If you’re looking for a decent mid-range well rounded Android tablet that also manages to come in the same shape as the iPad, we might have something just for you. Today on the new Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich tablet. Running on a standard build of Android, but rocking an iPad-like 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 resolution display check out if this tablet is for you after the break. In the very recent past Lenovo’s hardware and build quality has always been one of the low points of their tablets, but with the S2109 they’ve surprisingly done a much better job in that department. Offering it at a low price at the same time doesn’t hurt either.
Design Though it shares a few dimensional similarities with the iPad (and more specially, the iPad 2). First. the similarities : each tablet houses a screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, sporting a 1,024x768-pixel resolution. Dimensions and weight are also nearly identical, but the S2109A has a wider side bezel. Hardware The Idea Tab (henceforth called just the IdeaTab) is powered by a TI OMAP 4430 dual core CPU with 1 GB of system memory. The tab has a 9.7-inch IPS HD display capable of 720p HD video playback, or 1080p HD via Micro HDMI output. SRS surround sound speakers, which has dual bass and four speaker placements to increase sound effects, further enhances the media quality. We would rather of seen the NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core here, but we’ll take what we get. Overall however the S2109 both looks and feels smaller than a 9.7-inch tablet because of the curved rounded edges and the sleek uni body design.
Software features The S2109A ships with Android 4.0.4, but I didn't notice any changes from 4.0.3, and most of the apps included on the tablet can be pulled from the Google Play store for free. File Browser, which is a handy app that allows you to directly access files on the drive, is the only notable exclusive app addition.Lenovo’s pre-loaded AccuWeather, Lenovo App Shop, Documents To Go, Evernote, Adobe Flash Player, Go Keyboard, Movie Studio, Norton Security, Lenovo Printer Share, Skype, Sugar Sync, News Republic, and Zinio. More than I’d like to deal with, but a few are quite nice. First thing you’ll want to do however is disable that terrible Go Keyboard and stick with ICS stock option. Performance Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich had a little lag here and there that wasn’t expected, but that could be due to the old and aging processor under the hood.For the most part performance was fluid and swift, but we had to mention those odd stutters. Operation throughout the OS wasn’t too bad, it was browsing the web, reading RSS feeds, or checking through the market that seemed to struggle more than most. The lack of pixel density of the S2109A's screen isn't really noticeable in most apps; however, home screen text and text on the Web are noticeably blunted.
Camera and Battery life In the center of the left-side bezel is a 1.3-megapixel camera, and on the tablet's left edge is the easily depressible power/sleep button, with the headphone jack directly above it. On the left top edge sits the volume rocker. Battery life is one area that the Lenovo IdeaTab S2109 does do well though. It comes with a 6,720 mAh battery under the hood that lasted for around 7-8 hours of solid use. They claim 10 hours of video playback but we doubt you’ll make it that far. Stand-by battery was quite excellent too.