I’m in the market right now to replace my (original) Samsung Galaxy Tab with a new Android tablet, so today I took a look at the Lenovo IdeaPad A1107. This 7″ tablet caught my eye when I was at BestBuy yesterday. It’s priced at $200, making it a competitor to the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7, and its 3MP rear camera looked like it might fill one of my core needs.
But as it turns out this is just a basic tablet. It’s a lot like the KF or N7 in that it doesn’t have all the best components that you’d find in a premium tablet. The A1107 is running Android 4.0 (great) – but on a single core 1GHz CPU. It has a high resolution (1024 x 600) 7″ capacitive touchscreen, but it also only has a VGA webcam in front.
That’s a rather odd mix of specs, isn’t it? I think this is old hardware. From what I can tell, the A1107 is an update of the IdeaPad A1 tablet, which came out last year and ran Android 2.3. Aside from the newer version of Android OS there doesn’t appear to be any difference between the 2 tablets. The hardware specs look identical.
This post was going to be a roundup of reviews of the A1107 tablet. Given that I was looking at this tablet for myself, I thought it might be useful to post my notes and opinions. Curiously enough it looks like no one has posted a review of the updated tablet (I think I might add this to my todo list). But a lot of sites reviews the original A1, and the hardware reviews were generally disappointing. They’re also from back in February, so by now (July) they are horribly out of date. I won’t quote them here because of how inaccurate they now are (several said that the A1 was a bad value at $250, but I did read them and will list them at the end of this post.
There were a couple details that were mentioned in most of the reviews which were enough for me to pass on this tablet. The rear camera isn’t as good as the specs make it sound, and several of the reviews described the screen quality as being less than that of the Kindle Fire (even though they have the same resolution). The screen complaint was rather funny to read; apparently 1024×600 is now a low resolution, and that surprises me. I didn’t know that so many reviewers were screen fetishists, but apparently it’s a growing trend.
This tablet has the screen, cameras, and now the OS to be a mid-rank competitor to other basic tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire. At the $200 price point it is no great value; the features you gain in some areas cost you other features. Again like the KF, there are tradeoffs.
- 1GHz CPU
- Android 4.0
- 7? (1024×600) LED screen
- Capacitive touchscreen
- 16GB Flash storage
- microSD card slot
- Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS