Best Buy lists $300 Lenovo tablet with Tegra 3 SoC

According to research firm ABI, tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million units this year. The market is growing rapidly, and falling prices are making decent devices more affordable than ever. Google’s Nexus 7 has to be considered the low-cost leader. At $199, it’s the cheapest Tegra 3 tablet around.

The Nexus 7’s relatively small screen might not appeal to some folks, but the Google tablet isn’t the only bargain around. Best Buy has started selling a $300 Lenovo A2109 with what looks like an identical Tegra SoC. The 9" device offers the same 1280×800 display resolution as the Nexus on a slightly larger screen. Lenovo has added a couple of features the Nexus lacks: a Micro HDMI output and a rear-facing camera. Looks like a Micro SD slot didn’t make the cut, though. Neither did Google’s latest Jelly Bean version of Android. The A2109 runs Ice Cream Sandwich, otherwise known as Android 4.0.

Before long, the A2109 should be joined by the A2107, which Lenovo’s website says is a 7" device with built-in 3G connectivity. Lenovo doesn’t detail the screen resolution for that model, which makes me suspect it’s stuck at 1024×600—fewer pixels than most of today’s super-sized smartphones. Worryingly, there’s no mention of IPS display technology for either the A2107 or the A2109. A "confidential datasheet" (PDF) on Lenovo’s site says the A2109A uses a TN panel, although that particular system sports a Texas Instruments processor and has slightly different specifications. The 9" screen size and support for four-finger multitouch input are the same, though. Hmmm.

If the A2109 is stuck with a TN panel, it may have a hard time competing against rivals equipped with superior screens. The budget tablet market is about to get more crowded, too. Amazon is rumored to be prepping a successor to the Kindle Fire for next week, and Apple is expected to unveil a smaller iPad in October. Both new entries seem likely to use IPS panel technology, and we’d be surprised if the iPad didn’t have a Retina display with a higher PPI than typical Android tablets. Thanks to Engadget for the tip.

Comments closed
    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    this will sell very poorly.

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    No microSD slot -> no sale

      • Beomagi
      • 7 years ago

      I’d LOVE to see a standard SD over micro SD.

      N800 had Standard SD AND Mini SD slots back in 2005!

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        But size matters…

          • Goty
          • 7 years ago

          I don’t think that’s what you wife was talking about, Neely….

        • BobbinThreadbare
        • 7 years ago

        That would be even better, but not as big of an improvement as no slot -> at least one slot.

    • Delphis
    • 7 years ago

    Agreed on hardware.

    Where is my 1920×1080 resolution IPS panel Android tablet?

    Come on, it’s not like I’m after a flying car.

      • codedivine
      • 7 years ago

      Asus Transformer Pad Infinity has 1080p IPS panel that you ask for.

      edit: Acer A700 also has a high-res screen.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Buy before Apple bans them

    • jdaven
    • 7 years ago

    The tablet market is being PCized. Products for every 0.1″ from 7″ to 12″, different SSD capacities 1 GB apart, battery sizes differing by fraction of Whr. Anything and everything to cut cost and provide price points to any conceivable budget.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      YES THE WHOLE TABLET MARKET SHOULD BE LIKE APPLE WHERE THERE IS ONLY ONE DEVICE AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT, YOU’RE WRONG!

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        ALL CAPS IS TAKING OVER TR!! +1 BRONY!

          • sschaem
          • 7 years ago

          Actually microsoft made this “Modern” in their new software releases.
          Microsoft menus are now ALL CAPS

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            yeah, and i’m familiar with scientists saying all caps takes SLIGHTLY longer than proper case, but damn, metro is sexy. i know you dislike it, but i honestly think it’s the nicest ui i’ve ever seen. clear, concise, stylish. i LIKE the new MS.

        • jdaven
        • 7 years ago

        Since we have so many electronics companies today (Samsung, Acer, Lenovo, Apple, Microsoft, Sony, Dell, HP, MSI, Asus, RIM, etc.), it might help if product lines are simplified to reduce customer confusion. If there are tens of serious players in this market, each having tens of different product labels with very little differentiation, the marketplace becomes a zoo of confusion. I think this hurts company market/mindshare and consumers alike.

        Simply product lines, develop appealing marketing strategies, protect your IP and educate customers through knowledgeable retail channels. I know this sounds like Apple and I will get another comment in all caps, but I think it is a good strategy.

    • PainIs4ThaWeak1
    • 7 years ago

    BB isn’t dead yet?

    I haven’t visited that website in ages, due to reasons x, y, and z that everyone is already aware about/has already experienced.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      Occasionally they have nice sales on console games. That’s the reason I was last at a BB. Got the HD remake of Ico and SotC for $15.

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 7 years ago

        Any sale Best Buy has is almost always matched by Amazon. Still no reason to go to BB.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          Can you pick it up the same day on Amazon?

            • dmjifn
            • 7 years ago

            I’ll +1 you for this. BB’s not always a great deal but you can get it the same day and return it without shipping. Not all but some warranty items can be handled there. Never had to deal with shipping damage, or with “Listing says model WX890A but seller sent WX880” when doing in-store pickup.

            I certainly buy most of my stuff online but BB, Frys, etc. have their place.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Ya and depending if you are in the US or Canada they have different price matching policies. In Canada they match any competitors price and reduce it by 10% the difference.

