Google’s Nexus 7, Amazon’s Kindle Fire(s) and Apple’s iPad mini have taken the dull and monotonous 7-inch tablet fight from the past few years and have transformed it into a high-stakes take no prisoners kind of war.
And even if the trio seems to have formed a rather exclusivist circle at the top of the market niche, that can’t stop other manufacturers’ trying to get a piece of the “cake”. One OEM that still looks focused on the 7-inch tab market is Lenovo, who’s now partnered with Vodafone and has released the Smart Tab 2.
Though the slate is marketed under the Vodafone brand, you will surely recognize the similarities between it and Lenovo’s IdeaTab A2107. Not only do the two tablets look almost identical on the exterior (both weighing 400 grams and measuring 0.45 inches in thickness), but they share most of their internals too.
That means the Smart Tab 2, like the A2107, is powered by a pretty modest single-core 1 GHz MTK6575 processor and 1 GB of RAM. The fresh new tab also comes with 3G connectivity, while on-board storage is a measly 4 GB (the A2107 comes in additional 8 and 16 GB variants).
The 7-inch display is also very familiar, sporting a 1024 x 600 pixels resolution, while the 3,550 mAh battery should hold its own for up to 10 hours on a single charge, according to official claims (more like 7 or 8 in real life).
Unfortunately, though Lenovo and Vodafone have had enough time to up A2017’s software ante, the Smart Tab 2 still runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The rest of the features are themselves nothing special, but include all of the standards, like dual cameras (2 MP on the back and 0.3 MP on the front), microSD support, Wi-Fi b/g/n, DLNA, Bluetooth 3.0, and GPS.
With that kind of modest spec sheet, the only thing that might draw your attention towards the Smart Tab 2 is the pricing. Vodafone UK has it starting at £29 with a 24-month contract, while if you want the tab without any strings attached you’ll have to cough up £150. That’s definitely affordable, but is it really cheap enough to make this little guy compete against the likes of the Nexus 7?
We don't know yet, but if you want some added speed and extra heft, Vodafone and Lenovo will soon have a 10-inch model of the Smart Tab 2 up for grabs. This will sport a 1280 x 800 pix res display and will be powered by a dual-core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 CPU.
Though it will also only run Android 4.0 ICS, the 10-incher has a bunch of advantages compared with its smaller brother, including 16 GB of on-board storage, a much larger 6,340 mAh battery, a 5 MP rear-facing camera, and HDMI. No words on pricing yet, but as soon as we'll find out something we'll come back to you.
Anyone looking to grab one of the two tabs? Why? Why not?