Lenovo IdeaPad S2110 tablet with laptop dock hands-on review

Lenovo IdeaPad S2110 tablet with laptop dock hands-on review

Summary: Lenovo has introduced an Android tablet with optional laptop dock to go head-to-head with the Asus Transformer line of tablets. The 10.1-inch IdeaPad S2110 has a beautiful screen and the dock provides the best laptop in the genre.

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S2110 laptop (600x450)

Lenovo has been making Android tablets for a while and has taken the lessons learned from that experience and applied them to the IdeaPad S2110. This Android tablet is as thin and light as you would expect, and even though it lacks the latest version of Android it offers smooth operation. The key feature of the S2110 is the optional laptop dock that turns the tablet into a full laptop.

Don't miss the S2110 full photo gallery

Thin profile(450x600) (225x300)

Android tablets are a dime a dozen, in number if not in price. OEMs are scrambling to give their tablets an edge against all the competing products, and Lenovo has leveraged its experience in making laptop keyboards for the laptop dock for the S2110.

Hardware as reviewed

  • Processor: Qualcomm APQ8060A (1.5 GHz)
  • Memory: 1 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB (32 GB optional)
  • Display: 10.1-inch IPS (wide angle), 1280 x 800
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; 3G optional
  • Ports: MicroHDMI, docking/charging, audio; On the dock: 2 USB 2.0, SD Card slot
  • Cameras: Front -- 1.3 MP; Rear -- 5 MP (LED flash, autofocus)
  • Audio: stereo speakers; SRS TruMedia
  • OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Battery: Tablet -- 23.4 Wh; Dock -- 23.4 Wh (9 - 10 hours tablet, 18 - 20 hours with dock)
  • Dimensions: 259.8 x 178 x 8.69mm (10.2 x 7.0 x 0.34") 
  • Weight: Tablet only 580 gm (1.28 lbs.); Tablet + dock: <3 lbs.

Operation of the S2110 is smooth and fast even though Lenovo uses the Snapdragon processor instead of the Nvidia Tegra. That decision was due to Qualcomm's integration of 3G, an option Lenovo intends to offer with the S2110 in the future.

The 10.1-inch IPS display on the S2110 is gorgeous, with wide viewing angles. The touch operation is light and accurate and the thin, light form makes the tablet comfortable for use in the hands. The edges of the tablet house the expected hardware controls: power button, volume rocker, and audio jack. There is a docking connector for use with the laptop dock, and a mini HDMI jack for use with large monitors.

The S2110 tablet is a good tablet, although it's disappointing Lenovo went with Ice Cream Sandwich instead of the current version, Jelly Bean. The latter is the best version of Android by far and would be nice on the tablet. Lenovo has not stated if/when the S2110 will be updated to Jelly Bean.

Lenovo has preinstalled a lot of games and utilities, along with some simple widgets for the home screen. This installation is much easier on performance than past Lenovo offerings, a welcome change.

The S2110 with optional laptop dock is designed to compete with the Asus Transformer line, and it performs admirably in this respect. I am a fan of using tablets with keyboards and this dock from Lenovo is as good as they get.

Keyboard 1(300x225)

The keyboard is marvelous, as the keys have good tactile feedback and travel. It is possible to type very rapidly using the dock. I did have occasional duplicated keys appear, but that could be due to my fast typing. I really like this keyboard, and the trackpad with two mouse buttons are also well done. It is surprisingly useful at times to be able to use the trackpad to move the blue cursor around the screen for hands-on operation.

Like the Transformer docks, the Lenovo laptop dock has a second battery that doubles the already good tablet battery life. I have gotten 10 hours of battery life on the tablet alone, and nearly 20 hours with the laptop dock connected. The dock charges the tablet battery when connected, so you always have a full tablet battery when you pop the slate off and leave the dock behind.

Lenovo is pricing the S2110 competitively, with the unit as reviewed priced at $429 on the Lenovo web site. The laptop dock should add $120 to that price, a bargain for the utility provided. There is also a 32GB tablet option available for the S2110.

Update: According to Lenovo the starting price for the S2110 is $399 and just $499 with the tablet/dock combo. These prices are not evident on the Lenovo web site at the time of this publication.

The only complaint I have with the IdeaPad S2110 is the USB charging cable provided. It's becoming a common practice for OEMs to go cheap with cables, and Lenovo has done so with this one. The USB charging cable plugs into the included power adapter, but the cable is only 3 feet in length. You can't reach an outlet from the average desktop with this short cable, restricting where you can place the unit for charging.

