Lenovo IdeaTab S2110A review: A good performer with bad build quality

Performance
The tablet houses an in-plane switching (IPS) screen with a display resolution of 1,280x800 pixels. The screen sports wide viewing angles, and a nice high brightness. Compared with Tegra 3-based tablets such as the Sony Xperia Tablet S , the animation when swiping through screens is anything but smooth. However, navigating through menus is fast and most apps open fairly quickly. The S2110A was the slowest tablet of those I compared it with when loading the first level in the game N.O.V.A. 3, however.

N.O.V.A. 3 on the S2110A runs smoothly. Just watch out for those blurry textures. Josh Miller/CNET

Test Lenovo IdeaTab S2110A Sony Xperia Tablet S Apple iPad Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
N.O.V.A. 3 first level loading time (in seconds) 41 38 17 36

Speaking of N.O.V.A. 3, once I actually got into the game I was impressed by the S2110A's ability to maintain high frame rates in the midst of some pretty intense action; however, where the Snapdragon S4 processor impressed in raw polygon pushing power, it disappointed in its ability to display detailed textures. At least in N.O.V.A. 3. Compared with processors such as the Tegra 3 in the Sony Xperia Tablet S or the Exynos 4412 in Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 , the S2110A's textures were downright blurry in most cases.

Textures in N.O.V.A. 3, running on the S2110A, lack detail; however, the frame rate remained consistently higher than the frame rates of the Sony Xperia Tablet S, which houses a Tegra 3 processor. Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET

The same scene as above running on the Sony Xperia Tablet S. Notice the more detailed textures here compared with the first shot. Screenshot by Eric Franklin/CNET

Tested spec Lenovo IdeaTab S2110A Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Sony Xperia Tablet S
Maximum brightness (Super IPS+) 437 cd/m2 422 cd/m2 (644 cd/m2) 411 cd/m2 335 cd/m2
Default brightness 135 cd/m2 112 cd/m2 175 cd/m2 136 cd/m2
Maximum black level (Super IPS+) 0.48 cd/m2 0.34 cd/m2 (0.53 cd/m2) 0.47 cd/m2 0.17 cd/m2
Default black level 0.15 cd/m2 0.1 cd/m2 0.22 cd/m2 0.06 cd/m2
Default contrast ratio 900:1 933:1 874:1 2,266:1
Contrast ratio (Super IPS) 910:1 1,241:1 (1,215:1) 795:1 1,970:1

The S2110A's Web browsing speeds using Chrome and its app download swiftness were on the slower end compared with other tablets:

Lenovo IdeaTab S2110A Sony Xperia Tablet S Asus Transformer Infinity TF700T Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
CNET.com load speed (in seconds) 9 6 9 6

Lenovo IdeaTab S2110A Sony Xperia Tablet S Asus Transformer Infinity TF700T Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Deer Hunter Reloaded (275MB) download speed (in seconds) 178 102 222 120

Here are our official CNET Labs-tested battery life results. More tablet testing results can be found here.

Video battery life (in hours)
Lenovo IdeaTab S2110 8.9

Cameras
Take the level of quality you'd expect from a front-facing tablet camera intended for Skype calls and such, then ratchet it down a few notches, and you'll have a good idea of what to expect here. If snowy images and washed-out colors were what you were looking for, you're in luck. Thankfully, the camera captures a good amount of light, so images aren't as dark as you get from some tablets.

The eye is watching you! No, really, it is. I'm not kidding. I'm not leading you to more information here, unless that information is instructing you to hide! No, seriously. You'll want to be hiding. Now. Josh Miller/CNET

The LED-flash-supported back camera fared much better, delivering fairly detailed shots, albeit with a lack of color and vibrancy. In comparison, the Transformer Infinity's 8-megapixel back camera captured more detail with fuller, more accurate color.

Conclusion
The S2110A's closest competitor is the Asus Transformer Pad TF300, which can currently be found for as low as $350 (16GB). The Asus offers many of the same options as the S2110A and has comparable games performance, but also includes microSD storage expansion, a better back camera, and an OTA (over-the-air) Jelly Bean OS update awaiting new users. Right now, the S2110A can be found for about $370 for just the tablet and as low as $480 for the tablet/keyboard combo; unfortunately, the S2110A isn't quite worth either price.

It's not a bad tablet, it's just that compared with similar tablets on the market, the S2110A costs too much, given its shoddy design and lack of features.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Wireless Connectivity IEEE 802.11g
  • Type Android 4.0
  • Weight 20.5 oz
  • Operating System Android 4.0
  • Storage 16 GB integrated
  • Processor QUALCOMM Snapdragon APQ8060A
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