Lenovo isn’t typically known for Android devices, but they have made a few tablets and phones in the past that run Android. All week I’ve been using the IdeaTab A2107 from Lenovo, it was released this January and is available on AT&T right now for $99 on a contract or $199 outright. The IdeaTab A2107 isn’t the typical piece of Android hardware that we review around here. It’s not a flagship tablet by any means. In fact I’d call it a budget tablet. It runs Android 4.0.3 along with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage (with a microSD card slot), but the display is a 1024×600 TFT display and it’s 7-inches. Not the best looking display on there. The processor is a 1GHz Cortex A9 Mediatek 6575, so not the most powerful processor either. But it does get the job done, I haven’t seen much lag with this tablet given the specs it has I’d expect it to lag every now and then.
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The design on the IdeaTab isn’t too bad, but it does feel a bit heavy. I’ve been using a Nexus 7 since last summer, so I’m used to a lightweight 7-inch tablet, and comparatively to the IdeaTab A2107, it feels much bulkier and thicker. But as you can see in the image below, they are actually about the same thickness, although the Nexus 7 is a bit taller.
There’s a part on the back that pops off, it’s supposed to pop back on but it just won’t stay on. Not sure if it’s just a faulty unit or if it’s normal for this device. The bezel around the tablet is about as thick as the Nexus 7, and it is portable. Maybe not for everyone, but it could easily fit in my pocket.
The IdeaTab A2107 also has a 3.15MP camera on the back with a VGA camera on the front. Which we’ll go over how good or bad the camera’s are a bit further down in the review. Both camera’s also shoot 720p video if you were wondering.
Like I said, the IdeaTab is running Android 4.0.3 – Ice Cream Sandwich. So it’s not the most up-to-date tablet, considering it was announced and released back in January of this year, you’d expect it to have at least Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean. It’s also running Lenovo’s custom skin on top which isn’t too bad, or to intrusive like others we’ve seen from HTC and Samsung just name a couple. In fact you probably won’t notice it too much. The tablet does use that famous tablet mode, but I still think tablet mode is a bit odd on a 7-inch tablet. On a 10-incher, I feel it’s much better because of the extra space.
As far as Lenovo’s custom skin, lets start at the lock screen. To unlock you have to touch the circle, wait a second or two then drag it out to unlock. A bit of a hassle if you want to check something really quickly. The home screen is standard ICS, but you can just long press and remove widgets and apps, you have to go to into editing mode then hit the red x in the corner. Kinda like on iOS. Then the App drawer. It has this 3D carousel, similar to the home screens on Sense 3 and 3.5. To me it’s just doing to much and needs to be toned down. It slows down the app drawer quite a bit for me. Which is a pretty big problem in my opinion. Settings are pretty much the usual stock settings, not to much has changed there with Lenovo’s custom skin.
There aren’t any real features on this IdeaTab that would set it apart from other tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich. But it does have Audio profiles in the settings. Where you can set it to General, Silence, Meeting and Outdoors. Which, as you probably thought, will change the volume level. There’s also an option in settings to schedule a power on/off. So for instance you can set it to turn on at 7am so you can check your email, etc., and power off at midnight when you go to bed.
There’s not a whole lot of Lenovo apps that come with this tablet, but there are quite a few games. You can see them all in the images above. You can also uninstall each and every one of those non-Google apps, which I did not only to test but because they use up space I can use for other things.
Unfortunately, Battery stats do not exist in the settings. I guess Lenovo removed them. But the IdeaPad A2107 can last me all day and still have about 40% left. That’s with using Google Music most of the day and watching a movie and surfing Google+, Twitter, etc., so not too bad for a tablet with a 3550mAh battery. The battery does pretty well when playing games like Dead Trigger, and Grand Theft Auto as well.
Java Script Performance
Low Level FP
Linpack measures the speed of your ROM and CPU. It measures the MFLOPS which are millions of floating point operations per second. The IdeaTab A2107 scored okay-ish in this benchmark. But it could certainly do better.
The Basemark benchmark measures the GPU performance, and the IdeaTab scored a pretty sad looking 6.32. Which is pretty low. Most other devices score in the 60 range, just for comparison. That’s both mid-range and high-end devices, like the LG Motion 4G and Nexus 4.
As you can see form the images above and below, the camera on the IdeaTab A2107 isn’t the best camera out there. But it does get the job done if you are some place and want to snap a quick photograph. It definitely won’t replace your phone or digital camera.
The display, well we talked about briefly already. But it’s not the best. Maybe I’ve just used to many HD displays lately, like the Droid DNA, Nexus 4, Galaxy S3, etc., but the display looked pretty bad. I also noticed that when you touch icons on the display, you have to press down a bit to register the touch. You can check out the video below to see exactly what I mean. But it is a 7-inch TFT 1024×600 display.
The IdeaTab is a Wifi and 3G tablet. The version I have is the Wifi version, it works pretty good. It also has Bluetooth connectivity and that’s about it. So nothing to fancy here. The IdeaTab is actually a dual-SIM tablet, probably for those in countries like China where they often switch between SIMs. Here in the US, we don’t typically see those devices.
Color Options: The IdeaTab A2107 only comes in Black, as far as I could tell. I wasn’t able to find it in any other colors.
Pricing: It’s available at AT&T for $99 on a 2-year contract and $199 outright. The Wifi only version is $179.
- The kinda, sorta, almost Stock Android feel
- Price, it is rather cheap, almost the same price as the Nexus 7
- Very budget device like specs
- Running ICS which was outdated almost a year ago
The IdeaTab A2107 isn’t a completely bad tablet. In fact if the Nexus 7 hadn’t came out last year, this would probably be one of the best tablets out there in this price range. But with the Nexus 7 being $199-249 with much better specs, and much more lightweight, it’s hard to recommend this one. The hardware does look and feel great which you’d expect from Lenovo. What I’m trying to say here is that if you want a 3G tablet on AT&T and want to spend $100 or less, this is your choice, and probably only choice. but if you don’t mind spending a bit more, the Nexus 7 is what you should buy.