Laptop closed (500x126)

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Topics: Tablets, Android, Lenovo, Reviews

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14 comments
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  • Nah, it sucks

    Because that is what the various Apple and MS shills here are going to say.
    D.T.Long
  • One place where iPad really loses it as a productivity device

    "It is surprisingly useful at times to be able to use the trackpad to move the blue cursor around the screen for hands-on operation."

    Not sure why this would be "surprising". It is the first thing I noticed when I started using my iPad as a productivity device: using touch for 100% of your interactions sucks. Touch is very nice for consumption but terrible for content creation.

    While I'm personally going to get an MS Surface Pro as my mobile content creation device, Android gets kudos for getting this one right first. Apple is still clueless when it comes to this. Luckily for Apple, there are a lot of clueless consumers out there so this won't hurt Apple in the pocketbook.
    toddbottom3
    • Indeed.

      For a pure consumer device touch controls are great. I work for a german service provider and it is amazing how easy it is to get even an old man interested in a tablet. Simply because it is so very easy to use! The internet literally at your fingertips, it is a lot more approachable for them than a laptop or a desktop computer.
      But if you actually want to write or create something on a touch-only device things get... weird. To say the freaking least.
      mathiasappel@...
    • Wise words....

      You are absolutely right. My iPad is an overpriced Kindle. The device that gives me a complete IDE for writing applications, on the device, is the device for me. Looks like the Win8 devices are the most compelling.
      jgoode@...
    • Yes.. Thats exactly what..

      CIO's, CEO's, CFO's.. Etc want to hear is that they are clueless
      Johnpford
      • They aren't?

        I wouldn't trust CIOs, CEOs, CFOs etc to make intelligent technology decisions. That isn't where their skills lie.

        Also, C-level people are big content consumers not big content creators. While the iPad is an okay content consumer, it really sucks at creating content. So C-level people may be able to get away with an iPad. I personally found it far too limiting a device. I cannot wait to get rid of mine. I just need to find a blender big enough.
        toddbottom3
  • Resolution

    The lack of true HD (1920x1080) and 32GB standard onboard (w/ 64GB optional)will keep the Transformer Infinity ahead of this one. I love the IBM/Lenovo keyboards, but resolution is a non-starter for any interest I had in replacing my TF201. I would also wager Asus will do a better job with updates than Lenovo will. Screen wins over keyboard.
    robroy90
    • Levono behind before out of the gate

      1. Resolution is 1280x800. Inifinity: 1920x1200 Super IPS. Winner: inifinity
      2. OS is ICS. Infinity: JellyBean. Winner: infinity
      3. Leveno keyboard looks like hell. Infinity keyboard is sleek and stylish. Winner: infinity
      4. Leveno tablet + keyboard cost $499. Infinity + keyboard cost $649. Winner: lenovo
      5. Both offer 3G connectivity. Tie.

      My transformer prime, which I got in April, just got JellyBean about a week ago, and it has 1280x800 resolution, and with the keyboard dock I get ~12-15 hours of use per charge. And it recharges in 2 hours (unlike the iPad3, which takes longer to charge than it does to discharge!). So this 7 month old tablet looks superior to Leovo's new offering.

      It looks like price is the only winning factor for Levono. Factor in that Asus has been very good with Android support ( e.g. JellyBean on the Prime ), and Lenovo has been MIA, me thinks I'll stick with Asus.
      z_mikowski
      • .. don't go that far..

        .. simple transformer, tf300 with a dock is at worst at a tie with this Lenovo, same resolution, same everything.. but it will win due to Asus's perfect update cycle.
        dragosgalben
      • .. plus..

        .. this Lenovo looks.. well ugly, compared with any transformer.. the joining area looks like it's reinforced a little too much and makes it look weird. I know it's a small point, but hey.. gadgets have been sold for far lesser reasons (like a bitten apple sticker attached to it, for example)
        dragosgalben
  • past lenovo android tablets

    for I'm not sure what reason have had next to zero developer support. no ROMs, no nothin'. that's a big turnoff considering past lenovo android tablets have also gotten next to no support from Lenovo itself for firmware and OS updates. considering Lenovo makes such high quality windows machines, I've been repeatedly disappointed by their android offerings. what's the deal Lenovo?
    theoilman
  • Android?

    I want something that the OS is updated, glitches fixed, etc. No more Android for me. I will try the Win 8 and hope.
    hayneiii@...
    • Re: Android?

      Good luck finding a Windows 8 equivalent for less than twice that price.
      ldo17
  • Looks Good.

    Can't wait. Lenovo is really making a move with these tablet devices.
    GizmoFinder