X
CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Lenovo Tab 2 A8 is a portable, pure-Android tablet for $129 (hands-on)

Lenovo's new, smaller slate will last you through an 8-hour workday, the company claims. Read on for all the details.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

BARCELONA -- These days, if you want a cheap, smaller tablet you've plenty to choose from. Google, Apple, Amazon and myriad others make diminutive tablets that are vying for your cash, and now your choice is getting even broader, with a new 8-inch Lenovo tablet, getting an official airing here at Mobile World Congress 2015.

Portable pal

The Tab 2 A8 has an 8-inch display, making it small enough to slide into a handbag or rucksack as you jaunt merrily around town. The A8 weighs 360g (about eight-tenths of a pound), which is heavier than the 331g iPad Mini 3, but is unlikely to weigh you down unduly. It's 8.9 millimeters thin, and again while that's thicker than the 7.5mm iPad Mini 3, it's still very portable.

Shop for Lenovo Tab 2 A8

See all prices

Hands-on with the Tab 2 A8, Lenovo's $129, 8-inch Android tablet (pictures)

See all photos

The A8 comes with Dolby Atmos sound, which should give its audio a little extra kick when you've got your headphones on. Around the back of the A8 there's a 5-megapixel camera for capturing the moment. Lenovo says you can expect 8 hours of battery life, while storage enthusiasts will be happy to find a microSD card slot to beef up the capacity, should the 16GB of onboard storage not be enough.

Pure Android

In the past, Lenovo has frequently put its own spin on its Android tablets, drizzling in its own apps and interface tweaks. With the A8, however, Lenovo says, "Responding to customer feedback and demand," the A8 will run Android 5.0 Lollipop "in pure form." This likely means you'll get the Android operating system just as Google intended, which is a very clean, clear and pleasant tablet interface.

Take a tour of the phones at Mobile World Congress 2015

See all photos

Android gives you access to Google Play, which is filled to bursting with apps and services you can fill your tablet with. This puts the A8 more directly in competition with Google's Nexus 9, however, which is a very capable -- if more expensive -- raw Android tablet.

Outlook

Ultimately, the Lenovo Tab 2 A8 looks like a workmanlike tablet computer, but with such fierce competition out there from bigger, more established names, it's tough to see what sets the A8 apart. Here's hoping it can convince us when it comes time for the full review.

The A8 should be affordable, starting at $129 (which translates to roughly £85 or AU$165) for a Wi-Fi-only version, though a dual-SIM version with LTE is also going to be available. The A8 goes on sale in June, so stay tuned.

Watch this: What is Mobile World Congress?