Lenovo IdeaPad A1 colors

Lenovo is again taking orders for the IdeaPad A1 tablet in a wide range of colors. Most of the 7 inch tablet configurations had been out of stock for most of the month of October, but the tablet is available in black, white, blue and pink, with all versions expected to ship by November 21st at the latest.

But it looks like there’s been a little price shakeup.

When Lenovo first unveiled its budget 7 inch tablet, the company promised that the base model would sell for $199. That version features 2GB of flash storage instead of the 16GB you get on the higher-priced $249 versions.

For some reason Lenovo bumped the price of the base model to $229 a while back, and it looks like that’s where it’s staying. No, I have no idea why anyone would pay $229 for a 2GB model when a 16GB model costs just $20 more.

But here’s the bigger question: why would you pay $229 for the 2GB tablet when you could pay $199 for a 16GB model?

Lenovo is currently offering the 16GB IdeaPad A1 in black for $199.20 when you use the coupon code USPA2M1104. It’s not clear how long the promotion will last, or if we’ll see another $199 price anytime soon, so if you’re in the market for an IdeaPad A1 it looks like this is a pretty good time to order one.

The tablet features a 1024 x 600 pixel display, a 1 GHz TI OMAP 3622 single core processor, 512MB of RAM, and Google Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. It has a front-facing 0.3MP camera and a 3MP rear camera, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and offline GPS capabilities (although you may need an internet connection to some navigation features).

$200 tablets aren’t as uncommon as they used to be. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Velocity Micro, and ViewSonic all have some to offer. But Lenovo’s is one of the few with GPS, cameras, a standard Android user interface and full access to the Google Android Market.

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3 replies on “The $199 Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet returns”

  1. I just found an A1 at Best Buy, 16BG for $199.  I’m going to take the plunge.  Sure, I could wait another 6 months and see what happens, but that’s always the case. 

  2. $199 is compelling, but I’m holding on to my cash until this Android version issue gets a little better.

    The big names in tablets, without a carrier to muck up the works, seem to be getting better at releasing updates, but when every device is a touch screen, wifi, bluetooth, and an accelerometer, software is really key.

    My Dell Streak experience of ever slipping rom release dates and broken promises has taught me to watch this.

    $199 might have been a buy if I felt like there was a promise of Ice Cream Sandwich being officially supported, and behaving in a “tablet” like way.

  3. Note the ridiculous $399 “list price” for the 16GB A1 on Lenovo’s web site. I’m a fan of the Thinkpad (I have owned nothing else), but it’s disgusting that Lenovo would post fictional prices that have never been and never will be used in order to deliberately mislead–i.e. lie to– customers.

    The Nook Tablet is better value anyway unless you really need GPS, bluetooth or the (crappy) cameras on the A1. The Nook’s faster dual core processor, and double the memory make it a much more capable machine that will give you an extra year’s worth of service before it’s out of date.

    I’m holding fire on buying a tablet until the detailed reviews of the Fire and Nook are out, but I doubt I’ll be heading Lenovo’s way for this one. If you want a nice portable machine from Lenovo, then look no further than the X120e laptop.

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