Lenovo IdeaPad A1 review: Lenovo IdeaPad A1

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 6.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 includes front and rear cameras, Bluetooth, memory expansion, and a full-fledged Android experience, at a great price.

The Bad The screen has a bad viewing angle, the design is chunky, and the Android OS isn't the latest and greatest.

The Bottom Line The Lenovo A1 is a classic Android tablet, at an attractive price, but its subpar screen gives the competition an edge.

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The tablet market is quickly dividing into two camps: those competing against the iPad on the high end, and budget-minded products that compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire .

Priced as low as $199, the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 tablet clearly falls in the latter category. In fact, the spec sheet on this 7-inch tablet reads like the antidote to every complaint against the Kindle Fire. Lenovo's tablet packs more storage, more features, and offers a larger app store than any other tablet we've seen at this price.

So, is the Lenovo A1 the new king of budget tablets?

The Lenovo A1 looks and feels an awful lot like the original Samsung Galaxy Tab from 2010. The paperback book-size tablet measures just under a half-inch thick and weighs 14 ounces.

Aside from the chimed Lenovo logo staring you in the face at the top of the screen, there's really not much to visually distinguish this tablet from any other 7-inch slate made in the last two years. The back is covered in a glossy black plastic that scuffs at the slightest provocation. Also, the backlit Android navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen only seem to light up after you touch them, somewhat defeating the purpose of lighting them up at all.

Another annoyance with the A1 is that Lenovo has locked the home screen orientation to portrait mode. It's not a big dilemma, but it can be annoying when you exit a landscape-designed app and are forced to reorient the tablet in order to navigate around.

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Where to Buy

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 (white)

Part Number: 22282LU Released: Nov 13, 2011
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Nov 13, 2011
  • Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
    IEEE 802.11b
    IEEE 802.11g
    IEEE 802.11n
  • Weight 14.1 oz
  • Type Android 2.3
  • Storage 16 GB