Lenovo IdeaPad A1

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 is a 7 inch Android tablet which went on sale in early October for $199. That wasn’t a huge surprise, since the company had been showing off the budget tablet and promising a sub-$200 starting price for over a month by that point.

What was a surprise was when the price jumped to $229 and up just a few days later and then the tablet was listed as out-of-stock at the Lenovo Store for the rest of the month.

Today Lenovo is taking orders for the IdeaPad A1 again — but only one model is available, it costs $249, and it won’t ship until December 2nd.

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 has a 1 GHz TI OMAP 3622 processor, 512MB of RAM, and runs Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It features a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a front-facing VGA camera and a rear 3MP camera. The tablet has Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi, and the model that’s currently available for order has 16GB of storage and a microSD card slot for expansion.

The cheaper model which isn’t currently available ships with 8GB of storage.

The IdeaPad A1 looks like an attractive alternative to the Amazon Kindle Fire for anyone looking for a more standard Android experience, access to the Google Android Market, cameras, GPS, and a microSD card slot. But right now it looks like you’ll have to pay $50 more for Lenovo’s tablet than Amazon’s.

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4 replies on “Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet back in stock… for $249”

  1. Just wait for the Amazon Fire to be established. There is no way low-end 7-inch tablets are going to sell at more than $199 next year. and the A1 specs are definitely at the low-end of the market (though not bargain basement), even though it has some a few extra features like cameras and an SD-card slot.

    The problem for Amazon’s competitors is that, unlike Apple’s iPad, which is a premium product, the Fire is meant to be a mass-market product and is priced to sell a bundle of them. Odds are, it will be $149 this time next year, so the pressure will only increase, since Amazon’s profit margins don’t depend solely on making money from selling the hardware.

    1. I disagree, it’s more complicated than just competing with Amazon on just pricing.  Most of these other companies have to make all their profit on the hardware, while Amazon doesn’t.  So realistically most companies can’t directly compete with Amazon.

      However, Amazon did heavily strip most common tablet features from the KF.  Developers are even limited by those missing features.  So while pricing will get much more competitive, they’ll likely still offer a modest higher price for equivalent specification hardware that offer many of the features that the KF doesn’t have.

      Otherwise the only way they can go lower is to compromise on the build quality and specifications, but they can only lower those so much before the product becomes unappealing. Something that’s already hard for them to do with the increasing demand for performance.

      Though next gen 28nm ARM chips coming out next year should start making it easier for them and despite the compromises they’ll likely make, we hopefully won’t see too hard a hit on performance for the lower pricing.

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