Until recently, Lenovo was a name associated only with Windows-based PCs. Now, however, things aren't quite the same. The Chinese company makes more money selling mobile devices, so we see nothing surprising in it extending its line-up even further.
The Lenovo S5000 is a new Android tablet that we got the chance to check out at IFA 2013. It is by no means a Nexus 7 killer, but it is shaping up as a reasonably-priced ultra-portable slate. As soon as we picked it up we were surprised by its low weight. The tablet can be easily held single-handedly and definitely won't get your wrist tired. On top of that, the Lenovo S5000 is razor-thin, so it is super easy to slip into any bag. Plastic is the material the S5000's body is made of, and as a whole, we are fine with that choice. It looks ordinary, but the texture on the back feels quite nice to the touch.
The screen on the Lenovo S5000 is of acceptable quality. Its resolution is 800 by 1280 pixels, so the level of detail it can represent is average at best, yet okay for most tasks. Colors are nice and vivid, without getting washed out out much when the slate is tilted at an angle.
We have Android 4.2 running on the Lenovo S5000, but its UI is far from stock. The lock screen and notification panels have been altered, while the selection of widgets has been expanded. Interestingly, Lenovo has chosen to remove the app drawer and simply place all app icons on the home screen. Overall, the UI isn't bad, but we think we've seen more elegant solutions. With its quad-core 1.2GHz processor by MediaTek and 1GB of RAM, the S5000 is responsive most of the time. We did notice some lags here and there, but we suppose that must have been due to the prototype nature of the device we tested.
On the back of the Lenovo S5000 we see a 5MP camera. There's a front-facing cam present as well. The two are usable, but don't expect to take any award-winning pics with this one. The 16GB of storage are okay for the needs of the average consumer, but cannot be expanded.
You might notice in the pictures that the Lenovo S5000 has an earpiece for phone calls above its screen. Unfortunately, the functionality will be present only on models sold in select markets, as Lenovo clarified for us.
To wrap things up, the Lenovo S5000 isn't perfect, but it might be an option worth considering given its €199 (~$262) price point in markets where the 2013 Nexus 7 tablet is priced higher. It is scheduled to launch in select markets in Q4 of 2013.