it's both the front and rear camera. As with all Lenovo Yoga Tabs, it has a capacious battery in the barrel hinge for long battery life. For those who prefer a larger tablet, it's also available in a 10" size.


Lenovo knows that a good looking display is one of the most important features--if you look at the screen and say "bleh", it won't sell. The 1280 x 800 display won't win resolution awards, but it provides sufficient pixel density at 8 inches, so I doubt anyone would complain or claim to eyeball individual pixels. It's an IPS display with good viewing angles, pleasing blacks, good contrast and vivid colors. It makes for a nice experience when viewing movies and photos and is sharp enough when reading eBooks or web pages. It's a much better display than you'll find on no-name Android tablets in the lower price ranges.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

The Yoga Tab 3 has Lenovo's AnyPen digitizer, where you can literally use any pen or pointed object as a stylus. The glass is hardened and resists marks from pens and pencils, though it always makes me feel squeamish to use a writing implement on a glass screen. Lenovo has encouraged us to test using screwdrivers and scissors, which we've done without damaging the glass.

Build and Quality

Beyond the attractive display, the Yoga Tab 3 is better built and is more attractive than many budget tablets. It feels sturdy and is rigid. The metal rotating kickstand is robust and designed to be strong enough to use the tablet as a wall hanger. The stand's action is firm and it holds the tablet upright against spirited pokes on the touch screen. This isn't an infinite position hinge however; it locks into one of 3 positions: upright for use, closed flush and straight up as a wall hanger. Given the barrel design, you can use it on a table with a slight angle for better viewing, and the barrel acts like a magazine's spine for holding when reading. The back is rubbery plastic and the 180 degree swivel camera in the barrel hinge makes a satisfying set of clicks as you rotate it, not unlike a precision instrument. At 1.04 lbs. it's a heavy 8" tablet that weighs as much as the 9.7" iPad Air 2, and it's far heavier than Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 8" model. Something has to give with a price this low.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3


It's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. The 1.3 GHz quad core Snapdragon 212 with 1 gig of RAM does lag here and there, sometimes more often than not. Again, in this price range, you won't get blistering performance or even consistently snappy performance. But I'd assume that buyer expectations aren't lofty in this price segment, and it delivers a functional experience. With 1 gig of RAM, you'll want to keep an eye on multitasking, particularly with heavy apps like games and YouTube. The tablet has 16 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot under a plastic door on the back.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3

Lenovo has thankfully dropped their heavy-handed UI overlay and gone with a much cleaner Android 5.1.1 experience. Since this is a budget tablet, I wouldn't expect years of OS upgrade support. In fact, I'm not sure it will get any OS version updates.


Deals and Shopping:


Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Video Review



  Quadrant AnTuTu 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited Geekbench 3
  10,157 19,166 5352 334/1094
Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 28,128 53,165 17,620 1254/4308
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 21,513 32,927 13,475 935/ 2739
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (LTE) 22.278 37,786 16,434 937/2739
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 23,355 34,890 13,785 908/2807
Dell Venue 8 7480 21,314 43,926 18,343 787/2456
Nexus 9 13,728 56,937 26,307 1950/3318
NVIDIA Shield Tablet 21,414 51,838 30,364 51119/3407
Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 7054 16,214 3299 N/A
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 9181 17,239 4615 N/A

Battery Life

This tablet has a relatively large 6200 mAh battery in the hinge. The big battery combined with the low end CPU and 1280 x 800 resolution display translate into excellent battery life. I simply could not kill the battery in less than three days with moderate use.


What a great idea: instead of using multiple camera modules and thereby increasing cost, use one swiveling camera. That means your front camera is no longer a second class citizen with much lower resolution than the main rear camera; a nod to the selfie craze. Given the camera's location at the lower left in the barrel hinge, you probably should opt for selfies and video chat in portrait orientation to avoid an unflattering under the chin view. The camera takes decent photos, even in low light, but video quality maxes out at 720p and it's pretty noisy and blocky.

Lenovo Yoga Tab 3


If you're looking for a name brand Android tablet on a budget, the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 is worth a serious look. It's not as slim and light as some of Samsung's lower end tablets, but it has a classier look and a robust build that I'd trust with kids. The built-in kickstand is as ever a nice touch, but I suspect it's more useful with 10" and larger tablets, since this one isn't hugely heavy or unwieldy to hold. That kickstand is meant for landscape use, and I suspect a lot of folks will use this as an eBook reader in portrait mode. The screen is very colorful and sharp, and it's up to the task of video playback and quality time in Kindle, Nook or Google Play Books. Just don't expect it to handle demanding 3D games with high frame rates or to multitask like a champ.

Price: $169


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Display: 8" IPS touch screen. Resolution: 1280 x 800.

Battery: 6200 mAh Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable.

Performance: 1.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 quad core processor. 1 gig RAM and 16 gigs internal storage.

Size: 8.27 x 5.75 x 0.3 inches. Weight: 1.04 pounds.

Camera: 8MP swiveling camera that can record 720p video.

Audio: Built in stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos audio enhancements, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack.

Networking: Integrated single band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0.

Software: Android OS 5.1.1 Lollipop. Standard suite of Google Android applications including web browser, email, gmail, YouTube, Maps, Google Now and the Google Play Stores.

Expansion: 1 SDHC microSD card slot.


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