Lenovo A10 Tablet Review

Allen Ngo, 07/27/2014

Thin, bright, and inexpensive. The A10 manages to combine a large 10.1-inch IPS panel with a bright backlight, light weight, mainstream SoC, and a thin bezel with a future update to Android 4.4 KitKat - all for $250. We find out what's the catch to this low-cost, yet attractive consumer tablet from Lenovo.

Lenovo are certainly very familiar with 10-inch tablets, especially since they have released at least 6 different models since the beginning of 2013. We have already published reviews on the IdeaTab Yoga 10, IdeaTab Yoga 10 HD+, IdeaTab S6000, IdeaTab Miix 10, IdeaTab Miix 2 10, ThinkPad 10, and ThinkPad Tablet 2 - and these are only our 10-inch examples! In fact, it would not be far-fetched to say that many more are down the pipeline as the manufacturer had recently turned a cold shoulder to launching additional 8-inch Windows tablets in the foreseeable future.

The above Yoga and ThinkPad examples can be considered mainstream and for professional users, respectively. For more budget-conscious consumers, the Lenovo IdeaTab A series is a more barebones affair without the fancier chassis or features. Thus, the A10 is similar to the inexpensive A1000 and A2109 models in terms of options and target audience.

For $220 on Amazon, the A10 reads like a bargain: 10.1-inch IPS display, quad-core processor, bright screen, light weight, thin, and even a promised update to Android KitKat 4.4 from the manufacturer. We take a closer look at the performance of the model in our review below to see if this inexpensive tablet can hold its own against its more expensive alternatives.

Case

The A10 may be inexpensive, but its chassis reflects a higher price point at least in terms of looks. The glass front, glossy black plastic frame, and rubberized matte backing are a step up compared to the more unappealing designs of the A2109 and A1000. The slight texture of the back adds a feel of quality as opposed to generic plastic as found on these same examples. Applying pressure on the center of the front and back results in slight depressions, but certainly not extreme enough to warrant any concern.

Resistance to twisting is also good as only minimal bending is observed. Especially when compared to the very thin IdeaTab S2110, the A10 is quite rigid for a tablet at this price range. Edges and corners are more rounded compared to the boxy and sharp S2110. It may be not be as rigid as the very thick first generation Kindle Fire, but it's a fair tradeoff for reduced weight and thickness.

Aside from the edges that separate the multiple materials that make up the non-unibody casing, our test model is free from gaps, openings, and other defects. Some creaking of the case can be heard, however, even during regular use and handling. This is likely the most unattractive aspect of the chassis as the unit is otherwise well-designed for the price.

A thickness of 10.16 mm is similar to most 10-inch tablets currently in the market. Notable exceptions are the 2012 Nexus 10 and Lenovo S2110, both of which are over 1 mm thinner. The A10, however, is surprisingly light compared to these same models and even competing models. Whereas many 10-inch models are closer to 600 grams, this Lenovo is about 50 grams less. The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 is a notable exception as it comes in at just 7.3 mm thick and 469 grams, though it is much more expensive as well.

Glossy glass display
Glossy glass display
Glossy plastic black rims and edges
Glossy plastic black rims and edges
Rubberized matte blue backing
Rubberized matte blue backing

Connectivity

Available ports are limited. A microUSB port is present mainly for file transfers and charging with no physical video-out options. This is a notable drawback that the A10 shares with the Yoga Tablet 10, and is something that a number of competing tablets and even Lenovo's own S6000 have as an available feature. Thankfully, there is no proprietary charging port that is common amongst other tablets like some of Acer's Iconia models. There are no status LEDs either, however, so the unit must be turned on to check charging status. The microSD slot on the A10 lies behind the plastic flap (alongside the optional SIM slot) and supports up to 32 GB. A full-size SD card slot or even a full-size USB port would have further boosted the tablet as a multimedia device.

The microUSB port goes beyond simple charging and is able to recognize USB sticks, mice, and keyboards as plug-and-play devices. The down side is that NTFS file systems are not recognized and must be formatted by the tablet while our tested Logitech USB mouse shows a very slight input delay compared to desktop or laptop use. We attempted to connect to an external display via MHL HDMI to check for support, but alas the screen will not output or mirror to additional displays.

