Home > Android Tablet Reviews > Leader Impression i10A
Leader Impression i10A
What's hot: Relatively inexpensive, nice IPS display.
What's not: Touchscreen sometimes unresponsive, no Google Play Store access, not a champ at HD video playback.
Reviewed July 18, 2012 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
Want a 10" tablet, but don't want to shell out the bucks for a tier 1 model? Leader International offers a budget priced 9.7" Android tablet with specs you don't usually see in the bargain section. The Impression i10A runs Android OS 4.0 on a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 dual core CPU with a gig of DDR2 RAM and 4 gigs of storage. It has a sharp and colorful 1024 x 768 IPS display like the pricier Lenovo IdeaPad S2. The tablet lists for $299 and it will be available at Sears and Kmart.
While lower priced tablets from little known brands often run very outdated Android versions on single core CPUs with so-so displays, the Impression i10A looks tempting. Yes, the Tegra 2 is last year's CPU, but it's still very capable and compatible with most every app out there. 4 gigs of storage isn't much, but there's a microSD card slot so you can expand storage for music, videos and documents. And the display really is sharp looking--nothing budget about that. But our unit's display intermittently ignored finger taps; something that actually got worse after an OTA firmware update. The edges get particularly numb, but it can go from dead to responsive in a heartbeat. Go figure. Leader includes a display calibration app that seems to remedy the problem, but after an hour or less the issue returns.
Since this isn't an official Google approved tablet, there's no Google Play Market nor Google Play Movies or Google Play Books. There's also no Gmail app and no Google Maps (the device doesn't have a GPS). This is often a problem with tablets from small players. A year ago that would have been a deal breaker, but thanks to the Amazon Appstore and its very wide selection of apps, you can find many (though not all) popular apps for download. For those who are wondering, we did side-load the Google Play Store app but it crashed on launch. That said, it's weird to not have Gmail on your Android device and the Contacts app is also MIA. Adobe Flash Player, an .apk loader, file manager and Kobo Books are pre-installed.
The Impression i10A feels decently responsive, not unlike many of last year's big name tablets running on the same CPU. Video playback was worse than expected. We know the Tegra 2 didn't handle 1080p video well, but the Impression i10A struggled with our tried and true 720p high profile MPEG4 trailer that plays smoothly on most Android tablets and phones with the Tegra 2.
The tablet has front and rear 2MP cameras, and as you'd expect from the resolution, photos and video aren't stellar. But the front camera is good enough for video chat. The tablet has Bluetooth, single band WiFi 802.11b/g/n and a battery that's good for 4-5 hours of use.
The tablet comes with a nice black folio case that acts as a stand. Also included are the charger and a USB cable that attaches to the proprietary connector on the tablet. It weighs 1.5 pounds and is 0.49" thick. The metal back lends a touch of class, and the overall design is pleasant though not as polished looking as big name tablets.