Channel 5

Lenovo IdeaTab S6000

Wednesday 07 August 2013


Rating of 3

The basics

Lenovo’s taking on the iPad with its latest top of the line Google tablet, the Lenovo IdeaTab S6000, a slim and light 10.1-inch quad core tablet that’s armed with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but is it enough to stand up to the mighty iPad or Sony’s venerable Xperia Tablet Z? We put Lenovo’s latest Android offering to the test to find out.

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The good

Lenovo's laptops are known for their solid construction and that build quality trickles down to its tablet range too. For a penny under £200, you’ll be treated to mostly plastic device, but it feels solid and you won’t be afraid to chuck into your bag without a case. Thanks to its plastic chassis, it’s also very light, and you’ll be able to hold it up in one hand with no problem at all, making standing train journeys or lazing on the couch a doddle. Lenovo’s left its rendition of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean fairly stock, although there are a few additions that could be left out - namely a few pieces of bloatware, which we'll get to - but if you’re used to stock Android you’ll be right at home.

Design-wise, Lenovo's taken an understated approach with its top-end Android tablet, taking a very basic, rectangular design with minimal branding, save for a logo on the front and back. You’ll find the front of the S6000 a glossy fingerprint magnet that’s mostly all-screen, while the rear is adorned with a textured backing that helps you keep a grip on it. Battery life is pretty good: Lenovo says that it’ll be able to hit nine hours of typical Wi-Fi browsing, and we managed to hit just under that figure. Needless to say, it’ll last you a standard day, and well into the evening before it needs juicing up again.

You'll find Lenovo's S6000 available in either 16GB or 32GB varieties, which can also be expanded up to 64GB with an SD card. Port wise, you’ll find a micro-USB slot that's used for charging and syncing, and it possesses USB-On-The-Go powers, meaning you can charge up your phone with your tablet or plug in an external USB drive. There’s also a HDMI-out port, letting you plug your S6000 directly into your telly, plus a headphone jack.

The bad

Unfortunately, when it actually comes to using the tablet, things start to go a bit downhill. Despite the nippy 1.2GHz quad core processor that performs well in games, Lenovo’s loaded the tablet with unnecessary spam that makes browsing through the homescreen a lagtastic affair. Swiping from panel to panel is juddery, and even rotating the device from portrait to landscape seems to take an epoch, when it should just be instant. While Lenovo has included a few handy apps that could help out at work, such as Kingsoft Office and PrintHand, there’s also unnecessary apps like Norton Mobile Security, which keeps bugging you to install it, along with bland subscription-based gaming service GameTanium. They're not needed, they simply slow the device down and hog valuable storage space that could be used elsewhere.

While the build quality is decent for a plastic-based tablet, the screen itself is only passable. You’ll find the 1280x800 10.1-inch screen bright, but its resolution is sorely lacking, especially when compared to full HD offerings such as Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z, the Retina Display rivalling Nexus 10 or even the nine-inch Nook HD+. Lenovo has also armed the S6000 with both front-facing and rear cameras, but similarly to other tablets, they're not worth replacing your regular shooter with, or even your phone, although they’ll serve you fine for Skype video calls.

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The bottom line

Lenovo’s highest-spec Android tablet is a respectable effort, but there's little point in it when you can buy better slates for the same price, minus all the useless spamware. For the same price, we’d be inclined to wait it out for Google's brand-new Nexus 7, which is slightly smaller, but is armed with a killer high-res screen and nippier specs. Sandwiched between the new Nexus 7 and the older but still incredible Samsung Nexus 10, it's hard to recommend the Lenovo IdeaTab S6000.

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Lenovo IdeaTab S6000 is tagged with Lenovo, IdeaPad, S6000, Android and Jelly Bean. Select a tag (Lenovo, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (9)

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OK, at £200 you can not expect to take on iPad, Sony, Google etc. But remember many people want a CHEAP tablet that allows extra storage and the ability to use a HDMI facility to link to a TV etc. The S6000 review would have added more value if it took these requirements into account. Additionally the comment that the Nexus 7 is 'slightly smaller' can, I presume, be taken with a large pinch of salt! Question - Re the bloatware that is pre-installed. how can this be removed? Many thanks

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Just got an S6000 and think it is EXCELLENT, especially at the price. Do not notice any particular performance problems. MicroUSB charger/connector was a requirement. The MicroHDMI is a bonus! VERY pleased with it. Must get a cheap MicroSD expansion card sometime. Apple fanbois - eat your heart out, you can't do that and don't get this spec for anywhere NEAR the price!!!

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I am reading this on 2/1/14. It proves that so called "expert" reviewers are at best unreliable and at worst downright misleading. I bought a New version Nexus 7 in late 2013 for £219. Ended up returning it after a few weeks as I found the touch screen unresponsive too often, plus I could not use it on large TV despite paying for a special SlimPort adapter which is supposed to work with this new model. I bought the Lenovo s6000 in December and it is far better imho. You say the Nexus is "slightly smaller" when the total screen area is roughly HALF the size of the Lenovo. Furthermore, the Nexus has no expandable memory and no HDMI out. You say that rotating the screen "takes an epoch". What planet are you guys on! It takes half a second for goodness sake! Sure the screen resolution is not as sharp as the Nexus but, unless you have 20/20 vision, it is no big deal. The Lenovo won't fit in your pocket but the large screen is better for most things and great for movies. It has a quad core processor so is quick. As for the bloatware, just uninstall or turn off what you don't need. It does not take up much space and you can add tons more with a cheap micro SD card like I did. All in all, this is a very good tablet and at £159 from Amazon, it knocks spots off the Nexus 7. BTW, I have a Nexus 4 mobile which is very good so I am not knocking the brand totally.

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Can I use the S6000 for Kindle? Does the screen have back lighting for reading in the dark? Reports give bad marks for visuals in daylight. Can a user please give an opinion? Thanks.

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A J Bramley

My first tablet and so far seems to work ok tho I dont push it too much. However does anyone know of a good strong bluetooth keyboard (bought Nexus 10" but several keys are non responsive afer 3 months. Why do Lenovo show the Idea Tab on their web site with a keyboard when as yet there office says none available?

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A J Bramley There's a bluetooth keyboard, just for the S600, on US Amazon for $31.+ and free ship Cheers

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The slow down the review mentions in regards to the unnecessary software, can this be rectified by updating the Android OS before using the device? A clean slate, so to speak. Cheers

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L Wilson

Whoever wrote this article is talking complete and utter nonsense. This is THE best tablet on the market, you will not find a better tablet for under £350. If you're thinking of buying a tablet but you aren't sure, stop being unsure and get this tablet! Sent from Lenovo Ideatab S6000

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Mark, this tablet works brilliantly for Kindle, has backlighting so able to read in dark. Having owned this tablet for over 3 months now I can say it is brilliant, it has replaced my laptop pretty much. No noticeable lagging and beats my daughter's Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 with ease. Am able to do everything I need it to, watermark and upload photo's onto my blog included! It works perfectly with Chromecast to cast to my TV too! Just waiting for the Bluetooth keyboard to arrive now.

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