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Handhelds Hardware

Lenovo To Offer $200 Budget Tablet 178

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?"
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Lenovo To Offer $200 Budget Tablet

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@[ ] ['bea' in gap]> on Sunday September 04, 2011 @12:51PM (#37302936)

    > I guess it's not gonna happen.

    No it isn't Android isn't 'Linux' so OEMs can load it without bringing down the wrath of Microsoft. Notice how there are zero ARM based netbooks/laptops for purchase. But they all have models ready to roll, sampling now, for the launch of Windows 8. They could have introduced a model running some version of Linux this year if for no other reason than to put moderate quantities of the hardware out into the world for wider testing. But there are zero available in the US. There are one or two that have popped up on liliputing being sold by unheard of vendors you could import if you were hellbent on it, but none have US distributors.

    Zero is an important number. Had there only been one or two failures that would be the market talking. Zero means there is an unseen force at work. ARM is the buzzword, netbooks aren't as hot this year as last but still a major segment and running time, weight and cost are key specs. An arm netbook should be better on all three fronts at the only 'negative' of no Windows. Somebody should have at least tried, at least in an unfettered market.

    Or finally look at the Chromebooks. Why did they have Intel Inside? Arm would have been better in every way. Except of course we would have been buying the shit out of them, ditching the Chrome silliness and installing Ubuntu like crazy. I know I WANT a light laptop that can run all fricking day.

  • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) * <jmorris@[ ] ['bea' in gap]> on Sunday September 04, 2011 @01:02PM (#37302984)

    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 account an Intel/AMD CPU does more per cycle, hence the unleashing of the fires of hell on your nuts and the battery. A dual core 1.2Ghz tablet is state of the moment while a crappy trailing edge Atom. Compare a tablet to a netbook. A decent netbook can be had any day of the week for $250-$300. The netbook has more battery, more CPU, a spinning hard drive and a Windows license. The tablet has a display with a better display viewable over a wider range so it can tilt with a touch screen overlay, a g-sensor and maybe a gps. But it loses the more complex case, Windows license and most of the battery. Don't tell me a tablet should cost more, the BOM says otherwise.

  • 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).

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"