It's not hard to find an Android tablet for less than a hundred bucks - head down to your nearest drugstore and there's a decent chance you'll see one. The trick is finding one that's worth using at that price. While most of these ultra-cheap tablets are no-name Chinese models, Lenovo just announced a pair of new 7-inchers in the A Series starting at only a single Benjamin. I guess that would make them name brand Chinese tablets, but hey, Lenovo beats whatever company is using the Polaroid license this year.
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The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is not a massive leap in technology—it's a clock radio. A glorified clock radio. A more sensible, smart clock radio. But it's still a clock with a speaker. It tells the time and weather, and it's got Google Assistant. It's missing a few features, and the audio is about what you'd expect for $50, but I found it to be a great addition to my home. Whether or not you agree depends on what you want out of your Assistant devices, but there's a lot to like about the Smart Clock Essential.
Lenovo first got into the smart clock biz last year, with the creatively named Lenovo Smart Clock. That device was essentially a tiny Google Assistant-powered smart display positioned as a clock replacement. It was a neat idea, but an introductory MSRP of $80 made it a tough sell. Lenovo is trying again this year with the Smart Clock Essential, a smaller, simpler, less expensive take on the same idea.
Lenovo's lineup of smart displays are some of the most popular Assistant-powered screens, but no product is perfect. Some owners are experiencing a bug that locks their smart displays in a loop while updating, but Google is already working on a fix.
The photo-focused smartphone is becoming a definite niche, and at Mobile World Congress, Lenovo is hoping to break in with a new model. The Vibe Shot (which sounds a lot like something you'd order at a questionable cocktail bar) is a Lollipop-equipped phone with a 16-megapixel rear camera and an 8MP front-facing shooter. Other photo-focused features include optical image stabilization, infrared autofocus, and a tri-color LED flash. Lenovo hopes to launch the Vibe Shot in June starting at $349.
We actually got a look at the Vibe Shot back in February when Lenovo's MWC lineup was leaked. What we didn't learn at the time about the phone is its price, which is particularly attractive considering its high-midrange specs.
Lenovo has used this year's Mobile World Congress as a chance to unveil two new affordable Android tablets that expand upon the immensely cheap TAB 2 A series introduced in January. These slates don't aim for a lower price point ($99 is hard to beat, after all). Instead, both come with LTE.
Left: TAB 2 A10-70, Right: TAB 2 A8
The TAB 2 A10-70 (not to be confused with the A7-10) has a 10 inch FHD screen, is only 8.9 millimeters thin, and weighs around 500 grams. It will run Android 4.4 (Lollipop expected in June) powered by a MediaTek 1.5 GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 7,000mAh battery.
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). The tablet hits retailers tomorrow in 8 and 10-inch versions.
The curve has multiple functions, according to Lenovo: it works as a handy reversible grip in portrait mode and props up the tablet when it's lying flat.
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.
The Vibe X has all the makings of a premium smartphone – large display, fast processor, high-resolution camera ...
Lenovo has just unveiled its new X1 Hybrid laptop, which runs Windows with a twist – namely, it can boot into "Instant Media Mode," which allows the laptop to run off of a Snapdragon processor, utilizing custom software based on the Android 2.3 kernel. Ostensibly, this mode is meant for users who want to get through a long flight, or simply zone out with a variety of media, with double the battery life they'd have running Windows.
Interestingly, Lenovo won't explicitly state that the hybrid is running Android, likely because, as Gizmodo astutely points out, it isn't running actual Android.