Lenovo challenges Google's Nexus 7 with Android tablets starting at $299

Lenovo's $US299 IdeaTab A2109 comes close to Google's 16GB Nexus 7 on price, but packs more features

Lenovo is challenging Google's Nexus 7 tablet with a new range of affordable IdeaTab tablets, which start at $299 and have the Android 4.0 OS.

The US$299 IdeaTab A2109 comes with a 7-inch screen, while the $399 IdeaTab S2110 is an "entertainment" tablet with a 10-inch screen, Lenovo said. Both tablets have displays that can show images at a 1280 by 800-pixel resolution.

Google's recent Nexus 7 tablet raised the profile of Android in the tablet market, which is dominated by Apple's iPad. The Nexus 7 and IdeaTab A2109 have many common features including a 7-inch screen and a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor. A 16GB Nexus 7 model is priced at $249, but with the same storage and $50 more the A2109 has a slew of other features that are not in Google's tablet, including a 1.3-megapixel front camera, a three-megapixel back camera, a micro-HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface port) and expandable storage up to 32GB through a MicroSD slot.

However Google's Nexus 7, which starts at $199 for 8GB of storage, comes with Android 4.1, code-named Jelly Bean.

The IdeaTab A2109 weighs 570 grams and is now available in the U.S.

Lenovo did not respond to request for comment on worldwide availability for the IdeaTab A2109 and on when its new tablets will run Android 4.1.

Lenovo's other new tablet, the IdeaTab S2110 weighs around 580 grams and runs on a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. The tablet offers battery life of around 10 hours, which can be doubled to 20 hours with an optional $100 keyboard dock. The tablet has a 1.3-megapixel front camera and a 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. The device has ports similar to the A2109.

Lenovo also announced the IdeaTab A2107 tablet with a 7-inch display. The tablet offers 10 hours of battery life and optional 3G connectivity for mobile broadband. The tablet has front and rear cameras, 16GB of storage and a micro-SD slot for expandable storage. The tablet will become available in November, and specific pricing information will be provided closer to launch, said Mark Minnar, senior product communication manager at Lenovo.

The new IdeaTab tablets were announced at the IFA trade show in Berlin. The new tablets follow Lenovo's announcement earlier this month of the ThinkPad Tablet 2, which has a 10.1-inch screen, an Intel processor and Windows 8.

Lenovo also announced new IdeaPad S-series laptops with screen sizes up to 14 inches starting at $499. The S300, S400 and S405 laptops are available with Windows 7, and an option of Intel's third-generation Core processors or Advanced Micro Devices' A-series processors. The laptops are eligible for upgrades to Windows 8 Pro on a later date for the discounted price of $14.99.

The thin-and-light laptops are up to 21.9 millimeters thick, with the weight starting at 1.8 kilograms. The S405 laptops can store up to 1TB of data. The machines are available in the U.S. starting on Thursday, and the company did not comment on worldwide availability.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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Agam Shah

IDG News Service
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