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

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

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

SHARE:

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.

Related:

Topics: Lenovo, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

46 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Wait! Don't buy anything!

    Has there ever been a market where the 'mouthware' wasn't better-faster-cheaper than the stuff you can actually buy today?

    Between the hundred-dollar TouchPads and now this thing, the existing inventory of XOOMS and Tabs should be headed for the liquidation bins any minute. If they haven't sold in six months, the bean counters are going to start demanding that they be written down.

    Even $200 tablets will fail when they have to compete with $99 fire sale specials.
    Robert Hahn
    • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

      @Robert Hahn Huh? Motorola sold through most of their inventory and noted the lack of sales was due to a lack of inventory.
      slickjim
      • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

        @Peter Perry
        Not sold, Peter, shipped.
        Englishmole
    • Not thrilling me

      @Robert Hahn This woiuld probably appeal to my Dad (because he's cheap and only uses a computer of any kind for occassional browsing and email) but personally I'd pay up for Samsung's new Tab 7.7 before wasting a couple hundred on this
      archangel9999
    • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

      @Robert Hahn What tablets? Because both of the mentioned tablets are selling a decent amount of their inventory if not all of their inventory. Neither will be on fire sales. HP Just dropped out of the whole market and had a fire sale. Neither Motorola or Samsung will be following suit.
      Jimster480
      • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

        <ul><i>Neither Motorola or Samsung will be following suit. </i></ul><p>I think you're kidding yourself. The best guesses are that Motorola shipped about 250,000 XOOMs to resellers, and the resellers have sold about 100,000 of those. That leaves 150,000 XOOMs looking for good homes. The longer they sit on the shelf, the less likely it is that anyone will buy them because newer-faster-cheaper stuff is coming out every day. The same thing is happening with the original Galaxy Tab... lots of them in the channel getting older by the minute.

        There may not be a fire sale on the HP scale, but we will most certainly see these products on the deal-a-day sites, at prices substantially below what they are now.
        Robert Hahn
      • My experience getting good value.

        @Rober Hahn ... I have found that when companies like buy.com sell refurbished items, they have actually been new. I purchased two "refurbished" Acer netbooks and it was surprising to get them in pristine condition with no scratches or fingerprints.

        It's my opinion that (possibly in some cases), the refurbished label allows the manufacturer to sell current items at a discount without affecting their sales through regular channels. It's not really putting the item on sale since there is that "refurbished" stigma to deal with and it separates the discounted model from the "new" model at a higer price.

        The refurbished items are usually packaged in generic boxes. It also may be that a dealer who bought substantial stock went out of business and Acer or another company got the unused items back and decided to sell them as refurbished.

        I haven't been disappointed yet and buy.com seems to be a great place to go to with great prices and free shipping.
        Joe.Smetona
  • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

    This thing is rectangular and has a touchscreen...

    Apple will sue Lenovo into oblivion!
    SonofaSailor
    • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

      @SonofaSailor Troll/iHater
      jamboy34
      • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

        @jamboy34 - "iHater"? Really?
        Wow. Just wow.
        Enjoy your iCoolAid.
        chipbeef
      • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

        @jamboy34 "Troll/IHater"
        +1 on the Wow.
        I thought it was snarky humor that could come from any quarter - Apple fans or foes or the don't give a damn's. Lighten up.
        tkeller@...
    • Chuckle

      @SonofaSailor
      Apple suing China?
      Best of luck to them......

      ;)
      rhonin
    • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

      @SonofaSailor Dude stop the trolling and FUD spreading. There is more to the Apple/ Samsung suit than a rectangle and touch screen.
      athynz
  • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

    This increasingly crowded Android Market is the reason why it will win out.

    The only way Android doesn't become the dominant Tablet OS is if HP is willing to keep the touchpad market alive and take a $200 loss per tablet in exchange for App, Media and Accessories to supplement the Tablet.

    Either way, the current market leader will be forced to make some serious decisions over the next 2 years!
    slickjim
    • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

      The "market leader" will no doubt play the same game they do with PCs and smartphones: occupy the high-end high profit margin sector and observe the competitors race themselves into the bottom of the pit.
      Scrabbler
      • The race to the bottom is otherwise called competition

        @Scrabbler . . . and is awesome for consumers. And this 'race to the bottom' is engaged in with gusto by all the participants. Why? Well, it's either make a slim margin on millions of units sold; or sell nothing and have no business at all.
        .
        Personally I don't really want to have zero choice but to pay Apple $500-$700 a pop for a basic little tablet, especially when the majority of innovation and utility within that tablet is the work of 3rd party app makers. I would far rather pay a much hungrier company $200-$300 and get one for every member of the family.
        ArtInvent
      • Re: The race to the bottom is otherwise called competition

        @ArtInvent
        Yes, choice is always good for consumer. I was just saying that Apple does not have to join the race. They will be happy with 20% (or whatever share) of the market selling high-end tablets.
        Scrabbler
      • The race to the bottom is not &quot;competition&quot; it's suicide

        @ArtInvent

        Just ask HP, the worldwide PC leader is ditching its PC division because their margins are so low. Even with the massive numbers they push, it's not worth it to them to continue.

        Yay for competition!
        RationalGuy
      • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

        @ArtInvent <br><br><i>Well, it's either make a slim margin on millions of units sold; or sell nothing and have no business at all. </i><br><br>Those the only choices they have? Me-too competition racing to the bottom or not entering at all? What about innovation? Imagine Apple coming out with a Black Berry clone instead of the iPhone because it was the only option, or not entering at all? Or a Win Slate/UMPC clone instead of the iPad? <br><br>And how is cutting corners on features to bring the cost down awesome for consumers? 4 gb internal storage, running Gingerbread as an OS built for phones not tablets. Blown up phones apps.
        dave95.
  • RE: Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199

    Gingerbread ?
    Scrabbler