We’ve looked at a few Lenovo Android tablets over the past year or so, and, so far, none of them has blown us away. They’ve been able enough efforts, but none of them had that little bit extra to push it over the top.
The most recent of them was the, a 9.7-inch Android slate with a dual-core processor. It has only 8GB of storage, yet it’s still more costly than the IdeaTab we’re reviewing here: the $299-list IdeaTab A2109A, which is a 9-inch slate with 16GB of memory and a Tegra 3 quad-core CPU.
While $299 is a decent price for an Android tablet of this size built around a quad-core chip, this one has a few drawbacks. First, the A2109A’s cameras are subpar, compared to those in some other slates we’ve tested. Second, and far more important, is the display: Its screen is mediocre, and a tablet is nothing if not its screen.
Consider that this IdeaTab’s display is the same resolution (1,200×800 pixels) as the $249-list , a very popular 7-inch model with a great-looking, highly detailed screen. Even with its extra spread, the A2109A’s display panel is not nearly as vibrant and clear as the Nexus 7′s. Tablets—any tablet—should display graphics, videos, and photos well, but, as you’ll see in the Features & Apps section later in this review, this IdeaTab falls short in this way.
Aside from the less-than-stellar screen and cameras, though, the A2109A was a solid Android citizen. It performed well in our suite of benchmark tests, even on our Battery-Rundown Test. It also comes with an SRS-enhanced sound system that delivers better-than-average audio—for a tablet, that is.
Music, video soundtracks, and games sound good, but, unfortunately, the lackluster display makes this a poor choice if you’ll be using your tablet mainly as a media-consumption device, such as for watching movies. The Google Nexus 7, even considering that the screen is smaller, displays videos much better, as does the aforementioned IdeaTab S2109 and several other slates near the same price.
Although this IdeaTab contains a respectable set of connectivity options, such as USB and HDMI-out, before we can recommend it as a personal entertainment device, it would need a better screen. As is, it’s a good fit for browsing Web sites, managing e-mail, texting, listening to music, and performing other non-graphics-intensive tasks. Quite a few other models of the same screen size (or smaller) work better for viewing videos and photos, though.
Finish reading this at Computer Shopper.