Front: No connectivity
Front: No connectivity
Right: No connectivity
Right: No connectivity
Top: Microphone, Power button
Top: Microphone, Power button
Left: Volume rocker, 3.5 mm audio, microUSB 2.0, microSD reader
Left: Volume rocker, 3.5 mm audio, microUSB 2.0, microSD reader

Communication

GPS Test
GPS Test

Wireless connectivity includes wireless-n, GPS, FM radio, and Bluetooth 4.0. 3G GSM/WCDMA SIM is included on model A7600-H, though Lenovo are offering just the A7600-F Wi-Fi only model as of this writing. We ran into no issues when connecting to wireless networks or Bluetooth headsets.

As for the GPS, receiving a lock without WLAN assistance can take up to five minutes, which is a bit longer than other tablets such as the Iconia Tab A211. Once received, we had no problems maintaining our fix. The signal could be stronger, however, as the GPS Test app slows an accuracy below a number of tablets including the Nexus 7.

Cameras & Multimedia

The rear 5 MP camera is average in terms of quality. Colors appear darker and more saturated with a clear purple fringing effect around edges. The lack of flash limits the camera to well-lit scenarios as well and the positioning of the camera itself next to the Power and Volume buttons means that smudges and fingerprints will be more likely to accumulate quickly on the lens cover.

As for the front-facing 2 MP camera, taking a clear picture requires the tablet to be held very still, even under good lighting conditions. Consequently, movement can be blurry if not in a bright spot. Image noise is quite prevalent, too Of course, these disadvantages are common amongst inexpensive tablets and shouldn't surprise users.

The camera software itself has plenty of features including GPS location, anti-flicker, HDR, and ISO ranging from 100 up to 1600. However, making good use of many of these settings require holding the tablet very still, especially for HDR photos, so their usefulness in day-to-day use or outdoor photography is likely to be limited for most.

5 MP rear camera suffers from glare, purple fringing, and overall inaccurate colors
5 MP rear camera suffers from glare, purple fringing, and overall inaccurate colors
Canon Rebel XSi DSLR comparison
Canon Rebel XSi DSLR comparison

Accessories

Magnetic Bluetooth keyboard
Magnetic Bluetooth keyboard

The lack of a docking port limits the A10 to generic options such as protective cases, and USB and Bluetooth devices. The manufacturer offers an optional magnetic Bluetooth keyboard made specifically to support the device like a detachable, but users needing additional ports and similar extensions may want to take a look at Lenovo's ThinkPad tablet series instead.

Warranty

The standard one-year warranty is included with purchase. As usual, warranty can be extended with Lenovo Services for additional protection and remote support.

Input Devices & Handling

The capacitive touchscreen is able to recognize and respond to touch inputs reliably and quickly. Scrolling is equally fast, but it is common for the tablet to register a tap as a swipe instead, so we found ourselves accidentally swiping through pages on the homescreen when we meant to tap on an icon.

The standard Android keyboard is built-in with haptic feedback. As expected, keys respond reliably to inputs and the large 10-inch display makes it much harder to misspell words. Swype is not included, though this is easily rectified by a short visit to the Play Market.

The Power and Volume buttons are easily accessible and never in the way during use. We would have liked more travel and tactile feedback, however, especially on the Volume buttons as they can be difficult to depress and will sometimes even stick if pressed in quick succession. Otherwise, the light weight and thin bezel both make the A10 relatively easy to use despite the large screen size.

Onscreen keyboard - Landscape
Onscreen keyboard - Landscape
Onscreen keyboard - Portrait
Onscreen keyboard - Portrait

Display

The A10 utilizes a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 resolution IPS display. This comes out to a PPI of about 150, which can be considered low by today's standards as Full HD and QHD screens are becoming increasingly common on all kinds of display sizes. The 10.1-inch Nexus 10, for example, has a PPI of almost 300 - nearly twice that of our Lenovo - and it was released in 2012. As a result, the screen on the A10 is average compared to much of the competition as texts as images are simply not as crisp around the edges and can even appear a bit blurry. Colors do not pop or impress either, so the 800p display is very standard fare.

