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Lenovo IdeaPad S2109 hands-on and first impressions

Gallery by Dan Seifert on Friday June 22, 2012.

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Lenovo IdeaPad S2109
Lenovo IdeaPad S2109

During a press event last night, we were able to get some hands-on time with Lenovo's recently-announced IdeaPad S2109 Android tablet. The IdeaPad is unique in the sea of Android tablets because of its 4:3 aspect ratio display, which is something that we don't see too often on devices with Google's OS.

The display on the IdeaPad S2109 is a 9.7-inch IPS unit with 1024 x 768 pixels of resolution. If that sounds familiar, it should, because the original Apple iPad, the iPad 2, and the HP TouchPad all offered similar displays. The Lenovo's isn't the highest resolution panel on the market these days, but it does offer accurate colors and great viewing angles.

Due to its 4:3 aspect ratio display, the S2109 is one of the most comfortable Android tablets we have laid hands on yet. Tablets that have 16:9 displays, like the majority of Android tablets, tend to be very unwieldy when you hold them, and are downright awkward when held in portrait orientation. The S2109 doesn't exhibit either of those characteristics and is much easier to hold and manipulate - especially with one hand. This is also aided by the fact that it is exceptionally light in weight at only 590g (1.27lbs.) and only about 9mm thick. The light weight is probably the first thing I noticed when I picked up the device.

The IdeaPad is so light thanks to its plastic construction, which doesn't quite have the quality feel that you might find in an iPad. On the flip side, it's not nearly as cheesy as the plastic HP TouchPad. The backside is home to four speakers with SRS TruMedia audio enhancement. We weren't able to test out the sound from the speakers in the noisy environment that we got to play with the tablet, but Lenovo insists that they offer a great experience.

The S2109 does not have a rear camera, but it does include a front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera for video calling. It also has a complement of ports along its side, including micro-USB, micro-HDMI, and a microSD card slot.

Under the hood, the S2109 has an older TI OMAP dual-core processor clocked at 1GHz. It doesn't provide the smoothest experience, and it certainly can't hold a candle to some of the higher-powered dual- and quad-core tablets available on the market. Still, the tablet pushed around its stock build of Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich without too much issue. We just wouldn't expect the S2109 to be your next mobile gaming powerhouse.

Lenovo is offering Wi-Fi-only versions the IdeaPad S2109 in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities for $389, $439, and $479, respectively. You can get it at Lenovo's online store or in Office Depot locations across the country now. It also comes with a silicone protective cover in the box with the tablet.

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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