            I just picked up today for example a pair of cheap computer speakers for an old Macmini that I upgraded.

            BB had them on for $89.99
            Amazon $69.99
            Newegg.ca has them on for $59.99 + $15.39 for shipping
            Local Mom and Pop shop had them for $59.33

            So I bought them @ BB since it is just a couple of blocks away, could pick them up today and wound up being the cheapest of the bunch.

            $59.33 – Price beat guarantee $3.06 – $15 BB Reward zone bucks = $41.27 at the till.

    • swaaye
    • 7 years ago

    BB has a 7″ Lenovo tablet and I looked at that recently. It has the same nasty TN panel as the Acer 7″. TN panels are absolutely unacceptable in a tablet IMO. Half the screen is always almost a negative image.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      My wife is happy with her A100, but I agree – there’s no way I’d be satisfied with a TN panel. It does funky things in portrait that bug me that don’t bug her. The colors are different in each eye. Awful for reading.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Wow, I didn’t know there were non-Chinese crap tablets with TN panels. Then again, you did say ‘Acer’…

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    If it does in fact have an IPS panel it might do well at that price point. Lack of SD slot would keep me from buying one though.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      REALLY that’s the only concern. ips, and this is a nice device. TYPICALLY lenovo has decent build quality.

      • codedivine
      • 7 years ago

      A customer review on the Bestbuy site indicates that the panel is not good and the customer suggests it is not a IPS panel.

    • pcgeek86
    • 7 years ago

    Epic fail.

    * 1280×800 LCD panel (never seen THAT resolution before!)
    * No Micro SD card slot
    * Only 16GB of storage
    * [Still] only 1GB of RAM
    * No Android Jelly Bean 4.1

    Pros

    * Micro HDMI connection
    * Tegra 3

    Pretty disappointing — when are hardware manufacturers going to produce EXCEPTIONAL hardware?

      • pcgeek86
      • 7 years ago

      Why do people accept that the SAME exact hardware & software, released over and over again, is somehow acceptable?

      * Who is going to push the envelope?
      * Who is going to stand out from the rest?
      * Who is going to set the trend for 2GB as being standard?
      * Who is going to release the first ARM Cortex A15 powered tablet BEFORE Apple does?
      * Who is going to release the first Android tablet with a GPU as powerful or MORE powerful than the PowerVR SGX540-MP in the “new iPad?”
      * Who is going to put 64GB of storage as standard for tablets?
      * Who is going to push prices down, while still producing exceptional hardware?

        • Kurlon
        • 7 years ago

        You won’t see 2GB or more RAM on mainstream ARM devices until A15’s land with 64bit addressing support.

          • raddude9
          • 7 years ago

          Wrong, you can get 2GB pre-A15 phones:
          [url<]http://androidandme.com/2012/05/smartphones-2/lg-reveals-first-android-smartphone-with-2gb-ram/[/url<] [url<]http://phandroid.com/2012/05/30/samsung-galaxy-s3-with-2gb-of-ram-confirmed-for-canada-us-tour-begins-june-20th-in-new-york/[/url<] and since when did you need 64bit addressing to support 2GB of RAM?

            • DancinJack
            • 7 years ago

            That’s not what he said. Neither of those are “mainstream” devices. Those are very much the high end of the spectrum.

        • Beomagi
        • 7 years ago

        Who is going to push the envelope?

        Samsung? Oh wait….

      • Goty
      • 7 years ago

      Why is Tegra 3 listed under “Pros”? I’d much prefer something with a Snapdragon S4 (or S4 Pro in the near future).

        • pcgeek86
        • 7 years ago

        Good point …. I was just trying to find SOME good in it. You’re right though, the Snapdragon S4 Pro would be much preferable. Is that going to have the ARM Cortex A15 CPU? Something tells me it is.

          • Alexko
          • 7 years ago

          Qualcomm uses their own CPU cores (notably Krait) not the A15.

          • Goty
          • 7 years ago

          To expand on Alexko’s point a bit, Qualcomm’s S4 CPUs utilize their Krait CPU core, which is distinct from but functionally similar to A15.

          • Silus
          • 7 years ago

          So someone says it would be better to have some other chip and you jump on the bandwagon without even knowing what is…? LOL, so pathetic

          Snapdragon S4 isn’t any better than Tegra 3 in terms of graphics, in fact Tegra 3 has a slight advantage overall and the S4 also uses a different architecture than Tegra 3 for the CPU cores. It’s ARM based, but it’s not Cortex A9 like the Tegra 3 uses. And no, it’s not A15…

        • Silus
        • 7 years ago

        Why ? Tegra 3 is better graphics wise with the S4 being better in CPU benchmarks, but you will be hard pressed to notice a difference between the two in everyday use.

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]* 1280x800 LCD panel (never seen THAT resolution before!)[/quote<] That one is an Epic win. 16:10 ratio. It was used on several laptops just a few years ago before the bastardization to 16:9 resolutions.

        • pcgeek86
        • 7 years ago

        I was being incredibly facetious. My point is that very few mainstream Android tablets are using high resolutions. 1280×800 is pathetic on a 9″ display, and even the 7″ Nexus 7 for that matter.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          You expected a retina like type display for $300?

        • Beomagi
        • 7 years ago

        That’s actually a GOOD resolution for tablets, since many web pages are 800px width.

        Rather that than 1280×768

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