The market for low-end tablets is understandably growing at a steady rate, always. And it seems every manufacturer wants a slice of the sales at the budget end of the tablet scale. Sadly, in the process of making budget priced tablets, manufacturers often forget the essence of what makes a tablet such an enjoyable medium of entertainment. Lenovo has been making some unremarkable Android tablets for some time now. The tablets weren’t bad, they were just irrelevant when compared to the Nexus 7. And now we have the Lenovo A1000, which at just $159 seems to be trying to make customers happy. But how’s the A1000 as a tablet? Let’s find out in our Lenovo A1000 review.
Design and Build
The Lenovo A1000 is a budget device, so premium looks are absolutely out of the question here. The design is bland, but the tablet gives an overall impression of being sturdy. There are no fragile-looking surfaces on the device. It’s just a very durable plastic construction all around. We do wish, however, that the front of the tablet were a bit more distinctive. With that ungainly bezel size the A1000 almost looks like a cheap toy.
You can get a Nook HD+ tablet with a 900p screen for under $150 these days, as a result the Lenovo A1000’s 1024×600 display resolution feels awfully mediocre. Even for a 7 inch tablet, this is a woeful resolution. And that’s not its biggest problem either. No, the biggest problem is the quality of the display. The design of the tablet is bland, and the washed out colors of the display make it look even more cheap and dull. We realize that Lenovo was clearly working with a tight budget here but the display is the centerpiece of a tablet, it shouldn’t be its weakest link. But sadly, the display on the A1000 is disappointing, to say the least. Viewing angles are non-existent, as even while looking head-on you only get to enjoy a drab color palette.
So far, the Lenovo A1000 has proven to be a mediocre performer. It’s not good looking, and it has a terrible display. Does it make up for that with its dazzling hardware performance? No. The A1000 is fitted with a dual-core MediaTek chip whose name isn’t really important. All we can report is that it is a terrible performer. This chipset is acceptable in budget phones with HVGA resolutions, but in a 7 inch tablet with a 1024×600 resolution, a lot is being asked of it. Even routine navigation through out the UI is lag-prone. Games are out of the question. The A1000 does come with a gigabyte of RAM but we’re assuming the tablet will shut down before the RAM is even half-used.
This is one department where the Lenovo A1000 shouldn’t be totally terrible. It is armed with a 3500mAh battery which is adequate for a 7 inch tablet with a poor display and weak processor. On a video loop test with brightness set to around 50 percent, the A1000 lasted around 7 and a half hours. So on normal use you could get at least 8 or 9 hours out of this tablet. That’s impressive for a tablet with such a long list of shortcomings.
It seems like Lenovo has not learnt lessons from the HP’s Slate 7. There is no reason why anyone would consider the Lenovo A1000 over the cheaper, and better Nook HD+ that’s on sale these days. The A1000 is the opposite of what a tablet should deliver. And we suggest you to save up some more and get the 2013 Nexus 7 instead.