by Anton Shilov
09/02/2011 | 06:12 AM
Lenovo Group, one of the top PC makers, this week quietly introduced its IdeaPad A1 media tablet designed for price-conscious buyers. Lenovo is the first among leading PC brands to unveil a low-cost slate that provides basic functionality and brings tablets to consumers in budget. In the U.S. the IdeaPad A1 will inevitably compete with HP's discounted TouchPad 16GB for $99 and e-book readers.
Powered by Texas Instruments OMAP 3622 system-on-chip (ARM Cortex-A8 general purpose core, PowerVR SGX 2D/3D with OpenGL ES 1.1, Open GL ES 2.0, OpenVG support and IVA 2+ media accelerator with MPEG4, H.264, WMV-9 encode/decode support with up to 720p resolution) and Google Android 2.3 operating system, the media tablet features 7" multi-touch LED screen with 1024*600 resolution, 8GB of flash memory, 512MB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, front and rear cams, microUSB port and so on. The manufacturer promises that the IdeaPad A1 works for 7 hours.
Specifications of the device look competitive for Fall 2010, but this autumn a lot more powerful slates will be available on the market. In the U.S. the IdeaPad A1 will compete against expensive electronic book readers as well as heavily discounted HP TouchPad 16GB, which is more powerful, but is based on discontinued webOS, that is available for $99.
It is noteworthy that Lenovo has not made any official statements about the IdeaPad A1 device, which clearly does not fit into its series of tablets unveiled this summer, and the company's web-site does not mention about the product as well. The reason for that is pretty simple: the IdeaPad A1 is re-branded LePad A1-07, which was originally intended for the Chinese market, not the global market.
With the release of the IdeaPad A1 at $199 Lenovo is testing the potential of the low-cost slate market. In August HP discontinued its TouchPad slates due to massive reorganization of the company and slashed the price of the 16GB model to $99. The demand for the obsolete product was so high that the company had to order additional batch. Essentially, the success of the $99 tablet sent a clear message to the industry: consumers want inexpensive slates.
Lenovo intends to sell IdeaPad A1 8GB for $199, IdeaPad A1 16GB for $249 and IdeaPad A1 32GB for $299.