Lenovo IdeaTab A1000 Review

10
Introduction and Design

Introduction


Lenovo has never been a strong or serious player in the Android tablet space per se, which is duly noted from their offerings over the last couple of years. In fact, they haven’t produced something high-end to tangle with the greats, but rather, they’ve attacked the opposite end of the spectrum with entry-level models. Sure to attract some budget conscious individuals, the $160 priced Lenovo IdeaTab A1000 is no doubt something noteworthy to mention over other things. Seriously, we’re crossing our fingers with this one, especially considering it’s cheap – though, it doesn’t always translate to better, as we’ve come to know all too well.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick User Guide
  • Important Safety and Handling Information

Design


Sadly, there’s nothing satisfying with the design of the IdeaTab A1000 – it’s just straight out boring and behind the times. Compared to the class-leader in the space, the Nexus 7, it’s longer, wider, thicker, and boasts beefy bezels. And it doesn’t help either that it’s weighty (11.99 oz) by today’s standards too, which is rather strange considering it’s donning a plastic body. Overall, it’s the epitome of a cheaply made tablet, as the plastic casing scratches easily.


Aside from the sizable bezels around the display, we also spot the IdeaTab A1000 wielding dual speakers and a front-facing VGA 0.3-megapixel camera. Around its trim, we find all the usual ports and buttons – like its power key, volume control, microphone, microUSB port, and 3.5mm headset jack. Indeed a sight for sore eyes, it packs an always useful microSD card slot. In keeping it low cost in price, the tablet lacks a rear camera.




Display


Ouch! Our eyes writhe in pain just trying to look at the 7-inch 1024 x 600 glossy LED display of the Lenovo IdeaTab A1000. It’s just downright scary in so many ways! First and foremost, detail isn’t a strong point with this one, which is quite evident from the onset with its 170 ppi pixel density. Secondly, its color reproduction is bland, washed out, and devoid from any attractive tones to reel us in. And finally, there’s the matter with its super weak viewing angles and poor brightness output – making it nearly impossible to view outdoors. It’s bad folks, like really, really bad!




Interface and Functionality


Taking a peek around the interface, it’s running a mostly stock Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean experience – with a few customizations from Lenovo. To be specific, the difference in this UI is seen in the notifications panel, camera app, and the homescreen’s main widgets. On the surface, we’re naturally presented with all the comforts of the Android experience – like its rich personalization and diverse ecosystem of apps. However, it doesn’t try to go beyond that, as it lacks any sort of enhancements or deeper functionality to move the experience into new territory.


Running Jelly Bean and all, the organizer functions of the experience is further strengthened by the availability of Google Now. It’s something we can’t complain about, since it’s so useful in keeping us organized with our schedule and routine.


In portrait, our thumbs are able to encompass the entire layout of the on-screen keyboard – with minimal stretching required on our part. Throw in its responsiveness, it helps to keep our pace consistent. On the flip side, the landscape option is a bit more cramped for our taste.



Processor and Memory


Processing power isn’t a strong point of the Lenovo IdeaTab A1000, even more when it’s packing along something that isn’t menacing under the hood. Wielding a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM based Cortex-A9 processor coupled with the PowerVR SGX531 GPU and 1GB of RAM, it struggles and cracks under the pressure – more so when it’s running any processor intensive tasks. Heck, even running a live wallpaper exhibits a distasteful sluggish response with its performance. At the end of the day, it’s just painfully slow!


Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Lenovo IdeaTab A100073112772396 / 3.5 fps1307 / 417
Google Nexus 7 20135854197864556 / 40 fps1571 / 692
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch407589871930 / 17 fps1677 / 505


Even though it’s available in 8GB and 16GB capacities, it’s nonetheless wonderful to know that there’s a microSD card slot ready to supplement its tally.

Internet and Connectivity


Despite the sluggish nature of its processor, we don’t find too many nagging faults with its web browsing experience. Pages load up in a timely manner, but we do notice just a pinch of choppiness with its navigational controls. Luckily, it’s not too distracting to dissuade us.

Currently, the tablet is made available as a Wi-Fi only model – albeit, there seems to be a SIM placeholder spot on one of the sides of the tablet, which means that we might see a cellular enabled variant. Besides that, it features aGPS and Bluetooth 4.0 as well.



Camera


Yes, there’s a camera on board with this, but it’s only a front facing VGA one. Strange to say, the camera app boasts a few different shooting modes and controls, like exposure control and white balance. Needless to say, it seems irrelevant seeing that its quality is only good enough for video chatting services and nothing more.

Multimedia


Out of the box, the preloaded music player is Google’s own Google Play Music app, which lays claim to the same functions and features found on any other Android tablet. With two front-firing speakers on board, we’ll say that its output is certainly loud, but at the loudest volume, it lacks a commanding presence with its quality. In fact, there’s a bit of sharpness that comes off as unpleasant to the ear.

More than equipped to play high definition videos, which is evident by its smooth playback, we wouldn’t necessarily say that the IdeaTab A1000 is the most ideal thing to use for watching videos. Mainly due to its low quality display, it doesn’t make for the best experience.




Battery


Comforting us in a way, its built-in 3500 mAh battery delivers a decent amount of punch with its output. With our normal usage, which consists of mostly surfing the web and sending emails, we’re able to pull in a 2 days, 7 hours of battery life before it’s completely gassed. It doesn’t break new ground to tell you the truth, but nevertheless, it’s a notable tally.

Conclusion


Dirt cheap Android tablets are in abundance, but after the recent Google Nexus 7, it reestablished what it means to be a fantastic budget offering – while at the same time, set the bar higher for everyone else too. Even with its lower $160 base price point, it’s not enough to put the Lenovo IdeaTab A1000 in the same realm. In fact, it’s not even remotely close, as everything about this is just dated and behind the times. To tell you the truth, the only thing going for this is its super affordable price point, which no doubt will attract consumers who are strapped for cash. At the end of the day, though, we’d still recommend just forking over a bit more to pick up even the second-generation Nexus 7 – or if you can snag a deal, the first-generation one for less.

Software version of reviewed unit:
Android version: 4.1.2
Build number: A1000F_A412_01_22_130801_R0W
Kernel version: 3.4.0


Video Thumbnail




Pros

  • Dirt Cheap
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Sluggish performance
  • Low quality display
  • Heavy in weight
  • Bland design

PhoneArena Rating:

4.0

User Rating:

5.5
2 Reviews

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless