IdeaPad A1

While some other tablet manufacturers are hitting high peaks when it comes to pricing, the folks over at Lenovo feel that is seemingly the wrong way to go. Instead of releasing a really expensive Honeycomb tablet, they've stuck to announcing a $199 Gingerbread powered device that may never get upgraded to Honeycomb. The IdeaPad A1 tablet is 7 inches running Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a single-core Cortex A8 processor, and a touting a 1,024 x 600 display.

When it comes to storage, you're looking at 8GB, 16GB and 32GB - which versions will be available in the US isn't known at this time but pricing goes like this 8GB - $199, 16GB- $249 with the 32GB - $299. WiFi is on-board as well as GPS but not mention of 3G connectivity at this time, though it may come in later versions but you do get front and rear facing cameras with the better 3MP shooter being placed on the back. Plus, a SDCard and mircoSD card for watever you do so wish.  Anyone still interested in a Gingerbread tablet? You can hit the Lenovo site for more details should you need them.

Source: Lenovo

There are 32 comments

bloodycape77 says:

I would have gotten this if for the price it was a dual core tablet, and the screen was a bit more consistent(though this could change for the production model per the Verge).

slayerpsp says:

Looks nice would be perfect for my son. I prefer gingerbread because there are way more apps and games that work

wingmann2 says:

For a $100 more than the touchpad... its a deal!

kcls says:

Now I'm kicking myself for buying a nook... This is 50 dollars cheaper and probably works 3x as well.

Dark_Blu says:

Oh darn. A Gingerbread Tablet for $100 more than the Touchpad? No thanks. Waiting for the Touchpad. Gingerbread on a Tablet just doesn't do it for me. Nice try, Lenovo. Nope. Pass.

PowersUSA says:

As kcls said. If you consider the B&N Nook color a good deal than this is stellar. More functional (cameras, gps, more than 1 button) and less expensive. If this existed a few months ago I would have gotten my Daughter one of these ahead of an ipod touch.

Saneless says:

So, you guys saying it's 100 more than the Touchpad can tell everyone, today, how to get one, right?

The $100 pad is a fluke and for what you get, this is an excellent price.

gbm85 says:

Exactly! A TouchPad you may or may not be able to buy for $100 which may or may not have Android ported to it and even if it does, it will be buggy VS a real Android tablet that will definitely be available for $200. No-brainer!

BigTex says:

Does anyone doubt that we will see a CM Rom or other ROM with Honeycomb for this device soon after launch? I am just sayin'!

gbm85 says:

Unfortunately the Honeycomb source is not publicly available and never will be. We'll have to wait for Ice Cream Sandwich. ICS is basically Honeycomb and Gingerbread combined into one entity. Once ICS is available, I'm sure it will be ported to the Lenovo A1.

jaykingofgay says:

the comparison to the touchpad is laughable. But by all means, please wait around for the opportunity to buy a discontinued device that may or may not ever get Android (let alone honeycomb) and may run completely out of stock before you can buy it. But you're right, that is a better value than a tablet you don't have to hack, will be receiving support updates, can be returned, etc, etc.

SMD says:

I hope tablets all start coming down in price. It's crazy what they charge for some. The touchpad is notably better, but if you want to pocket your tablet, a 7" tablet makes that possible. The recently released X10 Airpad with wifi, Gingerbread, full USB out/HDMI out and Android Marketplace access seems to be as good or better than this one for the same $199 price. Granted this display is slightly better and has a little bit better camera, but who uses their tablets for taking pics anyway. Hope this is just the beginning of sub-$200 decent tablets.

Immolate says:

I have to admit that it's hard to compete with a company that's willing to lose $200 on every tablet, but then you never have to compete with them for long.

I think this is a great step in the right direction of affordable tablets. I think Gingerbread is an excellent OS for a 7" tablet. Undercutting the price of the Nook Color with much better specs is a big deal, and makes this tablet the economy tablet of choice, assuming it is as good as you'd expect a tablet from Lenovo to be. Not sure I'm ready to jump before Amazon announces what they are doing, but I'm paying attention.