On the bright side, contrast and brightness are very good. Lenovo claims a brightness of 330 nits, which we can confirm with our own measurements averaged over nine quadrants on the display. This is brighter than a handful of other budget tablets including the IdeaTab S6000, but more costly tablets like the Nexus 10, Yoga 10 HD+, and the Asus Transformer Prime models have much stronger backlights. Movies and videos still appear a bit blurry on the A10, unfortunately, but watchable nonetheless.

301.9
cd/m²
332.9
cd/m²
315.3
cd/m²
300.2
cd/m²
352.3
cd/m²
325.5
cd/m²
303.4
cd/m²
348.1
cd/m²
324.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2
Maximum: 352.3 cd/m²
Average: 322.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 352.3 cd/m²
Black: .466 cd/m²
Contrast: 756:1

Color analyses with the X-Rite i1Basic Pro 2 spectrophotometer show very good grayscale for a tablet of this class likely due to the high contrast ratio, which is something that the A10 shares with the IdeaTab S6000. Gamma is also very close to the sRGB ideal with great color balance.

Color accuracy across different saturation levels is where the display begins to falter. A clear trend of increasingly inaccurate colors can be observed as saturation increases, which explains how colors do not appear as deep or detailed on the A10.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker
ColorChecker

Outdoor usability is quite good for an inexpensive 10.1-inch tablet. The light weight and bright display make the A10 a better fit when outdoors compared to Acer's heavier Iconia models and others. Maximum brightness does not drop if disconnected from a charging source, so users can make full use of the 330 nits backlight as needed. We recommend a high brightness setting to reduce the impact of direct sunlight and to overcome glare as much as possible for the best results.

Good visibility under sunlight
Good visibility under sunlight
Viewing angles Lenovo A10
Viewing angles Lenovo A10

Viewing angles are again very good due to the IPS panel. We have already seen how poorly a Lenovo tablet can perform with a TN panel on the A2109, so the upgrade to IPS is certainly a relief. Combined with the high brightness, sharing the A10 with nearby friends is easy with no major concerns about color degradation at any orientation or extreme angles.

Performance

The 1.3 GHz Mediatek MT8121 is a low-power quad-core ARM SoC based on the Cortex-A7 design. It is the same processor as found on the smaller Lenovo A8 and is roughly above a Tegra 3 in terms of computational performance. Multi-thread performance according to Linpack puts it in the same ballpark as the Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 with its Snapdragon 400 MSM8226 and Google Nexus 7 2013 with its Krait S4 Pro. The 3G A10 model is expected to sport the Mediatek MT8382 SoC in order to be compatible with the additional radio.

Subjectively, system performance suffers little from stutters and latency. There is a slight delay when multi-tasking between apps, but multi-touch gestures and scrolling feel quick and near-instantaneous. 

Geekbench 3
Geekbench 3
3DMark Ice Storm
3DMark Ice Storm
Peacekeeker
Peacekeeker
AndroBench 3
AndroBench 3
System information Lenovo A10
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - System (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2679 Points ∼43%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4266 Points ∼68%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
3636 Points ∼58%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4223 Points ∼67%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
2481 Points ∼39%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5298 Points ∼84%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5298 Points ∼84%
Epic Citadel - High Quality (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
55 fps ∼92%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
59.5 fps ∼99%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
58.1 fps ∼97%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
52.8 fps ∼88%
3DMark (2013) - 1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5593 Points ∼5%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
7245 Points ∼6%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
9063 Points ∼7%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
2873 Points ∼2%
Linpack for Android - Multi Thread (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
272.043 MFLOPS ∼19%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
326.873 MFLOPS ∼23%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
253.634 MFLOPS ∼18%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
600 MFLOPS ∼42%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
225 MFLOPS ∼16%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
664.042 MFLOPS ∼46%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
664.042 MFLOPS ∼46%

We loaded our test model with various video files to test for compatibility, including .divx, .mkv, .ogg, .avi, and .mov. Out of the five files, the A10 only recognizes our 1080p Big Buck Bunny .avi and .mov files. Our .mkv file will play, but with no audio. Of course, video support can always be expanded with third-party video player apps from the Play Market. 

