55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Worthy, if unspectacular, new Android tablet
, 16 Dec. 2013
This review is from: Lenovo S5000 7-inch Tablet (Silver Grey Metal) - (Quad Core 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, WLAN, BT, 2x Camera, Android 4.2) (Personal Computers)
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Had this tablet been released before, or around the time of, the original Nexus 7 towards the end of 2012, it would have been in the vanguard of quality, low cost Android tablets. As it is, the S5000 is one of a number of very similar devices - it won't disappoint and it won't set the world alight.
Compared to an original Nexus 7, the S5000 is much lighter and thinner - an altogether more pleasant device to use in practice. It's also a little thinner than the 2013 Nexus 7 and its build quality isn't quite up there with that device - the chrome surround is a matter of personal taste for example - but it's perfectly acceptable. Unlike the Iconia B1, for example, the S5000 doesn't feel like a toy.
The 1280x800 display is, again, mid range - matching the Nexus 7 2012 but some distance behind the newer Nexus. In use, the display is bright but, compared with the N7 2013, has a greenish tinge. I can't discover whether the screen is gorilla glass or similar which leads me to suspect it isn't although I've not noticed any scratches after a month's use.
There's a bit of a theme developing - performance wise, the S5000 is virtually identical to the original Nexus 7 with a Geekbench 3 score of 325 (single core) and 1042 (multi-core). The 2013 Nexus 7, by contrast, scores 581 and 1835 respectively and is noticeably faster in use - especially when, for example, the device is updating apps. In practice, however, the S5000 copes well with everything I've thrown at it so far, including Plants Vs Zombies 2 and Minion Rush (a game which tends to push devices pretty hard). I doubt it would cope with the most demanding games but it's pretty solid. Battery life seems pretty good, again on a par with the Nexus devices and ahead of the Iconia B1.
Android 4.2.2 comes installed which, whilst it's a couple of versions back, is pretty indistinguishable from the most recent version. Lenovo don't mess around too much with the standard Android look and feel (mercifully) but they have, for reasons I cannot fathom, removed the app launcher. This means that all apps appear as icons directly on the "desktop" - an extremely unwelcome blast from the past. To fix this, I recommend installing Nova Launcher - this has no negative impact on the overall experience but restores the app drawer. You'll thank me.
18 months ago, this would have been a market leader. As it is, the S5000 is a solid Android tablet. The Kindle Fire HD is cheaper and specified better but is locked into Amazon. The Nexus 7 2013 is better in all regards but is also more expensive. If you can afford the extra £40-£50, and you intend to use your tablet to the max, I recommend the Nexus but if you're mainly interested in sofa surfing, Facebooking, emailing and a little light gaming, the S5000 won't disappoint.
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