60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lenovo IdeaPad A1 - A Good Entry Level Tablet
I have been looking for a reasonably priced Android tablet for a while. What I wanted was a good range of features with enough power to make it usable without having to start messing about with custom firmware etc. With the Lenovo A1, I wasn't disappointed. It's solidly built but not too heavy, the 1ghz processor is powerful enough for all but the most processor intensive...
Published 23 months ago by Treeman_HX
109 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Without Issues
This is a nice little tablet for the price, but there are a few little problems with it.
The first issue i had with the Lenovo A1 was getting it to stay connected to my wireless network. It would connect with no problems, but then, every 30 seconds or so, the connection would drop and reconnect. After doing some investigating, I saw some other users were having...
Published 23 months ago by C. McLeod
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lenovo IdeaPad A1 - A Good Entry Level Tablet,
This review is from: Lenovo A1 7 inch Multi Touch Tablet (Cortex A8 1GHz, 16Gb Storage, 512Mb RAM, Dual Camera (0.3MP front/3MP rear), Android 2.3.4) - Black (Personal Computers)I have been looking for a reasonably priced Android tablet for a while. What I wanted was a good range of features with enough power to make it usable without having to start messing about with custom firmware etc. With the Lenovo A1, I wasn't disappointed. It's solidly built but not too heavy, the 1ghz processor is powerful enough for all but the most processor intensive games. Initial setup was straightforward and should not cause any problems for even the greatest technophobes. Wi-Fi connectivity is reliable, with no disconnections. There is full access to Google's Android Market, so apps can be easily downloaded. The battery life is good enough for 3 hours of fairly heavy usage. The capacitive screen is responsive without being oversensitive, although not all the pre-installed apps seem able to use multi-touch. Flash 11 didn't come pre-installed, but was easily downloaded from the app store giving trouble free internet video. The addition of inbuilt GPS is a real bonus, even though I have a dedicated satnav, I'm sure it will come in handy in a emergency. The 16Gb of flash memory should be more than enough for most users but there is also a micro SD card slot should you feel the need to expand the storage further. The 3 megapixel rear facing camera is okay for a tablet camera, but isn't a replacement for a proper digital camera, and the 0.3 megapixel front facing camera is next to useless. Reports suggest that Skype will not work with the front facing camera, although I personally haven't tried it.
If I had any complaints at all about this device, it's that the illuminated touch sensitive buttons on the frame switch off too quickly. After a couple of hours of using it you'll instinctively know where they are, so it's not such a problem. My only other gripe is that because the IdeaPad uses an OS designed for phone resolutions, the widgets won't centre on the 1024 x 600 screen. This is more of a minor irritation than a problem and doesn't affect the tablet in any way.
If you're looking for a mid-priced tablet manufactured by a major brand, then this should definitely be right at the top of your shortlist.
126 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st impressions very good,
This review is from: Lenovo A1 7 inch Multi Touch Tablet (Cortex A8 1GHz, 16Gb Storage, 512Mb RAM, Dual Camera (0.3MP front/3MP rear), Android 2.3.4) - Black (Personal Computers)I bought one of these at the new lower prices from Amazon UK and so far I'm very impressed. For the modest price I was expecting it to be little sluggish bearing in mind it's well under half the price of the entry level iPad but dragging icons and running multiple apps seems fine. I can stream from iTunes using a neat little app called air bubble and pretty much of all of the apps from the iPhone/iPad world are also on Android these days incl. Dropbox, Facebook, Evernote and Viewranger etc. It runs most video formats no problem so no more having to convert to MP4 etc..
Integration with Google is seamless, it automatically sync'd my gmail, contacts & Picasa photos! Using the Android Marketplace is much easier than using Apple's App store (and hey I am an apple fanboy!).
My main fear was the screen size, 7" compared to 10" of other tablets. I've put it along aside an iPad and there's not much in it if you are looking for a coffee table computer. (I can almost fit 3 iPod touches in the screen area BTW!)
The huge plus with this machine is the additional SD socket. As well as the onboard 16GB of ram (referred to as "internal SD") there is also an empty micro SD socket you can plug in a micro SD card. So, if you buy an additional 32GB micro SD card (currently £22 delivered on Amazon UK) you can turn this little badger into a 48GB tablet! Don't suppose it'll be long before 64GB SDs are this price either.
Botton line for me..why spend £400 if all you will be mainly doing is looking up recipes in Goggle, IMDB'ing Movie stars to see if they've kicked it, reading books with the Kindle app in the Loo, showing off the photos of the grandchildren and watching BBC iPlayer in bed when you do the same for almost £250 less?
137 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
This review is from: Lenovo A1 7 inch Multi Touch Tablet (Cortex A8 1GHz, 16Gb Storage, 512Mb RAM, Dual Camera (0.3MP front/3MP rear), Android 2.3.4) - Black (Personal Computers)I was looking at this or the Cambridge Sciences G7II. Very happy with this:
1024 screen which is a very responsive capacitive screen with pinch to zoom.
Although only a single core processor, more than fast enough for general browsing.
