Lenovo A1 Tablet review

I recently got a Lenovo A1 Ideapad. After getting the iPad 3, while I am thrilled overall with the iPad, one thing it lacks is the support for Adobe Flash. Without the flash player support, I couldn’t play karaoke songs from the internet. This was a big let down for me. It would be so nice to hook up your tablet to the speakers and sing along – Thea tablet is much natural for this effort than peering at a laptop screen. Not a show stopper, but still, I can carry my tablet to a friends place for a party much easily if I have to.

Anyway, this blog was my first impressions on the Ideapad. This is no way a very techy, geeky review – just first impressions of what I have noticed so far. Here goes

1) The display SUCKS. After getting used to the retina display, the ideapad’s display seems like 20 years old. The colors are lacking in vibrancy. Viewing photos is not the same on the Lenovo.

2) I read reports of the tablet loosing its Wi-Fi connection every 30 minutes. So far I haven’t had any such issue after aout 48 hours.

3) Battery life is okay. Within 12 hours of charging, the battery was depleted to about 40% with little or not much use. Got to see how long the battery lasts, I mean its overall life.

4) Audio speakers quality is tinny. Pretty poor at high volume – sounds very tinny. But connecting it via an audio cable to my speakers was the workaound. Anyway, I don’t listen to music on my tablets or even my computer on their speakers; mostly I would use a head phone.

5) Buggy Android. Within 25 hours (yes, 25 just to make this interesting!), the display wouldn’t not auto rotate. I searched the ‘net and found many hits to similar issue on the Android forums. Finally I figured out what was wrong. There is a switch near the top right that locks the screen orientation and that was accidentally toggled. Pooh! To overcome the problem, I even tried using a different launcher – Launcher Pro and that didn’t help

6) The keyboard needs a bit getting used to. This is an Android issue though. After typing a ‘.’ like in an email, it automatically advances the cursor after adding a space. So when you are trying to login to a site using your email user-id, you will find it irksome. But you can turn this feature off in settings.

7) Great feature of the Ideapad is it has GPS. So if you are driving/travelling, you got a bigger GPS device now. For maps, you can use Google Maps and Google Navigator (which gives voice directions), but without a high-speed connection on the road, it isn’t much use. Or you can use the Navdroid that comes pre-loaded, though you can only use one map (such of as a state’s) until you buy the full version. I found the interface for the navdroid pretty horrible, having to go through many clicks to get to a destination when in a rush.

8) The Camera – forget about it.

9) Has a Micro-SD card reader which is good to add additional storage.

10) You can transfer photos from your camera to the tablet using a USB-microUSB cable that comes for the charger. Handy to use. With the iPad, you need to buy a $29 camera kit.

11) Rate of File transfer. I tried loading about 6.5GB of music to the ideapad and it took over 40 minutes!! Unheard of now-a-days, but seems to be a pretty persistent problem

12) There is no custom ROM for the A1 yet. A custom ROM will essentially replace the pre-installed OS and gives you more flexibility for future OS upgrades. Got to keep looking.

What else – apart from all above, glad I have a tablet that serves my karaoke in a handy, hand-held device. My 4.1 inch smartphone was a bit small for reading lyrics!

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