Lenovo has never been well known for their Android tablets, but they have just unveiled two new budget 7 inch tablets for their lineup. The IdeaPad A1000 is their cheapest offering, starting at only $149 at the moment (it’s labeled as $189 on the site before their eCoupon) and offering as much as you can imagine $149 getting you. The IdeaPad A3000 starts at $229, and throws in dual cameras and a quad core processor.
The A1000 comes in black and white and has a 1.2GHz dual core MediaTek processor paired with 1GB of RAM. It’s a device optimized for music, with stereo speakers oriented towards the front and separated to get better stereo sound. It also includes Dolby Digital Plus enhancements. The front facing camera is only 0.3MP with no option of a rear cam. It has a rated battery life of up to 8 hours of WiFi browsing. However, Lenovo has not mentioned how much storage it comes with.
The A3000 (only in black) steps it up a little with a second, 5MP rear shooter to augment that same 0.3MP front facing camera. It has a MediaTek quad core processor running at 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, and an advertised 17GB of flash memory running at 800MHz (uhh… there seems to be a mistake). It also has a rated battery life of 7 hours. This tablet is advertised for gaming.
Both of these tablets have two things that make them pretty cool: both come with Android 4.2 out of the box, and both have USB OTG support. This means that they will read storage devices like flash drives using an OTG cable, something not all devices can offer. However, both tablets also come with 7″ 1024×600 “HD” displays. The A1000 says its 1024×600 TN panel (no, not even IPS) performs better than many expensive tablets in color reproduction. The A3000 at least offers an IPS panel. Still, these displays basically kill the devices for anyone who has ever seen a $199 Nexus 7.
Let’s be honest, these tablets aren’t very good for enthusiasts. For a low price of $149, the A1000 will surely sell to some people who don’t need much from a tablet. However, the $229 A3000 serves little purpose when the year old Nexus 7 is $199 and better in so many ways. It’s too bad, as we see companies create budget tablets that are all the same. What do you think of these devices?