Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Handhelds Hardware

Lenovo To Offer $200 Budget Tablet 178

Posted by samzenpus
from the discount-computing dept.
First time accepted submitter khellendros1984 writes "Amazon's not the only big-name company planning on a budget-level tablet release; Lenovo recently announced their Ideapad A1 tablet as competition. It includes a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, along with other features more commonly seen on higher-priced tablets, such as dual cameras, bluetooth, GPS, wifi, and a MicroSD slot. Is this the start of the Android tablet price avalanche?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Lenovo To Offer $200 Budget Tablet

Comments Filter:
  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @11:28AM (#37302576) Homepage

    That's where all the HP touchpads went.

  • Compromised (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Sunday September 04, 2011 @11:32AM (#37302592)

    Except it's a 7 inch tablet with a widescreen ratio screen. So when holding in portrait it looks silly, too narrow and too tall.

    These compromises are why they get overlooked.

    • by drosboro (1046516)

      Have any of these 7-inch tablets done well? When I last held a Playbook, it just felt awkwardly stuck between a phone screen and a screen that I'd actually want to look at for extended periods of time.

      • by taxman_10m (41083)

        The Nook appears to be doing well.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          The Nook is more of an ebook reader than a tablet. 7" is a great size for reading a paperback. Not so great for a lot of the things you might want a tablet for, including reading technical books and papers that have figures and don't reflow nicely.

          • by Flipao (903929)
            Right, no 7' tablets are doing well, because if they are they aren't ablets they are E-readers. Ugh.
            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              I'm sure some smart company will come up with yet another product category but until they do, the successful products are "tablets" compared directly to the iPad, and "ebook readers" compared directly to the Kindle. The Nook is wisely marketed as an ebook reader because that's what it's intended to be, and it stacks up well against the Kindle. It is not a direct competitor for the iPad.

              I suppose someone might make a successful 7" tablet but so far it doesn't seem to be an easy thing to do. Personally, I

              • by Belial6 (794905)
                I am starting to see 7" tablets in restaurants. 10" tablets are too big for the waitresses to put in their apron pockets, phones are too small for them to effectively work with.
          • I don't see why technical books and papers would reflow significantly worse on a 1024x600 screen compared to a 1024x768 screen (regardless of its physical DPI). The difference is not that big.

            • by ceoyoyo (59147)

              For that matter, it displays fine on the 960x640 screen on an iPhone!

              (hint: the number of dots isn't the issue)

              • (hint: the number of dots isn't the issue

                Au contraire, I would argue that the number of dots is precisely the issue. You can render PDFs just fine without reflowing even on a small screen, provided that your DPI is high enough. This is because rendered text can be readable even when extremely small, but only if there is sufficient detail in it for the eye to read it - which is achieved by said high DPI. So, for a device of the same screen size, you wouldn't be able to read a PDF in page-fits-screen mode if it's 480x800 - the resolution is too low

    • Re:Compromised (Score:5, Interesting)

      by beelsebob (529313) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:01PM (#37302730)

      The article is also overblowing it a 1Ghz A8 as not a "feature commonly seen on higher priced tablets" –compare for example the iPad, which has two 1Ghz A9s... This also doesn't list GPU, which I would bet heavily is significantly slower than other high priced tablets.

      • Re:Compromised (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Skarecrow77 (1714214) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:18PM (#37302818)

        the stats I saw listed were pretty much identical to the Samsung Galaxy tab (the original) released like a year ago... Which now sells for about $200. I cant' figure out who the hell lenovo expects to buy this thing, especially after they themselves pointed out that nobody bought this product when their competitor introduced it.

        • "You're believing marketing!" Marketing always mixes as many confusions as it can get away with before it breaks the law. "You actually believed that marketing statement had any correlation to policy?"

          What companies are seeing is if they can pick off the "low end use case" with low end tablets, it forces bottom pressure on the market leader.

