Tech Review: Lenovo Tab A8-50F (2015 Edition)

School Use

I am a freshman in college, so I use this in lieu of heavy textbooks. This can also replace some of the uses of my laptop in school, but not all. For example, my chemistry professor assigns homework on Sapling Learning, and this website lacks support for mobile devices. Even with my favorite browser, Puffin, I cannot do basic things like drag and drop elements.

Tests on Blackboard are not optimized for the tablet, but it is possible to complete them.

Nonetheless, I use Adobe Acrobat for my PDFs, and I am extremely pleased with how well it works. All I do to read PDF textbooks is add them to my tablet storage via desktop computer and open them in the File Explorer.

Gaming + Other Entertainment

The Dolby Atmos technology absolutely makes the experience for this tablet. There is a button to turn it on or off, located in the drop down menu. When it is on, the tablet sounds more “whole” that makes me feel as if I am encapsulated in the environment.

I don’t have a problem with viewing YouTube videos or Netflix. The resolution is not the absolute best, but it does not look cheap or fuzzy. The exception is with low resolution videos, which is not controlled by the tablet.

My experience playing MMORPGs and other MMOs has been great. Often, the performance is smooth with minor delays, and the battery life does not run out too fast. I could play Forsaken World Mobile, Pocket Maplestory, or Vegas World for a few hours before the tablet reaches 50%. The only complaint I have is that the menu buttons may get in my way, so the tablet will switch to home if I accidentally swipe my palm on the bottom.

I downloaded the Amazon Underground store and purchased Spy Fox 3: Operation Ozone, which runs well on my tablet. Unfortunately, the Actually Free Goat Simulator would not install. I wonder if the installation would be successful (along with the many other apps I tried to download from Amazon)

Other Candidates

Before purchasing this tablet, I had my eye on the Samsung Tab A 8.0, which cost about $110 more than the Lenovo. While price was a small factor in my decision, the Lenovo had a slightly higher screen resolution and better speakers (the Samsung was noted for its bad sound). Screen resolution was important, especially if I planned to solely use this for reading textbooks. The Lenovo’s MediaTek processor was 1.3GHz, compared to the Samsung’s Qualcomm Snapdragon with 1.2GHz. I am not aware if this is a big difference. I was told the Samsung tablet came with Microsoft Office, but I was able to get the Office apps for free on my Lenovo through the Google Play store.

Specs 

  • Android 5.0 Lollipop
  • 8″ IPS Screen (1200×800)
  • 1.3GHz MediaTek 8161 Processor
  • 5.0MP back camera, 2.0MP front camera
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16GB Storage
  • 8 Hour Battery Life
  • Storage expansion via microSD

Source

tl;dr I would totally recommend this tablet. In fact, I would purchase another one for a family member if this fit their needs.

New Obsession: Orphan Black

Rarely am I intrigued by television, as I prefer the interactive environment of a computer. Perhaps it was fate that I would find Orphan Black, a show my television soulmate (Jack) follows. After I watched the first episode, I was pulled by the mystery of Beth Childs and watched one episode after the other. Though the story is somewhat unique, it is the cinematography and Tatiana Maslany’s acting that truly bring the show together.

Spoilers to come for Orphan Black virgins. Continue reading

Book Review: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

4/5 stars

Last semester, my English teacher assigned us free reading so we could enjoy reading for pleasure. After partially reading Winger by Andrew Smith, another teacher at my school, I stopped. Every single time a woman entered the scene, the protagonist just HAD to comment on how attractive they were. I barely remember anything else that pissed me off in this book.

But then I found The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, the book that brought me back to a time where I read instead of playing on the computer. Continue reading

Book Review: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

5/5 stars

I have not read a book for pleasure since 9B (9th grade, second semester, 2012), but recently, I was asked to choose three books for the local library. I did not want to introduce anyone to sexist, traditional books, so I looked for teen feminist books. On a Saturday in March, I found The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, which I read in 6 hours. (My next book review will be on that.) The following Tuesday, I checked out Beauty Queens by Libba Bray and finished it two days later.

Spoiler Alert. Continue reading

Blue Mascara

If you have known me for the past year, you would know I am very basic as far as makeup goes. However, I do have a couple of #1 items I use; more recently, I wear them often. One of those is my CK One Color Mascara in Electrify (blue). I’m on the hunt to find a dupe (or something close) to this $18 favorite of mine. So far, nothing I’ve gotten has come close to the texture and formula of this holy grail mascara, but here are the contenders. Continue reading