The Lenovo Tab E7 is one of the cheapest tablets you can buy. Starting at just 50 US Dollars you can’t expect high-end hardware. However, it is one of the first tablets to run Android Go. Could it be a useful tablet with that? That’s what you’ll find out in this Lenovo Tab E7 review.
By the way, Lenovo has been releasing cheap 7-inch tablets regularly in the last couple of years. Some are still available. Among its predecessors are the Lenovo Tab3 7 and Lenovo Tab7 Essential. I reviewed all of them. This review is about the newest Lenovo Tab E7.
Design & Build Quality
As you might expect at this price point, the Lenovo Tab E7 is a simple build tablet. It features a full plastic body and you can get it in black only. When holding it, you can feel that it is a cheaper tablet. However, it seems to be solid enough and shouldn’t break easily.
With over 10mm it is very thick and weighs 272g.
On the right side, we get a power button and the volume controls. There’s a microphone on the bottom and on the left side, we get a microSD card slot. That one is hidden behind a blue lid. On the top, it features a standard headphone jack and a MicroUSB port.
Speakers & Cameras
The Tab E7 has one single speaker which is located above the screen. Its sound quality is kind of acceptable to watch some YouTube. But don’t expect a great sound here. There is no bass at all and the sound can be flat and even a bit scratchy.
I’ve got similar things to say about the cameras. We get a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera and a 2-megapixel main camera. The quality is pretty bad. Even in good light. Well, but they do work, so you can make some snapshots or so. In this price range, we can’t expect good cameras.
Another weak point is the display of the Lenovo Tab E7. It has a diagonal of 7 inches and a pretty low resolution of just 1024 x 600. If you own an almost 7-inch smartphone, that one will have a much higher pixel density. But actually, I don’t mind the low resolution that much. Sure, texts could look sharper. But it’s still usable.
The main downside of the screen is that it is not an IPS panel. In fact, the usable viewing angles are pretty low, especially from the left side. When looking on the screen directly, it looks alright. But even then it kind of looks like there is some blurry filter applied onto the screen. It really should be a bit better.
It is bright enough to use inside. And the touchscreen works just as it should.
Hardware & Performance
Inside the Lenovo Tab E7 sits a MediaTek MT8167 quad-core processor which is supported by 1GB of RAM. Additionally, we get 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. If you want, you can get it with built-in 3G too. This version features an MT8321 quad-core chip. But the performance should be similar. My review unit is the cheapest one with WiFi and 8GB storage. Out of the box, just over 3GB are used by the system.
Again, we have to keep its low price in mind. And as you might expect, the internal hardware is pretty weak. And that is what benchmarks show too. In Geekbench 4 and AnTuTu, the Lenovo Tab E7 gets very low results. It is important to note, that the Amazon Fire HD 8 gets a much better score and costs just 30 dollars more.
Well, those are benchmarks. At this price, it is important that standard apps run smooth enough. And, actually, that is the case here. I think we can thank Android Go and its Go apps for that. The operating system, Chrome, Gmail Go and YouTube Go run smoothly. In the past, that wasn’t the case with the Lenovo Tab7 Essential. That one was shipped with standard Android instead of Android Go.
It is also important to know that this is not a multitasking tablet. Apps get closed fast in the background. And if you use Chrome with a lot of opened tabs, some of them might have to reload if you switch between them. I think that’s due to the small RAM.
There’s another thing I noticed with Chrome. Sometimes it can take about a second until text is loaded properly and looks sharp. That only happens when switching from another app or the home screen to Chrome. It’s probably another issue with the RAM.
And no, the Tab E7 is not a perfect gaming tablet. You won’t be able to run PUBG Mobile or Fortnite on here. However, it is good enough for simpler games like Subway Surfers. And I’ve even been able to play Dead Trigger 2 pretty nicely. The graphics have to be set to its lowest. But because of the bad screen, the game doesn’t look awesome anyways.
So, its performance is not really good. But it is fine if you don’t have high expectations. I think it is usable.
Software: Android 8.1 Oreo Go
The Lenovo Tab E7 ships with Android 8.1 Oreo Go Edition. It is one of the first tablets to run Android Go. That is a simpler, less demanding version of Android aimed at weaker hardware. I don’t think it will ever get Android 9. Lenovo did release smaller updates that fixed bugs and so on already though.
