Tablets like thehave shown that cheap devices can still offer a great experience from impressive components. Evidently, Lenovo wasn't paying attention, as the IdeaTab A2107 doesn't provide much to smile about.
It's a 7-inch slate with a single core 1GHz processor, running the older Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It has dual SIM-card slots to help with data roaming abroad, but one of those is 2G, which is daft.
Should I buy the Lenovo IdeaTab A2107?
A thousand times no. Its cheap price tag might be appealing, but sacrifices have been made everywhere, resulting in a tablet that's horrific in almost every way.
Its 7-inch screen has such a low resolution that text and icons look fuzzy, vibrancy and colours are poor and viewing angles are a joke. It's powered by a weedy processor that gave some of the worst test scores I've seen in a long time. Swiping around the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich interface is sluggish, clunky and depressing.
For only £10 more you can snag the Google Nexus 7, which offers a far superior high-definition screen, a super-charged quad-core processor and the latest Android Jelly Bean software. The A2107 might offer expandable storage, but that's nowhere near enough to make up for its failings everywhere else.
Design and build quality
Outwardly, the A2107 is totally unremarkable. The back is simply an expanse of black, rubberised plastic, broken up only by the Lenovo logo in the middle and the camera lens at the top. A small section of the top of the back plate can be removed, giving access to the SIM card slots and the microSD card slot.
There's otherwise very little to say about the design. It's totally boring, but it's at least inoffensive. If you want sleek metal curves and stylish edging then you'll want to splash a little more cash on the.
It's 192mm long, 122mm wide and 11.5mm thick, making it roughly the same size as the Nexus 7. It's easy enough to slide into a jacket pocket, although at 400g, it's probably pushing the limit of what you'd really be comfortable with hanging in your coat.
Build quality is acceptable, although there was enough flex in the back casing to cause some distortion on the screen -- but only if you push pretty hard. The only problem area is the removable piece at the top which is pretty fiddly to slot back in and could easily be lost.
On the top you'll find the micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It comes with 16GB of storage as standard, but you can expand that with a micro SD card -- an option not available on the Nexus 7.
It also allows you to pop in two separate SIM cards. You might find that handy if you frequently travel abroad and want to keep in a local data SIM so you don't rack up huge roaming bills. It's a nice idea in theory, but one of the slots is 2G only, making it pretty useless as a data-specific device. You'd be far better off just using a Wi-Fi dongle and connecting any device you use to the Internet through that.
The 7-inch screen has a 1,024x600-pixel resolution which is less than you'll find on the Nexus 7. It's not a massive amount less, but the generally awful quality of the screen means the difference is surprisingly noticeable.
Icon edges and small text are poorly defined and the terrible colours means that the usually crisp white text under apps on the home screen is dull and quite difficult to read. It's worlds apart from the pin-sharp display offered by the Nexus 7 and 10-inch Nexus 10 tablets.