Smart or suddenly essential? The Mecer Smart Life M785

Our family has become one of those multi-connected, communicate via text and email types. Because our individual schedules have been a teensy bit mental the last couple of months, it’s pretty common nowadays for us to plan our lives via our mobile devices. Juggling all of our busy lives has meant we’ve been missing out on quiet dinners round the table quite regularly and, well, living like this is how it needs to be for a while. We are, however, starting to slow down a bit as we head towards the middle of the year, which is the exact time it seems everyone has a birthday and our schedules go mad again. Haha!

But, I digress. Why am I mentioning all this stuff? Because a little something sent to me to review recently made a big difference to this mad mishmash of schedules and quickly went from being a “device I’m reviewing” to “thing I need before I leave the house, like my keys”.

What is it? It’s the Mecer Smart Life M785. A 7-inch tablet that runs on our favourite OS, Android 4.2.2, it’s impressive Quad-core processor proved itself more than capable of keeping up with the pace of our life right now.

Mecer Smart Life M785

I’m pretty used to my 10-inch tablet, which gives me a lot of functionality I’m well accustomed to and would deem pretty necessary for getting things done on the go. So, I was a little hesitant about the “downgrade” to a 7-inch screen. Within the first day of use though, I realised that I had nothing to worry about. Also, this lovely little gadget fits way more neatly into my handbag than my usual 10-inch and it packs just as much, if not more, punch.


My kid, who is pretty much the biggest user of tablet devices in our house, quickly got her hands on the Mecer device and thoroughly enjoyed downloading a bunch of her favourite apps for it. Soon after I had handed it to her for a look-see, she’d curled up on the couch with it and was saying things like “Mom, I think we need to replace my tablet and buy this one”.

Well, a little look at the retail price means we may just do that. Whilst this tablet sits on a par with other 7-inch and even some 10-inch tablets in terms of specifications, it retails for far less than others. I found it on Takealot for less than R2000! That makes it a damn fine device for someone wanting to shell out for a tablet for kids to play on.

20140411_201100Don’t let its little size fool you, by the way. This tablet is quite hardy, with Gorilla Glass display and folio protective cover. Just so you know, the tablet comes packaged with this cute cover, so that’s not an accessory – it’s in the box!

More than that, I have found this Mecer tablet an excellent asset for my work! I took it with me to a few meetings and a seminar. Super fast on startup and so easy to use, I really enjoyed taking notes with it and then being able to share them with others on the spot.

We’ve really enjoyed being a Mecer family for a fortnight. So much so, that, maybe we will just go with my daughter’s plan! Her birthday is coming up soon. Mind you, so is mine!

For more information on this fab little gadget, check out the technical stuff here  and you can order one via TAKEALOT here.


This is a review post. I regularly review products that my family and I would purchase and make use of in our daily lives. 

Lenovo Does Yoga – The Yoga 8 Tablet

I’m a sucker for technology – but then I think you knew that about me already! But, more than that, I’m a sucker for technology that works and works beautifully.

So, it’s no surprise that I’m smitten with the Lenovo Yoga 8 Tablet. Lenovo’s lovely PR peeps sent me this sweet little tablet to review and, well, it’s not just me that’s fallen in love with it – the whole family has!

Why have we fallen in love with it? That’s easy!

It’s as thin as a good cracker!

The Lenovo Yoga 8 Tablet is small, but powerful. It’s easy to lie in bed and read on it, or slip it into my handbag for on-the-go staying in touch. It’s thinner than you’d believe, so it slips right in to my bag and leaves me space for everything else that goes in there – and, let’s be honest – my life is in that handbag!

I exhaust batteries on my mobile devices like infants go through diapers. But the Lenovo Yoga 8 Tablet packs a full 18 hours battery life. I only had to charge it once during its time with us!

I’m very smitten

It’s zippy-quick. Startup takes about 10 seconds, and a super-smooth transition between applications means my usual manic attack of emails-social-networks-typing-something-up can continue unabated. The tablet runs on a very competent quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex A7 processor, and it’s graphics are handled by a PowerVR SGX544 GPU. To test real-world performance, I spent some time playing Temple Run 2, and was very impressed by the fluid lag-free performance.

The 8″ 1280 x 800 IPS LCD display looks great at pretty much any viewing angle (and if the kickstand is used, there will be many angles to view from, but more on that later…). Colours are vibrant, and the display’s brightness is more than sufficient.

A feature worth mentioning is the front-facing stereo speakers, which makes watching videos a delight. Sound quality through headphones is fantastic, most likely due to the Dolby Digital Plus sound enhancement on board.

We’re an Android family. You know this. The Yoga Tablet 8 comes with Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), and is lightly skinned with Lenovo’s basic and very clean user interface. It is worth mentioning that the launcher does not follow in most traditional Android launchers’ footsteps in that there is no ‘app drawer’. Similar to iOS, all applications are placed on one of the main homescreens instantly upon install, but can be arranged into folders. Performance is great, and there is little-to-no lag when swiping from screen to screen.

Book mode makes me happy.

But why did they choose the name “Yoga”? Well, simply put, the tablet’s main feature is the 3 modes that you can use it in, thanks to its cleverly hidden kickstand. When flipped out, this kickstand allows the tablet to stand up on its own. This ‘stand mode’ is ideal for watching YouTube videos while you work, making Skype calls, or even cooking while reading recipes. You can also have the tablet in ’tilt mode’. You turn the tablet upside down so that the kickstand is at the top, and the screen rotates accordingly, allowing it to lie almost flat, slightly propped up. This mode is great for web browsing, gaming or typing. Using the tablet normally (without the stand) is considered ‘book’ or ‘hold’ mode, and feels great when you hold it by the more weighted/cylindrical side, as suggested. My favourite is Book mode, because it magnificently emulates your normal book reading position but, with a far more beautiful perspective to gaze on.

The one thing I had to get used to (but which I now ADORE) was the two notification dropdown areas.  Now that I’ve seen it though, I’d like that on my own tablet too! Separating out app and system notifications and settings like that is pretty darn useful!

The Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 is a great little device, and  the whole family agrees! With its solid build quality, unique aesthetics and low price, it’s a sensible choice for anyone looking to invest in a great mid-range tablet.

I’ve got big love for Lenovo after reviewing the Yoga 8 Tablet. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter or visit their website for your own look at the Lenovo range of tablets!

*this is a review post*extra special thanks to my P&C for adding in their perspectives and experiences with this tablet. This review was a full family job!*