          For example, Apple seems to have done a great job of keeping this out of the news, but "generic" mp3 players now hold 4 gigs - PLENTY for a random music collection. So

    • I rather like my nook color with it's 600x1024 ratio for reading in portrait mode.

      have people forgotten what the aspect ratio on actual book pages were? they actually were rather thin and tall.

      • by amiga3D (567632)

        It's great for reading a book or watching a movie. If those are your primary uses then you've got it made. For web browsing or much of anything else it sucks. I got rid of my dell 1545 because of the widescreen. 1366x786 sucks for what I want to do. If I want to watch movies I've got a TV for that. For a computer I want something more along the lines of 1440x900. I downgrade to a dell d630 just for the better screen.

    • Except it's a 7 inch tablet

      Did you expect it to be A1 size at that price?

      http://www.papersizes.org/a-paper-sizes.htm [papersizes.org]

  • Every week... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ryanmcdonough (2430374) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @11:35AM (#37302608)
    I see news articles saying "Sub $200 tablet from (Big Vendor) due soon" then it turns out to be vaporware. Sick of these companies never following through.
    • Re:Every week... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:37PM (#37302888)

      They already announced they aren't following through. Slashdot editors can't read. The article says the $249 model is the least expensive model intended to ship to the US. Doubt the low end model will make it to much of the 1st world.

      Good first step though, put a decent tablet out at non-apple prices. The HP disaster proved product will fly off shelves at $99. I suspect they would have moved briskly at $199, i.e. selling out in days instead of the gone before most people even heard the news of the demise, selling out so fast they still had ads up on CNN after they were all gone. The trick is the costs of production need to drop just a smidge more and the manufacturers have to be willing to accept consumer electronics margins instead of Apple margins.

      Get a really usable tablet/ereader on shelves at a reliable (not firesale/closeout, loss leader, etc) and they willl become viable. For those who don't need a laptop and need more than a smartphone provides. Apparently that niche is fairly large.

      • Good first step though, put a decent tablet out at non-apple prices.

        You might compare to a refurbished iPad 1. Apple sells them for $399; this tablet is $249 with 16 GB and comes with an OS that isn't even designed for a tablet and probably not upgradeable and a much smaller screen that is even less usable in vertical mode. No competition unless you are really, really hard up but then you wouldn't spend $249.

        • by jmorris42 (1458) *

          Uh huh. What kind of moron compares refurb product to an item so new that it hasn't even shipped yet? If you are willing to go refurb, remaindered, etc. there are always all sort of deals to be had. Not that $399 for a REFURB outdated product is a deal unless you deeply inside the RDF.

          But a product that introduces at $249 (price of product that will actually be made available in the 1st world) can be expected to go on sale for $199 this Xmas and will get closed out for $149 next summer on Woot and such.

          • Uh huh. What kind of moron compares refurb product to an item so new that it hasn't even shipped yet? If you are willing to go refurb, remaindered, etc. there are always all sort of deals to be had. Not that $399 for a REFURB outdated product is a deal unless you deeply inside the RDF.

            An Apple refurbished product is quite often brand new; especially after a new product release when all the unsold products suddenly are refurbished. If it is not brand new, then it is better tested than a brand new model, and with items that can be bought customized there is a good chance to get more than you actually paid for. So it looks like you are a clueless twat who has no experience purchasing Apple products and getting the best possible value.

            Second, I compared it with the iPad 1 because otherwis

            • I bought a touchpad. I didn't expect it to be as good as an ipad, even though I found it is amazing value for $99. I do understand that the $99 was a ridiculous price that won't exist again. That being said - I can't get $400 worth of utility out of it. It just isn't worth it to me. It doesn't do $400 worth of useful. So I might buy a $200 tablet, because I might get $200 worth of utility out of it. But I'm not willing to pay another $200 for "cool". I'd rather get a slightly slower touchpad/ideapad
              • by jo_ham (604554)

                But that market already exists - the original Tab is selling for about that now, and it has very similar specs to this new tablet. There's really not much new ground being broken here for those who can't see the value in buying a tablet at iPad prices (and spec) - I can't justify it myself, for instance.

