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Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346 review

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Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346
  • Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346

Summary

Our Score:

4

Pros

  • Good Full HD display
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • Screen lacks responsiveness
  • Heavy
  • Dodgy build
  • Headphone port interference

Key Features

  • 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Intel Atom Z3735F
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB internal storage
  • 5-megapixel rear camera
  • 2-megapixel front camera
  • Manufacturer: Medion
  • Review Price: £149.99

What is the Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346?

The Lifetab S10346 is a 10-inch tablet built by Medion in partnership with German supermarket chain Aldi. Priced at £149.99 and packing basic specs, it’s aimed firmly at the low end of the tablet market. In this way it's much like the critically acclaimed Tesco hudl 2, winner of Best Value Tablet in the TrustedReviews Awards 2014.

However, it provides nowhere near as positive an experience as its supermarket rival’s offering. Performance is sluggish, the camera app is faulty and there are also serious issues with the screen. We recommend forking out a little extra for the same-sized Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+ or saving a few pennies with Tesco’s 8.3-inch superstar. Dead set on it? Read on to find out why you really shouldn’t buy this tablet.

SEE ALSO: Tablet Buyer's Guide

Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346 – Design

The Aldi Medion Lifetab isn’t going to stop you dead in your tracks. If you were to browse the web for a stock photo of a generic-looking tablet, you’d probably settle for something that looks a lot like this. And we’re not just saying this to hurt Aldi’s feelings.

It’s very angular, partnering straight lines with sharp corners and edges. The glossy plastic front/grey metal rear combination is ugly and we feel that, with a little effort, Aldi and Medion could have made this look significantly better. Leaving out the metal entirely might have improved its overall look because in its current state it just looks messy. We got to play with the white model, but a slightly better-looking black version is also available.

At 263 x 174 x 8.5mm, it’s a large specimen – after all, the 10.1-inch display is one of the biggest on the market. It's slimmer than a fair few more expensive models though, such as the LG G Pad 10.1.

The oversized bezels are good for resting your thumbs on and succeed in making the tablet easy to grip, but for aesthetic reasons we wish they were a bit smaller.

SEE ALSO: Best Cheap Tablets

It’s heavy at 580g, but not unbearably so. To compare, the 9.7-inch iPad Air 2 weighs 437g and the 10.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is 465g, but they’re right at the top of the market and cost a lot more money. The Lifetab’s weight is manageable in one hand for short periods of time, but this is where the design lets it down.

The metal rear isn’t that easy to hold when your palms are sweaty, and makes the Lifetab appear to weigh a lot more than it actually does. Make sure you don’t lose the stand included in the box, you’ll need it if you want to watch a full-length movie. There are a few build quality issues too. The unit’s right speaker doesn’t fit into its recess as well as it should, with part of it jutting out slightly. The joins between plastic and metal on the sides and back are also visibly uneven, which isn’t nice for the fingertips or eyes.

In landscape mode, you’ll find a solid selection of ports and physical buttons on the right-hand edge. From top to bottom, these are: power, volume, Mini HDMI out, Micro USB 2.0, the headphone jack and microSD card slot. The power and volume buttons don’t feel entirely stable, and it’s easy to wiggle them around with your fingernail. They offer a little resistance yet remain easy to push, making a nice little clicking sound when you press down on them.

It’s fiddly to hold the tablet in this position when the charging cable or headphones are plugged in, since they stick out exactly where you’d normally keep your right hand. You’ll either have to flip it into portrait mode or slot it into the tablet stand to counteract this.

Aldi Medion Lifetab S10346 – Screen and Speakers

The Lifetab’s 10.1-inch screen is a 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display, which is impressive for a tablet this cheap. It’s the same resolution you’ll find on the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 10 HD+, which costs £100 pounds more. However, it suffers from one massive problem.

The biggest issue with the display is its responsiveness. All too often we found ourselves having to tap the screen two or three times for anything to register, and swipes were sometimes identified as taps. We even temporarily convinced ourselves that the display had a thick sheet of protective perspex slapped across it. After a few minutes of scratching and fumbling at the corners, we realised that the screen itself was at fault.

This makes typing a real nightmare. We found it difficult to enter search terms in Google without losing one or more characters. Writing emails took us at least twice as long as it should have.

Rather than feeling like a capacitive touchscreen, which is the slick newer touch technology most tablets feature, the Lifetab almost feels like it uses the horrible old resistive type. We resorted to prodding it slowly and forcefully, as you'd do with the screens on the back of plane seats (at the risk of riling the person sat in front of you). It’s a serious issue.

In practise, the display is pleasant to watch, with Full HD videos looking good. Viewing angles are decent too, but colours look a little washed out. It struggles with black levels, with the screen failing to differentiate between dark colours and plain black, making shadowy movie scenes tough to watch.

The brightest screen setting won’t make you screw up your eyes, but it’s quite good. Using it outdoors was fine for us, but we must confess that the London weather has been dull of late. We have no doubt that using the tablet in the height of summer sunshine will be a more challenging. And while Aldi claims that the screen features an anti-fingerprint coating, but our greasy digits had no trouble breaking through it.

The Lifetab is also plagued by audio problems, and one of them is truly headache-inducing. Every time we plugged in a pair of headphones and touched the screen, a horrible buzzing noise erupted and filled our ears, and it was genuinely awful. While it's not a dominant sound, it’s still noticeable when you’re playing music or watching videos, taunting your eardrums from behind every guitar riff and on-screen conversation.

