Lenovo IdeaPad S2 Gaming Performance Review

Posted by B. Johnson
Lenovo IdeaPad S2 Gaming Performance ReviewHI guys, welcome back to this website!

Earlier, i just showed you one tablet from Lenovo – a Tegra 3 tablet – called Lenovo IdeaPad A2109, which is a 9-inch tablet sporting the 720p resolution (1280x800 pixels).

It is a good tablet, in fact a good gaming tablet – given its powerful Tegra 3 quad-core processor and NVIDIA Tegra 3 GPU.

And it’s – for me personally – an ideal media-consumption and gaming tablet thanks to its 9-inch display, which is not too huge and not too small.

However, there’s one think that that is lacking from that tablet.

And that is battery life, which according to Gsmarena, could only survive in 6.5 hours (i don’t know whether this is only in stand-by mode or for doing multimedia stuff).

Anyway, today – as i promised in my previous review -, i have another tablet from the same manufacturer.

However, unlike the other Lenovo tablets that i’ve been showing you in the couple of days, this one is not powered by Tegra processor.

Instead, it’s Snapdragon dual-core MSM8960 (S4 Plus if i’m not mistaken) processor, accompanied with Adreno 225 GPU and 1GB of RAM, that will handle the entire performance of this device, as well as the graphics-related tasks that you throw on this tablet.

The tablet that i’m about to show you today is called Lenovo IdeaPad S2, which of course is the successor of the first-gen Lenovo IdeaPad S1.

But unfortunately, it’s not that easy to find the entire specs of its predecessor, so that’s why i decide to just jump to this sequel and skip the previous-gen model.

Well, if you’re interested to get to know more with this tablet, as well as its gaming performance and not to mention what kind of games that would work perfectly on this device, then here you go, my personal review of Lenovo IdeaPad S2.

But as usual, before you go straight to the review, be sure to subscribe to this website to get the latest updates and new reviews in the near future.

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Introduction

The first thing that i notice from the entire spec sheet of this tablet is actually its battery capacity that is only a small 1350mAh power battery – which is really small for a 10-inch tablet like this.

But the more impressive thing on this tablet is that, despite using that small battery capacity, this tablet – according to GSMarena – is able to survive in 9 hours for talk time and multimedia usage.

And this is really surprising because i’ve actually never seen any tablet with 10-inch display and a really small battery capacity (1350mAh) could survive that long in battery life.

So i guess this has something to do either with the processor that is not power hungry or maybe its software that is not that heavy with a lot of pre-loaded apps and tasks.

Lenovo IdeaPad S2 Gaming Performance Review
Lenovo IdeaPad S2
Lenovo IdeaPad S2 Gaming Performance Review
Lenovo IdeaPad S2
To perfectly honest, on paper, i’ve got to say that i’m a bit impressed with this tablet – amazingly at the beginning of this review when i haven’t even started my review yet.

I mean, i just cannot believe it how this 10-inch tablet could have such a great battery life whereas it’s sporting 720p resolution on its huge 10-inch display, plus rocking the dual-core Snapdragon processor.

But hopefully, in the real-life performance, this tablet could match that battery life expectation.

In other sectors of this tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is actually well-prepared especially as a media-consumption and gaming tablet.

It has a pretty good dual-core Snapdragon MSM8960 processor (Snapdragon S4 Plus), a pretty sharp 720p resolution on a huge 10-inch display, a 5MP camera on the back plus the other one on the front, microSD card slot for up to 32GB to accompany the 32/64GB of internal storage, 3G cellular support and a couple of other standard basic features like Bluetooth, WiFi, Java, GPS, USB, HDMI port and of course, the tiny little 1350mAh battery.

But the questions are, with all of these specs, does Lenovo IdeaPad S2 have what it takes to be a good gaming tablet? does it have a good gaming performance?

Is this tablet still relevant to be positioned alongside other 10-inch rivals on today’s tablet market?

Is it worth it to get this tablet?

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  • 3G
  • Weight 580 g (1.28 lb)
  • Mini-SIM
  • Colors Black
  • Released 2012, September
  • 10.0 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels, (~151 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual-core 1.5 GHz Krait Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon Chipset
  • Adreno 225 GPU
  • Android OS, v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • microSD Memory Card slot for up to 32 GB
  • 32/64 GB Internal storage
  • 5 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus
  • Front-facing camera
  • GPRS
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • EDGE
  • Bluetooth
  • HSDPA, HSUPA
  • HTML, Adobe Flash Browser
  • USB
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • No Radio
  • GPS
  • Accelerometer, gyro, compass Sensors
  • HDMI port
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 1350 mAh battery
In terms of hardware, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is well-prepared in that department.

