Lenovo rolls out new sub-$200 tablets, two with Dolby Atmos

Lenovo might still be a little sore from the Superfish scandal that recently rocked its PC division, but thankfully the company's mobile arm has remained unharmed. And that's a good thing, because it's kicking off Mobile World Congress with the announcement of not one, not two, but three new tablets, in both Android and Windows flavors. The Lenovo Tab 2 A10 and the Lenovo Tab 2 A8 are from the budget-friendly Android A series, while the affordable Lenovo Miix 300 is for those who prefer the operating system from Redmond. The overarching theme of all three of these is simple: value.


Next on the list is the Tab 2 A8, which is very similar to the A10 except it's, well, smaller. It has an 8-inch HD IPS display instead of 10 and is, of course, lighter at 360 grams. The Tab 2 A8 also comes with Dolby Atmos, but it would be better to experience it through headphones since the A8 lacks the A10's powerful speakers. Other features of the A8 include a MediaTek quad-core processor, a microSD card slot that accepts up to 32GB cards, a 5-megapixel rear camera and dual-band WiFi. Interestingly, the international variant of the Tab 2 A8 comes with a dual-SIM card slot for those who like to hop between carriers and it supports both voice and LTE. Yes, that means you could potentially use the 8-inch A8 as a phone. Holding it in my hand, I don't think I could imagine hoisting this next to the side of my face, but I imagine you'd only make calls with this thing with a headset. It has quite a bit of bezel surrounding the display, which I'm not a huge fan of, but the sharp and colorful high-def screen makes up for it. Another great feature of the A8 is that it ships with a pure version of Android 5.0 Lollipop, which could be why performance was relatively zippy when I played around with it.


Last but not least is the Miix 300, which almost seems like the last kid picked for team sports in this particular grouping -- it's just not quite as cool as the other two. Then again, the Miix 300 is intended to be the most budget-friendly Windows tablet (a lower-end version of the Miix 2) from Lenovo yet and its humdrum design reflects that. Still, it has a decent 300-nit, 8-inch HD IPS display, an Intel Atom quad-core processor, a 5-megapixel rear camera, 64GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot and, of course, WiFi. You also get a free one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 as part of the package. It ships with Windows 8.1, and a Lenovo spokesperson tells us that it should be upgradeable to Windows 10 when that rolls around later in the year.

The Tab 2 A10 will be available in pearl white and midnight blue and will ship for $199 starting in April. As for the Tab 2 A8, that comes in pearl white, ebony, midnight blue and neon pink and will be available in June for a starting price of $129. International models with the dual-SIM card slots will cost roughly $179. Finally, the Miix 300 lives up to its affordability promise with a low, low price of $149, which makes it the cheapest Windows tablet in Lenovo's lineup. The Miix 300 will be available in July.

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