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Lenovo announces $199 IdeaPad A1 tablet computer

Consumer Reports News: September 01, 2011 05:23 PM

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Laptop-maker Lenovo is branching out and flexing its mobile muscles. The company will soon introduce a mid-sized—but low-cost—Android tablet in the U.S.

According to various online reports, the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 will sport a 7-inch touchscreen and many of the features found in similar-size tablets: dual cameras, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and a single-core 1-GHz Cortex A8 processor running the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system.

But unlike the similarly-equipped Samsung Galaxy Tab (one of the models in Consumer Reports' list of Recommended tablet computers), prices for the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 will start at under $200.

Lenovo's unveiling of the IdeaPad A1 comes just a week after it announced the launch of its ThinkPad Tablet, a $500 "business-class" slate designed to compete against other 10-inch models.

And while HP's exit from the tablet market has many questioning if any company can top Apple's successful iPad line of tablets, there is a good indication that the IdeaPad could have a successful run. The recent fire sale ($99) for discontinued HP TouchPad tablets—and subsequent ramp-up of Touchpad production—suggests there could be a market for low-cost tablets.

"The price point could put Lenovo in a very competitive position," David Daoud, research director at IDC, told PC World.

We'll keep an eye out for further details on Lenovo's low-cost Android tablet. And if our testers can get their hands on an IdeaPad A1, we'll be sure to report on it here in the blog and include it in our tablet computer Ratings.

Lenovo to launch the IdeaPad A1, a 7-inch Android tablet for $199 [ZDNet]
Hands On: Lenovo ThinkPad and A1 Tablets[]
Lenovo Heats up Price War With $199 IdeaPad Tablet [PC World]
Lenovo's A1 tablet goes cheap, stays classy[CNet]

Paul Eng

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