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Lenovo Officially Announces A10 Android Laptop

By - Source: Lenovo | B 12 comments

The pricing and release date is still unknown.

Lenovo introduced on Friday its very first dual-mode Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" laptop, the Lenovo A10. The device sports a 10.1 inch screen that can be flipped around 300 degrees, creating a "stand/theater mode" for watching videos and playing games hands-free. The stable hinge and "fold-back" design keeps the device steady and prevents shaking and bouncing while using the 10-point multi-touch screen.

This is the very same Android notebook that was accidently revealed in a posted manual last week. As previously reported, the device features a quad-core Rockchip RK3188 Cortex-A9 SoC clocked at 1.6 GHz, 1 GB or 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage, and a microSD card slot for up to 64 GB of extra storage. Connectivity will consist of a USB port and combo audio jack on the left side, and another USB port, microUSB port, and microHDMI port on the right.

The updated press release specifies that the laptop also sports a 0.3MP web cam and a battery that promises up to 9 hours of continuous video playback on a single charge. Also included is a full-size ergonomic, AccuType keyboard with dedicated Android buttons like "Home," "Back," "Multitask," "Settings" and a few others.

"'In laptop mode,' users can take advantage of the A10's unique, Lenovo-customized user interface, which provides an app launcher, task bar and status bar for quick, intuitive access to the app library and desktop, as well as convenient multitasking and app switching," reads the company's press release. "File manager software, also included with the Lenovo customized OS, makes it easy to locate and manage a library of documents, videos and music."

Last week the leaked manual (pdf) revealed a SIM card slot, a built-in touch pad, a built-in microphone located on the right side, and what appears to be two speakers mounted on the bottom. The home screen looks exactly as one would expect from an Android tablet, displaying the status bar and Google Search bar along the top. Another toolbar resides along the bottom with the Apps Launcher button sitting on the far left.

Unfortunately, the company still hasn't provided specific details regarding availability and pricing, and the product still isn't listed on the Lenovo website. Yet, notice that the company dropped the "IdeaPad" name in Friday's announcement, merely referring to the notebook as the Lenovo A10. Stay tuned for more information as it rolls out.

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  • 1 Hide
    stevejnb , October 19, 2013 9:50 AM
    Depending on pricing, this type of thing would more or less make Chromebooks utterly pointless. Hoping more companies go this route.
  • 8 Hide
    iamadev , October 19, 2013 10:06 AM
    Quote:
    Depending on pricing, this type of thing would more or less make Chromebooks utterly pointless. Hoping more companies go this route.


    Chromebooks don't need this type of machine to make them utterly pointless
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , October 19, 2013 10:11 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Depending on pricing, this type of thing would more or less make Chromebooks utterly pointless. Hoping more companies go this route.


    Chromebooks don't need this type of machine to make them utterly pointless


    Strictly speaking, they do have a place right now, however much I think they are wastes of time. Super lightweight and free operating system on an inexpensive machine designed with responsiveness and speed in mind with a decent set of productivity tools at rock bottom prices - that's what Chromebooks are at this point. The Windows laptops you get in the same price range are, while *vastly* more feature rich and not online reliant, generally much slower than a Chromebook. For some people, this is important, and the formula works - though personally, I'd take either an Android tablet or a cheap laptop in the same price range every time.

    The thing is, Android laptops in this price range will do every damned thing a Chromebook online, will do most of it without the online requirement, will do exponentially more, and still be a free OS. I just can't see why the heck you'd want to stick with a Chromebook ahead of an Android laptop after that.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , October 19, 2013 11:06 AM
    The big drawbacks to Android currently is its relative lack of good productivity apps. At present, the full Google Docs experience is not available on the Android version of Chrome. Also, Android really isn't designed with a mouse in mind as right click doesn't work and you are limited to full screen apps. Perhaps Lenovo has fixed that with its custom software? I doubt it is as intuitive as Chrome OS or the desktop part of Windows.

    If Google were make the OS more mouse and keyboard friendly, allow the use of windowed apps and a taskbar, and provide full access to all of Google's productivity tools, then there wouldn't be much need for any other OS truthfully.

    I'm not so sure the one OS fits all model is that smart though. Look at what a mess it made of Windows. If Google could come up with some way to make Android change form based on the size of screen and attached peripherals, they might have something.

    Chrome OS still has advantages though. No installed programs and very little stored locally is a big plus along with instant updates, instant boot, absolutely no possibility for malware or bloatware. Also, a lot of Chrome apps can be used offline now as well. You can use the full office and email suite offline as well as HTML 5 games and photo editors.

    After looking at my phone and Nexus 7, the only thing it seems like Android can do that Chrome can't is play the higher end games. About everything else you can do on your phone can be done in a browser. Apps have always just been a way to get that full web experience into a polished, mobile form. This is a problem I have on my Windows 8 laptop. There are all those apps in the Win 8 store, but most of them can be done just as easily in a web browser on the desktop so I find that I never use them. Maybe on a tablet they would be useful?

