Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Tablet vs Kindle Fire and Nook Color

Lenovo IdeaPad A1

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 just went up for pre-order a couple days ago starting at $199 from Lenovo’s website.

Given the price and specs, the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 just might be a better tablet to go with than the Kindle Fire, and it is a better tablet than the Nook Color, at least on paper.

The reason it is better than the Nook Color is that it beats the Nook on all counts of specs and price. The Kindle Fire has the edge with its dual-core processor, but the IdeaPad A1 has it beat in pretty much every other area.

Lenovo really should be doing more marketing for IdeaPad A1; hardly anyone knows it exists and it looks like it could be a great tablet for the price. Check out these specs and features and you’ll see why…

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Specs and Features

  • 7.0″ SD LED Multi-touch screen, 1024 x 600
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • CPU: Texas Instruments OMAP 3622 (1GHz)
  • Storage: 2GB – $199 model; 16GB – $249 model
  • 512MB RAM
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi ; Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR
  • Mini USB port
  • 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • 3.0MP rear-facing camera
  • Android Market and Lenovo App Shop
  • Flash support
  • Offline GPS
  • Battery life: 5 hours
  • Four different colors: black, white, pink, and blue
  • Dimensions: 7.68″ x 4.9″ 0.49″
  • Weight: 14.08 ounces

Obviously the 2GB of memory is the IdeaPad’s weakest link, but at least it has a memory card slot. And the 16GB model is only $50 more, the same price as the Nook Color. It appears the memory is the only difference between the two models. The battery life isn’t great either, but that still remains to be tested by users.

One detail that doesn’t make any sense, Lenovo says the A1 has 3G wireless where available, but they don’t give any specifics whatsoever…

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 starts shipping on October 27th.

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 vs Kindle Fire Quick Comparison

Both have the same size and resolution screen.

Both cost $199.

The Kindle Fire has more base memory than the $199 IdeaPad model, but half as much as the $249 model.

The Kindle Fire lacks cameras, the Android Market, Bluetooth, a memory card slot, and offline GPS.

The IdeaPad has a single-core 1GHz processor and the Kindle Fire has a dual-core 1GHz processor.

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 is slightly larger but weighs about half an ounce less.

The Kindle Fire’s specs says it has a longer battery life, 7.5-8 hours versus the IdeaPad’s 5 hours (neither are real world tested yet, just what the companies state).

Both have speakers and headphones.

Both support Adobe Flash.

The Kindle Fire comes with what is supposed to be a really fast web browser, Amazon Silk.

The Kindle Fire comes with free cloud storage for Amazon’s content.

Neither have an HDMI port (bummer).

Lenovo IdeaPad A1 vs Nook Color Quick Comparison

Both have the same size and resolution screen.

The IdeaPad runs Android 2.3 versus the Nook’s forked Android 2.2.

The Nook Color has more base memory than the $199 IdeaPad model, but half as much as the $249 model.

The Nook Color lacks cameras, the Android Market (stock), active Bluetooth, and offline GPS.

The IdeaPad has a 1GHz processor and the Nook Color has an 800MHz processor.

The Lenovo IdeaPad A1 is smaller and lighter, almost 2 ounces lighter in fact.

The Nook Color may have a longer battery life, rated at 7-8 hours versus the IdeaPad’s 5 hours, although the latter hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet.

Both have speakers and headphones.

Both support Adobe Flash.

Neither have an HDMI port.

13 Responses to “Lenovo IdeaPad A1 Tablet vs Kindle Fire and Nook Color”

  1. 5 hours battery life is a deal breaker if it holds up in real-world comparisons. Though I suspect they will all end up around the same under the same usage.

  2. Nathan, I totally agree with you. Moreover, regarding the price: I believe you can have $189 for 2GB and $229 for 16GB versions with AAA member discount (which is very easy to get even if you are not a AAA member – not sure they check it that hard).
    The only big questions are: a) does it have an IPS screen like Kindle Fire (IPS screen makes a huge difference) and b) battery life as you mentioned (according to specs Fire has a big advantage but I am not sure those number are accurate).

  3. How can I get the discount from AAA membership? the lenovo website does not give the option. Or where do I have to go to get it?

    Thank you


  4. Can you switch from an led or lcd screen to an e-ink screen for reading on any tablet? The only way I would buy a tablet is if it can do double duty so to speak.

  5. The Lenovo A1 tablet is tempting with the addition of additional memory and bluetooth. I’m sorta meh! on camera on a tablet. I have already ordered a Kindle Fire but will keep my eyes on the A1 tablet.

    BTW – The website posts a price of $229 for the entry level model and $249 for the 16 GB model with ship dates of November 8th.

  6. The link above will get you the AAA discount to a price of $199.99 plus free shipping. All they have is black at that price.

  7. I haven’t been able to find the ideapad to order or pre-order. Lenovo ripped it off their website right away, and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. In chat mode, agents gave me some really weird places to look for this item, and I know that all of them are repair centers…not dealers. Suggestions on where to find this item (cheap)?

    • I think Lenovo underestimated demand for a sub-$200 tablet with good specs, so they jacked up the price $30 and then sold out of them entirely. Now they are probably playing catch up. Hopefully by December they’ll have some more ready for the holiday rush.

  8. The Kindle Fire is a full android tablet also running Gingerbread with the Android Market. So that is not missing from the Fire

  9. @KC – Android Market? Really??? 😀