Looking for a 7-inch form factor tablet? The Lenovo A1 is probably the perfect companion you are looking for. We previously introduced Lenovo’s 7-inch tablet to you guys, and today, this little tablet surprisingly starts at just 1,000 yuan ($156) in China. It’s really appealing.
First, here’s a video showing how the Lenovo A1 tablet works.
And a photo gallery of it.
Here’s its specs. The Lenovo A1 tablet packs a 1GHz single-core Cortex A8 processor, 512MB of RAM, a 7-inch capacitive multitouch screen (1024 X 600), 3-megapixel rear camera, 0.3-megapixel front camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a G-sensor, microSD memory expansion (support up to 32GB) and seven hours of battery life. The 7-inch screen features two-finger capacitive touch and a PPI rating of 170 (higher than iPad). You may ask, how about the storage? Well, it now comes with two storage options: 2GB or 16GB. Choosing the 2GB version will cost you 1,000 yuan ($156), and 1,399 yuan ($219) for the 16GB version. Everything seems satisfactory with that price point, and I was so excited until I saw Gingerbread and not Honeycomb.
This is sad. Why not put Honeycomb on it to sweeten the deal? It’s a pretty solid, well-built tablet, weighs about 14 ounces, and the body is made of a magnesium alloy.
It comes in 4 colors — white, black, blue and pink. You can only choose between white or black for the 2GB version.
It isn’t slim—it measures 0.47 inch thick, which puts it at the half-inch thickness of the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7-inch model.
It has a 3.5mm headphone jack and volume buttons.
The microSD card slot and micro USB port for charging and data transfer. It has a mono speaker just like the iPhone and iPad.
The all-time favorite virtual buttons for Android.
The viewing angle on the A1 tablet is not what we see on the iPad. When you are viewing it from the left angle, the colours are cool, not as warm as viewing it from other three angles.
So, it runs the old version of Android — Gingerbread. No Honeycomb. And Lenovo decked out the A1 with its own Android optimizations and widgets, including SocialTouch, and a central launchpad for core apps, such as e-mail, Web browser, videos, and e-books.
The central launchpad is what we see on the whole line of Lenovo tablets.
The A1 tablet comes default with lots of apps. There’s a built-in Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter-like service) app, Taobao (China’s e-Bay) app, Youku (China’s YouTube) app and the QQ (China’s most popular IM service) app. Awesome.
Lenovo’s own developed “App Store” has only 262 games available for you to download…
Interestingly, there’s a “Lenovo Service App” on the A1 tablet. It offers help and support service to users. It’s something like the “Help and Support” we see on Windows.
The built-in eBooks app looks quite similar to the iBooks app.
This photo is taken by the 0.3-megapixel front camera.
And this is captured by the 3-megapixel rear camera that doesn’t support auto-focus.
So, is it good or bad? Well, $156 buys you what seems to be a solid, well-built tablet. Other than its price, the most intriguing thing about the A1 is its offline GPS. Most tablets need a Wi-Fi connection to use GPS functionalities, but the A1 can be used just like a standalone GPS, with an app called NavDroyd. And I like the 7″ form factor. It’s about the size of a large book. I can see carrying this easily or just dropping it into the pouch. Good size for watching a movie on the airplane/train. Easy to hold and handle. Not a bad size for checking email, browsing or entertainment. Of course you can do a little more on a larger surface but not everyone needs the full size of a 10″. The downside? No Honeycomb. And we don’t like its lacklaster CPU. Anyway, we are glad to see Lenovo is now offering the A1 starting at just $156 for a 2GB model at its online shop.
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