Lenovo IdeaTab A2109 Review

Introduction and Design

Lenovo, a name long synonymous with business and enterprise end personal computers, but in the world of Android tablets, they're regarded as a newcomer – not surprisingly. Just like the other PC vendors making the plunge into the competitive Android tablet market, Lenovo is getting its feet wet with the newly available Lenovo IdeaTab A2109. Instead of being forgotten amongst the heap of other comparable options out there, this tablet is blessed with some contemporary hardware under the hood, combined with a tempting $299.99 price point. However, will it be enough to steer consumers into its direction?

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall charger
  • Start Guide
  • Safety and Warranty Information


Let's be honest here people. On one side, the Lenovo IdeaTab A2109 employs some premium choice materials that we take comfort in with its construction – like its brushed metallic casing. However, for a 9-incher tablet, it looks chubby in size (0.5" thick) and feels bloated with its weight (14.1 oz). Furthermore, its sharp edges don't necessarily make for the best grip for holding the tablet. All in all, it's a valiant effort on Lenovo's part, but it simply lacks the substance and chic design cues to enthrall us.

Trying to press the power button is a test in itself, mainly because it's so flat in feel and lacks any comforting response when pressed. Luckily, the volume control is slightly more distinct, but it's still lacking in response. Looking around the tablet's bezel, it also houses the 3.5mm headset jack, microphone, orientation lock switch, microUSB port, and microHDMI port.

Nothing too peculiar over other offerings, the IdeaTab A2109 packs a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera and a 3-megapixel fixed focused snapper in the rear – the latter of which can shoot videos in 1080p.


Of all things, our least favorite part about the Lenovo IdeaTab A2109 is the low quality 9" WXGA 1280 x 800 LCD display it's rocking. Well, it's certainly still detailed enough to make out fine text without a hitch, but it suffers from some serious bleeding around its edges, poor viewing angles, and an overall washed out appearance. In fact, all those factors make it impossible to view outdoors. Clearly, this is the most visible aspect of the tablet that does not get any love from Lenovo.

Interface and Functionality:

Making a name for itself, the IdeaTab A2109 is running a slight customization on top of Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich – to differentiate itself obviously, but it's actually anyone's guess when and if it'll make the upgrade to Jelly Bean. Specifically, we do like how Lenovo's widgets on the homescreen expand to show its contents, but we're not particularly fond of the overused 3D cube like effect going on when scrolling through the homescreen and app tray. Sure, it adds some eye candy to show off its processing power, but we've been seeing the transition effect for far too long on other long forgotten platforms – like HTC's 3D cube in its TouchFLO UI for Windows Mobile years ago.

Even though we're presented with two keyboard options, the stock ICS one and the GO keyboard, we undeniably recommend using the former since the GO keyboard looks like a stretched-out smartphone keyboard. Despite that, both are naturally responsive enough to keep pace with our fingers, but we're still a bit cautious due to the smaller real-estate over 10-inch tablets.

When it comes to the core organizer apps, the IdeaTab A2109 doesn’t deviate from the typical experience, as the calendar, calculator, clock, email, and Gmail apps all follow in form to what we’ve seen constantly in the past.

Out of the box, the tablet is stuffed full of bloatware consisting of apps like AccuWeather, Amazon Kindle, Cut The Rope HD, Doc To Go, ES File Explorer, GameTanium, PokeTalk, News Republic, Norton Security, ooVoo, SugarSync, and Zinio. Also, Lenovo throws itself into the mix as well with the App Shop, which compiles apps that are especially made to run with Lenovo's tablets.

