Friday, September 2, 2011

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Tablet

 
Lenovo has provided a sneak peek at a coming announcement, and the big reveal shows that the company has been giving serious thought to how it can make an impact with a 7-inch tablet. Coming later in September: The IdeaPad Tablet A1, the first 7-inch tablet priced at $200 or less (our bet is that it will be $199.99, but technically that’s still under $200). For that price, you'll have to sacrifice on-board storage, but not functionality—and you’ll get some innovation, too, since it’s the first tablet with a full GPS that can be used without a data connection.


That may be all it needs to get attention in the crowded tablet market.
Lenovo on Thursday unleashed details on its new IdeaPad A1 Android tablet, with the most surprising element being its $199 price tag.
After HP recently dropped its webOS TouchPad tablet to $99, consumers went into a frenzy to get their hands on it, indicating a strong market for low-price tablets. With Apple charging a minimum $499 for the iPad, other manufacturers have the opportunity to sweep in on the low-end — but so far no one credible has.
Lenovo’s move to offer the IdeaPad A1 for $199 is well-timed. Two features that make the tablet a standout at its price level are its sharp 1024-by-600-pixel resolution and the fact that the screen is capacitive touch. Many cheap tablets have a resistive touch screen, which isn’t as responsive as a capacitive screen.



Other, less charming elements reveal how Lenovo got the IdeaPad A1′s price so low. The tablet runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) software rather than the more advanced Honeycomb software, which runs on higher-priced Android tablets. It also includes a single-core 1-GHz Cortex A8 processor, 3-megapixel camera on the back, .3-megapixel camera on the front, a GPS receiver, 2GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for adding up to 32GB of extra memory. The device measures 0.47 inches thick and weighs 0.88 pounds.
Since the built-in GPS receiver can be used with or without a data connection, the included NavDroyd navigation app can be used at any time within reason, of course. Like the other tablets from Lenovo, the IdeaPad Tablet A1 will have access to the Lenovo App Shop, where about 200 apps for 7-inch tablets will be available. Also preinstalled: Lenovo’s Social Touch app, which aggregates email and calendar appointments with your social media connections on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.


The IdeaPad A1 will likely hit stores in mid to late September. Lenovo busts out the color options for the IdeaPad Tablet A1, with four separate offerings: White, Black, Pink or Light Blue. The company talked up its magnesuim alloy "roll cage" case design that protects the internal components with bumpers.
When you look at a tablet like the IdeaPad A1, which costs $500 less than the Jetstream (and $300 less than the most basic iPad), it’s a much easier sell to consumers.


Would you be willing to buy a $199 Android tablet?