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Lenovo's new Android tablets are ready for kids and workers

Ingestion deployment testing 01 27-02-2017 Jon Fingas

If it wasn't already clear that Lenovo is trying to cover , it is now. The tech giant has just introduced Tab 4 and Tab 4 Plus models that theoretically please everyone on a budget, ranging from parents to the productivity-minded. The 8- and 10-inch editions in each range can use an optional Kids Pack (a shock-resistant case, screen protectors and a blue light filter) to ready themselves for your little one's playtime. Suddenly, Amazon's Fire HD Kids tablets have fresh competition. And if you spring for one of the 10-inch tablets, there's a Productivity Pack whose Bluetooth keyboard and matching case automatically switch you to a work-oriented mode. No one will mistake the combo for a , but it should be enough to get some quick office work done.

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The two lines share little in common besides screen sizes and add-ons. The standard Tab 4 models have basic 1,280 x 800 displays, entry-level Snapdragon 425 processors, 2GB of RAM, 16GB or 32GB of storage, 5-megapixel rear cameras and 2-megapixel front shooters. You'll probably want to spring for the Tab 4 Plus instead -- both Plus variants have 1,920 x 1,200 screens, speedier Snapdragon 625 chips, 3GB or GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage and fingerprint readers. The Plus models both felt sturdier and more premium during a recent demo at Mobile World Congress, thanks to the glass covering on their backs. There's also an option for LTE data on all four slates.

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You'll have to wait until May to get any of these devices, but they're definitely affordable. The entry Tab 4 series tablets cost $109 and $149 in their 8- and 10-inch forms, while even the Plus versions are still frugal at $199 and $249. The add-ons aren't that pricey, either. The Kids Pack costs $20 or $25 depending on your tablet size, and the Productivity Pack, which offered decent key travel at the recent demo, is still reasonable at $50.

If you prefer Windows 10, there's a low-cost tablet waiting in the wings. The 10-inch, keyboard-equipped Miix 320 won't blow anyone away with its 1,920 x 1,200 display, Atom X5 processor, 4GB of max RAM, 128GB of peak storage, 5-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front cam. However, it starts at an entirely reasonable $200. And did we mention that there's the option of LTE here as well? If you're just looking for the essentials in a detachable Windows PC and think you might need cellular access, this may be worth putting on the short list.

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