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Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

Lenovo enters the 7-inch tablet market with the IdeaPad A1, coming soon for less than $200.

Laptop maker Lenovo only recently entered the increasingly crowded Android tablet market, and now looks to make a splash with the as yet unannounced IdeaPad A1 Tablet. The 7-inch A1 will be squarely aimed at testing the budget-conscious market with a starting price of just $199.

The hardware specs of the A1 are not top-of-the-line but may be sufficient for those looking to get a rounded Android tablet for two hundred bucks. Lenovo has augmented the Gingerbread (Android 2.3) software with its special launcher software as debuted on the K1 (review here) recently. The processor used in the A1 is only a single core 1 GHz model, no doubt to keep the starting price as low as possible. It will have two cameras, and up to 32GB of storage will be available. The 7-inch display handles a resolution of 1024x600, common for this size screen.

Lenovo will be launching the Lenovo App Shop on the A1 in addition to providing access to the Android Market. Lenovo's store will only offer apps optimized for the company's tablets, and will have over 200 apps at launch.

This low price will be a good test to see what the market will bear. The common view is that Android tablets by and large are too expensive to compete with the iPad. The recent $99 sale of the discontinued HP TouchPad demonstrated that a lot of folks will buy a tablet with good hardware if the price is cheap enough. The $199 price of the Lenovo A1 makes it firmly competitive with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the original 7-inch Android tablet.

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