              • by fluffy99 (870997)

                So either sell the touchpad for $200 on eBay, or install Cyanogen on it and you have the same hardware and OS as most $200 tablets....

            • by fluffy99 (870997)

              An Apple refurbished product is quite often brand new; especially after a new product release when all the unsold products suddenly are refurbished.

              Apple continues to sell the old unsold models. They don't suddenly devalue them by labeling them refurbished. Refurbished means returned/repaired. Believe it on not, Apple has a lot of warranty returns.

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            That "refurb outdated product" is feature comparable to this thing, except with a 9.7" screen (the really expensive bit) - that's the point here. This brand new product is competing with... "obsolete refurb products", and it doesn't even do that very well.

            Leaving the troll bait final paragraph aside (your intellectual superiority is near impenetrable, I'm amazed you can even post on slashdot since people have obviously heard of it, so it's clearly too mainstream for you).

            This $249 tablet is blazing a trail.

            • by Rogerborg (306625)
              OK, now compare a $399 refurb iFad with the cost of a refurb Lenovo. That's a lot of hookers and beer money left over.
              • by jo_ham (604554)

                Sorry, I was right with you up until the childish stuff.

                Your mom called and said it's time for your dinner.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @11:35AM (#37302610)
    Here's [newegg.com] an 8.4" tablet with a dual core ARM for under $200. Maybe it's a quality issue? I've read mixed things about cheap tablets. But still...
    • by Microlith (54737) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:04PM (#37302744)

      Based on ARM926EJ

      ARM9. That's even older than ARM11, which is what most pre-Cortex-A8 devices were based on. I'm impressed that they swapped out the compiler to make use of this extremely low end (think Nintendo DS) processor.

      800 x 600

      Ouch.

      Touch Panel: Resistive touch pad

      While my N900 has a resistive touch screen, I trust Nokia's quality controls (and have never needed to calibrate.) This has nothing to vouch for it.

      • by Microlith (54737)

        And just for reference, the very first Android device (the G1) used an ARM11 based CPU. And the ARM926EJ is the lowest end of the ARM9 cores.

    • it's got a lot less inside a slower 600 mhz cpu compared with a 1000mhz cpu no gps no bluetooth no camera. 2.1 not 2.3 the lenovo has far more bang for the buck and hopefully as an European the $199 version will be available here.

      Amazons yet to be released color ereader is already going to struggle to compete with this.
         

      • by darrylo (97569)

        Amazons yet to be released color ereader is already going to struggle to compete with this.

        If you were only comparing specs, you'd be right. However, you falling into the traditional geek trap of only comparing specs. :)

        Right now, Amazon might be the only one who can compete, long-term, against Apple: Amazon has an app store, Amazon sells music, and -- most importantly -- Amazon has a well-liked, established brand: the kindle. Yes, the upcoming color ereader can't currently compete with the iPad; howev

    • Maybe it's a quality issue?

      Of course it's a quality issue. People are getting tired of buying crap products. Sure, some people can only afford the cheap ones so they make due but most people are tired of spending _several hundred dollars_ and getting a product they aren't happy with. If you're going to spend _several hundred dollars_, wouldn't you rather buy a good product? I suspect most people would.

    • by Junta (36770)

      Let's see, crappy resolution, crappy touch interface, 1 quarter of the memory of most contemporary android devices, ancient ARM core. That's just what can be derived from the spec sheet, viewing angle, build quality, all those likely to be subpar.

      Not that I'm much into a tablet at all, but the difference between random cheapo tablet and something that a major brand is willing to embrace is (hopefully) night and day. That sometimes doesn't pan out with execs start blindly milking a brand value to sell crap

    • by fluffy99 (870997)

      Here's [newegg.com] an 8.4" tablet with a dual core ARM for under $200. Maybe it's a quality issue? I've read mixed things about cheap tablets. But still...

      That's pretty weak on the hardware specs. If you don't care about off brand, you can get a Chinese clone with far better hardware at places like Merimobiles for less.