Processor and Memory:

Armed with a 1.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor with 1GB of RAM, it's obviously ample enough for nearly all tasks. Not surprisingly, it maintains a responsive performance throughout everything we're able to throw at it – including testing its might with some kind of graphically intensive live wallpaper. Considering that this CPU has shown off its processing prowess before on other tablets, the results of its performance isn't entirely new. However, we're merely glad in the fact that Lenovo decided to outfit this baby with it.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
Lenovo IdeaTab A210940111076953,9
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.154791272258,9
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1)2711499518,7
Asus Transformer Pad 3003872955147,1

Many people won't be too perturbed by it, but the tablet is packing only 16GB of storage, which translates to 12.92GB of free space out of the box. Luckily, it features a microSD slot for memory expansion, hidden under a hard-to-remove cover.

Internet and Connectivity:

Knowing that it's packing one beastly processor under the hood, the IdeaTab A2109 flies when it comes to the web browsing experience. Whether it's using the stock Android browser or Google's very own Chrome, it establishes a tasteful experience thanks to its smooth and instantaneous navigational operations. Throw in Adobe Flash support with the stock browser, which is preloaded by default, we're able to get that ever so useful desktop-like experience.

Currently, the IdeaTab A2109 is manufactured as a Wi-Fi only device – with word on whether we'll see cellular connected versions. Aside from that specific connectivity feature, it also sports aGPS, Bluetooth, and nothing more.


As we've all come to expect with taking photos with a tablet, they're best reserved for only those worst case scenarios when nothing else is present – and the same can be said about the Lenovo IdeaTab A2109! We won't get into the details, but the snapshots taken from its 3-megapixel camera look like muddy paintings lacking any detail and solid colors. Worst yet, we won't even go into the horrendous shots it captures in low lighting.

Whoa! Talk about super slow-motion! Needless to say, we're not all that surprised by the similar results found with its 1080p video recording, but more shocking is the fact that it captures video at the slow-as-molasses rate of 12 frames per second, rendering them unusable! Yeah, we're scratching our heads with this one too.

Lenovo IdeaTab A2109 Sample Video:


Relying on the good 'ol stock Android music player, it has the balanced appeal with its presentation to remain relevant against most other things. However, with its two speakers, which offer SRS WOW HD, it doesn't deliver the potent punch with its output to throttle any sort of commanding tones – though, the available equalizer settings help to ease things a little bit.

Again, it isn't all that unexpected to find the tablet easily handling most high-def videos we throw at it – like 1080p ones encoded in DivX, H264, MPEG-4, and XviD. However, due to its washed out looking display, it doesn't present us with the best viewing experience.

No doubt an appreciative thing to find, the microHDMI port of the tablet enables us to get that oh-so lovable mirrored experience on a high-definition television.

Performance and Battery:

In terms of Wi-Fi connectivity, it manages to maintain a solid connection to a wireless hotspot located approximately 30 feet away.

For those wondering about battery life, it's on par to most comparable tablets we've checked out – meaning, it's enough to last us a solid day with normal usage. Of course, power users will also be able to get by on a day as well, but it'll require a charge prior to bedtime to be at a reasonable level in the morning.


Being a relatively new player in the Android tablet space, Lenovo clearly has the formula in conjuring up a respectable tablet – albeit, they still have a lot to learn before being regarded as a contender. When we think of value, there's no denying that plenty of it is found with the Lenovo IdeaTab A2109, thanks partly to its contemporary hardware and competitive price point of $300. Obviously, it'll garner quite a few looks in the process, but when it's competing to stand head above water over things like the Apple iPad 3, Google Nexus 7, and Asus Transformer Pad 300 to name a few, it's got an uphill battle to establish itself. In the end, there is still room for improvement in a variety of aspects with the tablet to make it a sure fire selection over its rivals, but it may prove as worthy look for those on a tight budget.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android Version: 4.0.4
Kernel Version: 3.1.10
Build Number: A2109A_A404_01_12_120705_US

Lenovo IdeaTab A2109 Video Review:


  • $300 price point for a 9-inch tablet
  • NVIDIA quad-core CPU
  • Brushed metallic casing


  • Low quality display
  • Muddy quality with photo/video capture

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