Lenovo to Usher in a New Price Point for iPad Alternatives with the IdeaPad A1?

By Lindsay Sakraida, dealnews Features Director

Last week, Lenovo released additional details about its Lenovo IdeaPad A1 7" WiFi Android Tablet, including the price tag: The device will only cost $199 for an 8GB model. However, according to Engadget, only the 16GB and 32GB versions will be available in the U.S., to be sold for $249 and $299 respectively.

Despite that curious (and a bit irritating) caveat, the news is appealing. The prices are very low for a tablet manufactured by a brand you've actually heard of, and as HP proved a few weeks ago, consumers are willing to hop aboard the iPad alternative train at the right price. In fact, before HP slashed the cost of its discontinued TouchPad to an unheard of $99.99 for the 16GB tablet ($149.99 for the 32GB), 45% of dealnews readers said that they would buy the device if it fell below $300. And boy, they weren't lying; so many TouchPads were snatched up in such a short period of time, HP is rumored to be manufacturing additional devices to fill the need.

Each of the IdeaPad A1 tablets are under $300, but does that mean it too will see a massive frenzy of orders? Compared to the TouchPad, the A1 features several "downgraded" specifications; the A1 features a single-core (instead of dual-core) processor, 7" LCD (instead of a 9.7"), WiFi connectivity only, and an outdated OS (Gingerbread instead of Honeycomb, although to be fair the TouchPad's webOS was discontinued). Will the downgrade in features dull the demand?

Moreover, there's the psychological element to the TouchPad's success. Yes, $99.99 and $149.99 are fantastic prices on their own. But how many people flashed their credit card at the bat of an eye because they knew, just a week ago, that each legitimately cost several hundreds more?

Regardless of how the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 sells, there's a possibility that we may be seeing an overall slide in iPad alternative prices, in order for the numerous tablet runners-up to become legitimately competitive.

DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).


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This isn't a deal at all to me.  I paid the same thing for a tablet with almost the same specs a year ago.  Archos has tablets coming out soon that challenge the pack at prices similar to this.  The reason the HP touchpad did so well is because it was SUPER cheap.  This is only kinda cheap, but not cheap enough to raise any eyebrows.
As Christmas nears, well sort of, I have been keeping an eye on tablets for a bigger screen (8" and up), 3G/Wifi, and a fairly current OS, with a reasonably low price tag. As with most deals, I have learned to develop and exercise patience, much to my spouse's frustration at times...but, when the price is right, I jump, (when able), and have often been able to get some sweet extras to go along with whatever major-to-us purchase (usually electronics, thanks to Dealnews) that I have been holding out for--much to my spouse's then-joy-and-gladness that we did wait. Learning that Lenovo is possibly going to throw a wrench in the typical price standard of all other major tablet manufacturers gives me a great deal of hope in finding an awesome deal on a tablet that meets my wish list in specifications. However, as much as I like the Lenovo name, I am inclined to agree with both posters before me. $250 for a Lenovo tablet sounds nice, but for our budget, it's not tempting enough given the current restrictions for what is being offered. I feel also, that once in the $250 spending realm, (which I am not) why not wait and save up the difference and get an iPad, with all to at least most of the current technical specs. Still, it's nice to see a big name like Lenovo keeping competition in pricing alive and well. Thanks again for another great article!
I'll buy one when they aren't using outdated tech on a brand new device.  I mean, does Honeycomb cost more to produce and install than Gingerbread?  Doubtful.  Why not use the best available at the time instead of giving people a reason to buy another manufacturer's product?
I am no psychology major, but, for some odd reason, $99 is enough to make me want to buy five regardless of the demise of WebOS.  $250 is in the realm of "Why don't I just put out the extra few hundred and get an iPad?  Weird, isn't it?