The ranks of Android tablets continue to swell, and for the first time Lenovo is making a play for some market share. Granted, it's coming in at the low end of the market, but the new Yoga tablets are on sale through the company's corporate perks site with some solid discounts.
Tablets are in a bit of a rut as far as form factors go. Aside from ASUS' Transformer models and imitators, they're basically all monolithic slates with very little in the way of variation. Lenovo is trying to buck that trend with its new Yoga tablet line, which borrows the name from the company's flexible and well-received convertible laptops. These tablets feature an exaggerated curve on one side of the case (sort of like a more pronounced version of the Notion Ink Adam).
When people think of laptops, Android isn't the first operating system that comes to mind, but the number of options continue to grow. The Asus Transformer series showed that a tablet and a keyboard packaged together nicely could prove to be more appealing than a netbook, and the more recent HP Slatebook x2 managed to feel more like a laptop and less like a tablet. Now Lenovo is ready to do its competitors one better by debuting an Android laptop that is more than a tablet packaged with a nice keyboard dock - the Lenovo A10, a convertible 10.1-inch laptop running Android 4.2.
If you've been waiting on new mobile hardware from Lenovo to hit the scene, well ... you might be the only one. And if that's the case, then this post is just for you. Feel special.
At IFA in Berlin today, Lenovo has taken the wraps off a couple of new devices: the Vibe X smartphone and S5000 tablet. While we're only likely to see the latter here in the states, let's take a quick look at the former to kick things off – it doesn't seem to be half bad.
Lenovo's new line of mid-range tablets is now on sale pretty much without warning, and they might fill the low-cost niche fairly well. Samsung is also looking to sell you a mid-range tablet, but they don't quite have the pricing right. Lenovo's new slates start at a mere $149.99 and top out at $279.99.
The A1000 is a 7-inch tablet with a 1024x600 screen, 1.2GHz MTK dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and Dolby Digital Plus with front-facing speakers.
Well, Mobile World Congress is officially underway, and Lenovo just kicked things off the only way it knows how: with three fairly mundane tablets. They've given each of the three a "subtitle" of sorts to suggest that they may actually be more than they are, but they're not fooling anyone. These are undoubtedly the "John Smith" of the tablet world – they're just average, everyday devices.
The company is touting the S6000 as its "home entertainment center." That's a pretty big title to live up to for something like a tablet, and honestly, it's almost there.
T-Mobile may be done with the idea of carrier subsidies, but AT&T is ready to just pile them on. In the category of 7" tablets, Lenovo's A2107 is not too bad of a deal. Some specs don't quite match up to the N7; for example the screen is a little lower resolution, it only runs Android 4.0, and the processor is a little less powerful. However, where those aspects lack, this slate makes up for it with front and rear cameras and a 3G radio at a lower introductory price point.
Lenovo might not be the most prodigious maker of Android tablets around, but it's got its followers. Those who bought the 9.7-inch IdeaTab A2109 model, check your Tablet Settings: users on Lenovo's official forums are reporting that their hardware is being updated to Android 4.1.1 (A2109A_A411_03_13_121126_US) today. So far only American users have confirmed the over-the-air download or the WiFi tablet.
If you're not getting your update, there's a flashable US ZIP hosted on Lenovo's servers, ripe for the taking.
For part one (the review of the A2109), please click here.
There's no doubt the Android tablet market is heating up much like the phone market was a few years ago. Where before there were relatively few choices, manufacturers are now rolling out new models left and right - sometimes, it seems, with reckless abandon.
There's no doubt the Android tablet market is heating up much like the phone market was a few years ago. Where before there were relatively few choices, manufacturers are now rolling out new models left and right - sometimes, it seems, with reckless abandon. It's almost like Newton's third law in action: for every great tablet released, an equal but opposite tablet is released.