  • not that dramatic. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by quenda (644621) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @11:44AM (#37302648)

    In Australia we have for example the ZTE v9 7" WVGA tablet with 3G for $129. (Was $99 for a while). Easily unlocked, Android 2.2 or Cyanogen 2.3.
    An 8 or 16GB micro-SD is a cheap add-on.
    The Lenovo is certainly higher spec, except it seems crazy to have such a small (i.e. portable) tablet without 3G.

  • Can we have finally a Tablet with S/PDIF output (via dock)?

    I want a tablet (largish touch-screen device) for my home stereo, yet all they bother including onto the docks is HDMI.

    • You can get HDMI-> DVI+S/PDIF boxes; but they are rather alarmingly expensive. I assume that the HDMI-> Anything_else market is rather stifled by HDCP.

      Assuming that a dose of ugly doesn't necessarily break the deal, your best bet will probably be one of the android tablets with USB host support(and a degree of hack support). S/PDIF output in USB audio class devices is substantially cheaper than HDMI ->S/PDIF...
      • Assuming that a dose of ugly doesn't necessarily break the deal, your best bet will probably be one of the android tablets with USB host support(and a degree of hack support). S/PDIF output in USB audio class devices is substantially cheaper than HDMI ->S/PDIF...

        That seems to be the only sensible solution I can think would work. Searching the intrawebs also give few hits on Android developer forums for USB host and audio [google.com]. But as usually, there is an alarming absence of the hits to Android device manufacturers. Nevertheless, I'm glad that you suggested the USB as an potential solution and in fact I'm not alone who wants to have a decent touchscreen device commanding my stereo.

        • It's the only thing I could find. Because they are niche and/or make the copy-cops unhappy, HDMI->S/PDIF boxes are pricier than most tablets and nontrivial to find. Out-of-box S/PDIF support seems nonexistent, and probably isn't going to get any better(since the receiver market is pretty heavily trifurcated into the won't-let-those-nasty-digital-things-near-my-precious-audio market[who obvious don't care], the 'eh, the headphone jack is basically a line-right?' group[who also don't care], and the 'My shi
    • by vux984 (928602)

      New receivers do A/V passthrough to TV via HDMI, and have inputs for RCA, Component, and HDMI.

      I've got a fairly entry level onkyo receiver with like more hdmi inputs that i have a need for.

      All my devices connect to the receiver and I have one HDMI cable from the receiver up to the TV.

      DVD player, PVR, and PC are connected to receiver via hdmi. Wii via component/rca.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:01PM (#37302728)

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2392422,00.asp [pcmag.com]

    "Lenovo: Samsung Galaxy Tab Sales 20K, not 2 Million"

    So, that is why Lenovo decided to deride Samsung...

    Cheap, in many aspects.

    • and then they introduced their own tablet which is damn near an identical copy of the tablet they're bashing, spec-wise at least.

  • And this would be why they've been talking about Samsung only selling 20,000 Tabs...

  • by taxman_10m (41083) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:03PM (#37302742)

    If it can't do PDFs without reflowing then I don't see how it is worth it.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:12PM (#37302778) Homepage Journal

    if the sub-par Chinese manufacturers can have functional tablets under 150 all day long and still make profit, why cant we have a 'decent' one for ~ 200? Not a 'great one', but a 'decent' one.

    • by microcars (708223)
      If the devices you refer to are made of rejected parts that may die in 90 days or behave erratically, are you still interested in it at $200?
      • by nurb432 (527695)

        The few Chinese 'branded' items i have bought in the past have not died at 90 days, so i don't see a problem with it personally.

        Besides, if a company like pandigital can make them for 150 all day long and sell them here in the US, then someone like lenovo should be able to do it for 200..

        • Western companies cant count on chinese products being junk. The quality is rapidly improving.
          Lenovo is a chinese company fyi. Korean products used to be junk, now LG is a top of the line tv.

