Lenovo A10 review: A so-so sight with superlative sound

lenovotabletprimary
Credit: Mike Homnick
At a Glance
  • Lenovo A10

    PCWorld Rating

    Its display won't wow anyone, but this budget tablet boasts some impressive speakers.

Sometimes producing a budget tablet can mean cutting corners. In the case of Lenovo’s A10—the latest entry to its large portfolio of tablet offerings—you’ll see some of those sacrifices, particularly with the device’s display. But the A10 makes up for those trade-offs in other areas.

For more details, read the full Lenovo Tab A10 review at Greenbot.

As far as specifications are concerned, the Lenovo A10 isn’t too shabby. Outside of the 10.1 inch (1280 x 800) display, the tablet ships with a 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek processor, 1GB RAM, 5 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front-facing camera, dual front-facing speakers with Dolby audio enhancements, Micro SD card slot, and large 6,340 mAh battery. Its display is one of its weak points, with an incredibly low 1280 x 800 resolution that lacks punch in the pixel department. A 720p HD video will play nicely, but text looks jagged an broken when you zoom out on text.

lenovotablet 3 Mike Homnick

All ports on the A10 are kept on one side.

If the display isn’t the main draw here, then the speakers certainly are. With some Dolby Digital goodness baked in, the speakers on the A10 are something that set the tablet apart from other offerings, especially in the budget market.

The Lenovo A10 comes with heavily customized software—more so than any Lenovo tablet I’ve come across in a while. The expected customized widgets are present, but so is a revamped homescreen setup that feels a bit like iOS. A10 users will be treated to a nice helping of bloatware applications, with only a select few worth the time to open. Of course, these apps can be disabled in the settings.

lenovotablet Mike Homnick

The software on the A10 does little to impress

Lenovo is pushing the smart side bar with the A10. It really isn’t anything that special, but it can be helpful for simple tasks, offering up your most recent applications, quick access to your media (Google Play Books, videos, photos), and three preset display settings for standard, multimedia, and reading. I preferred the manual mode, where you swipe the side of the display for the side bar to appear. There’s an auto mode where the side bar will appear any time you change the screen orientation, but it became more of a nuisance in this setting.

I mentioned the tablet’s 6,340 mAh battery, which gives you a decent amount of battery life. In our tests, the A10 managed to run for a little more than 8 hours of continuous video playback with the display cranked up all the way. This should be suitable for most users.

The bottom line

For $250, the Lenovo A10 is a good deal no matter how you spin it. The display isn’t going to wow anyone, but that may be forgivable when you hear the speakers on the tablet. There’s plenty of competition in the budget tablet space, and some may find a competitor like the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 to be the better choice. Still, I’d go as far to say that the A10 has the best speakers on any tablet in its price range, and that’s not something to ignore.

This story, "Lenovo A10 review: A so-so sight with superlative sound" was originally published by Greenbot.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Its display won't wow anyone, but this budget tablet boasts some impressive speakers.

    Pros

    • Excellent speakers
    • Competitively priced

    Cons

    • Lackluster display
    • A hearty helping of preinstalled bloatware
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