Playback of 1080p videos is smooth with no issues. Even our test 1080p file with its high ~40,000 kb/s bitrate plays well with no major lag or significant frame skips. Due to the 720p display, however, we recommend storing videos no larger than 720p in order to free up more internal memory.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
619 Points ∼10%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1005 Points ∼16% +62%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
611 Points ∼10% -1%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
876 Points ∼14% +42%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1853 Points ∼9%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
5217 Points ∼25% +182%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
2283 Points ∼11% +23%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
4507 Points ∼21% +143%
WebXPRT 2013 - Overall Score (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
204 Points ∼14%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
382 Points ∼27% +87%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
461 Points ∼32% +126%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
135 Points ∼9% -34%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
360 Points ∼25% +76%

Storage Devices

Internal storage is limited to 16 GB with no higher options for 32 GB or 64 GB. Usable space is a few gigabytes less as expected, so users are encouraged to utilize microSD cards to expand storage.

AndroBench 3 reveals a performance level that is in line with similarly priced tablets and overall very close to last year's Nexus 7. Sequential read is a bit slower than expected, but sequential write is slightly faster than even the much more expensive Galaxy Tab 4 10.1.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
61.13 MB/s ∼37%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
93.26 MB/s ∼56% +53%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
59.73 MB/s ∼36% -2%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
91.12 MB/s ∼54% +49%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
117.77 MB/s ∼70% +93%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
93.3 MB/s ∼56% +53%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
21.74 MB/s ∼38%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
18.29 MB/s ∼32% -16%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
13.97 MB/s ∼24% -36%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
17 MB/s ∼29% -22%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
16.71 MB/s ∼29% -23%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
16.11 MB/s ∼28% -26%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
12.7 MB/s ∼61%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
16 MB/s ∼76% +26%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
11.99 MB/s ∼57% -6%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
13.61 MB/s ∼65% +7%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
14.77 MB/s ∼70% +16%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
9.48 MB/s ∼45% -25%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Lenovo Ideapad A10
SGX544, MT8121, 16 GB eMMC Flash
0.88 MB/s ∼30%
Asus Memo Pad HD 7 ME176C
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.17 MB/s ∼40% +33%
Google Nexus 7 2013
Adreno 320, S4 Pro APQ8064A, 16 GB SSD
0.82 MB/s ∼28% -7%
Asus Transformer Pad TF103C-1B072A
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), Z3745, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.09 MB/s ∼37% +24%
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 16 GB SSD
1.83 MB/s ∼63% +108%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1.49 MB/s ∼51% +69%

Gaming Performance

The integrated PowerVR SGX 544 is similar to what the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and IdeaTab Yoga 10 use for graphics processing. It's not close to being top-of-the-line, but 3D-intensive games like N.O.V.A. 3 and Dead Trigger are playable. Frame rates are clearly below 30 FPS in most cases, so tablet gaming performance should satisfy everyone outside of hardcore console or PC gamers. Simpler games like Angry Birds or Temple Run play without hiccups on the large display.

N.O.V.A. 3
N.O.V.A. 3
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2

Emissions

Temperature

Surface temperatures are fairly uniform when idling at an average 30 degrees C on both the front and back. When under higher loads, the left and bottom thirds of the tablet become noticeably warmer while other areas barely rise in temperature. Our maximum recorded temperature was 42 degrees C on the backside compared to just 28.8 degrees C on the opposite corner.

Our high numbers are unrepresentative of everyday use as we stressed the tablet at maximum load for over an hour before taking measurements. However, users can definitely expect their left hands to become warmer than the right after extended use in landscape mode. This pattern is observed on the IdeaTab S2110 while the IdeaTab Yoga Tablet avoids it altogether by having the hot spot on the very center quadrant where hands are less likely to touch.

Max. Load
 37.6 °C30.2 °C28.8 °C 
 38.8 °C30.8 °C29.8 °C 
 38.6 °C33.8 °C34.8 °C 
Maximum: 38.8 °C
Average: 33.7 °C
28.8 °C30.2 °C39.4 °C
30.2 °C31.4 °C42 °C
32 °C33.6 °C39 °C
Maximum: 42 °C
Average: 34.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  38 °C | Room Temperature 25.5 °C | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer

Speakers

The forward-facing dual stereo speakers are sufficiently loud at maximum volume with little distortions and no vibrations. The lack of bass produces poor balance as voices sound higher pitched than normal while deeper sounds are almost buried and unheard.

