Lenovo Tab S8 hands-on review

Lenovo Tab S8 review

We're seeing a lot of 8in tablets launching as the size becomes more popular and Lenovo isn't wanting to miss out on this. Here's out hands-on review of the Lenovo Tab S8 from IFA 2014 in Berlin. See also the best tablets of 2014.

Lenovo Tab S8 hands-on review: Price and release date

Unlike some recent 8in tablets we've seen – Sony's Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 – the Lenovo Tab S8 will start at £149 making it extremely affordable and it will hit the shops this month. That's an impressive price when you look at what's on offer here and puts it in competition with the Nexus 7 which is a little more at £199.

Lenovo Tab S8 hands-on review: Design

The Tab S8 will, like the Asus Memo Pad 7, come in a range of colours. We took a look at the blue model but we're told the yellow option which you can see in the back of shot will not be launching.

We're not sure why and it's a shame because the yellow model has a nice matt finish while the blue edition has a slightly odd jelly texture the rear cover which feels weird but does provide better grip.

Lenovo Tab S8 review design

Whatever colour you choose, the Lenovo Tab S8 has a stylish look with its square shape and thin bezels. The device is nicely thin and light so we found holding it one-handed in different orientations a breeze.

Lenovo Tab S8 hands-on review: Hardware

Underneath the colourful exterior is one on Intel's Bay Trail-T Atom Z3745 quad-core processors which will provide up to 1.86 GHz of power. We're pleased to report it's a 64-bit chip so this is good news for when Android L arrives in all its 64-bit goodness.

Alongside the processor is a decent 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. Lenovo touts up to 7 hours of battery life.
As we mentioned earlier, 8in is quickly becoming the go to size for tablet makers and we can see why – it's a happy medium and balance between 7in and 10in providing easy handling but a good amount of real estate.

The Lenovo Tab S8's display is IPS so you're getting good viewing angles and at 1920 x 1200, the resolution provides and nicely crisp image. It's nice to see front facing stereo speakers (with Dolby Digital) on the tablet.

Lenovo Tab S8 review hardware

There's nothing else major to report in terms of specs here with just 11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS. We're told the device will come in a Wi-Fi only model but also an alternative with a SIM-card slot turning it into a phablet adding the ability to use 3G data and also make calls.

There are dual-cameras on a Tab S8 if you're into tablet photography. At the rear is a reasonable, although slow to focus, 8Mp camera and at the front is a 1.6Mp shooter.

Lenovo Tab S8 hands-on review: Software

On-board the Lenovo Tab S8 is Android 4.4 KitKat and we should hope that the device will be upgraded to Android L when it arrives soon – mostly because the new version of Google's OS will then make full use of the Intel Bay Trail's 64-bit support.

Lenovo Tab S8 review software

Until then, KitKat is you're friend here and like other manufacturers Lenovo has created its own user interface. The firm has gone for some very iOS-esque app icons which, like Huawei, are simply situated on the homescren panels rather than in an app menu – something we don't understand or like.

The keen-eyed reader will spot the dialler and messages apps, confirmed the Tas S8's optional status as a very large phablet. Lenovo also includes some of its own pre-loaded apps such as Security HD, SYNCit HD, SHAREit and CLONEit.     

OUR VERDICT

If the jelly-like rear cover and iOS style user interface don't sound too off-putting then the Lenovo Tab S8 is a nice 8in Android tablet with a thin design and some good specs including an Intel Bay Trail 64-bit processor all ready for when Android L arrives. Furthermore, it will cost just £149.