Given the success Lenovo has had with its Laptop and Ultrabook range, and having become one of the worldwide leaders in this field, the manufacturer has decided to expand its Android slates series with various models which aim to offer some of the best price quality ratios.
We have had the opportunity to test the Lenovo IdeaPad A5500 model, an 8 inch tablet with IPS display, stereo speakers ( with Dolby sound ) , GPS mode, 3G connectivity – all these at an extremely reasonable price.
Design and display
Lenovo A5500 looks decent. The back case of the tablet is made of a solid matte plastic material which improves the grip whether we are using the tablet with one hand or both.
It also helps that tablet’s thickness has been reduced to 8, 95 mm. At the top part of the tablet we find the charging jack the micro USB port and the audio jack for headphones. On one side of the tablet we have the power button and the volume one and on the opposite side the micro SD slots and the network card slot for 3G data.
As for the color scheme Lenovo comes in brightly colored cases as opposed to the dull gray or black we were accustomed to by tablet manufacturers.
What can we say about the tablet’s display ?
It is an 8 inch IPS with a 1280×800 pixel resolution and 10 point multi-touch. The touchscreen responds well and there is no issue worth mentioning in this aspect.
The screen however has some minor issues which are easily noticeable. Although the color palette and tones are rendered accurately, the luminosity of the screen is greatly reduced compared to similar models as Samsung Tab 3 or Google Nexus.
The screen also reflects light and using the tablet in direct sunlight poses lots of problems for the user. Even Lenovo S5000, the 7 inch version of the Android tablet has a far superior screen which reflects less light than Lenovo A8-50 A5500.
Hardware and performance
We get a typical Android configuration on the A8-50 A5500 tablet.
A Mediatek 1,3 GHz quad core CPU, 1 GB of memory and a Power VR SGX544 GPU which supports most of Android apps . As for storage space we get an internal memory of 16 GB which can be expanded by means of a micro SD card of up to 16 GB.
The specs of the tablet aren’t extraordinary, but we aren’t talking about a top range model . It’s an ideal browsing, multimedia and even office configuration.
Of course it would have been nice to have at least 1,5 GB of RAM, but that would have been reflected in the price of the tablet for sure.
OS and apps
Lenovo IdeaTab A5500 comes with Android 4.2 and apparently there is already an official update to Android 4.4.2 which of course pleases us.
If you aren’t used to the theme and interface used by Lenovo you could be surprised. Lenovo chose to give up on the applications menu and keep them all on the home screen where they can be accessed by scrolling to the left and to the right. Although it seems really practical, if we have many apps it may be difficult to find certain apps or to set 2-3 pages of favorite apps as is the case for other Android slates.
We also have some useful preinstalled apps, although most of them are in trial version and will need to be purchased after a period of use. Route 66 is an offline navigation app which uses the integrated GPS antenna and we can use the app for 30 days. We also have a preinstalled Norton antivirus and Kingston office, which is well known by everyone and it’s a completely free app.
Photo and video
It is well known that all tablets are disadvantaged from this point of view – a quality camera, the Lenovo A5500 surprises us with a main camera of 5 Mp which takes good photos when there is enough light available. The front camera however has only 2 megapixels and isn’t that great.
Using just 2 words : It’s great ! The stereo speakers with Dolby sound are one of the best feature for this slate .
Connectivity and battery
As we said in the beginning we have a full options tablet in terms of connectivity. Lenovo A8-50 A5500 comes with Wi-Fi , 3G , Bluetooth and Gps.
It is perfect as a car navigator and 3G connectivity allows working with the tablet even where we don’t have Wi-Fi access.
The battery is a Li-Polymer has a 4200mAh with a great autonomy. The tablet lasts for up to 9-11 hours of work (with or without Wi-Fi activated) and in stand-by it can exceed 20 hours.
With 3G and GPs activated, the autonomy will drastically decrease, leading to the discharge of the battery in 3-4 hours.
Conclusion and price
Lenovo IdeaTad A5500 has its advantages and disadvantages, but in our opinion, it is one of the best entry-level slates with 3G connectivity.
The minuses that stand out is the issue of the screen with reduced luminosity and light reflection and the RAM memory of only 1GB which is sometimes insufficient when running multiple apps simultaneously.
The obvious advantages are 3G connectivity, GPS antenna and even the autonomy of the battery compared to its unbeatable price.
The price remains the wild card of the manufacturer – Lenovo A5500 costs 25-30% less than similar tablets from ASUS or Samsung.
- Display - 85
- Features - 95
- Performance - 75
- Battery life - 80