Lenovo IdeaTab S6000
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.
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.
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.