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Moto Tab review: Look elsewhere for your tablet needs

The Android pill market is a proverbial scarce wasteland nowadays. It has been fairly a while since we noticed one thing from Samsung or Asus, two of the final main stalwart gamers on this house (excluding Amazon, clearly). Tablets should not what they had been in years previous, although I personally nonetheless discover having one helpful for sure conditions, regardless of Android leaving a lot to be desired on this facet.

In both an try and capitalize on a lifeless horse, or to jumpstart one, AT&T teamed up with Lenovo to “create” the Moto Tab, a tool unique to the large service and geared toward its DirecTV prospects. Now, I put “create” in quotes as a result of this pill is only a Lenovo Tab four 10 Plus with some rebranding finished — Google Discover My System even reviews it as such. And but regardless of it being the primary “Motorola” pill in years, I urge you to restrain your enthusiasm for a period lengthy gone (one which was not even that nice on the time).

Moto Tab review: Look elsewhere for your tablet needs

Moto Tab review: Look elsewhere for your tablet needs

SPECS Moto Tab

Show 10.1″ 1920×1200 IPS LCD; 224ppi
Software program Android 7.1.1 Nougat
CPU Snapdragon 625
Storage 32GB
Cameras 8MP rear, 5MP entrance
Battery 7,000mAh
Connectivity 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, twin band: LTE bands half of/three/four/5/7/12/20/29/30
Misc USB Sort-C, three.5mm headphone jack, fingerprint sensor, front-facing audio system


Show Good dimension, first rate colours, and good for watching movies or enjoying video games.
Battery life I might count on a pill to final some time, and this exceeds my expectations.


Software program Although “inventory,” this pill launches with Nougat and I am uncertain that it’s going to ever see Oreo, not to mention in a fairly well timed trend.
Efficiency The Moto Tab is ridiculously sluggish. It hangs when opening/switching apps, homescreen redraws are frequent, and it by no means shirks its total feeling of sluggishness.
Bloatware AT&T went all out on the pre-installed apps, which you can’t uninstall (in fact).
Fingerprint sensor Whereas considerably correct, the sensor takes so lengthy to learn my fingerprint, and even longer to wake the pill and unlock it.
Cameras No shock, however they’re each dangerous. Do not use them.
Worth At $299, the Moto Tab is not an excellent purchase, particularly when in comparison with its Tab four 10 Plus sibling.

Design and show Moto Tab

Moto Tab

Whereas lots of tablets take the four:three or three:2 route, Lenovorola went with a 16:10 widescreen format. Since that is geared toward DirecTV customers, who theoretically wish to watch TV, this choice is sensible. Actually, I favored the 16:10 facet ratio much more than I assumed I might since I’ve been utilizing a four:three pill for a number of months now. The one annoyance is once I opened a portrait-mode solely app, which made me notice how awkwardly tall this factor is in that place.

The face of the Moto Tab is pretty unremarkable, with the fingerprint sensor, entrance digital camera, and thick bezels surrounding the 10.1″ show. Up alongside the highest body of the pill are the twin front-facing audio system, that are a pleasant contact. They get moderately loud, however larger volumes result in intense distortion. Actually gone are the times of Boomsound, it appears. Maintain them at 40-50% and you’ll nonetheless be capable of hear notifications and movies in a quiet to reasonably loud room.

The facility button and quantity rocker on the left facet are each strong, although the previous feels a bit softer throughout its journey than I would love. Over on the correct facet are the USB-C port and three.5mm headphone jack, every up towards to the highest of the body. The again has an attention-grabbing soft-touch plastic — one of the simplest ways I can describe it’s a mixture of the “band-aid” Nexus 7 (2012) again and the OnePlus One sandstone texture. The Moto Tab is gentle, however my fingers grip it fairly effectively which makes it nice for holding and watching movies for an extended time frame. The one downside is that this plastic picks up mud, lifeless pores and skin, and oils very simply (very like my outdated Nexus 7 did).

I used to be excited at my first alternative to check out a pill with a fingerprint sensor, however the Moto Tab’s reader rapidly tempered that enthusiasm. Whereas the sensor itself in all fairness correct (although it does higher with my index fingers than it did with my thumbs), the pill itself takes fairly some time to unlock. There’s a delay whereas the sensor reads the fingerprint, then one other lag whereas the pill wakes up and unlocks. After utilizing the OnePlus 5T and Huawei Mate 10 Professional sensors, this dissatisfied me. I suppose that I mustn’t have been stunned.

Moto Tab

Total, the Moto Tab’s design is very unremarkable, which I suppose furthers the pill’s goal of being a content-consumption machine, not a trend assertion.

For a pill on this vary, the show on the Moto Tab is pretty first rate. It has good colours, although a bit on the nice and cozy facet, and nice viewing angles — which is what I might count on for a pill marketed particularly for watching TV.

Nonetheless, the Moto Tab suffers from excessive contact latency, particularly when in comparison with different similarly-priced choices from Asus. This was most noticeable when scrolling on net pages or by the app drawer; the pill would lag, at instances considerably, then bounce to catch up. This type of habits jogs my memory of the traditional smartphone days.

Then once more, this latency could possibly be right down to the underwhelming efficiency of the Moto Tab, which I’ll tackle later.

