I have an old iPad 2 that has become pretty worthless at basic multitasking, but still plays video fine. I’ve been more of an Android than Apple phone guy lately, so I’ve been looking for a 10” Android tablet. There’s just one problem with this idea: there are no good 10” Android tablets.
I don’t want anything super fancy. Just give me something that’s a reasonable alternative to an iPad Air. That means a 1920x1200 (or better) 10” screen, above-average CPU, 2 GB of RAM, and not too much bloatware.
Here is a list of 10” Android tablets that supposedly meet my criteria and why they actually suck:
Acer Iconia Tab 10 A3-A20FHD - weak CPU
ASUS MeMo Pad FHD 10 - weak CPU, buggy/unreliable
ASUS Transformer Pad TF701 - buggy/unreliable
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10” - too chunky (has this stupid kickstand that makes it all thick)
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 - shitty bloatware
Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 - shitty bloatware
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 - shitty bloatware
Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 - only sorta kinda sold in the US and therefore too expensive
Sony Xperia Tablet Z4 - only sorta kinda sold in the US and therefore too expensive
I found the Lenovo Tab 2 A10-70 which seemed to have everything I wanted. Best Buy dropped their price from $199 to $179 for July 4th weekend, so I took a flyer and bought the last one at my local Best Buy.
At first, everything looked good. Nice screen, good sound, snappy performance, minimal bloat. Benchmarks showed it has similar CPU power to phones like the Galaxy S5 and LG G3. GPU is mediocre, but I figured this wouldn’t matter since I don’t play 3D games on a tablet anyway.
Everything was going swimmingly...until I started watching videos.
This tablet with its 1920x1200 screen, will not play any video at any resolution higher than 720p. I know I’m not crazy and this is actually the case, because a select few other people have noticed the issue. I can only conclude that everyone else who is really happy with this tablet either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care about the video maxing out at 720p.
But I notice! Video just doesn’t look very good on this tablet, and that’s very much a dealbreaker for me. One of the main things I use a tablet for is lying in bed watching stuff, with the screen pretty close to my face. The lower resolution is quite literally staring me in the face.
I’m so annoyed part of me wants to just return it ASAP. The only thing keeping me from doing so is Lenovo says they’re updating it to Lollipop soon. When exactly that is, who knows. I’m crossing my fingers the update will happen before my return window closes, and that update magically fixes the video. But I kinda doubt that will happen.