We certainly prefer the speakers upfront and facing the user instead of the sides of the tablet, but the positioning of the grilles on the A10 make it easy to cover up one or both grilles with thumbs while holding onto the tablet. 

Battery Life

Lenovo advertises a battery life of "9 hours of continuous WiFi usage through its big 6340 mAh battery". Our own Wi-Fi test, which puts the display at 150 nits (or 60 percent brightness setting) with no screen timeout while looping our standard browsing script, returns just over 7 hours of continuous WiFi usage. The manufacturer does not specify how they performed their WiFi test or the display brightness setting used, so a large portion of the two hour discrepancy may be attributed to a variety of factors. At the worst case, Lenovo may have set the brightness to its minimum, so our own test can be considered more representative of real-world use.

Our recorded 7 hours of continuous use is respectable for an Android tablet, though many other 10.1-inch tablets can outlast the A10 under similar testing conditions. The IdeaTab S2110, S6000, ThinkPad 10, and Nexus 10 can all run for at least couple hours longer than the A10. The Yoga Tablet 10 can even run for over twice the hours due partly to its much denser 9000 mAh battery. 

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
18h 24min
WiFi Surfing
7h 06min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 40min

Verdict

Lenovo A10 Tablet
Lenovo A10 Tablet

For an inexpensive 10.1-inch tablet, the Lenovo A10 hits the mark on several aspects that many other budget tablets almost always miss. It has an IPS panel, sufficiently powerful SoC, large and bright glass-covered display, front and rear cameras, and a thin and attractive chassis. These qualities also allow the tablet to be much more usable outdoors compared to others in its price range, which is a huge advantage for buyers expecting to use their tablets outdoors as much as they will indoors. The optional 3G/SIM support and promised 4.4 KitKat update further cement the A10 as a recommendable low-cost tablet for users on-the-go.

On the flip side of the coin, budget tablets usually exhibit a few obvious flaws right from the get-go and the A10 is no exception. Display quality is the biggest offender as the 1280 x 800 resolution screen shows washed out colors despite its wide viewing angles and bright backlight. It may not be as bad as say the IdeaTab A2109, but the larger 10.1-inch screen and low resolution compared to much of the competition accentuates the flaw.

Outside of the screen, Lenovo have omitted a video-out port, which limits the tablet as a home multimedia device. Fortunately, wireless Cast Screen is still available should the user have compatible displays. The chassis also creaks slightly during regular use and makes the otherwise well-designed tablet feel cheaper than it appears.

If you have $200 to spend and want an Android tablet larger than 7-inches that works well both indoors and outdoors, the 10.1-inch Lenovo A10 is worth a look. At time of publish, the tablet runs for $220 on Amazon and $250 directly from Lenovo.

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In Review: Lenovo A10-59407931
In Review: Lenovo A10-59407931

