Lenovo IdeaPad A1

Lenovo is offering the IdeaPad A1 tablet for $167.20 this week when you use the coupon: EMPLOYEEPRICE0119. That’s more than $30 lower than the best price I’ve seen for this tablet to date.

Update: It looks like the promotion ran its course a bit early. Prices are now back to $199.20 and up. 

The IdeaPad A1 has a 7 inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1 GHz TI OMAP 3622 single core processor, 512MB of RAM, 16GB of storage, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system.

While it’s not likely that Lenovo will offer a software update to Android 4.0 for this budget tablet, independent developers have already figured out how to root the tablet and work is underway to port custom ROMs such as CyanogenMod 7 (which is based on Android 2.3) to the tablet. I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually saw unofficial builds of Android 4.0 — although the older processor and limited RAM in this tablet could prevent some features from working properly.

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 with CyanogenMod 7

If you’re looking for a high quality tablet that can run the latest Android software without any problems, the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 might not be the best bet. But if you’re looking for a decent tablet for under $200 which also happens to have cameras, GPS, Bluetooth, and Android Market access (all features which are missing from the $199 Kindle Fire), you could certainly do worse.

The $167 deal is good on the pink and white models of this tablet. The promotion runs through January 25th or until supplies run out.

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12 replies on “Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet for $167, CyanogenMod port in the works”

  1. This was a good deal but I’m still waiting for the $250 Asus memo

    Brad, do you have any idea when the Memo will hit stores?

  2. The specs are poor on this. I wouldn’t buy anything that can’t handle ics at this poi point. The prices are gonna fall on devices like this.

      1. By selling at even or loss is not setting the price point, since no one but a company like Amazon could possibly hope to match it.

        All the others can do is get as close as they can to that price point but they’ll always either cost more or provide less for the price.

          1. Again, you have to realize the Kindle Fire is being sold at either actual cost or with a small loss.

            Something no one but a company like Amazon can do because they make most of their profit from the services they provide.  While other companies have to make the profit from the hardware pricing.

            Even B&N had to price their Nook Tablet higher, despite offering some services themselves.  Basically the differences in spec don’t fully account for the $50 difference in pricing between the NT and the KF.

            So for something with the hardware features of the KF, the competition can only get about as close as $250-$300, unless they do a fire sale to get rid of stock and decide to basically go out of business, or reduce the features/quality of the product.

            Mind products in the KF feature/performance range also lack things like GPS, G-Sensors, etc. and so are very basic.  Leaving more feature rich tablets to cost even more and for those the KF is even less of a factor to consider for pricing.

            So let’s not go insane and start thinking just because Amazon can push the price limit to the insane breaking point, business are by definition in it for profit after all, doesn’t mean they all can or even want to.

    1. It’s not that it can’t handle ICS but that Lenovo probably wouldn’t bother with the update at this low price point.  So you’ll likely have to get a 3rd party install option.

      Mind low prices tend to also mean lower support!  These things cost a minimum to make and the closer they get to that minimum the less profit they make and the less profit they make and the less reason they have to provide extra support.

    1. Argh. I actually scheduled this to run yesterday when the deal was definitely still good, but WordPress decided I didn’t *really* mean January 19th and failed to publish the post as scheduled.

      Sorry about that. 

  3. why would you port CyanogenMod 7 2.3 when it comes already with 2.3 …makes no sense, plus it voids your warranty,,,someone enlighten me..

    1. Same reason you would port CyanogenMod to run on any smartphone or any other mobile device already running Android 2.3.

      It’s a custom ROM with a series of user interface and performance tweaks that aren’t present in the stock software. For instance on my Nexus One Smartphone, CyanogenMod 7 takes up less space than the original Google build of Gingerbread, performs faster, supports theming, and offers a number of other customization options. 

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