Why does putting Gingerbread on this make it affordable? Does HoneyComb cost OEM's money over the Open Source Gingerbread? Or does HoneyComb require dual-core or something else that would cost too much?

gbm85 says:

Why does a 2-door sports car cost more than a 4-door? Hint: it's not about cost of production, it's about demand. Honeycomb and Gingerbread may both cost the same for Lenovo, but Gingerbread is less desirable and thus cheaper for the consumer.

lol, at having 'thus' in an explanation that makes no sense.

gbm85 says:

LOL at not understanding basic high school economics.

gotcha, so here must be Lenovo's basic high school economical thinking: hmmm, how do we make a cheaper tablet.. Hey, I know! let's put a 'less desirable' OS in. That'll ensure that no one's ever interested in it, causing us to lower the price right away. Brilliant!!

If that's the case, maybe you should work there, you sound just as smart.

Unibrow says:

if it had honeycomb it would compete with it's other tablet that is $499(?) and by NOT having honeycomb automatically becomes a non option for a lot of people that won't settle for a tablet that does not have honeycomb.

This opens up a new segment of the market for those that can't afford the more expensive honeycomb tablet or for those that don't care and just want a cheap tablet, like my 11 year old daughter.

I'm not saying it's wise but I can tell you this will sell like hot cakes (as far as android tablets go) while not greatly affecting the market they have for their honeycomb tablet.

*edit* I'm also willing to bet there are some "hardware requirements" for honeycomb, such as dual core which would also make the price of the tablet cost more to manufacture.

simply having gingerbread installed instead of honeycomb doesn't determine the price of the tablet, as dallashigh seems to think.

I agree w/your edit about reqs (see my prev reply to OP below), If there were no OS reqs, and each version of android cost the same to install, there would have been budget honeycomb tablets by now. Otherwise, why sell this as a $200 gingerbread tablet, when they could've sold it as a much more desirable $200 honeycomb tablet? if honeycomb was open sourced, manufacturers could install it on anything they want, but since it isn't, it's likely they need to meet more costly reqs that google wants for honeycomb tablets.

honeycomb might require more costly hardware. whether for needed performance or maybe some hardware standards levied by google (min. screen res, cameras etc).

jaykingofgay says:

I don't know that it makes it affordable. It just makes it work. Honeycomb isn't designed for screens smaller than 10 inches. the 3.2 update is buggy and doesn't fix that. Someone else ( I forget who) just came out recently with a 7 inch honeycomb 3.2 tablet and it's buggy as hell. Apps render at 10 inches, so you see a zoomed in corner of the app that you can't really use.
I guess it does make it affordable in the sense that there's not really demand for a Gingerbread tablet, whereas there IS a demand for honeycomb tablets.

Stovicek says:

Since I don't live in Malaysia, any word of this $199 Ideapad making it the US? The US site still shows the trio of red, white, and black K1's starting at $499.

Stovicek says:

"Coming later in September: The IdeaPad Tablet A1, the first 7-inch tablet priced at $200 or less"

Quoted from PCWorld.

oh ok then says:

So shrink this down 50%, add $10 phone hardware and suddenly it's a $600 device.

Cell phones are such a racket.

gbm85 says:

Yep. The iPhone 4 is almost 50% cheaper for Apple to produce than the iPad 2, yet it costs a little bit more than a 3G iPad and $150 more than a WiFi iPad.

eacura69 says:

This is a great deal if it out works as stated. my kids want iPods but this is much better for the money. Don't need dual core and honeycomb for kids.

sedracer says:

yeah i don't see how anybody can say this isn't worth the money. its the nook color with more storage, camera, and pretty much stock android for $50 less. i was about to purchase the older 7" galaxy tab on clearance tomorrow but looks like i'll hold out for this. Its blue and looks like its using standard micro usb unlike the other android tablets (besides the nook).

rht_rv says:

but this doesnt have the modding community that the nook has. thats the key point. the nook will get ICS, and i am pretty sure of that. this? it depends which modders get it. but yeah, out of the box, its a fantastic deal

rkirmeier says:

Nook is ok w/CM7 but has no GPS and crappy bluetooth which are both very nice on a 7" ultra portable tab. GB on a 7" with the great app compatibility is a nice combination. TP was a great deal, hard to get!! Hopefully more to come at fire sale pricing! Can't wait for Android ROM! Highly prefer my ASUS over the TP. WebOS sucks, had a Pre before my evo too. The highly interactive multitasking gui is just more work and more touches/swipes to do the same thing...

I like the variety of different device an options...

adamf663 says:

$100 for 24gig? RIPOFF! Retail for 32g is less than $35 in a packaged flash card. Their cost is less than $15.

15israellai says:

Oh my. You're very clearly referring to that Jetsteam (or whatever) thingy. In almost every sentence of the first paragraph.