Lenovo Takes Three Bites of Android Marshmallow with Budget TAB3 Tablets: Hands On

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Lenovo has a lot of new tablets at Mobile World Congress, including three new entry-level TAB3 models, each running Android: the 7-inch tablet TAB3 7, 8-inch TAB3 8, and 10-inch TAB3 10.

Lenovo TAB3 7 and TAB3 8

Lenovo TAB3 7 and TAB3 8

The smallest has the weakest hardware, including a 1024 x 768 IPS display, quad-core MediaTek 1 GHz SoC, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of memory storage. Its rear-facing camera has 5 megapixels, while the selfie camera has 2 megapixels. Surprisingly, Lenovo has secured LTE support for this model and made it waterproof. It’s expected to cost $130.

The 8-inch TAB3 8 comes in two varieties: LTE and Wi-Fi. The screen resolution has a bit more pixels, 1280 x 800. It’s not waterproof, but costs only $100 for the Wi-Fi version, and $150 for the LTE TAB3 8.

Both the 7-inch and the 8-inch Lenovo TAB3 models seem very light, and are easy to hold and use. They are obviously budget devices, given away by their low display resolution and plastic build, not to mention he chipset. Basic browsing and apps run fine and lag-free; but more advanced apps and demanding tasks, like forwarding a large video file, will strain the system.

Lenovo TAB3 10 is the biggest model of the TAB3 series and intended for business users. Its specs are much better, including a 10-inch IPS display with a Full HD resolution (1080 x 1920)

Lenovo TAB3 10

Lenovo TAB3 10

TAB3 10 features a MediaTek quad-core 1.3 GHz SoC, and has either 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, or 3 GB of RAM and 64 GB of memory storage. It also includes Android for Work support. The basic Wi-Fi model will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $200, while the LTE models with 2 and 3 GB of RAM will set you back approximately $250 and $300.

This TAB3 10 feels and acts in accordance with its price. It’s better than the 7-inch and 8-inch TAB3s, with a much better display and improved performance. It’s also IP-52 rated for dust and splash resistance, and sports dual Dolby speakers.

The entire TAB3 series Android Marshmallow with a handful of Lenovo tweaks, including a kids mode, which could go well with the less expensive tablets.

The TAB3 tablets will launch in June. Their prices seem right given the specs, but we’d like to wait to see what other MediaTek tablets launch in mid 2016. The Amazon Fire lineup is due for a refresh come the fall, and those devices typically launch in the same price class.

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