Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Is a $250 Android Tablet for the Masses

Illustration for article titled Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Is a $250 Android Tablet for the Masses

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 is not a cutting-edge device. Nor is it a niche product that will attract a minuscule subsection of fawning geeks. But it is a 7-inch tablet that only costs $250. Your shamelessly cheap friends will be thrilled.

The A1 runs on ARM's last-generation, 1GHz Cortex A8 processor and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which is designed for phones. Not so innovative. It has a 1MP front camera and a 3MP rear camera to go along with a 1024x600 resolution screen. It's not particularly thin, either. But according to Engadget, who got some hands-on time with it, the A1 is more impressive than its specs or price tag would suggest.

Price is the main appeal here. There's not much else that separates this from Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab that came out last year (except for a newer version of Android), yet the Galaxy Tab was going for $400. If you need a junk tablet to keep around the house, or, um, in the bathrooom, this might be the one. A 16GB version of the A1 will cost $250, while the 32GB version will cost $300. And there's actually an 8GB version that will sell for around $200, but it's not coming to the US (?!). [Engadget]

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I still think that the industry should stick with 10" tablets. Once you start to get under that size you get into useability issues. The future of tablets is the death of laptops and until you can make them as easy to use, or easier, it will not happen. 7" and 5" tablets are not going to allow for that.