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Is Aldi’s cheap Medion LifeTab tablet worth £80?

There’s a new cheap tablet in town, and boy is the price tag attractive.

There’s a new cheap tablet in town, and boy is its price tag attractive. Aldi’s Medion LifeTab – an Aldi ‘Specialbuy’ that the supermarket is selling on a ‘once it’s gone, it’s gone,’ basis – costs just £80, but is that £80 well spent?

We put Aldi’s new tablet through its paces in a specially developed laboratory test to find out if this is a great bargain and how it stacks up against other keenly priced tablets like the Tesco Hudl.

Tablet reviews – all the current tablets reviewed and rated

Aldi Medion LifeTab – what is it?

Aldi’s Medion LifeTab – also known as the Medion LifeTab 7 E7318 – is the latest entry into Medion’s Android tablet range. It offers a 1.6GHz quad-core processor that’s certainly quick enough to handle any apps and games you’d care to run, has a 7-inch display and 16GB of internal storage space (upgradable to 64GB via a micro-SD card).

But should you join the queue, or breathe a sigh of relief that you didn’t fall for the hype?

Aldi Medion LifeTab – how we tested?

We rushed the Aldi LifeTab through out lab test, focusing on such aspects as the LifeTab’s screen, its battery life and its performance in general use – i.e. how quickly apps loaded and the responsiveness of its touchscreen. Finally, we were able to compare those results to a previous version of the LifeTab (the Lifetab 7 E7310).

Aldi Medion LifeTab vs – Medion LifeTab 7 E7310

Everyday speed – as we’ve mentioned elsewhere, Aldi’s tablet benefits from a quad-core processor. As a result it out-performs its predecessor when it comes to running complex apps and games. Even with its better processing chip, the new Aldi LifeTab still responded sluggishly at times during testing. We found the device stalled at times, even when we had just a couple of tabs open in its web browser.

Screen test – the Aldi LifeTab has a slightly brighter screen which made colours look punchier and less drab. However, its backlight was rendered its screen only truly readable in indirect light. Furthermore, the touchscreen often failed to register our taps, so regularly requiring a second press – something that will no doubt prove very frustrating to owners.

Battery life – we’re still in the process of re-testing the Aldi LifeTab’s battery but initial tests suggest a poor battery life of just four hours (compared to ten hours for the Tesco Hudl). The simple explanation for this is that Aldi LifeTab’s battery can’t cope with the demands of its quad-core processor and bright display. To make an analogy, it’s like fitting your sensible, saloon car with a V8 engine and expecting it to offer the same mileage per gallon.

Which? expert verdict – ‘I wouldn’t buy the Aldi Medion LifeTab’

In pulling together this article, a quote from our test lab’s summary of the Aldi Medion LifeTab really stood out: ‘This device doesn’t impress, even at the price point we believe it will be sold at.’

To my mind that perfectly sums up Aldi’s attempt to take advantage of the current clamour for budget 7-inch tablets. By all means spend the £80, but know that what you’re buying will be far from issue free, even when performing basic tasks such as browsing and sending emails.

We also found that the tablet wasn’t ideal when it came to welcoming the user. Our version, rather than providing a guide, immediately began installing ‘bloatware’ (apps that you don’t really need). And, it gets worse, as that process then failed – not the best first impression.

I know that the Tesco Hudl has had its own share of bad press lately, but for my money, if I was looking for a tablet that wouldn’t break the bank, I’d choose the Tesco Tablet over this Aldi offering every day of the week.
Mike Plant – online writer

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