I quite like Android Go on the Tab E7. At first glance, you don’t notice that it is a simpler version of Android. Compared to standard one, there are some minor differences only. For example, the background of the app drawer has a solid color. Usually, it is transparent with the wallpaper shining through. It is also missing a split-screen-view. So, you can not open two apps side by side.
The operating system runs smoothly and I like it a lot. I did notice one negative thing about Android Go or at least the Google keyboard though. It seems like at least the keyboard thinks that this is a smartphone. The keyboard is smaller than it should be on 7-inches. You can adjust it a bit in the settings. But it doesn’t look great when using it in landscape view. It is even worse with the bigger Lenovo Tab E10.
We kind of get vanilla Android here and that is great. There are a couple of apps pre-installed only. Two of those are games that you can uninstall easily.
One reason why most apps run smoothly on here might be the Google Go apps. For example, instead of standard Gmail you get Gmail Go. Additionally, there is YouTube Go, Google Assistant Go, and Maps Go pre-installed. Those are simpler versions that run well on here.
The only Go app with a huge design difference is YouTube Go. The design is much simpler than what we get with standard YouTube. It can be a bit annoying that you always have to select the playback-quality before watching a video. But well, Android Go and this tablet are aimed at markets with bad internet too.
A couple of words about Netflix: You can watch movies with this tablet without any issues. However, you can not watch Netflix in HD. Since this is not an HD tablet anyways, that is not a big deal in this case though.
Inside the Lenovo Tab E7 we get a battery with a capacity of 2750mAh. Because of its low-resolution screen, I hoped that the battery life would be decent. But that is not the case. In my battery test, it got a runtime of 6 hours only. For this test, I’m always looping an HD video at medium brightness.
For a Windows tablet, those 6 hours would be fine. But almost all Android tablets last longer. Well, on a positive note, it does not lose much energy while in standby. And if you are planning to get this tablet, just keep in mind you have to charge it daily. At least if you’re using it a lot.
Lenovo Tab E7 Review: Final Verdict
Alright, that’s the end of my Lenovo Tab E7 review and I have to get to my final words. That is not that easy because it is very cheap. I like that the performance of the Tab E7 is good enough for most things – including surfing the web, watching YouTube, and even to play simple games. All of that runs smooth enough – especially when you’re not a power-user. I think that is important. Even though it is cheap, it should be at least usable. That is the case here.
I also like Android Go and the Go apps.
Most other aspects are not that good though. The battery life is very short, you cannot take good photos with the cameras and the speakers are acceptable at most. Its main downside is the 7-inch screen though. The low resolution is fine but all other aspects are not good. Lenovo should have used an IPS screen here.
Well, the Lenovo Tab E7 is very cheap and at just 50 US Dollars you cannot expect high-end hardware. Again, it is important that the performance is good enough for simple tasks. That is not always the case, but here it is. So, if you don’t want to spend more, you can not get a better tablet for the same price right now. However, if you can spend around 30 dollars more, you will be able to get a much better tablet.
Let’s take a look at a couple of alternatives.
A direct competitor with a similar price is the Amazon Fire 7. The Fire 7 and Lenovo Tab E7 have almost identical hardware. There are minor differences only. It is fine for simple tasks too. Among its few differences is Amazon’s version of Android. That is running a heavy UI and no Google apps are pre-installed. With Lenovo, we almost get vanilla Android.
I think the next best tablet and the one you should probably get as an alternative is the Amazon Fire HD 8. Depending on the market, it costs around 80 Dollars only and offers much better performance, a much better screen, and a much longer battery life. Its only downside is the software again. You have to install Google apps manually. But I think the value is much better here.
You can notice another jump in performance and quality with the Chuwi Hi9 Pro. That one is an 8-inch tablet with a very pretty screen, a good enough performance, and a metal body. It is running Googles Android too. However, since you probably have to import it from China, you might not get any local warranties.
- Good enough performance
- Pure Android 8.1 Oreo Go
- Very inexpensive
- No IPS screen
- Short battery life
- Bad cameras
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