Lenovo IdeaPad S2 features a 10.1-inch display sporting the 720p resolution (1280x800 pixels), a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 (S4 Plus) processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP camera on the back with autofocus, unidentified front-facing camera, microSD card slot for up to 32GB to support the 32/64GB of internal storage, 3G cellular support and a couple of basic features like Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, HDMI port, USB, etc.

On the software side, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Lenovo-customized stock Android UI.

Screen

Given that this tablet is only packing a less-powerful dual-core processor and GPU, then it’s a wise decision by Lenovo to put the 720p resolution on the 10.1-inch display of this tablet.

This kind of display actually still looks pretty sharp but you’ll always need to do a lot of pinch-to-zoom gestures especially when reading books or browsing the web.

But overall, the 720p resolution on a 10.1-inch display is still considered as pretty good and it looks pretty sharp, even for today’s standards.

However, this tablet is definitely not on par anymore with today’s 10-inch rivals that already adopt 1080p (1920x1200 pixels) or even 2k/2.5k display.

But still, having a 720p display is still pretty good for 10-inch tablet, if not great.

User Interface

When it comes to User Interface or User Experience, there’s nothing to write home about on the UI of this device. It comes pre-installed with stock Android UI in Lenovo custom skins and icons.

However, there’s nothing new and fresh on the features and UI of this tablet. It still looks and works just the same as any other regular Android tablets with stock Android UI.

So it has the same homescreen that you can fill with widgets, app shortcuts, etc, and then there are the notification and setting windows on the top side, the standard app drawer, the same bottom navigation and some other elements that you’ve come to love on your Android device.

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When it comes to performance, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 excels that sector really well.

And that’s thanks to the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM8960 (S4 Plus) dual-core processor clocked at 1.5Ghz per core, 1GB of RAM and a powerful Adreno 225.

So for every task that you throw on this tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is definitely more than capable to execute most of the basic tasks without any lag and meaningful problem.

The good thing is, this tablet is equipped with a pretty big 1GB of RAM, giving a lot more space in the background for users to multitask their favorite tasks at once.

So even if you open many apps or tasks at the same time - chances are - lags or stutters are still pretty rare or noticeable to see on this device.

However, the performance could drop drastically and become laggy if you deploy live wallpaper on the homescreen, while running many apps or tasks at once.

But overall, with Snapdragon S4 Plus dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 225, the overall performance of this device – especially when doing some basic tasks like watching HD movies, reading contents, browsing the web, checking out photos, editing videos or documents or even playing games – will still be fast and smooth.

It goes the same when playing games with this device.

There’s no doubt that Lenovo IdeaPad S2 will be awesome for that matter.

For your tiny bit of info, Adreno 330 GPU is the current industry standards. So that means, the Adreno 225 GPU inside this tablet is still considered as pretty powerful GPU, but not that powerful of course.

And that means, most of the older games released in around 2012 or before that year could still be played in full highest graphics on this tablet.

I believe this tablet is more than capable to handle games like ShadowGun, Dead Trigger, GTA III, Asphalt 5 and 6, Modern Combat 1 and 2, Need for Speed Undercover and SHIFT, Samurai Showdown or PES 2012 – all in buttery smooth performance and in full graphics.

However, for the latest and the most graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 4 (let alone Modern Combat 5), GTA San Andreas or Dead Trigger 2, i don’t think these games could be run in full highest graphics on this Lenovo tablet - especially with their complete visual effects .

So if you consider yourself as a gamer and you always want to be able to play the latest games in full highest graphics, i suggest you to pick up other tablets like HP Slate 7 Extreme, Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition), LG G Pad 8.3, Xiaomi Mi Pad, iPad mini 2, iPad Air or any other powerful tablets out there.

However, if you’re not that into tablet gaming, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is still a good gaming tablet, if not great.

It plays almost older games perfectly in full graphics and it has pretty good battery life – due to its less-power-hungry dual-core processor and medium 720p display, despite using a tiny little 1350mAh power battery inside.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Lenovo IdeaPad S2, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

In terms of battery life, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is weirdly pretty good.

It’s weird because, according to the spec sheet of Lenovo IdeaPad S2, this tablet amazingly could last in 9 hours of battery life in talk time, multimedia or for doing any media-consumption tasks.

