Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 8 Review: A Budget-Friendly Android Slate

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Design & Software

Though many manufactures seem to be striving to build the thinnest tablets possible, Lenovo has taken a different approach with this device. Sure, most of it is very thin, but the left side has a tube-shaped grip about half an inch thick. That grip houses the kickstand, which can flip out to create multiple usage modes. In our opinion, the kickstand is well worth the extra thickness in the Tab 3 8.

hookmode yoga tab 3 8

For one thing, you can stand the tablet up on any flat surface in widescreen mode, which is perfect for watching videos when the device is roughly eye-level or a little lower. If you’re going to be leaning over the tablet (say, when it’s on an airplane seat tray, or a countertop), you can flip the tablet and use the kickstand to raise one end just a bit. And, if you happen to have a hook handy, you can actually hang the tablet by the notch in the kickstand. 

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The left side of the Yoga Tab 3 8 also makes for a handy grip when you’re reading (assuming you hold the tablet in your left hand) and enables the tablet’s rotating camera. As unusual as the tablet’s shape is in comparison to most other products in this category, the device remains reasonably light at just 1.03 pounds. It comes in just one color, though: slate black.

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The sides of the tablet are mostly bare. The power button sits at one end of the grip, while the audio jack is at the other end. The micro USB port (for the power cord) and the volume buttons are the only other items on the tablet’s sides. The micro SD port is hidden behind the kickstand, which locks into place when not in use and has a release button that’s easy to find.

hand yoga tab 3 8

Many people who purchase the Yoga Tab 3 will likely buy it with streaming video in mind, so we fired up Netflix and HBO NOW, neither of which were pre-installed on the device and had a very good experience. The display is crisp (though not as crisp as you'd see in higher-resolution displays) and reasonably bright. Just as importantly, the speaker volume is more than loud enough for an 8-inch tablet.

Software

The Yoga Tab 3 8 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop. Lenovo keeps the tablet very clean, adding just McAfee Security and a couple basic Lenovo-branded utilities. Even McAfee Security has a light footprint – most of its services are downloadable, rather than already installed.

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One tool that’s worth discussing is Dolby Atmos, the sound app Lenovo bundles with the Yoga Tab 3 8. The tablet is geared towards entertainment, so Atmos is a welcome addition, providing customizations for watching movies, listening to music, playing games and other scenarios. You can let the software do all the work with a preset, or you can adjust the equalizer yourself to fine tune the tablet's audio to your liking. Overall, the sound quality out of this device is well above average, especially considering its size.

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