Lenovo has added some new tablets to its roster, among them being the 8-inch Lenovo TAB A8. This tablet is a mixture of goodies — it is thin and light, and boasts an astounding battery life, a good quality camera and several other features. Then throw in the price tag of the device, along with the specs that it has, and the Lenovo Tab A8 is expected to be in the mid-range level. However, that’s not necessarily the case as I’ll tell you about as this review goes on.
Specs And Features
About The Software
Since this was my first experience with a Lenovo device, I was pleased to see that they don’t add a lot of junk to their UI like the folks at Samsung and HTC do. While it’s certainly not 100% stock Android, it’s fairly close to it in a lot of ways.
The specs above mention that the Lenovo Tab A8 comes loaded with Android JellyBean 4.2 on it out of the box, but upon receiving my review unit, it already had Android 4.4.2(4.4.4 is now the current latest version) already installed on it. Definitely good to see a manufacturer like Lenovo on top of the latest updates for the most part.
It certainly has it’s own little features add to certain places such as the Settings Menu which includes things like Scheduled Power On/Off. Very simple to setup to have your device power on or off at certain times of the day. There is also a smart side bar that you can setup that allows the user to switch between standard, multimedia, and reading modes and allows quick access to various media and recently used apps.
Other stock apps that a user might find of interest pre-installed on the Lenovo Tab A8 are apps such as a 30-day trial of the ROUTE 66 navigation software, Norton Mobile Security, Kingsoft Office for accessing documents, AccuWeather, Movie Studio for video editing, a Bluetooth Proximity Monitor, a handy FM Radio app, and a Lenovo TAB introductory app.
Camera And Multimedia Playback
The Lenovo Tab A8 comes with a front-facing camera that is 2MP and a rear-facing 5MP camera. Both cameras are fixed focus. The camera is definitely good enough for video conferencing, but has a slight bit of color noise in low-light conditions. The rear-facing camera captures photos with a fair amount of details, although the colors seem a bit too vivid/bright compared to what I’m used to with my daily driver device. The camera app also includes face beauty, live photo, panorama, and HDR modes and offers settings for hue, saturation, and brightness compensation, among others. Videos recorded with the rear-facing camera are smooth but also suffer from high amounts of noise in darker environments.
Pictures Above Are From The Rear Facing Camera
Pictures Above Are From The Front Facing Camera
Video playback performance is very decent and both 720p and 1080p video files play smoothly and without any hiccups, stutters or anything similar.
Lenovo Tab A8’s Display
The 8-inch IPS display features a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, which is pretty decent for a budget-friendly tablet, although many smaller, rather inexpensive tablets; for example, Google’s Nexus 7(2013), which can be found online for around $190; have higher resolutions of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, which is admittedly twice as expensive, has a WQXGA display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels; Apple’s iPad Mini Retina has 2048 x 1536 pixels. Nonetheless, in my opinion the resolution is acceptable and text is quite sharp without noticeable pixelation or even blurriness.
Like with most device, having it out in the direct sunlight makes it a bit difficult to see the screen. Screen brightness can be measured in nits(defined here) and the Lenovo Tab A8 comes in significantly lower at 320 nits than most other devices. Example is Lenovo’s Yoga Tablet 8 which was the same exact screen size and resolution and measures in at 450 nits. The Nexus 7(2013) tops out at an outstanding 510 nits which is very high in today’s standards of mobile technology.
The contrast of 770:1 is very good for the class and at the same level as Apple’s iPad Mini Retina; both the Yoga Tablet 8 and the Nexus 7 can’t quite keep up in this department. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 has a superior contrast ratio of 860:1, but again, is much higher priced as we all know.
As I mentioned previously, outdoor performance is not all that great unfortunately, since the brightness of the display is not sufficiently high enough to overcome the glare of the sun. Therefore, the Lenovo Tab A8 is best used in the shade or on overcast days to avoid straining your eyes too terribly bad.
Unlike the previous-generation IdeaTab A1000, the Lenovo Tab A8 features an IPS panel, which is definitely something we’d like to see even on a budget slate. Although I observed some minor darkening at angles exceeding 45 degrees, overall viewing angle stability doesn’t disappoint very much at all.
Lenovo Tab A8 Performance
The Lenovo Tab A8 comes with the 1.3 GHz entry-level quad-core MT8121 from Mediatek with integrated PowerVR SGX544 GPU. Also on board is 1GB of RAM and a 16GB eMMC flash drive. Versions with a larger flash drive or more RAM are not offered.
The Lenovo Tab A8’s performance is comparable to some other 8-inch Android slates, such as Acer’s Iconia A1-830 tablet. It stands up okay in usage, and handles every app that we’ve thrown at it without any hassle or hiccups.
Battery life is where Lenovo Tab A8 shines the most in my opinion. The day to day usage time is about average compared to most other tablets, which is in the range of about 8 hours. This is of course if you have the wireless turned on and the screen relatively bright. In standby, the Lenovo Tab A8 sips power and stays charged for weeks with very small amounts of battery drainage. This will vary depending on what kind of apps you have running, but the system comes with various tools to help minimize battery drain.
Performance in the game department is decent too. The MT8121 from Mediatek is paired up with the integrated PowerVR SGX544, which is an entry-level GPU not particularly known for high performance. Not being a true gamer however, I only played a couple of games such as Monument Valley, Temple Run 1 and 2, and a couple of different Angry Birds games. During those games, I had no issues but of course these are graphics intense games in a lot of ways compared to other stuff.
The Lenovo Tab A8 is a highly recommended tablet in my book. Being the owner of a Nexus 7(2012) it blows that device away by leaps and bounds(yes, I know about the age difference) and is a device I’m seriously interested in purchasing for myself. Especially when it’s in the price range of $180 directly from Lenovo, or even lower than that online in places such as Amazon where you can pick it up for around $150.
So if you’re not looking for some high priced(Samsung) high end tablet for doing major calculations or major gaming, then I’d suggest hitting the links below to grab yourself a Lenovo Tab A8 today.
Website: Lenovo Tab A8 Tablet
Amazon: Lenovo Tab A8 Tablet