Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quick Look At Lenovo - IdeaPad A1 for Video Recording

I’m going frugal this time. The Lenovo Ideapad A1 tablet caught my attention and my fingers tapping in curiosity at the $199 price. Now if you go to the web page linked above the vendor states the price at $249 but I have seen it retail for $199.

This is a video from Laptop Magazine with a representative from Lenovo stating the price as $199.

Apparently Lenovo has periodic sales of tablet at the $199 price on their web site. But Best Buy has it listed at $199.

Lenovo has a good reputation with their desktop and business laptops so I have to wonder why I didn’t hear anything about their tablets? One answer if that it was released in September 2011, that was during the time of Kindle Fire fever.  Oh well, such is life.

Could it work in a pinch as a decent video recorder? Let’s find out.

Lenovo Ideapad A1 Video Specs
The Ideapad A1 is running on Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread. If you can hang with Android 2.3 continue reading.

It has a front facing .3MP webcam in the front. At best it will be adequate for web chats but wear a bright shirt or something.

There is a 3.0MP rear camera that should be able to handle outdoor or bright light recording situations. The rear camera records in 480p. As in standard definition 640x480p?

Probably. I reviewed the spec sheet and there was nothing else to indicate high definition video recording. The User Guide does mention that it has a YouTube High 10m recording but nothing that states if it is high or standard definition.

The Good Stuff
  • 16GB of SSD internal storage
  • microSD slot
  • Stereo microphone jack
  • Audio file formats .mp3, .wav and .ogg
  • Video file formats .avi, .3gp, .mp4 and RVMB

The Not So Good Stuff

  • TI® 3622 (Cortex-A8) 1GHz single-core processor. You will have to keep that in mind when you want to do more than one task.  It will slug up on you.
  • 512MB of internal memory. Understandable at this price point but you will long for more.
  • 5 hour battery life and it seems it takes that long to recharge.
  • Forget about Skype for Android for now. There is Google Talk and other third party apps.

Buying Musings

For the frugalistas who want a video recording tablet and understand the limitations of a single processor I think this could work.

If you have to record in high definition, this isn’t going to work.

If you are not comfortable on how to transfer files from the tablet to the computer then leave this one alone.

The suggested retail market price is $199 before taxes and shipping.  Beware of vendors who crank up the price to over $260 on other sites.

P.S. I searched the Lenovo web site; there is a code you can use to purchase at $199 but it isn’t always there.

P.S.S. Lenovo is making me crazy. There is a page that explains that the Black IdeaPad A1 Tablet - 22282MU goes on sale for $199 and the Blue version for $209. I still think that the $199 price is about right for this product.

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