Lenovo IdeaPad A1 announced at IFA 2011; priced just $199, release date in September

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 announced at IFA 2011, priced just $199, release date in SeptemberLaptop-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. Coming later in September: The IdeaPad Tablet A1, the first 7-inch tablet priced at $200 or less (our bet is that it will be $199.99, but technically that’s still under $200). For that price, you”ll have to sacrifice on-board storage, but not functionality—and you’ll get some innovation, too, since it’s the first tablet with a full GPS that can be used without a data connection.

Lenovo’s touting that the A1 sports an uncommon internal magnesium alloy roll cage structure that allows it to survive accidental drops (even ones where it falls on an edge), but in my short time with a pre-production unit, I couldn’t help but focus on the .4-inch / .88 pound slab’s plasticy external build. On the plus side, it does come in a rainbow of colors (blue, black, white, pink) and in general, the easily grippable 7-inch form factor continues to be my pick for reading and fast thumb typing. As for the display, the A1 is promised to have a 1024 x 600-resolution IPS LCD panel. However, the few models I was able to check out certainly didn’t have high quality screens, and poor horizontal viewing angles were one of the first things I noticed. Let’s hope we can chalk that up to pre-production materials.

The new IdeaPad Tablet A1 isn’t especially slim—it measures 0.47 inch thick, which puts it at the half-inch thickness of Acer”s A100 and the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-inch model. Lenovo’s A1 weighs 0.88 pound, compared with 0.92 pound for the A100, and the original Galaxy Tab’s 0.85 pound. Lenovo busts out the color options for the IdeaPad Tablet A1, with four separate offerings: white, black, pink, or light blue. The company talked up its magnesium alloy “roll cage” case design that protects the internal components with bumpers.

One of the most interesting feature is the Offline GPS capability. If you have ever tried using a smartphone’s GPS without having a data pan, you may have found that it usually doesn’t work. This is very annoying when you are traveling to a foreign country as you probably don’t have a data plan (or want to commit financial suicide by roaming data).

The second particularity of the A1 tablet is the Lenovo Social Touch interface. It displays a stream of (unified) text communication that includes Email and most top social networks. There’s even a preview window that lets you take a good look at messages without having to leave Social Touch. The idea seems good, but this is something that would require real-world testing before I can provide an educated opinion.

It’s obviously too early to tell if the 8GB A1 will be worth your $200 (there will be a 16GB version for $249 as well), but the good news is that Lenovo has a bit of time to work out the kinks and you have more time to decide, since it won’t actually hit the market until mid or late September.

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet hands-on:

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  • anonymous

    they can hear and see what your visually thinking
    this is the complete truth

    the reason alot of asians have completely expressionless faces, only associate with asians and dont associate with non asians very much is to avoid accidentally revealing that they can read read minds, if all over a billion asians were to show facial expressions all the time just as much as non asians, associate with non asians much more, and be much more friendly and talkative, then alot of them might accidentally reveal that they can read minds by accidentally showing a facial expression or dirty look when someone thinks, or visually pictures something in their mind they dont like or find astonishing or funny, and if they were all to associate with non asians alot more there would be alot more people around for them to accidentally show facial expressions when those other people think things they dont like, so they only associate with asians so there wont be anyone around for them to see that and have any accidents happen in the first place

    think about it, its not normal how alot of them act, and the entire way they act is all to hide their mind reading abilities, it makes perfect sense to do all of that to hide that they can read minds, because all of that is the perfect way to do it!
    every single asian on the planet is hiding their mind reading abilities, they will lie about having mind reading abilities forever!
    because they value hiding their mind reading abilities more then their own lives!
    thats why nobody knows about it!

    try thinking, best yet visually picturing in your mind something something absolutely crazy as you possibly can when you are around asians, and try looking for asians who give people particular looks, especially dirty looks for what appears to be for completely no reason, that is them giving people looks when they hear and visually see someone thinking something they dont like, find funny or astonishing
    it still happens despite a large number of them having completely expressionless faces all the time, it would just happen alot more if none of them had completely expressionless faces all the time, its not uncommon!

    i know this sounds crazy, impossible, and completely unbelievable, BUT IT ISNT CRAZY WHEN ITS TRUE

    the reason you think this truly is crazy, impossible and unbelieveable is because our society has propagandized people into believing that nothing extra ordinary is real and that is really is impossible, and that its crazy to think that its true that people can read minds, all just to cover up that asians can read minds! who says that cant exist? the people who have mind reading abilities who are trying to cover it up!

    you have to spread the message!!!
    the world has to know about this!!!!