August 28, 2012, 3:27 PM — Lenovo is aiming squarely for the bargain bin with its $300 IdeaPad A2109 tablet, which despite the low price still has a 9-inch display and a speedy quad-core Tegra 3 processor.
The Lenovo IdeaPad A2109 is available now through Best Buy. Specs include a 1280-by-800 resolution display, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of built-in storage, a 3-megapixel rear-facing camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and Micro HDMI output.
For software, the tablet runs Android 4.0. There's no word on whether an update to Android 4.1, known as Jelly Bean, is in the cards.
Although we're used to seeing cheap 7-inch tablets by now, it's rare to see low-priced tablets with larger displays. At Best Buy, the closest competitors are a refurbished Motorola Xoom and an 8 GB Acer Iconia Tab A200, which both cost $330 and have 10.1 inch displays. Lenovo's IdeaPad A2109 tablet is the only quad-core option, and the only one that runs Android 4.0, though its screen is a bit smaller.
Still, it's no surprise that Lenovo has cut a few corners to get its price so low. There's no MicroSD card slot on board, so 16 GB is all you get, and the multitouch display only supports four fingers at once. The design's also a bit chunky by today's standards, measuring a half-inch thick.
We may see some more activity in the big-screen tablet space soon, with Amazon expected to announce a larger Kindle Fire tablet next week. But unlike the Kindle Fire, Lenovo's tablet runs a proper version of Android, and has full access to the Google Play Store and other Google apps. I haven't seen this tablet up close yet, but it could be worth keeping in mind as an alternative once Amazon announces its new gadgets.