Lenovo Tab E10 Review: How Usable Is This Cheap 10-Inch Tablet?
In my Lenovo Tab E10 review I’ll show you whether this inexpensive 10-inch tablet with Android Go is a good buy – or whether its competiton is better.
The Lenovo Tab E10 is a very inexpensive Android tablet. With a price starting at just 130 US Dollars it is one of the cheapest 10-inch tablets you can get. However, we still get an HD screen, a Snapdragon quad-core processor, and Android 8.1 Oreo – sometimes in the Android Go edition. In this Lenovo Tab E10 review I’ll tell you how good it really is.
A couple of words about its versions first. The cheapest version of the Lenovo Tab E10 offers 1GB RAM and a 16GB internal storage. It is running Android Go Edition. If you want to spend a bit more, you can get 2GB of RAM and normal Android. You can get it with 32GB of internal storage as well.
Design & Build Quality
With the Lenovo Tab E10, we get a full plastic body. Even though it is plastic, it seems to be well built. Well, at least you can’t bend it. However, it is quite heavy with 530g and not the thinnest with 8.9mm. You can get it in black only.
On the left side, we get a microSD card slot, a power button, the volume controls, and a micro USB port. There’s a standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the right side. On the top, there are two speakers which are angled towards the front. Considering its price, the sound quality is alright. It’s fine for YouTube. But as you might expect, it’s missing a real bass.
The cameras offer a resolution of 5 and 2 megapixels. And again, the picture quality is alright at most. It’s not even that great under perfect light but usable for video chats and so on. I don’t think you would like to shoot Instagram selfies with this.
The Lenovo Tab E10 has a 10.1-inch screen with an aspect ratio of 16:10. It features an HD resolution with 1280 x 800 pixels. Yes, a full HD resolution would be much nicer. Again, considering its price, it’s fine though. But texts certainly don’t look as sharp as on just a bit pricier tablets.
I also reviewed the Lenovo Tab E7 and that screen was much worse. Overall, the screen of the Lenovo Tab E10 is not too bad. I like that we get an IPS panel. So, the viewing angles are wide. And other aspects like contrast and brightness are alright too. Sure, it’s not the brightest but certainly usable to use inside. Sadly, it is not laminated, so you will see reflections easily.
Overall, I think the screen is fine but certainly not great. If you spend just a bit more, you can get an Amazon Fire HD 10 with a nicer full HD screen.
Hardware & Performance
Let’s get to the internal hardware and performance. Lenovo is shipping the Tab E10 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 quad-core processor. Depending on the version, you can get it with 1GB or 2GB of RAM. The internal storage can have a capacity of 16GB or 32GB. My review unit is the cheapest one with 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. Out of the box, around 4GB are used by the system.
The Snapdragon 210 is an entry-level chipset and that is what benchmarks like Geekbench 4 and AnTuTu show too. As you can see in my comparison chart, the performance is not great at all. But since it is so cheap, that’s what we must expect. Still. Keep in mind, that the just a bit pricier Amazon Fire HD 10 gets much better results.
In real life, the performance of the Tab E10 is good enough – but with a few downsides. The cheapest version is running Android 8.1 Oreo Go and that is a less demanding version of Android. And that one runs nicely on here. However, it can be that you have to wait a bit. Just sometimes when switching between apps or going to the home screen.
We certainly don’t get a multitasking tablet here. Android Go does not even support a split-screen-view. And the 1GB RAM is too small for that. Apps are closed much faster in the background as we are used to from devices with more memory. It can also happen that it can take about a second until text looks sharp in Chrome when starting it fresh.
Another downside of the small RAM is that websites sometimes have to reload when you’re working with a lot of tabs. So, the Tab E10 is not perfect if you are a heavy web surfer. But keep in mind that if you surf the web normally, everything is fine.
Other apps like Microsoft Word and YouTube work without any issues. I watched quite a bit of YouTube and that’s totally fine. More issues are noticeable with more demanding apps like Adobe Lightroom. With that one, it can take a while until everything is loaded. But I think it’s still usable, just photographers should probably invest in a better editing tablet.
