With the killer combination of an affordable price point and a super-long battery life, Lenovo's Tab 2 A10 is a great bargain. It's not the fastest budget-priced Android tablet, though, and it's 16GB of internal storage isn't very generous. Still, the 10-inch Tab 2 A10's sturdy design, bright display and 12-hour longevity make it a great travel companion for business users, as well as our favorite overall budget-priced work tablet.
The Tab 2 A10 is a nice-looking tablet, with a sleek metallic-blue polycarbonate back that is also available in white. It is a bit of a fingerprint magnet, though. I also like the tablet's rounded edges, which make it comfortable to hang onto.
It also feels sturdier than your average low-cost slate, in part because it's relatively thick and heavy. It measures 0.35 inches thick and weighs 1.1 lbs., which is significantly beefier than the 0.26-inch, 0.66 lb. Asus ZenPad S 8.0, though that device has a smaller 8-inch screen.
The Tab 2 A10 offers just a couple of ports, including a standard micro USB 2.0 port for charging, and a microSD card slot for expanding the slate’s internal storage. The microSD slot is hidden behind a small flap on the tablet's left edge, which is easy to pop on and off.
The Tab 2 A10 offers pretty good speed for everyday work tasks. Running on a 1.5GHz quad-core MediaTek processor with 2GB of RAM, it felt pretty quick during moderate multitasking. Apps opened and closed quickly, and switching between apps was relatively seamless.
The slate racked up a middle-of-the-road score of 2,371 on the Geekbench 3 test, which measures overall performance. That’s slightly below the tablet average of 2,648, but it matches up pretty well against budget offerings like the Iconia Tab 10, which scored a meager 1,371. The ZenPad S 8.0 easily outpaced both, though, with an above-average score of 2,858.
Graphics and gaming performance on the Tab 2 A10 was weak overall, but that shouldn't be a big deal if you plan to use it primarily for work.
The Tab 2 A10's big, bright display is a definite high point. The 10-inch, 1920 x 1200 panel is sharp and colorful, and more than roomy enough for productivity tasks like viewing documents and managing your email inbox. I just wish that Lenovo had included a split-screen multitasking mode so I could put that space to better use. The omission is especially disappointing since pricier Lenovo tablets do let you view two apps side-by-side, which makes multitasking easier.
At least the display is nice and bright. It tops out at 380 nits of brightness, which is brighter than the tablet average of 354 nits, as well as the Iconia Tab 10 (369 nits) and the ZenPad S 8.0 (299 nits). Bright displays are easier to view outdoors or in direct sunlight.
A good front-facing camera is nice for meeting remotely with clients or colleagues, via a videoconferencing app like Skype. The Tab 2 A10 sports a nice 5MP front shooter, which captures images that are nice and crisp, with accurate colors and minimal visual noise.
The Tab 2 A10 comes with a pretty clean installation of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. It adds a bunch of nice productivity-boosting features to the mobile operating system, such as Priority Mode, which lets you customize how and when you're interrupted ty alerts. Other nice additions include native wireless printing and the ability to respond to incoming messages from the lock screen.
A handful of good productivity apps also come pre-loaded on the Tab 2 A10. That includes WPS Office for editing documents, spreadsheets and presentations; Evernote for taking and saving notes; and Google apps like Drive for backing your documents up to the cloud.
The Tab 2 A10 has the longevity to easily last through the longest business flights, even with a layover or two. The slate ran for an excellent 12 hours on our battery test, which simulates continuous Web- browsing over Wi-Fi. That is more than 3 hours longer than the tablet average of 8 hours and 48 minutes. It is even more impressive when compared with other budget slates such as the Iconia Tab 10 (7:57) and the ZenPad S 8.0 (6:47).
Lenovo sells the Tab 2 A10 in two different hardware configurations, which offer different amounts of internal storage. The entry-level model costs $198 and comes with 16GB of internal storage, which will fill up pretty quickly if you plan to store large documents on your device, or download more than a handful of apps. We recommend paying an extra $20 for the 32GB model.
Lenovo's Tab 2 A10 has a few weaknesses, but you won't find a better 10-inch tablet for under $200. The slate is sleek and sturdy, and its bright display is roomy enough for serious productivity. Plus, its 12-hour battery life is nearly unbeatable, and unmatched among devices in its price range. If you need an affordable travel companion, or just a slate that can make it through the end of the workday and beyond, the Tab 2 A10 is hard to beat.
The ZenPad S 8.0 ($199) is another solid sub-$200 option, offering slightly faster performance and double the internal storage in a more portable device, but it lasts only half as long on a charge. Plus, the Tab 2 A10 can match that slate's 32GB of internal storage for just an extra $20.