  • I don't understand why so many people believe it's going to be possible for some company to produce a good tablet -- with decent specs -- and still sell it cheap. If you want a good tablet, you have to pay for the cost of those components. ANY $200 tablet is going to have very huge compromises -- at least until the cost of components come WAY down in years to come. Right now, if you want the best available tablet, buy an iPad if you just want a good user experience or an expensive Android tablet if you want
    • by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Or buy a cheap tablet if you want a cheap tablet. Just don't think you're getting an iPad replacement.

      These companies seem to like shooting themselves in the foot. Apple sort of (re)defined what a tablet should be, and like it or not, that's the standard that people measure things against. Expensive Android tablets measure up well. Cheap tablets, of course, don't. Amazon and Barnes and Noble are successful selling eBook readers because they DON'T call them tablets.

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        You very well may be getting an "iPad replacement".

        That is, you would be getting something that replaces an iPad rather than tries to compete directly with it. It is something that does all of the things that Apple Corporation disallows. That's a "replacement".

        Arrogant fanboys think that everyone wants an Apple clone.

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          A $200 tablet isn't going to be a direct competitor for a $600 iPad (or similarly priced Android tablet). Expecting it to be is a good way to be disappointed, and is unfair to what might actually be a decent budget tablet.

          Rabid Apple haters seem to have a problem with their brains shutting off whenever they see the name of an Apple product.

      • by symbolset (646467) *

        Not everybody can afford a Lexus, or an iPad. Making a product that's within reach of many people, fairly profitable, and gives good value isn't "shooting yourself in the foot" - it's "putting shoes on your children." If they make and sell a product, earn a profit on each one and sell them all, they win.

        With Android tablets it's pretty easy to win because the vast majority of the value isn't in the product itself, but in the vast ecosystem behind it. Apps, books, movies, music, content of all sorts - a

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          Read more carefully. MAKING a cheap tablet isn't shooting yourself in the foot. Making a cheap tablet and calling it that is.

          If you're making a budget priced car, you don't call it a luxury sedan. Like it or not, "tablet" is associated with "iPad." Calling your product a tablet gets it compared to the iPad. In the media, in people's minds, on Slashdot. And your $200 device will come up short, just like a $15,000 Kia will come up short against a $70,000 Lexus. That's why there's a Lexus in the first p

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      If you can get a Netbook for $180, then why not a tablet for $200? There really isn't all the much to a tablet. I guess the expensive part would be the touch screen. But other than that, there isn't much difference. You might start off at a loss, but after the first million units have shipped, and production gets ramped up, they should easily be able to make them much cheaper than they are.
      • by jo_ham (604554)

        If it were possible to make something to "beat" the iPad for less than the iPad sells for (and still be profitable), someone would have done it by now.

        This whole hilarious "a tablet at sensible 'non-apple' prices...." thing is just not getting through to anyone here, is it? The iPad costs what it does because *that's close to what it costs to make*. Apple are not making a 300% profit on those things. Everyone seems to think that the parts set Apple back about $200 and then they slap a massive profit margin

        • by narcc (412956)

          If it were possible to make something to "beat" the iPad for less than the iPad sells for (and still be profitable), someone would have done it by now.

          Well, the Asus Transformer has better specs, more features, and costs less. That's just one example, but the point is that it apparently IS possible "to 'beat' the iPad for less than iPad sells for (and still be profitable)"

          What Asus lacks, of course, is good marketing. It's probably why you haven't heard of it.

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            No, I've certainly heard of it - but it was pointed out to me today that it was $400 and not more like $450-499 that I had previously believed it was, thus rendering my argument moot - since it clearly if for sale at $100 less (more in fact, since Amazon has a further $6 discount on it).

            The question why isn't it selling in droves to all the slashdot crowd who claimed they'd buy a spec-comparable-iPad-killer for $100 less? Suddenly $200 is meant to be the "real" cost of tablets? HP demonstrated (at least the

            • by narcc (412956)

              The question why isn't it selling in droves to all the slashdot crowd who claimed they'd buy a spec-comparable-iPad-killer for $100 less?

              I suspect that the real market for tablets is much smaller than is generally believed.

