With the introduction of Lenovo's new IdeaTab S2110, we feel like we've just raised our tablet game. This is a super-slim, high-end tablet with some amazing features. At about 1/3 inch thin (8.69mm) and weighing just 1.28 pounds (580g), it feels shockingly light for a 10-inch tablet. (When I first picked a testing sample, I thought it was just a shell and not the unit itself.)
The S2110 feels great when you hold it--the soft textured pattern on the back offers a little grip and stops it from slipping. From a distance, I find it looks softer on the eye as well. The large 10.1” IPS display is remarkably clear at wide viewing angles making it excellent for sharing videos or apps with friends.
The tech specs for the S2110 are top-notch. The Qualcomm Dual Core 1.5GHz processor with 1GB LPDDR2 memory gives it a powerful push; we’ve found in tests that the battery life can reach nearly 10 hours of WiFi web browsing. Android 4.0 is awesome. The 5MP back camera has auto-focus and LED flash, and the 1.3MP HD front camera does video chat really well. Some models support 3G too.
You may have noticed that there’s a new user interface in the pictures with some cool-looking icons. These are a selection of commonly used apps that expand when touched. This is great for choosing music or opening a folder of apps when I want more space to choose content but don’t want to cover the whole screen. So there you go--a top-end Android tablet. But wait … there’s more to this story. Your eyes aren’t deceiving you--this is still the S2110.
You'd be forgiven for wondering if it’s a PC instead, as our optional keyboard dock does much more than just aid typing and pointer control. The dedicated shortcut keys are really quick to use, as is the built-in support for regular PC shortcut keys like Alt-Tab to switch between apps. I love this as it means my fingers don’t get confused when switching from a PC. But the big deal is this: the dock doubles the S2110's battery life. We’ve found the combination of the two can get you somewhere between 18 and 20 hours, enough for a weekend trip away or the longest flight you ever took.
I’ve been using the full-size USB ports to copy info straight from portable HDD & USB sticks, and the regular SD card reader means I can easily switch videos with a camcorder too. The physical design works well: the tablet slots firmly and easily into the dock with a satisfying click and is removed with a simple key press and pull. You can see the button in the picture below.
All in all, the dock gives you much of the functionality you expect from a PC on a fully-independent Android tablet.
We’re interested to hear from you guys on this one so give us a shout in comments below.
Mark Pinner works in Lenovo's Mobile Internet and Digital Home (MIDH) Group.