Thankfully, unplugging the headphones seems to take away the buzz, resulting in a much more pleasant aural experience. The front-facing speakers are positioned on either side of the screen, but are easy to muffle with your thumbs when you’re holding the tablet in the landscape position.

They’re fairly loud but lack bass, so if you’re after something with real oomph, we recommend either looking elsewhere or investing in some decent speakers. At full blast, our unit comfortably overpowered the sound of the shower in the next room, though. Not bad for a tablet.

Prem Desai

January 31, 2015, 12:09 am

Could it be a faulty sample? Seems very odd that any manufacturer would release a tablet with so many issues.

Would it help if the tablet sported a 'fruit' logo instead of Aldi or Medion?

Adrian Bell

February 2, 2015, 1:39 pm

I have one - it also exhibited exactly the same reboot and wipe imprecise input behavior. A minor drop also cracked the screen (the tablets weight means its very susceptible to falling damage), Medion quote the cost of repair @ 200 euros - much more than the company with a 'fruit logo'. Agree with reviewer, I would avoid this tablet like the plague.

nathan megraw

March 6, 2015, 9:26 am

Every time I turn mine on the screen goes green anyone know why also I can see loads of lines on the screen going from top to bottom about a centimetre apart

colin edley

April 5, 2015, 8:40 pm

Mine was a little glitchy at first, the latest BIOS update today has transformed it, the touchscreen, scrolling and every other minor irritation have all been resolved in one fell swoop. Buy one, update it and you won't be disappointed, I bought my girlfriend an iPad air and it blows it into the weeds.

Harry Harrison

June 10, 2015, 8:33 am

My black version just didn't have many of the problems stated such as build quality. It feels robust and survived well. A BIOS update has resolved all my remaining issues so is now a very useful bit of kit.

M Chap

June 12, 2015, 9:48 am

Got one yesterday (£120) , installed two updates immediately did not have any connection issues with wifi , no issues with the screen whatsoever or any of the build quality issues mentioned , not tried the headphones, the BBC media player plays flash fine (alphablocks for the kids),only disappointment is the front camera is pretty lousy so it is, almost unusable in low light as for the bloatware either uninstall it or disable it.
On the whole better than Samsung can't remove their bloatware their chargers are awkward and their ports propriety will not be buying a Samsung tab again.My overall score 8.5/10 and this is solely because of the front camera

Paul Johnson

August 3, 2015, 7:39 pm

£120 where?

Mike Stringer

September 11, 2015, 2:00 pm

Well, once I enabled the Intel driver in the settings of this tablet, the thing was flying! The option is under settings, "Intel Smart Video", and once switched on this tablet gave the following geekbench results: Geekbench 3: Single Core: 777, Multi Core: 2167. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z scores 1586 on multi core, The Nexus 7 (2013) tablet scores 1800 multi core. Now there's some perspective. This tablet is fine is you switch on the video drivers. I guess the reviewer did not do so.

Andrei

September 26, 2015, 9:50 am

Incomparably better than huddle 2: the latter has died almost immediately- the next day. Even for those two days I got very annoyed with Tesco being everywhere around. Last 2 months I fully enjoy my Lifetab

Borjan

October 3, 2015, 1:03 pm

Lifetab 10334 it`s total bullshit, after 7 months battery died, new one(battery) costs almost 70 euros :(, also I am not satisfied from graphic performance. Rendering is like a cheap chines copy :// Wary bad!

https://www.medion.com/medions...

Heres_Wot_I_Think

November 1, 2015, 10:08 am

Avoid because of the cost of repairs. Quoted £100 by Medion to repair a cracked screen.

johno

February 9, 2016, 3:56 pm

I am waiting for my third Lifetab , First one from Aldi in August died in the third week, sent it to Germany waited about three weeks for a new one. Number two while on holiday looking up the weather got so hot I had to put it down sharp and it died.

robin cur

February 9, 2016, 7:10 pm

Total rubbish review mine came with android 5.0 not 4.4 kitkat now updated to 5.2 have none of the problem in the review must have had a faulty tablet. In a week I have had 2 faulty tablets one a Asus and a lenovo both costing £200 yes some thing were better like sound and camera but I can live with that all in all very pleased.

Plug

February 16, 2016, 4:31 pm

Don't believe this review!!
I've had mine for a month now and it has been one of the best tablets I have ever purchased.
Screen is excellent, Sound is wonderful, Battery life excellent, Build very good and I don't think it is heavy at all.
All round worth every penny ;-)

johno

March 5, 2016, 10:20 am

Sat here waiting for the 4th one to arrive, Number 3 didn't even open. Must be nice to have one that works.

johno

May 6, 2016, 1:57 pm

I took the4th one back Aldi and got my money back

Mike

June 14, 2016, 7:58 pm

Mine started playing up after 14 months. Returned to Germany for repair. Medion wasn't able to repair the unit so I was quoted £135 for the work, obviously Medion did not expect me to accept the quote. After 4 months I finally got the tablet back from Medion, unrepaired and with a now damaged screen.
After I explained to the manager of the branch of Aldi I received a full refund.

Pete Hart

July 6, 2016, 7:37 am

Hi bought a medion 7" tablet from tesco 2 days later had to return it due to a problem with the earphones connection, waited 3 days for a replacement when I got home and tried it the useless thing was exactly the same I would never buy another one of these again they are trouble.

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