              I personally had no interest in the things until the PlayBook came out -- and even then I didn't buy what I considered to be the best tablet for me as I still couldn't justify the cost for my expected use cases which would be equally well-served by my phone and laptop in those instances. Really, I'd just be lugging around another device for no good reason.

              It turns out, after a bit of reflection, that I really just wanted t

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Just the screen and touch assembly in the HP Touchpad came to $132 and that's purely the raw cost of the parts (no assembly or profit margin or any other components at all).

        http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/HP-TouchPad-Carries-$318-Bill-of-Materials.aspx [isuppli.com]

        It's not as cheap as all the armchair quarterbacks seem to think it is, otherwise we'd already have cheaper-than-iPad tablets out there that cost much less.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jmorris42 (1458) *

      Don't buy the Apple hype. First Apple makes fifty points or more on their tablets. Drop that to more typical consumer electronics margins and that $499 iPad would drop more than a hun right there.

      And the tablets are full of expensive stuff line is bunk anyway. Unless we are being fed a huge lie, ARM is supposed to be less expensive than Intel Inside, right? Then most tablets use Sysem on Chip solutions which slash part count dramatically. They have lighter specs just by the numbers before taking into ac

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        I am certain that people who make these things for a living have also done the same calculations, since that is.. what they do for a living.

        If Apple were making a huge profit on the iPad (in the region of what pie in the sky percentages /. seems to think Apple is making per unit) then there would already be iPad-comparable tablets for much less and there simply aren't. It's certainly not because no one can see any money in making one though, since the launch of the original iPad.

        • by jmorris42 (1458) *

          > If Apple were making a huge profit on the iPad (in the region of what pie in the sky percentages /. seems to think Apple is making per unit)..

          I don't know where you get your figures, but I get em off the financial pages every quarter when Apple releases performance numbers to the shareholders or when I had stock they mailed it out in an envelope. But I don't like to ride stocks that go on moonshots because of the tendency to crash without warning so I chickened out a hundred or so ago. Never thought

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by jo_ham (604554)

            Cool story bro.

            By "rake off a nice think 30 points" you mean "handle all the hosting, payment processing and promotion" for the content and software in the store, then sure that's "raking in a nice thick 30 points". Those Apple statements you like to 'get your figures' mention specifically that the iTunes Store is not a large source of profit for apple (not even in the same ballpark as their hardware), so your whole post just looks like uninformed nonsense.

            So, I will say it again - if Apple is making an out

            • By "rake off a nice think 30 points" you mean "handle all the hosting, payment processing and promotion" for the content and software in the store, then sure that's "raking in a nice thick 30 points".

              Hosting, payment processing etc might cost something in the ballpark of 1-2%, maybe 5%.

              Those Apple statements you like to 'get your figures' mention specifically that the iTunes Store is not a large source of profit for apple (not even in the same ballpark as their hardware)

              Well, duh. 30% of a $1 sale is not that much, even if you have many sales. Whereas $100 off every iPad sold - and sales numbers in millions - is it any surprise that it drowns the app store out?

              You say that Apple is making "at least 50 points" on the iPad, so where are the competitors coming in at even $50 to 100 less?

              I dunno, Asus Transformer [amazon.com]? 1Ghz dual core, IPS screen, 10" at 1280x800, front and back cameras, MicroSD slot, 9 hours battery life - basically matching or exceeding iPad specs on every count except weight. 16Gb model goes for $400,

              • by jo_ham (604554)

                If you think payment processing is easy - especially microtransactions, then you are underestimating the cost. Your 5% optimistic figure just isn't matched by reality, and it's not just Apple charging 30% for their handling of all of the hosting and payment - the android market works exactly the same way. You think that if it were a gratuitous amount that Google would want to "one up" Apple by making it much (or even a little) smaller on the Android market, since there's certainly no love lost there.

                The que

                • The question about the Transformer is why isn't it flying off the shelves? (In the same way that comparable Android handsets are vs the iPhone).