Official Android Market - games download quickly (I downloaded a racing game that utilises the device's motion sensor).
Battery power is very good (I was browsing, downloading, game playing and streaming; lasted for about 6 hours.
Comes with Documents to go which is compatible with Word etc.
Build quality is solid.
For a branded tablet with these specs at this price it's highly recommended, although if you need 3G, I'm pretty sure you need to look elsewhere.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Natty little machine,
If you are a geek and want high specs and fast performance, no doubt this isn't the machine for you. And I did panic (a lot) when I opened the box and searched it twice for a user manual and could only find the quick start guide! But I reckoned how hard can it be - and actually it wasn't at all. So far I have happily worked out how to access my Kindle content and it's all nicely sync'd - the Kindle app is already downloaded and ready to go. I managed to set up my e-mail, something I thought would be a nightmare as I have my own domain, but turned out to be a breeze - it took me less time than it took to set up on the new desktop earlier in the year. Browsing the internet is easy. And after working out pretty much how it all worked in a couple of hours - I then found the user manual on the machine! Ah well - I may want it one day.
OK - I'm not addicted to games and can't see me ever using it for this; and I guess the camera isn't brilliant but I was never planning on throwing away the Canon EOS for a "mobile" - so I can't say that if you are a "high end user" (whatever one of those are) that you will be happy. But if you want something to keep in touch, do all the bssics and then some, and don't want to break the bank - what's to complain about? I never really imagined me as being a tablet convert so part of the attraction was the price - nothing lost if I hated it. After only a few hours I am converted. It's in the handbag and going everywhere with me!
And you never know - Amazon might still be able to tempt me with a Fire, but they'll have to work at it now!
109 of 112 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Without Issues,
The first issue i had with the Lenovo A1 was getting it to stay connected to my wireless network. It would connect with no problems, but then, every 30 seconds or so, the connection would drop and reconnect. After doing some investigating, I saw some other users were having the same problem and the problem might be connect to certain routers. Mine is a Belkin. My solution was to set the WiFi sleep policy to "Never" and then set the tablet up to use a static IP. Since doing this, i have had no connection issue. I just need to remember to switch off the static IP settings if I want my tablet to connect to another network.
My second issue just seemed to a one time problem. After the initial switch on of the tablet, I checked for Android updates, which I installed. Then my Tablet switched its self off, and I couldn't get it switch back on. After about 30 minutes of trying to switch it back on, I was ready for packaging the tablet back up and sending it back to Amazon, when it just randomly powered up. I can only guess that it took that length of time to apply the updates. Since then, there have been no problems with turning it off and on.
The third issue is battery life. I was getting about 5-6 hours when in use (which i am no complaining about), but i noticed some significant battery drain when it was in standby. When I checked to see what was eating up the battery, i saw that it was "cell standby". Because Android 2.3 is designed for mobile phones, it was continuously wanting to act like a mobile phone by waiting for a mobile phone network. I don't know why Lenovo never disabled this feature before releasing on the A1. To get around this, I switched the tablet to "Airplane Mode" and then turned the WiFi on manually. Doing this made a massive difference to the battery life.
Apart from those issues, the tablet really is good value for money. It offers access to the full android market, something which a lot of other Android tablets don't offer.
Being a 7 inch tablet, it is a lot more portable than my iPad. You can just slip it into your pocket.
You need to remember if you are going to buy this tablet, it is not designed to compete with the iPad or higher end Android Tablets, and this is reflected in the price. It is, however, head and shoulders above most, if not all, of the other sub £200, 7 inch plus tablets i have used.
The Lenovo A1 is a worthy purchase if you are looking for a tablet in this price range.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You get somewhat more than you pay for.,
Amazon had these things on a lightning deal at £150. That took it within impulse purchase range. I was impelled.
This is beautifully built and, for the most part, slick in operation. It will occasionally drop wifi connection for a few moments and I have had it freeze during video playback and had an average of one force closure a week when running apps. The single core chip can become a bit overwhelmed at times but, for the price, it's a little marvel. I would love an upgrade to Honeycomb, but, it seems, Gingerbread is all Lenovo has any intention of ever allowing this device to run. These are minor frustrations. It does what I want it to do simply and effectively for less than half the price of an iPad. Genius.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastical Bargain of a Tabling,
I bought this mainly to use as an ebook reader - I almost bought a kindle but decide to splash the extra £80 or so and get a device that can do a lot more, I'm v pleased that I did.
As mentioned above I have android on my mobile, so I found this very easy to use, I would be much happier if I could but honeycomb or ICS on it but so far nobody has developed a rom compatible with this tablet (keep an eye out though, I'm sure it will appear at some point).
The other reason I bought this was as a music / video player, so the fact that it has a micro SD slot (in addition to the 16gb built in) was a big bonus. I've been unable to find any info anywhere regarding it's compatability with sdxc cards, so I will more than likely have to go for the largest sdhc card possible - 32gb at the mo. This is still a massive amount of music though so I can't complain (and they are much cheaper than sdxc too!).
