Lenovo announces $199 7 inch tablet PC

When HP cut the price of its discontinued HP TouchPad tablet to just $99, the tablet that no one seemed to want suddenly became an instant sell out. Lenovo clearly hopes some of those sales follow its just announced IdeaPad A1. As reported by ZDNet, the 7 inch tablet running Android will have a starting price point of just $199, about half what other tablets of its size usually sell for.

As one might expect the technical specs of the IdeaPad A1 are not quite the same as some of the other 7 inch tablet PCs that have been released. It will only have a single core 1 Ghz processor rather than the dual core processors we have seen in other Android-based tablets. It will also use the 2.3 version of Android rather than the more advanced 3.0 version which was made especially for tablets. Engadget reports that the $199 version will just have 8 GB storage, while the 16 and 32 GB models will sell for $249 and $299, respectively. Engadget also claims that the $199 8 GB version might not ship in the US but that has yet to be confirmed.

However some of the IdeaPad A1's specs are looking pretty solid. It will have a screen resolution of 1024 x 600 as well as both front and rear facing cameras. In addition to being able to access the Android Marketplace, Lenovo will also let users get access to over 200 exclusive apps from its own Lenovo App Store. At the moment the first IdeaPad A1 tablets are scheduled to be released sometime later in 2011.

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19 Comments

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Progress... but not enough. You will not concession stand me… 8GB really! Android 2.3… Really? I'm not saying anything about the processor… it really is not that bad… If you are going to 8GB me… do I get to use a 32GB mico SD card??? Can I connect via USB without a hasslehoff? If yes to all those… I give you a tinny maybe…

mranderson1st said,
Progress... but not enough. You will not concession stand me… 8GB really! Android 2.3… Really? I'm not saying anything about the processor… it really is not that bad… If you are going to 8GB me… do I get to use a 32GB mico SD card??? Can I connect via USB without a hasslehoff? If yes to all those… I give you a tinny maybe…

hasslehoff? as in...David?

Rudy said,
Android 2.3 kills the deal right there

Why? There are few apps that are actually made specifically for Honeycomb and any that aren't work much better on a device with gingerbread and all the hardware buttons.
Besides, Honeycomb is a pain in the ass to use on larger tablets, I bet it's even worse on 7 inch ones.

I jumped on a Nook Color for $199. It's a little slow, but nice. Getting a more capable tablet (cameras, etc) with a quicker processor for the *same* price? That is a deal.

speedstr3789 said,
Do the ame thin that the game consoles makers do. Undercut their margins on the hardware and make it up on the apps.

Well that would probably work, but for that you actually need to get a part of what the app sells for which none of the Android device manufacturers except for Sony (their playstation stuff) do.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Old Android = Deal Breaker.

You'd be surprised how much more smoothly a proper 2.3 runs compared to Honeycomb. At work we had the Galaxy Tab 7 (with 2.2), an Acer with a Tegra 2 and Honeycomb 3.1, and in terms of actual speed while working with it the Galaxy Tab 7 won hands-down. Perhaps Honeycomb performs better in games and benchmarks, but in real-world stuff 2.3 is just much much faster. And the greater amount of apps is much nicer too.

Ambroos said,

You'd be surprised how much more smoothly a proper 2.3 runs compared to Honeycomb. At work we had the Galaxy Tab 7 (with 2.2), an Acer with a Tegra 2 and Honeycomb 3.1, and in terms of actual speed while working with it the Galaxy Tab 7 won hands-down. Perhaps Honeycomb performs better in games and benchmarks, but in real-world stuff 2.3 is just much much faster. And the greater amount of apps is much nicer too.

On a sidenote I noticed that cyanogen mod 6 was faster on my phone than 7. Anyway, regarding the android version, I'm sure if the device became popular people would release custom firmware to suit specific needs.

Astra.Xtreme said,
Old Android = Deal Breaker.

Really? Personally I'd much rather have this than Honeycomb...
Androids tablet UI look nice I'll give it that but the rest of Honeycomb just isnt ready yet, who knows, maybe with Ice-cream Sandwich or whatever comes after it'll be.

And then there is the apps, there are few actual tablet apps for android yet, and while it can run older apps they aren't made for tablets, they aren't made for that screen size or it's button configuration, on a 7 inch running gingerbread though, judging by my Galaxy Tab 7 they work great.

Ambroos said,
Is that home button a 2D Companion Cube or is GLADoS invading my mind?

Now that I've seen it, I can't unsee it

Stop being so picky and wanting decent specs for $200. The poor companies that make these gadgets deserve to continue making hundreds of millions of dollars no matter what!

Sorry, but this doesn't cut it. Is it REALLY that hard to up the specs and not mark them up to make a best seller? Everyone wants to be apple but no one wants to do the hard work. Why does the extra 8GB have to cost $50? How about you give me a dual core, 3.0+ os, 16gb and charge $250. I'm in. No no, you just want to sell me crap or hope I don't know any better.

Almost sounds like they rebadged some of those cheap Chinese iPad knockoffs and jacked up the price on them (since most of those sell for $150 or less).