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Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 review:

A good screen (and not much else) for a great price

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The Good The Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 is an affordable tablet with a full HD screen. The pre-loaded Dolby app significantly improves audio quality. It has a microSD card slot to increase its base storage capacity.

The Bad Large games take a undesirably long time to load. The tablet feels uncomfortable after holding it for a long time.

The Bottom Line The Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 offers one of the sharpest HD screens for the price, making it an attractively affordable option for heavy video-watchers.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

6.3 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0

Review Sections

Screen quality and price are two of the most important features of a tablet. There's no shortage of expensive high-end models with stunning HD displays, however, affordable options with similarly impressive screens are almost nonexistent. That's why the Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 is a special case, as it has a 1,920x,1200 resolution screen.

Though it's half the price of a typical high-end tablet, the Lenovo Tab 2 A10 isn't half bad. Starting at $200 (Official UK pricing hasn't been announced, but pricing converts to roughly £130. Australia availability also hasn't been made public, though price roughly converts to AU$255), the 10-inch tablet is average at best in most aspects -- like most inexpensive tablets -- except for one important feature: screen quality. It's one of the most affordable options with a full HD display and, to complement the HD content on the screen, it also has powerful Dolby-enhanced speakers for crisp and loud audio.

On the flipside, everything else about the tablet is unremarkable. Its humdrum design is unfashionably thick and its heavy weight causes discomfort after using it for awhile. Performance is also just average, chugging along fine for basic tasks like checking email and surfing the Web, and slowing to a crawl when downloading apps or playing graphics-intense games.

For a cheap tablet, the Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 is an attractive option. Not cheap in a pejorative sense; it indeed costs less than its best competition. With its sharp display and crisp speakers, you'll be hard pressed to find another 10-inch tablet that offers the same for less. If you don't want to spend a lot on a tablet for heavy video-watching, the Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 should go to the top of your list.

Design

If you haven't held a skinny tablet like the iPad Air 2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab S2, you probably won't notice how girthy and heavy the Lenovo Tab 2 A10. It's by no means a brick; it just eschews the "thin is in" tablet trend. For an inexpensive tablet, this is commonplace.

The midnight blue plastic back panel features a smooth texture with a matte finish. In certain light, it radiates a subtle metallic shimmer. On the top of the back panel you'll find speakers that extend the entire width of the tablet, save for the rear camera in the center that separates them.

Dimensions compared

Tested spec Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7 Amazon Fire HD 10
Weight 1.10 pounds (499g) 1lb (450g) 0.95 pound (432g)
Width (landscape) 9.7 inches (247mm) 9.5 inches (241.3mm) 10.3 inches (262mm)
Height 6.7 inches (171mm) 6.6 inches (167mm) 6.3 inches (159mm)
Depth 0.35 inch (8.9mm) 0.30 inch (7.5mm) 0.30 inch (7.7mm)
Side bezel width (landscape) 0.5 inch (12.7mm) 0.5 inch (12.7mm) 0.75 inch (19mm)

The edges of the tablet are flat, with a ridge created by the front panel meeting the back panel. It's not sharp or incredibly protruding, so resting any fingers on the sides is still comfortable. From top to bottom, the left edge is home to the power button, volume rocker, micro-USB port and microSD card slot. Sitting alone towards the center of the top edge is the headphone jack.

The Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 is decently comfortable. The rounded edges are a bit pointed, and when holding the tablet for awhile, they start to dig into your palms. Its 1.10-pound (499g) weight is most apparent in these moments. When holding it for long periods of time, I found myself constantly shifting and changing my grip. This isn't strange for a handheld device like this, however, in comparison to the designs of other tablets, like the more streamlined Samsung Galaxy Tab A 9.7, it doesn't have that melt-in-your-hand feel. If you're holding the tablet for hours, whether you're watching a movie or lurking social networks, this discomfort is a needlessly annoying aspect of an otherwise pleasant tablet.

The buttons meekly protrude from the left edge. Josh Miller/CNET

Features

Inexpensive tablets not only ignore conventional beauty standards, they also skimp on the software features. The Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 runs on a mostly pure version of Android Lollipop 5.0.1 and, unlike previous models, it features an app tray to easily peruse all of your apps in one central location.

Lenovo preloads some of its own apps, like a browser, contacts, and calendar, and it also includes the SyncIt and ShareIt apps. SyncIt allows you to sync your contacts and back up or restore your SD card, and ShareIt allows you to share documents with another tablet, phone or PC. Neither are essential, but if you're a newbie, they're convenient to have loaded onto the tablet and easy to use.

An app tray is a useful centralized location for all of your apps. Josh Miller/CNET

Hardware

The Lenovo Tab 2 A8 houses a 1.7GHz quad-core Mediatek MT8165, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot that's expandable up to 64GB.

Other features include Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and accelerometer.

Easy on the wallet, not hands. Josh Miller/CNET

Performance

The Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 does just fine for casual use. You can expect to write emails, check social networks, and stream videos just fine. It's smooth, though not very fast, and the tablet tends to slow down a lot when downloading apps, though that can be said of many tablets.

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