- Relatively Good Build Quality
- Kids Mode for Kids (duh!)
- Dolby Atmos Front facing speakers
- Affordable Price Tag
- Runs an older Android Version
- Bigger Internal Memory could have been better
When it comes to Android tablets in general – we barely see anything new in it. What’s even funny is that we don’t even see a lot of android tablets out in the public. It’s becoming a niche category. But this is not a good thing for those who are actually looking for an Android powered tablet in the market. It can be tough for them to choose the right now. Lenovo Mobile Division is no stranger to affordable smartphones and tablets.
In fact, last year they unveiled their new Lenovo Tab 4 series – namely Tab 4 8” and Tab 4 10”. These tablets boast an affordable price-tag and focuses on being a tablet for all. We had the chance to use the Lenovo Tab 4 8” and we were wondering – is it a good alternative compared to the Korean Company that makes tablet as well. It’s time to find out in this Lenovo Tab 4 8 Review.
Design and Build Quality
The Lenovo Tab 4 8 has a very simple design. On the top and the bottom where the front firing speakers are located it, has an angular curve to it. On the back, you’ll notice it has a different kind of look. It has this granite stone finish that has the capability to create illusions even when a scratch is obtained. On the sides, it has a curved rail where you’ll see the Lenovo branding on the Flap which has the SIM and SD Card slot and other side has the power and volume rockers. The design, personally – it very discreet and in some way boring.
In terms of build quality, the weight is evenly distributed and on the front, you’ll find – it’s covered in glass. Holding an 8 inch tablet on the hand felt just fine and the material that they went for was light and did not feel cheap. The back of the device has a soft matte finish that really give a good feel in the hand and it’s grippy – so chances of it sliding off your hand or the table is at a minimal – that’s a good sign. Other than that, the buttons are clicky and not mushy. The flap on the side covers the SIM tray and SD Card slot really well and sits flush along the rails.
During my time, Lenovo passed me a folio case and a film along with it to make sure the device is protected well. The case itself has a matte finish and let’s you fold to any way you like – making it an added bonus. I’d suggest to pick that as well – on your way out.
Specification and Benchmark
In terms of specification, the Lenovo Tab 4 8 runs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 with 2GB DDR3 RAM. It comes with a 16GB Internal Storage and can be expanded with a help of an SD card. As for connectivity, the device packs Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi 802.11 b/g/n. Yes, if you were to pop your SIM in, you’ll get LTE capabilities.
Below, you’ll see the benchmark scores for the Lenovo Tab 4 8. Do take note that the benchmark scores are purely based on limited resources and it does not add up to your day-to-day usage – because it does vary.
The Lenovo Tab 4 8 comes with an 8” inch 1280 x 800 IPS HD display. It is a HD display, so when you look at it – you’ll notice the pixels but then I wasn’t bothered by it. What make the viewing experience interesting is the fact that it’s an IPS panel. The viewing angles were just nice and the colors were nice – it was calibrated more towards the cool side of it.
I used it to watch some of my favorite shows on Netflix and YouTube, read some notes, check my email and get my work done on the move at times. The 8” display served me well. Under a well light room, the brightness is good and you can view it really well. But if you were to use it under a bright sunlight – you might have a bit of hiccup as it isn’t that bright. You can see but not that clearly. But for what it’s worth, it’s a very decent display and I give that to the tablet.
Looking at the specification, you’d realize this isn’t any performance power house. I did play Tekken and also multitask between applications like Netflix, Email, Chrome, Drive and the list goes on. With 2GB of RAM – it did face a bit of a lag when there was too much happening but then – for light to medium use – the Tab 4 8 worked just fine.
During my time playing Tekken, it was playable with occasional frame drops and sorts but it was still playable. So, if you were play some indie titles like Monument Valley – the tablet should be able to handle it perfectly fine.
Battery & Charging
Personally, I am the kind of guy who’d rather use his laptop to get work done instead of a tablet. But since I am carrying a tablet, I did give it a try. I used the Lenovo Tab 4 8 for a fair bit and I was impressed. With a 16 hour usage time and with a SoT of 1 hour 3 minutes, the tablet still has 54% at the end of the day. Which brings me to the point that the standby time on this tablet is just phenomenal. Under heavy usage, I ended my day with 34% percent with an SoT of 2 hours +, which isn’t too shabby either.
For a tablet with 4850mAh battery – it isn’t too bad. As for charging, the tablet took about approx. 1 hour to charge completely.
On the back of the tablet, it has a 5MP shooter and on the Front you’ll find a 2MP shooter. Honestly, the camera is just there for the sake of novelty. It is good to have one because if you were to have a video call with your friends or family. If you’re taking quick pictures of something – I guess that works. I think you’d be using the phone of yours in your pocket to get that job done so, that’s alright.
One of the key highlights of this tablet is the Speaker. What makes this tablet’s speaker stand out – it’s the fact that it supports Dolby Atmos. I was happy to see that the tablet has front facing speakers and it was a blissful experience. The tablet has the Dolby ATMOS console pre-loaded inside. What this allows – is you to switch between profiles – Movies, Music, Game, Voice and also create a Custom Profile of your own. It doesn’t end there as you have more features like Dialogue Enhancer, Surround Virtualizer and so much more.
I did watch The Mist on Netflix starring Jessica Biel on it and I have to say, having a front facing speaker sure did some justice. I would just like on my couch and start watching it without the need to pair it to my Edifier R1010BT that sits right across the room. Listening to music can be good, it may not have that thumping bass response but it’s loud and clear. It doesn’t distort a single bit – that’s a good sign.
UI & OS
Lenovo decided to go clean with their UI and it runs Android Nougat out of the box. Considering the fact that most of the device runs Oreo right now, Nougat sounds a bit dated. Anyways, since it’s clean android – it does come with some extra features courtesy to Lenovo. One of the key feature that they’ve been emphasizing on with the Lenovo Tab 4 8 is the fact that it’s a Family Tablet.
So, Lenovo has added this feature – Lenovo Kid’s Account – where it creates a kid friendly environment and display kid-friendly content only. The moment you look at it – the whole interface is different – you have Videos, Games, Websites, Camera and so on. The safe space would protect ones child from the internet and with that being said – I personally am happy with what they did here. Anything that requires downloading from the play store would be allowed if the parent were to approve it. You could even set up time limits on how long they can play.
Other than that, they also have another feature where you can create profiles for other members – and get to use it like a normal tablet. It’s a good feature but there is something that bottlenecks this feature. That is the storage. If you don’t know, the more user you create, the smaller the storage gets allocated to each user. Considering the fact that it only comes with 16GB and it takes up half the storage even when nothing is installed, it’s a bummer. But as it runs pure android, chances are – you can make your SD Card and switch it to be your primary storage.
There you have it, the Lenovo Tab 4 8. For RM 749 (you can even find it for RM 699) – it’s a relatively inexpensive option and for what it offers – the tablet is surprisingly good. Yeah sure, it does have one or two hiccup but for that price – it’s easy to forgive the sacrifices that they did to make this thing affordable. If you are going to use to watch Netflix, iflix, check your email, read something or even let your kids play with it – the Lenovo Tab 4 8 is one tablet for all.
If you ever want a bigger alternative, you can go for their Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus which has a bigger screen, better resolution, mid-tier processor and a fingerprint sensor too!