Lenovo IdeaTab A8 & A10 Review

June 9, 2014
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You get what you pay for.

PROS
  • Sturdy build quality
  • front facing speakers
  • Stock Android(Mostly)
  • Acceptable performance
CONS
  • Poor camera
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Competitive price
8.0
The Lenovo IdeaTab A8 and A10 aren’t perfect, but at a budget price you can’t expect them to be.  What they are though, are tablets that simply get the job done without breaking the bank, and at the end of the day that is what really matters most.
Get the Lenovo IdeaTab 8.0 on Amazon
Get the Lenovo IdeaTab 10 on Amazon

When we hear the words budget or cheap not a whole lot of good usually comes with it but Lenovo believes that can create some great tablets that won’t break the bank. Starting off with the design the A8 and A10 feature a very simplistic design with some slight curves on the corners and sides and a matte finish on the back that detract fingerprints and provides a nice grip.  The design is nothing that is going to make these tablets stand out but it’s practical and certainly gets the job done.  The front facing speakers powered by Dolby Digital Plus is the highlight of these tablets offering some great sound whether you’re listening through headphones or the speakers themselves.  Even if the speakers weren’t powered by Dolby, Lenovo got it right by putting them on the front.

Lenovo Tab A10-25

The display comes in at a resolution of 1280×800 and by no means will this resolution blow you away but you also have to keep these tablets in perspective. Pixels are noticeable especially on the a10 where the pixel density takes a much bigger hit but the displays overall are certainly passable with great colors, viewing angles, and brightness making for a very enjoyable media consuming experience.

Powering both of these tablets are some very generic specs with a 1.3 GHz MediaTek processor, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 or 16 gigs of storage on the A8 and 16 or 32 on the A10. Both feature micro SD card expansion up to 32 gigs. Again the specs aren’t anything out of the ordinary but general day to day performance has far exceeded expectations. Swiping through home screens, opening and closing apps, and browsing the web are all fairly smooth and quick and multitasking created no issues either. Gaming performance on the other hand, while certainly more than acceptable, creates for some lag and dropped frames especially with more graphically demanding titles.

Lenovo Tab A8-2

The 5 megapixel on the back of these tablets is about as basic as it gets. There’s no flash or variable focus. Like most tablet cameras it’s not going to replace the camera on your smartphone but it’s a great secondary option. It’s good enough for sharing to your favorite social networks but don’t expect professional level photography. After all, you’re dealing with a camera with very limited optics here. The batteries inside the A8 and A10 are decently sized coming in at 4,200 mAh and 6,340 mAh respectively. With heavy usage, and by heavy I mean tons of gaming, I managed to get between 6 to 6 and a half hours of screen on time on both. It certainly isn’t terrible but I’ve experienced better on other competing tablets. On the positive side these tablets idle extremely well losing between one to two percent overnight making it very easy to get a few days out of them.

The Lenovo IdeaTab 8 is nicely balanced in the hand

The Lenovo IdeaTab 8 is nicely balanced in the hand

What really helps these tablets stay up with the competition is the software. Both are running on the latest version of Android with 4.4.2 KitKat and it’s a mostly stock version of KitKat which was great to see. Lenovo does add in a few of their own touches like a custom launcher that’s filled with very bright and colorful icons and a sliding pane that can be accessed from a swipe on the left or right edge with quick shortcuts to some recently used apps. There’s also no app drawer so your home screens will get cluttered quickly without the use of folders but this is Android after all so if you want a more standard Android experience it’s as simple as downloading a good Android launcher from the Play Store.

Lenovo Tab A10-19

Bezels can sometimes be a good thing, as demonstrated by the Lenovo IdeaTab 10

The Lenovo IdeaTab A8 and A10 are available now for 179.99 and 249.99 respectively but they’re both currently on sale for $154.99 and $219.99 through Amazon so now might be the best time to make your purchase if you want to take advantage of that price. They both come in WiFi only and 3G models but as of right now it seems like the 3G model is either really hard to find or is currently unavailable. Either way, the price is quite fair for what you’re getting and the overall specs are comparable to other midrange tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 4 line.  If you were considering a tablet from the Galaxy Tab 4 line but the price was a little too steep, then the Lenovo IdeaTab A8 and A10 are great alternatives that won’t put such a big dent in your wallet.  There’s a lot of things that these tablets do pretty well and a lot of things not so well but at the end of the day these tablets are very competitively priced for what they’re capable of and are just another perfect example of you get what you pay for.

 

Lenovo IdeaTab 10 Gallery
 

Any thoughts on the Lenovo IdeaTab A10 and A8? At the end of the day – you get what you pay for, and with acceptable performance and agreeable price points, the Lenovo IdeaTab series delivers a fairly solid offering.

 

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