Cameras Moto Tab 

This part feels nearly ineffective, since Android pill cameras are nearly at all times… dangerous, generally laughably so. The Moto Tab is definitely no completely different, and nobody ought to use what this machine gives. One of the best that it might produce was a barely less-washed out photograph of the park a couple of blocks from my home — on a facet word, I’ve by no means gotten used to the appears I get once I take images with a pill.

Moto Tab camera

The digital camera app is buggy, sluggish, and takes method too lengthy to seize a photograph, even with HDR off. We’re speaking within the many, a number of seconds right here. Oh, and nighttime efficiency? Do not even get me began — simply take a look at those on the finish of the gallery beneath.

At one level, the Moto Tab freaked out and all of the sudden spat out footage prefer it had the ISO cranked larger than anybody wants, particularly outdoor. So, each the entrance and rear cameras suck. Can we transfer on now?

Efficiency and battery life

Efficiency on the Moto Tab is yet one more space of intense disappointment. Regardless of its age, we have now seen power within the Snapdragon 625, so I felt fairly confused once I began noticing important hiccups within the UX. Animations would all of the sudden grow to be uneven, then bounce forward to attempt to seem regular; the homescreen, on each inventory variations and two completely different customized launchers, redrew continuously, particularly with greater than two apps open; the notification shade would freeze in place, not permitting me to behave upon something in it, even dismissing gadgets.


It appears fairly apparent that, at the very least partially, the issue comes right down to the RAM. 2GB is tough, contemplating that I’ve seen related points to what I simply described in telephones with 3GB — granted, that’s anecdotal, however you get my level. I think about that even an extra gigabyte of RAM may need mitigated a few of my issues with the general efficiency, however that’s water below the bridge now.


Software program


Following within the pattern of disappointments, the Moto Tab launches with Android 7.1.1 Nougat and the July safety patch. Thankfully, there may be little or no obscuring the inventory expertise, and most of these additions are helpful. The software program, nonetheless, feels unoptimized with wildly various efficiency; one second, animations are decently clean, the following, the entire thing hangs up. Inconsistency is just not one thing I prefer to see.

One other ding right here is the over-abundance of bloatware. From AT&T apps to giant video games, the listing extends to over eighteen. I perceive wanting to offer prospects with a stellar consumer expertise, which suggests putting in issues like System Assist and the like, however AT&T went overboard. Most of them could be disabled in Settings and hidden with a customized launcher, however I discover them a nuisance nonetheless.

Inventory Nougat is pretty easy and unassuming, however Lenovorola included a couple of further additions to boost the expertise. A very powerful, and the one I used essentially the most, is what Moto calls Productiveness Interface. This modifies the inventory launcher and UI to imitate a desktop, transferring the nav keys to the left nook and including a taskbar the place your open, current apps stay. I actually loved this, although I do not suppose it improved my productiveness any. I largely most popular it for the gentle keys within the left nook, one thing that I want Android nonetheless did on tablets — reaching to the center of a 10.1″ 16:10 show (in panorama) to faucet the navbar is sort of cumbersome.

TV Mode is among the spotlight software program options that AT&T appears moderately pleased with. By both swiping to the left on the inventory launcher or double-pressing the facility button, the Moto Tab opens no matter video app you’ve got set (default is DirecTV Now, however you’ll be able to change this throughout setup; I went with Xfinity Stream). What makes TV Mode so particular? Properly, nothing — it’s only a shortcut to launch an app. Yay?


My largest concern with the software program is that I’m moderately skeptical that AT&T/Lenovo will ever replace the Moto Tab to Oreo. I imply, Verizon and Asus managed to replace the ZenPad Z10 to Nougat, so who is aware of. On this case, although, I believe my misgivings are warranted, however I sincerely hope that I’m incorrect.


By this level, you most likely know what I’m going to say right here. The Moto Tab represents a particularly poor worth proposition at $299 or $15/month for 20 months. At half that value, I might be extra inclined to advocate it, although I might possible stray towards one of many Kindle Fireplace fashions.

Provider-exclusive and branded tablets are hardly ever a good suggestion, since they’re typically overpriced and rapidly deserted (very like the Verizon Ellipsis 7 was). I merely can’t, in good conscience, advocate the Moto Tab to anybody, particularly given its worth — or the shortage thereof.


To say that I used to be dissatisfied within the Moto Tab could be an understatement. A part of me favored it, particularly once I found the Productiveness Interface (each Android pill ought to have one thing related), however the contact latency and underwhelming efficiency rapidly soured the expertise.

Shopping for an AT&T-branded Lenovo Tab four 10 Plus (what a ridiculous identify) for $299 is just not a smart funding and ought to be prevented. At $199, its quirks might probably be neglected (although nonetheless value noting, particularly the contact latency). I don’t like that it comes with Nougat out of the field with no Oreo replace, or the promise of 1, in sight.

The extreme deal with DirecTV options is unusual to me, however I’m neither an AT&T/DirecTV buyer nor an avid tv viewer. Clearly, AT&T thinks there are individuals on the market who need a pill devoted to watching their TV content material on the go. Or the service might use the Moto Tab as one other factor to push individuals to join its further providers.

Motorola’s “return” to the pill house was extra of a letdown than the Xyboard of outdated (and the Xoom earlier than that). I count on that a lot of you’ll voice your criticism of how Lenovo has dealt with to venerable identify in the previous few years, and the Moto Tab is one other instance of these claims. For now, I recommend searching for elsewhere to fulfill your pill wants, no matter they could be.


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