Lenovo intros IdeaPad A1 tablet with $199 starting price

By on September 2, 2011, 1:30 PM

Lenovo has added a new member to its growing Android tablet lineup. The IdeaPad A1 will be squarely aimed at the budget-conscious market with a starting price of just $199, and though it may not be a cutting-edge device, it offers quite a bit of features for the price. You'll get a 7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen tablet with a Cortex A8 1GHz single-core processor, 8GB of storage, dual cameras (3MP back, VGA front), microUSB, and a microSD card slot for expansion.

Its display offers a higher than average resolution compared to other devices its size -- and even the iPad 2 -- at 1024-by-600 with a pixel density of 170ppi. In terms of connectivity, the A1 is limited to Wi-Fi, but there is a GPS chip in there that can be used without a data connection. Using the Navdroyd global map database, Lenovo's tablet behaves just like any other off-the-shelf GPS system by communicating directly with GPS satellites to determine position.

Perhaps the main letdown is that the tablet is pre-loaded with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, as opposed to the tablet-specific Honeycomb release, though that was probably necessary to keep things running smoothly on ARM's last-generation chip. Nevertheless the A1 is fully equipped with all of Google's Android services, and Lenovo will be including the Lenovo App Shop on the device in addition to providing access to the official Android Market.

The tablet's overall thickness comes in just under half an inch and its exterior casing color options include black, white, blue and pink. In addition to the base 8GB version, 16GB and 32GB models should be available for $249 and $299 when the IdeaPad A1 arrives later this month. Unfortunately, according to Engadget, only the latter two will make it to the U.S.

The recent $99 sale of the discontinued HP TouchPad showed that a lot of folks would buy a tablet if the price were cheap enough -- though I believe webOS played a bigger part in sparking up interest than the hardware itself. It will be interesting to see how well the A1 performs at this price point. Granted, Lenovo is not the first company to hit the $200 - $250 mark, but the A1 does offer better features than most budget-priced Android tablets.




User Comments: 12

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Sarcasm Sarcasm said:

No, the only reason people were buying the TouchPad at $99 is because it was a $599 device. Though not perfect, it still packed a lot of features.

Releasing a $199 tablet with abysmal features is not the same thing.

Guest said:

"I believe webOS played a bigger part in sparking up interest" LOL. Do some people still not get that it's about the price?

Guest said:

The Touchpad is a $99 item. And not a $599 item.

Put into perspective a VIZIO 32" LED WIFI TV can be purchase for less than $500

The TV has processors, memory, huge screen, casing and everything a Tablet has, and for less money.

So don't tell me a tablet is worth $599

Guest said:

I loved my Palm Pre, but WebOS is a dead end and everyone buying one who wasn't a regular on the precentral.net forums knows that going in. Even many of those guys are talking about hacking Android onto it.

So, if this isn't a US$199 tablet, then what is it? A CA$199 tablet? AU$199 tablet? And what is it with electronics makers withholding sub-$200 computing devices from the US market? First Asus with the Eee 2G Surf, then a bunch of other netbook/smartbook makers, and now it seems it's spread to the tablet market.

"The TV has processors, memory, huge screen, casing and everything a Tablet has, and for less money."

Everything a tablet has except an expensive battery, expensive low-voltage CPU and even more expensive capacitive touchscreen, that is. TVs are basically at commodity pricing now while tablets are still higher margin items, but a 9" capacitive touchscreen still costs about as much to make as a 32" TFT. When Vizio gets a wider range of tablets on the shelves you might be able to compare them to their own TVs.

Guest said:

Yeah, the only reason people bought the Touchpad was the low price. At that price people aren't expecting the OS, the build quality, and the number of apps to be equivalent to an iPad. People accept the limitations of affordable tablets in the same way that they accept affordable cars - they might like to have a BMW 5 series, but they buy Honda Civics instead and they don't expect them to be equivalent to the BMW.

Guest said:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Touchpad is a $99 item. And not a $599 item.

Put into perspective a VIZIO 32" LED WIFI TV can be purchase for less than $500

The TV has processors, memory, huge screen, casing and everything a Tablet has, and for less money.

So don't tell me a tablet is worth $599

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Your missing one KEY POINT though, the "Touchscreen!" Your TV is NOT touchscreen, so your point is INVALID! Have a Nice Day! :)

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

The Touchpad is a $99 item. And not a $599 item.

Put into perspective a VIZIO 32" LED WIFI TV can be purchase for less than $500

The TV has processors, memory, huge screen, casing and everything a Tablet has, and for less money.

So don't tell me a tablet is worth $599

Since when, for that matter, is anything worth exactly the asking price? So, as said before, your point is invalid.

Have a nice day.

Staff
Jos Jos said:

Guest said:

"I believe webOS played a bigger part in sparking up interest" LOL. Do some people still not get that it's about the price?

Of course the $99 price was the main reason people were buying these in droves. You are taking things out of context. I said webOS played a bigger part than the hardware itself, which was nothing special on the TouchPad. If an Android tablet with just average hardware gets cut to $99 I'd have no interest in buying it (I already have an iPad and I only use sporadically) but I was very tempted to buy the TouchPad.

Just my perspective since I'm not really in the market for a tablet. I'm sure a $99 Android tablet could sell well too but I don't expect to see one very soon.

Guest said:

now we need a IPAD mini with 10 colors priced at 100-150 dollars. that would be a great option for people like me waiting for cheap ipad alternatives. I can give one to my son, one to my daughter, and one to my dog!

Guest said:

no mention of release date?

Guest said:

well, im glad i got my 32gb touchpad for 149. lol. it cost ~330 to make... re4leasing a 200 tablet that costs less than the retail price to make isnt the same thing.

Guest said:

"So don't tell me a tablet is worth $599"

I don't need to tell you, the millions of people who bought iPads at the price have told you. That you don't listen should worry you.

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