Lenovo’s new A Series line of Android tablets are designed to be… cheap. And that’s what they are. Lenovo plans to sell the new tablets in the US starting in May with list prices of $129 and up — but the company will also be offering coupons that bring the starting price for the 7 inch Lenovo A7 down to about $99.
That price could be low enough to make these tablets worth considering… but after spending a few minutes with Lenovo’s tablets, I didn’t find much else to help distinguish them from other low-cost tablets on the market.
Lenovo’s TAB A7, A8 and A10 tablets feature 7, 8, and 10 inch screens, respectively. The larger tablets have larger batteries, but otherwise the specs for each model are pretty much the same, including a 1.3 GHz MediaTek MTK8121 processor, a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, a 5MP rear camera, and a 2MP front-facing camera.
They all run Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The cheapest model is the Lenovo TAB A7-40 which has 8GB of storage and only a front-facing camera.
All three models feel pretty light… and feel like they’re made of cheap plastic (because they are). But they also felt pretty responsive — MediaTek’s processors may be cheap, but the MTK8121 quad-core CPU is probably faster than whatever chip your smartphone had a few years ago.
The most interesting model might be the 10 inch tablet thanks to an optional Bluetooth keyboard with a somewhat unusual design. There’s a sort of loop on the back that you can slide the tablet into for safe keeping when it’s not in use. That loop also functions as a stand when you want to prop up the tablet for typing.
The Lenovo TAB A10 sells for $249 on its own, or you’ll be able to buy it with the keyboard for $299. A higher-resolution display would be nice. But the most important spec for these tablets is the price.