Lenovo has produced some of the best notebooks ever released till date. Their ThinkPad lineup is considered the best in the PC world. However, the company has taken quite a lot of time in making its entry into the tablets. While the company has produced tablets before, they ran windows and were targeted at business users, not consumers. Lenovo Ideapad A1 retails at just 300 dollars and runs Android – an operating system that is loved by millions across the globe. So, do we recommend it? Read the review to find out.
Lenovo is offering two models – one comes with built 2GB flash storage while the other has 16GB. Common specs include 7 inch screen, WSVGA resolution (1024 x 600, same as 10 inch netbooks like Asus 1015PEM, Eee PC X101h and so on) and runs Android 2.3.4 gingerbread operating system.
There is one other difference between the 2GB and 16GB model. The 2GB one comes in only carbon black color while the 16GB model comes in carbon black, pearl white, cobalt blue, and pink. Unlike iPad, you can hold it in one hand. The surface is glossy and catches fingerprints easily (which can be easily removed).
Performance – The IdeadPad A1 is powered by OMAP 3622 processor that hums at 1GHz clock speed. While it is not as powerful as Nvidia Tegra 2 and Apple A5 processor, it is good enough to provide enjoyable experience in Android 2.3. Multitasking is not a problem as 512MB is good enough for a normal user. Here is how it compares to Sony Tablet P, Tablet S, Xoom Wi-Fi and Lenovo K1. Do not confuse with Sony Tablet P with Vaio P.
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As you can see in the benchmark tests, Ideapad A1 scored very low points but in real world use, you will not complain about its performance. It played YouTube just fine and opened our documents pretty fast. The two finger gesture were smooth in the stock web browser. Heck, even Skype video calls did not jitter. All in all, great real world performance.
The screen, as said before, measures 7 inch diagonally and packs 1024 x 600 pixels. Unlike Galaxy Tab P1000 (first generation) and Galaxy Tab 10.1, HDMI port is not available so there is no way of outputting the screen to an HDTV or a bigger display. Other ports like USB port and micro SD card slot are available.
Other notable features: Unlike other branded tablets like Viewsonic 7e that fall in the same category, it does comes with Android market place. This means you will have access to thousands of apps immediately when you take the Ideapad A1 out of the box.
Another feature that makes Lenovo A1 our favorite cheap tablet is the NavDroyd app that lets you use maps offline. This is great for those who are fed up with monthly cellular bills.
Battery life – It comes with a 3550mAh Lithium polymer battery that is charged using AC adapter via its micro USB port. I was able to get a good 4.5 hours of continuous web browsing via Wi-Fi which is good enough for its size and price. I wish it was as long as iPad (10 hours) but 4.5 – 5 hours of runtime is good enough for me.
(+) Compact size
(+) Great build quality
(+) Decent performance
(+) Android market is present
(+) 4.5 hours battery life. Good for its size
(-) No Built in 3G or 4G
(-) No HDMI
(-) No USB hosting capability
(-) Runtimes are no way near iPad
(-) Cheap looking charger [via pcwatch] (Chinese)
Check out Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet games.related queries: lenovo ideapad a1 review