Lenovo Tab E10 Gaming Test
In my gaming test, the Lenovo Tab E10 does not get great results. That’s to be expected though. Very demanding games like PUBG Mobile don’t work. I installed it, but when trying to play it, a message pops up that this device is not supported yet.
Other games like Into The Dead 2 do work. Well, at least sometimes. I tried several rounds of Into The Dead 2 and it is playable but crashes sometimes. And when it is running, you have to play it at its lowest graphics and expect some minor stuttering.
Simpler games obviously do run. Subway Surfers is one of them. And I played Shadow of Death too. I only noticed some minor stuttering in-between.
Overall, the Lenovo Tab E10 is not a gaming tablet. The 2GB RAM version should be a bit better for that. Maybe Into The Dead 2 won’t crash with that one. Again, don’t get this as a gaming tablet.
Software: Android 8.1 Oreo Go
Lenovo is shipping the Tab E10 with Android 8.1 Oreo. The cheapest version is running the Go Edition and that is my review unit. The Android Go Edition is a less demanding version of Android. I don’t think it’ll ever get Android 9 Pie. With that being said, Lenovo did release minor updates already.
There are minor differences compared to standard Android. At first sight, there are almost none and it looks like standard Android. Some features are missing though. For example, there is no split screen view supported. That means you cannot open two apps side by side.
I also noticed that the Google keyboard thinks that the Tab E10 is a smartphone. It is displayed much smaller than it should be – even after adjusting it a bit in the settings. Because of that, it is not that great to type on when the tablet is in landscape view. Since it’s Android, you can install your own keyboards though.
As is usual with Lenovo, we kind of get vanilla Android here. Some additional features are supported though. For example, you can set in the settings whether you want to use the app drawer or not. You can also activate a tap-to-wake feature.
Read: The Best Cheap Tablets Under 100 Dollars
Since we’re getting Android Go in this case, some of the pre-installed Google apps are the Go editions. Among those are Gmail Go, Google Maps Go, and even the Assistant Go. There are no huge differences – just some minor ones. Chrome and YouTube are the standard versions.
In addition to those Google apps, we also get a couple of standard ones like a calendar or calculator but also two games. Don’t worry, you can uninstall those.
So, overall, we pretty much do get vanilla Android here and that is nice to see.
By the way, like with most Lenovo tablets recently, you can not watch Netflix in HD on here. Since we get a standard HD screen only, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal though. You won’t notice that much of a difference compared to HD YouTube videos.
The battery life of the Lenovo Tab E10 with its 4850mAh battery is a bit disappointing. In my standard battery test, it got a runtime of just 7 hours. For that, I’m always looping the same HD video at medium brightness. By the way, Lenovo is stating those 7 hours too.
As you can see in my battery comparison, those 7 hours are far from great. In the last year, the smaller Lenovo Tab E7 is the only Android tablet with a worse result.
Lenovo Tab E10 Review: Final Verdict
With such cheap tablets, it sometimes is not that easy to get to a fair verdict. The Lenovo Tab E10 does not score that good in my review. But it is very cheap. Especially when you can get it as a deal, the display and performance can be good enough. And the build quality is solid. Other aspects like its battery life or cameras are kind of bad though. However, I do like that we get almost pure Android Oreo.
Since it has a very strong competitor with the Amazon Fire HD 10, I can’t really recommend the Lenovo Tab E10. At least not at its original price. For that, I think the hardware is too weak. Even if you prefer vanilla Android, I think it’s a better idea to spend a bit more for the Lenovo Tab M10.
It might be worth it to get the Lenovo Tab E10 if you can get it as a deal. However, if you can invest just a bit more, you probably should.
A very interesting alternative is the Amazon Fire HD 10. With a price of just 149 US Dollars, it offers a faster performance, a much nicer full HD screen, and 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage as a standard. The battery life is much better too. Sadly, it is not running Google’s Android. Instead, you must live with the heavy UI from Amazon. But you can install the Google Play Store manually.
The Lenovo Tab M10 is another alternative with almost pure Android. It costs a bit more but features a full HD screen too and a faster processor.