And this is really impressive because that number is achieved by only using a tiny little 1350mAh power battery inside, which is really small for a 9-inch tablet and more suitable for a smartphone’s battery (actually, it’s even still considered as really small for a smartphone).

I believe this has something to do either with great software optimizations and tweaks made by the Lenovo specifically on this tablet, or probably its medium-resolution 720p display or maybe it’s due to the less-power-hungry dual-core Snapdragon processor (so you figure it out yourself! haha).

But if this information is correct and this device indeed could last in 9 hours for doing multimedia stuff, then Lenovo IdeaPad S2 could be a pretty good media-consumption tablet, if not great.

However, if you have any intention to purchase this tablet anytime soon, be sure to check out the battery life reviews of this tablet around the net or YouTube.

It will help you a lot in deciding whether to buy this tablet or otherwise, switch to other options, like LG G Pad 8.3, Samsung GALAXY Tab 4/Tab S/Tab Pro, Sony Xperia Tablet Z, iPad Air, Xiaomi Mi Pad or Google Nexus 10 (with its staggering 9000mAh battery).

And if you aim at low price point, i suggest you to pick either Xiaomi Mi Pad, LG G Pad 8.3 or Google Nexus 10 – which all of these guys have strong gaming performance.

My Personal Opinions

So my final impression of this tablet is, despite using some ‘outdated’ hardware and software, i still think that Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is a pretty good choice for a media-consumption tablet.
  • It has a pretty sharp and large 720p display,
  • it has a fast processor and pretty powerful GPU,
  • it has 2 front and back cameras,
  • it has microSD card slot for up to 32GB to support the 32/64GB of internal storage,
  • it has 3G cellular support (which can be handy as an on-the-go device),
  • it has good battery life (despite using a small 1350mAh power battery)
  • and it has complete set of basic features like Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, HDMI port, Java, etc.
As a gaming tablet, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 will also be pretty good for that matter.

Thanks to the Snapdragon S4 Plus dual-core processor, coupled with Adreno 225 and 1GB of RAM, most of older games released in 2012 - or before that year -, can all be played smoothly and in full graphics on this device (from PES 2012, Modern Combat 1 and 2, Asphalt 5 and 6, N.O.V.A 1 and 2, Need for Speed Undercover and SHIFT, Dead Trigger, ShadowGun, Dead Space, etc).

But of course, for the latest graphically demanding games - like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 4, GTA San Andreas, N.O.V.A 3 or Dead Trigger 2 – it’s really obvious that these games won’t run smoothly in full graphics on this tablet.

Overall, i’m pretty impressed with the whole thing of this tablet, especially its Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, Adreno 225 GPU and 3G cellular support.

However, there is still one downside found on Lenovo IdeaPad S2.

And that is its battery life.

Even though the spec sheet of this tablet says that Lenovo IdeaPad S2 could last in 9 hours for multimedia with just a tiny 1350mAh power battery, i don’t think that it’s possible given that that battery capacity is really small for a 9-inch tablet, even for a smartphone.

So if you’re really planning to get this device in the near future, i suggest you to check out more reviews of Lenovo IdeaPad S2 around the net or YouTube, especially the ones that have something to do with its battery life.

Anyway, to end this review, i’ll try to answer some of my questions i asked earlier in ‘introduction’ section above:
  1. Yes – despite using some ‘outdated’ hardware (processor and GPU), Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is still a pretty neat gaming tablet, if not great. Most of the older games released in 2012 or before that year can still be played perfectly and smoothly in full highest graphics on this device.
  2. No – definitely not. Given its mediocre and ‘outdated’ hardware, i don’t think Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is relevant anymore on today’s tablet market, especially if it’s compared to other 10-inch rivals like iPad Air, Sony Xperia Z/Z2, Google Nexus 10, Xiaomi Mi Pad, LG G Pad 8.3 or Samsung GALAXY Tab 4/Tab S/Tab Pro.
  3. Unfortunately not. Even though this tablet still excels in overall performance for most of daily basic or multimedia tasks, not to mention its 3G cellular support, Lenovo IdeaPad S2 is probably not that worth it to buy, especially if it’s still in the price range of above $200, especially given its low battery capacity.
So what do you think? Does my review help you decide whether to buy it or not? Or do you want to switch to other options? Well, if you ask me, i would recommend you Google Nexus 10 or Xiaomi Mi Pad, which are great tablets with amazing gaming performance.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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