There aren't many midrange tablets with very sharp screens. The Amazon Fire HD 10, for instance, is an otherwise decent slate held back by a low-res display. The 10.1-inch Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 ($199.99; 16GB) bucks this trend with the sort of bright, high-resolution screen you typically only find on more costly tablets. That makes it an affordable option for multimedia consumption, though its performance leaves a bit to be desired. If you're looking for an Android tablet with an impressive display and performance to match, you're better off spending a little more on the Asus ZenPad S 8.0 or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 9.7.
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Design and Features
The Tab 2 A10-70 is surprisingly hefty. It measures 9.72 by 6.73 by 0.35 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.12 pounds. These are similar dimensions to the Fire HD 10 (10.3 by 6.3 by 0.3 inches), but the Fire HD weighs a trimmer 0.95 pounds. The Galaxy Tab S2, meanwhile, measures 9.34 by 6.65 by 0.22 inches (HWD) and weighs a much lighter 0.85 pounds.
The 10.1-inch screen is the big selling point here. It's a 1,920-by-1,200-pixel display with a premium look and feel you don't usually find for $200. With 224 pixels per inch, everything looks sharp and crisp. This is a great screen for watching Hulu Plus, Netflix, or YouTube. It's still no match for the 9.7-inch Galaxy Tab S2, however, which features 2,048-by-1,536 resolution for 320 pixels per inch.
On the left side of the tablet is a micro USB port, along with volume controls and a power button. On the back is an 8-megapixel camera surrounded by speaker grilles on either side, and to the left is a microSD slot that supports cards up to 64GB.
The headphone jack is located on right side of the table (the top in landscape mode). This is a frustrating design decision, because if you use wired headphones, the cord will almost certainly be in your view. That said, an included Dolby app makes for noticeably kicked up sound quality, though the built-in speakers are a bit tinny.
Software and Performance
The tablet comes with 16GB of storage—the only configuration available—of which 10.76GB is free out of the box. There's a decent amount of bloatware here, including apps like Sound Recorder, Tap the Frog, and WPS Office, only some of which can be uninstalled.
The Tab 2 A10 runs Lenovo's skinned version of Android 5.0 Lollipop. While it's not nearly as pleasing to the eye as stock Android, Lenovo doesn't take as many liberties as, say, HTC does with its Sense UI. The icons here are sort of flat and uninspiring, but you'll find most of the core Lollipop functionality remains the same.
The Lenovo Tab 2 is powered by a quad-core 1.7GHz MediaTek MT8165 processor. It's only average in terms of performance. It scored a serviceable 33,150 on the Antutu benchmark test, well below the Galaxy Tab S2 (46,918) and the ZenPad S 8.0 (45,891). Screen transitions look and feel noticeably choppy, and gaming frame rates can dip pretty low. That said, it's perfectly good for watching video.
The cameras here are surprisingly good. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 5MP shooter on the front. Both cameras take clear, detailed pictures, even in low light, and the front-facing camera is great for video calls.
On our battery test, which streams video over Wi-Fi at full brightness, the Tab 2's 7,000mAh battery lasted for an impressive 7 hours and 21 minutes. This easily bests the Fire HD 10 (6 hours and 22 minutes), the Galaxy Tab S2 (5 hours and 11 minutes), and the ZenPad S (4 hours and 16 minutes). That means you can watch a heck of a lot of Netflix before the tablet needs a recharge.
The Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 has a great screen for the price, along with long battery life and good camera quality. It's a solid choice for multimedia playback, but its performance is uninspiring. If you don't mind spending a bit more and dropping down to an 8-inch screen, the Asus Zen Pad S 8.0 offers a lot more power and an even higher screen resolution. Otherwise, the 9.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is your best—and priciest—Android option. If you're not commited to Android, the 9.7-inch Apple iPad Air 2 remains our Editors' Choice for large-screen tablets.