I've also used it to play on the UK onlive cloud gaming service, which worked suprisingly well (although I may have to purchase the bluetooth gamepad at some point).
All in all, this tablet is fantastic for browsing, recieving news / rss feeds (and displaying in full screen widgets) and reading ebooks (use legimi if you want to sync books / bookmarks with other devices a la kindle!).
Compared to my friends Asus transformer, and another friends iPad, this is a bit slow and a bit smaller, but it cost a fraction of the price. I scoured the net comparing tablets for weeks, decided upon this one and I'm still convinced you won't find anything better for £170!
46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tablet - poor documentation,
This review is from: Lenovo A1 7 inch Multi Touch Tablet (Cortex A8 1GHz, 16Gb Storage, 512Mb RAM, Dual Camera (0.3MP front/3MP rear), Android 2.3.4) - Blue (Personal Computers)First off I got this for £150 in the Amazon Boxing Day sale. I see they're selling it now for £170 - not quite the £50 off the sale price was supposed to be. Nevertheless £20 is £20, so thank you Amazon for that.
I also have a Dell Streak tablet/phone thingy running under Android 2.2, so I found working with the A1 a doddle, not many differences between 2.2 and 2.3 and Lenovo have done little to it beyond adding their own launcher widget which doesn't get in the way too much. The Lenovo Shop is pointless but Android Market is there amongst the apps and so you can add apps to your heart's content. They've included a couple of apps including my favourite file manager ES File Explorer. The initialisation routine is simple and works. Generally, then, a good installation.
The hardware is good too. Screen clear and colourful and reasonably responsive, a little slower in that regard than the Streak but acceptable. Plenty of memory that has been partitioned up sensibly (16GB: 2GB for Android, 2GB for apps and 12 GB for user data). The camera, well, I've used it once and the picture was OK but quite noisy, but I don't expect I'll use it again, a tablet is really not what you be using for photos that matter. Sound is OK and the mic works. Putting in a micro-SD card results in it appearing at the mount point /removable_sdcard/ (covering up any files you've put there because it is a mount point in the Linux sense). Both internal and external memory appear separately to a host computer if you use the USB link.
All in all I think this is a cracking piece of kit for the price (especially the price I paid) and offers a lot more than, for instance, the Kindle Fire. However, I'm only giving it 4 stars because of the total lack of helpful documentation if you're new to these things. The only documentation that comes with it says, basically, switch on and follow the instructions. That gets you through initialisation but then leaves you stranded. It doesn't even tell you that there is a user manual (not all that good but better than nothing) buried away among the apps. Very bad show. I did find the user manual online while I was waiting for the tablet to arrive. In case it helps anyone else you will find it here: [...]
I had no problems, but then I had the Dell Streak and I've been working with Unix-based OSes for close to 25 years.
Edit: I see Amazon removed my totally harmless URL. Well, google "lenovo ideapad a1 user guide" and you'll get it as the first link. Any online Android manual will also be a good move.
UPDATE on 16th Jan: Last night the O/S was updated over the air. The only change I've noticed so far is a good one. I'd commented the screen was a little slow at responding to touch, something that others have commented on as well. Now it isn't - it's *wonderfully* responsive. makes the whole machine feel faster. Nice one, Lenovo!
UPDATE on 7th March: Another OTA update this morning. For reference it's Android 2.3.4, the kernel version is 18.104.22.168 and the build no is A107WO_A234_001_015_2643_ROW.
FINAL UPDATE on 14th May: Everything still going swimmingly here after nearly 5 months. I changed the launcher to Zeam about a month ago, which plays very nicely on the A1. It's supposed to be lightweight and slick, and indeed it does run very fast and smoothly on this platform. It's not available on the Android market for some reason, but downloading and installing from zeam.org works fine.
FINAL FINAL UPDATE on 17th May 2013. One year later it's still working fine.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars top product,
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lenovo Ideapad A1,
This review is from: Lenovo A1 7 inch Multi Touch Tablet (Cortex A8 1GHz, 16Gb Storage, 512Mb RAM, Dual Camera (0.3MP front/3MP rear), Android 2.3.4) - White (Personal Computers)Having looked at many tablets by unknown manufacturers I was pleasantly surprised to find one under £200 by such a reputable brand. I have been using Lenovo products for years so I knew that I would not be left disappointed.
Althought the A1 is only running Gingerbread (2.3) and not the tablet specific Honeycomb - it still performs extremely well and does exactly what it says on the tin. Downloading apps is a breeze with the full edition of Android Market and not the restricted version you get with a lot of customized Android builds.
The Ideapad A1 has a very good build quality and has a nice glossy finish to it both back and front. Having read a couple of reviews saying that the screen was a bit difficult to view from certain angles, I was again pleasantly surprised with the quality of the screen and have yet not found any issues.
The only downside to this tablet is the quality of the camera, but at the end of the day why would you buy a tablet for its photographic capabilites - thats why you buy a camera. To me its just an added bonus that can be used as a last resort.
I would definitely reccomend this to anyone looking to buy a good quality Android tablet.
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