                  Two reasons. The first and obvious one is that anything made by Apple is considered superior by default, and you need some pretty hefty arguments to convince people otherwise. They really are very conscious of their brand image, and it helps them a lot when it comes to new products. $100 might do the trick for some, but not for all.

                  The second reason is that Transformer runs Honeycomb. All Honeycomb tablets today are still kinda meh compared to iPad on many common tasks strictly due to software being buggy a

                  • by gmhowell (26755)

                    You cannot separate out hardware and software costs. I do not buy them separately (nor do most other consumers). I buy a system. Many people who complain about the iPad and other Apple products do so on the basis of some form of cost-plus accounting, not factoring the cost of assembly, design, operating system, etc, etc. These things cost not insignificant amounts of money. Even for Android tablets, there will necessarily be some amount spent to customize the free OS to work with a particular device.

            • by jmorris42 (1458) *

              > the iTunes Store is not a large source of profit for apple

              Yet. Hardware is a losing game in the long term. Moore's law is running into Good Enough and when that happens prices fall through the floor. See the thread this weekend on desktop PCs. It is eating up the smartphone space now and pads/tablets will also trend toward no profit commodity. And iTunes will still be making thirty thick and juicy points. Steve Jobs isn't stupid. It might suck to be his customer but it is great to be one his inv

  • by hsa (598343)

    I clicked the link and read TFA:

    For that you'll get 8GB of storage, but a 16GB model will go for $249, 32GB for $299. We're told only the 16GB and 32GB models will be shipped to the US..

    So... they'll have a 8GB $200 model, somewhere, probably always sold out, and the real price will be between $249 - $299.

  • will sell well. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by markhahn (122033) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @01:42PM (#37303158)

    I'll be buying at least one, assuming it's not a botch. To qualify as a botch, Lenovo would need to make the same mistakes as all those no-name $100 tabs: no gpu, insensitive touch, bad display, bad battery life. To win, the tablet doesn't need to even pretend to be an ipad, or for that matter a media player or have any cameras. There is a market for a highly portable (small, 8hr battery, fairly light) touchscreen connectivity (wifi) device. To the user, the most salient aspect of a tablet is the display: it needs to be nice looking (decent IPS, AMOLED), with a modern GPU (snappiness is 99% of the feel of the UI), fairly nice to hold (doesn't have to be CNC-milled spacecraft titanium).

    We already have touchscreen thermostats, fridges, home alarm systems, conference-room-status displays, POS terminals. why not just use a cheap android tablet instead? Heck, why not use them for menus at (sit-down) restaurants? Or to keep customers happy when they're having their oil changed or hair cut?

    Since the dominant component in all tabs is the display, that's what needs to be optimized. My guess is that integrating touch into the active matrix itself is the main win, though just integrating would eliminate a sheet of glass (material cost, assembly cost, thickness and weight). Cameras don't cost anything, nor do accelerometers, etc. All the teardowns show batteries come after the display/touch assembly, then 3g-type interfaces. (wifi and bluetooth are cheap.) And people: quit the flash-size pissing match: you don't need even 8 GB for a fully-functioning surf-pad. There's no reason for a connectivity tablet to have space for multiple movies - it doesn't have to be a PMP!

    Lenovo knows these things, and is not trying to prove anything (unlike, oh, say HP).

  • by nomad63 (686331) on Sunday September 04, 2011 @02:22PM (#37303356)
    Since the time overpriced tablets hit the stores, on-line and off, I can't keep wondering why people fee the urge, buying these overpriced gizmos. The netbook, which was on the same boat few years ago, is now, obtainable around $200 price point, which gives you at least twice the CPU power in most cases, a full keyboard, multiple expansion ports, more memory and storage space, alas, no touch screen. But knowing the price point of a touchscreen, sacrificing all other advantages of a netbook over a tablet, should be able to compensate the cost of a touchscreen addition and then some. So, why people are buying tablet at 4-500 dollars price points is beyond my understanding. It is time that some sensible company to get a clue that, the yahoos of this world got their overpriced gizmos and the rest of us will not give them any of our hard earned money for a sub-par device, just because it is the hot thing to have while sipping your coffee at Starbucks. Kudos to Amazon, Lenovo and whoever else comes up with cheap but equally powerful, if not more, tablets to the market.
    • by darrylo (97569)

      The netbook, which was on the same boat few years ago, is now, obtainable around $200 price point, which gives you at least twice the CPU power in most cases, a full keyboard, multiple expansion ports, more memory and storage space, alas, no touch screen.