Specifications

Lenovo Ideapad A10

:: Processor
Mediatek MT8121 1.3 GHz
:: Memory
1024 MB, LPDDR2 600 MHz
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
10.1 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, 10-point touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm, Card Reader: microSD, Sensors: Accelerometer, Vibration, Hall Sensor, A-GPS, FM radio,
:: Networking
4.0 Bluetooth
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10.16 x 264.16 x 177.8
:: Weight
0.5445 kg Power Supply: 0.045 kg
:: Battery
Lithium-Polymer, 6340 mAh?
:: Price
$250 USD, ~185 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear: 5 MP Fixed-focus, Front: 2 MP Fixed-focus, Speakers: Stereo, Dolby Audio, Lenovo Information Guide, Evernote, Kingston Office, AccuWeather, Norton Mobile Security, Skype, Dolby, 12 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
Lenovo A10 tablet with 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS screen
Lenovo A10 tablet with 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 IPS screen
The budget model uses a low-cost quad-core MediaTek SoC
The budget model uses a low-cost quad-core MediaTek SoC
Glass front with glossy black rims and rubberized matte plastic back
Glass front with glossy black rims and rubberized matte plastic back
Rear and front cameras good for the price
Rear and front cameras good for the price
At 10.16 mm thick, the A10 is not as thin as Lenovo's Lynx K3011
At 10.16 mm thick, the A10 is not as thin as Lenovo's Lynx K3011
Minor creaking can be heard with slight pressure or twists of the casing
Minor creaking can be heard with slight pressure or twists of the casing
Stereo speakers upfront and facing towards the user
Stereo speakers upfront and facing towards the user
No docking port for dedicated accessories, though Bluetooth keyboards are available
No docking port for dedicated accessories, though Bluetooth keyboards are available
Left side of tablet can become noticeably warmer than the right
Left side of tablet can become noticeably warmer than the right
At only half a kilogram, the A10 is light and good for one-handed use
At only half a kilogram, the A10 is light and good for one-handed use
Sadly, no video-out ports are included
Sadly, no video-out ports are included
No screws or user-friendly access to tablet innards
No screws or user-friendly access to tablet innards
Rear 5 MP camera on the same corner as the Power and Volume buttons
Rear 5 MP camera on the same corner as the Power and Volume buttons
Matte blue backing with rounded edges and corners
Matte blue backing with rounded edges and corners
Opening the plastic flap will reveal a microSD reader
Opening the plastic flap will reveal a microSD reader
Small USB adapter and cable and guide are included
Small USB adapter and cable and guide are included
Large screen makes navigation easier, but the lower resolution is a step backwards
Large screen makes navigation easier, but the lower resolution is a step backwards
Capacitive touchscreen recognizes up to 10 simultaneous inputs
Capacitive touchscreen recognizes up to 10 simultaneous inputs
Android Jelly Bean home screen
Android Jelly Bean home screen
Lenovo provides plenty of included widgets for customization
Lenovo provides plenty of included widgets for customization
16 GB internal storage with no 32 GB or 64 GB options
16 GB internal storage with no 32 GB or 64 GB options

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Pro

+Thin and lightweight
+Good system performance for the price
+Great visibility outdoors
+Large 10.1-inch IPS display
+Bright screen
+MicroSD slot
+Optional SIM/ 3G
+Android 4.2 with promised update to 4.4 KitKat
+Rubberized back has a high quality feel
+Low price
 

Cons

-Display is slightly blurry
-Poor color accuracy at higher saturation levels
-Low 150 PPI; No higher resolution options
-Creaking of the case
-No video-out support
-Volume buttons can sometimes become stuck
-Little to no bass
-Unimpressive front and rear cameras
-Speaker grilles are easily blocked
-No status LEDs

Shortcut

What we like

Low price of about $200 USD for a large IPS display from a well-known manufacturer. The light weight and thin bezel makes the tablet very easy to use. Optional 3G and SIM support make the tablet even better outdoors.

What we'd like to see

A cleaner and higher resolution display would rocket the tablet to a must-known for budget-conscious users wanting a tablet with a large screen that can also be used outdoors. A full-size USB port and video-out support would expand the A10 into a better multimedia device. The creaking case makes the chassis feel cheap when it is otherwise nice aesthetically.

What surprises us

The A10 offers a number of hardware advantages over other budget tablets including a large screen, bright display, IPS panel, light weight, and good outdoor usability.

The competition

Asus Memo Pad FHD 10

Asus Transformer Pad TF300T

Google Nexus 10

IdeaTab Lynx K3011

IdeaTab Yoga Tablet 10/ HD+

IdeaTab S6000

IdeaTab S2110

Rating

Lenovo Ideapad A10
09/08/2014 v4
Allen Ngo

Chassis
75%
Keyboard
56 / 80 → 70%
Pointing Device
90%
Connectivity
35 / 70 → 50%
Weight
82 / 88 → 88%
Battery
90%
Display
70%
Games Performance
50 / 80 → 63%
Application Performance
45 / 70 → 64%
Temperature
86%
Noise
100%
Camera
55 / 85 → 65%
Average
70%
81%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo A10 Tablet Review
Author: Allen Ngo, 2014-07-27 (Update: 2014-07-27)