- Almost pure Android Go
- Usable screen
- Short battery life
- Weak cameras
- Small RAM
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July 20, 2019 at 1:47 pm
I had to replace my elderly and much loved Lenovo A7600f tablet, age, and over use, had finally taken its toll. I also have a Lenovo Desktop PC, and TWO Motorola Z2 Play phones and the matching Bluetooth keyboard built for the A7600f. I LIKE Lenovo; their products have served me well, so I was inclined to continue to rely on Lenovo for my tech buys.
I saw the Tab E10 with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB on sale directly from Lenovo for $114 US. To me, it looked like and was described in such a way as to make me believe it was essentially an upgraded A7600f. I was really impressed with the sales point that I could use my 16 gb micro SD cards as either additional main memory (turning my 16 GB tablet into a 32 GB tablet) or as ‘external’ storage.
In fairness to Lenovo, that equivalency comparison was never made by Lenovo, that was a comparison made entirely within my own mind. Unfortunately, the two devices are not close enough to make that comparison. I felt the E10 was problematic for me from the start.
I couldn’t even register it! The Lenovo Web site told me this device’s warranty had expired sometime in the 1970’s. It’s not like at mid July 2019, the E10 is still a very new product! Surely by now, the web support infrastructure for the E10 has had all the bugs identified and fixed. I can’t believe I am the VERY first person to buy an E10 at this point.
The device could not accept the micro SD cards from my A7600F which had worked fine up till now (16 GB Samsung & 8GB PNY). The E10 kept telling me the cards were extremely slow and unsuitable for the tablet when I tried to reformat them for the new tablet. I could believe that one of the cards had gone bad, but not both. That is just too coincidental in my mind.
Furthermore, in spite of twice the RAM, a newer CPU, and twice the internal SSD, the E10 was significantly slower than my A7600f. And I am not talking about “just a little bit slower” but response times at least 4 times longer than that of an elderly, near death tablet. Plus, the tablet would frequently crash when trying to invoke an app or access RAM.
After about 24 hours of trying to make it work, I gave up, called Lenovo and asked for an RMA.
They were good about it and authorized the RMA almost immediately. All I had to do was pack it up, attach the shipping label, and take it to an authorized UPS intake shop. The return (so far) has been easy. Lenovo even emailed me when UPS picked the package up from the intake shop. That was pretty cool. It’s been to soon to see if/how they credit my Credit card account but I expect that to go relatively smoothly
I was a little disappointed that they didn’t try to talk me into an upgrade in spite of me saying things like “I’m quite a fan of most things Lenovo, I own several Lenovo devices.” I would have considered a modest ‘upsell’ opportunity to keep me using Lenovo Tablets since this was clearly a product designed for the bare minimal tablet usage. I would have spent a bit more to satisfy my curiosity about if this was a trend with Lenovo tablets or if this was the new reality. I think Lenovo missed an opportunity to keep me in the fold, so to speak. Up till now, I have been most complimentary towards Lenovo.
So, I went to BestBuy, and spent $229 on the Samsung Tab A10 (2019) – Dumb name if you ask me, everyone seems to use the term “Tab”, and why make the release year part of the name, I say give it a friendly name, something like “Skippy”.
This tablet is everything I expected the Lenovo to be. It’s fast, and reliable, it uses my EXISTING micro SD cards just fine. The only thing the Samsung lacks is the ability to use the Micro SD card as SPU RAM, since it comes with 32 GB of RAM that isn’t as big an issue for me.
The Samsung even works with my Lenovo Bluetooth keyboard, it’s optimized for the A7600f, but still basically functional. I even took advantage of the half off Samsung Keyboard Case, but can’t speak to it since they were out of stock and won’t get more in for another week or so.
I can only recommend the Lenovo Tab E10 for those who knowingly want the cheapest and lowest common denominator. If you intend to use it for writing or other “worky” chores, even occasionally, spend a little more money. You will be much happier in the end.
December 1, 2022 at 12:44 pm
My Lenovo TAB E10 was so slow as to be quite unusable. I took a hammer to it.