      Not everyone is like you, not everyone has your preferences, and not everyone thinks like you.

      If all you're doing are web surfing, email/chat/IM, and basic games -- which is what the majority of consumers do -- a tablet is functionally better than a net

      • by Junta (36770)

        No 2-3 second waiting for a resume. A tablet's responsiveness is generally very snappy compared to the netbook.

        By convention of Windows/Linux behavior, not due to form factor (incidentally, not without a tradeoff, those slow to resume devices get much more sleep life in them).

        No 2-3 second waiting for a resume. A tablet's responsiveness is generally very snappy compared to the netbook.

        Depends. I've never meant someone who thinks text entry is easier with screen vs. keyboard, the debate would be if it is *worth* it, which varies greatly with use case.

        The form-factor is more convenient

        This really really depends. Sure, if you are standing then the Tablet will be more convenient. If you are sitting,without some sort of prop stand you are having to support the

    • by jo_ham (604554)

      Perhaps because the tablet is offering them.... shock horror, a user experience that is *not* like a tiny laptop?

      To use a car analogy, why would I buy a sleek, 2 seater sports car as a single guy with no kids when I could buy a Minivan - not only is the Minivan cheaper than the sports car, but it has more storage space, more features, more cup holders, more 12V power sockets, a cool sliding side door that makes it easy to get in and out of in a crowded parking lot and it can carry 7 people!

      So much better th

      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        Uh, so you're saying that tablets are bought by balding 40-something men with frigid wives? I'm not sure, these car analogies are kind of hard to follow.
        • by jo_ham (604554)

          You've just nailed it very succinctly - the GGP was severely generalising with the demographic of who buys a tablet (and all the reasons why they're "stupid" for doing so) when it's really not so cut and dried.

          Replace the sports car with any other vehicle and it holds. Regardless of what you pick, the Minivan is the best features/storage per dollar and anyone who buys anything without going for the best features to dollar ratio, and ignores the form factor, is "beyond [his] understanding".

    • by thsths (31372)

      > The netbook, which was on the same boat few years ago, is now, obtainable around $200 price point, which gives you at least twice the CPU power in most cases, a full keyboard, multiple expansion ports, more memory and storage space, alas, no touch screen.

      I agree about extension ports and easy of installing software, but I am not sure about the CPU power. It is difficult to compare, but it seems that the HP TouchPad actually has more CPU and graphics power than a (single core) Atom. Good tablets certa

  • by zmooc (33175)

    Budget? Yes. Groundbreaking or newsworthy? No. There's a gazillion tablets with similar specs and similar pricing on the market.

  • It includes a 1GHz Cortex A8 CPU, along with other features more commonly seen on higher-priced tablets, such as dual cameras, bluetooth, GPS, wifi, and a MicroSD slot.

    Tablets are not about specs like these. They are about what someone can do.

    This I feel like is a really poor competitor to either the iPad or the Amazon tablet, because you'll be able to do a lot less than you would with either of those devices...

    Amazon understands this totally which is why I think it'll be real competition and very popular.

  • I'm still looking for a replacement for my Garmin iQue 3600 (GPS, PDA, no phone and no phone bill). Maybe an Android tablet nobody wants is just the thing!
  • I have to say that with a faster CPU, a newer version of android, and more hardware features like GPS, front- and rear-facing cameras, as well as a $50 cheaper price tag, I think B&N may be in trouble! If the screen on this baby looks as good as the NC's (which looks phenomenal for the price), why would anyone buy an NC?

    You just load up B&N's android app on this puppy.

    Honestly, if I can get my hands on one of these, my rooted NC may end up on eBay.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

Working...