Review: Lenovo TAB 2 A8 Android tablet

Brittany A. Roston - Jun 18, 2015, 5:00 pm CDT
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Review: Lenovo TAB 2 A8 Android tablet

At Mobile World Congress 2015 earlier this year, Lenovo introduced an update to its TAB Android tablets with the TAB 2 A8 and A10. We went hands-on with the slates at the time, and now that their launch is upon us we’ve given the TAB 2 A Series a full review to see how it compares with the previous generation. There’s no mistaking the new TAB 2 A Series is one of Lenovo’s TAB tablets — it has the same blue color and finish, but with some notable changes: the design is more angular, the ports have been switched up a bit, and there are some changes under the hood. How does it fair? Read our full SlashGear review to find out!

Hardware

The TAB 2 A8 tablet features an 8-inch IPS LED display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, and it looks crisp. Joining this is an MTK 8161 quad core 1.30GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage space. The battery is a 4,200mAh offering. The system, as you can tell from the screenshot above, is running Android 5.0 Lollipop.

Connectivity is fairly standard with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Under a flap on the tablet’s edge is a hidden port, as well, for a micro SD card. There are dual speakers on the front of the tablet, with the orientation helping isolate whatever you’re listening to while making it sound less muffled since it is facing you while you use the slate. The speakers are coupled with Dolby Atmos Cinematic Moving Audio.

As far as design goes, the second-generation TAB A8 is largely the same as the first iteration, only with a slimmer build and more angular edges. These two things greatly improve the tablet’s look, however — while the last version felt like a cheap and lower-end tablet, making it a little thinner and sharper lends a more sophisticated, higher-end feel to it. The backing is the same darkish blue rubber-like material, and the webcam is the same round offering in the upper corner. The weight is 0.7lb.

Software

As expected, Lenovo has pre-loaded some of its applications on the slate, in this case its SHAREit app for transferring files between devices, and its SYNCit HD app for syncing (storing) and restoring contacts and messages. They come in handy for some users, and aren’t in the way for the rest who aren’t going to use them.

Performance

To test performance, we ran the TAB 2 A8 through some AnTuTu benchmarking tests, the results of which you can see for yourself in the gallery below. Expect the battery to last several hours on a charge, depending on how it is used.

As far as real-world performance goes, we played a bunch of Web and app games, watched videos, and surfed the Web, and while the tablet isn’t the snappiest slate you can find, it holds up perfectly well and will suit most users without issue.

Conclusion

If you liked the original TAB A8 tablet, you’ll find the second generation is even better. If you didn’t like the first version, now might be the time to give the model a second shot. The newer version doesn’t feel as cheap as the first A8, with a slimmer body, more angular edges, and improved hardware. The performance is fairly top notch, and as a general Android slate for general tablet-y things like playing mobile games, browsing the Web, chatting, and toting around work documents, it holds up perfectly fine.

Price starts at $129.99 USD.


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