At first glance, Lenovo’s new IdeaTab S2110 reminds us of ASUS’s Transformer Pad line of Android tablets with detachable keyboard docks. However, this upcoming tablet has a few unique touches that help it stand out from the crowd. We had a chance to spend a few moments with the IdeaTab S2110 here at IFA Berlin and particularly appreciated its design and plethora of ports.
The IdeaTab S2110 looks and is specked like a pretty typical 10-inch Android slate. It has a dual-core 1.5-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, a 1280 x 800 resolution IPS screen and a handful of ports, including microUSB and microHDMI, but there’s no microSD Card slot for expansion. The back is an attractive dark brown color and has a textured surface that makes a pleasant record scratching sound when you run your finger over it.
The OS is standard Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an attractive default wallpaper photo of some stones and some useful widgets on the desktop that blow up when you tap them to reveal groups of shortcuts for different apps. We particularly like the folder widgets because they can add and remove shortcuts from these quick-access folders.
The IdeaTab S2110 snaps securely into its $100 keyboard dock and releases with the push of a latch. In our brief test, popping the screen in and out was easy, but once the screen was attached, it felt completely secure. With the clamshell closed, the S2110 is a bit thicker but still looked and felt extremely thin and light in our hands.
The keyboard dock adds 10 hours to the IdeaTab S2110’s already 10-hour battery life, but its selection of ports is much more significant. Where the S2110 by itself lacks a microSD Card slot, the keyboard has a full size SD Card slot and two USB ports.
The keyboard provided a decent level of tactile feedback, but had a very noticeable flex problem. We particularly appreciated the two dedicated Android keys on either side of the spacebar; the one on the left side returns you home while the right side button launches Android’s task switching layer menu.
The matte touchpad offered just the right amount of friction, making it easy for us to navigate around the screen with our pointer. The left and right mouse buttons provide just the right amount of feedback too.
Overall, the IdeaTab S2110 looks and feels like a solid but unremarkable tablet/dock combo. However, the keyboard flex is a concern and the lack of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is disappointing, though Lenovo may update the OS at some point in the future. We look forward to really putting the IdeaTab S2110 through its paces when we get one in for review.