    Steve, do you find yourself using those apps a lot on your surface when you have a keyboard and mouse attached? (if you ever do?) I'm just curious if there are any other than games where the same tasks they accomplish couldn't be replicated in a web browser.

    Both operating systems have their place but I think they can coexist just fine. Does Google really want to become the next Microsoft? I'm not so sure.

    Having said that, I can't wait to try this thing and see what it's like.
  • 1 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 19, 2013 11:46 AM
    I think Chromoebooks are Netbook 2.0. They will most likely fail again, since they are trying to fulfill the needs other devices already can [cough] Tablets [cough].
  • -2 Hide
    ibnmuhammad , October 19, 2013 11:48 AM
    Wow, if cut-down and minimal laptops such as this and chromebook really catch on, we're almost certainly looking at the death of Windows, if not already, particularly with the disaster that is Windows 8 and 8.1.

    The biggest problems with Windows laptops is: -
    * OEM crapware bundled which kills the machine from day 1;
    * resource intensive (mostly due to oem crapware);
    * microsoft killed multi-tasking with Windows 8 and 8.1 with full-screen apps.
    * microsoft killed productivity by over-complicating and introducing design eye-candy in Office (ribbon) and Windows Explorer, etc, etc - all in the name of justifying a new version to make money.
  • -2 Hide
    ibnmuhammad , October 19, 2013 11:57 AM
    Should have added to my comment... tablets are also another Windows killer, considering most people only browse the web and do nothing productive.

    In the office however: -
    * marketing / design - Apple Mac's are the best and most suited;
    * publishing - again, Apple Mac's are the best;
    * programmers - Linux desktops;
    * finance - used to be Windows, but with Windows 8 and 8.1 - not sure?
    * gamers - Windows / home entertainment units;

    @rohitbaran - almost completely agree, though looking at the fact that the chromebook was amazon's best seller for quite a long time, it's uncertain where we're heading... one things for sure however, if Microsoft sticks with a unified tablet/desktop OS with full-screen apps like Windows 8.1, it will likely be the end of Windows everywhere.

  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , October 19, 2013 12:11 PM
    I think a lot of people forget that in less than 10 years just about all software will be web based anyway. Just look at HTML 5 apps already. MS and Google already offer full web based office suites. Games will be streamed, not rendered locally.

    Windows in its current form is pretty much destined to die. That's why MS has already stated Windows 10 or whatever it will be called will be a cloud based OS.
  • 1 Hide
    Victor Perez , October 19, 2013 5:18 PM
    Quote:
    Depending on pricing, this type of thing would more or less make Chromebooks utterly pointless. Hoping more companies go this route.


    Chromebooks don't need this type of machine to make them utterly pointless
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You people always miss one of the huge sector where the Chromebook makes the most sense: Education

    I manage 800 Chromebooks and several hundred MacBooks in my school. I can tell you that managing the Chromebooks is by far the easiest. They are locked down to only allow my domain to sign into them.

    Once a students signs into the machine with the gmail address we provide to them, their entire machine is controlled by me. I can control where they can and cannot go, what apps they can install or not, what apps can be pre-installed, settings, and many other things.

    Yes, similar things may be able to be done on another OS. But not with this ease. I can segregate students in different sections, activate or deactive apps for them or their groups. Or lock them out.

    In school, it's all about restrictions. I was a kid once, too. So of course I understand the "boo, let them do what they want" mentality. But in standing on the other side of the fence, I look at the legalities of things. Chromebooks make this job a million times more efficient and easier. Try to lock down this Android tablet the way I described above, and I'm all ears.
  • 0 Hide
    iamadev , October 20, 2013 1:48 AM
    Quote:
    You people always miss one of the huge sector where the Chromebook makes the most sense: Education

    I manage 800 Chromebooks and several hundred MacBooks in my school. I can tell you that managing the Chromebooks is by far the easiest. They are locked down to only allow my domain to sign into them.

    Once a students signs into the machine with the gmail address we provide to them, their entire machine is controlled by me. I can control where they can and cannot go, what apps they can install or not, what apps can be pre-installed, settings, and many other things.

    Yes, similar things may be able to be done on another OS. But not with this ease. I can segregate students in different sections, activate or deactive apps for them or their groups. Or lock them out.

    In school, it's all about restrictions. I was a kid once, too. So of course I understand the "boo, let them do what they want" mentality. But in standing on the other side of the fence, I look at the legalities of things. Chromebooks make this job a million times more efficient and easier. Try to lock down this Android tablet the way I described above, and I'm all ears.


    You are ignoring the fact tat you cannot install hardly any useful software on chromebooks. For education purposes I would rather be able to use the plethora of software on windows machines. Yeah it may make your job easier to have all of your systems tied down to an ecosystem that is going nowhere but that should be secondary (no offence meant) to how effective they are as teaching tools.

    You just have to look at AT this week where the new 2013 chromebook review came a day or 2 before the ASUS T100 Transformer Book. Comparing the 2 is impossible to resist so lets try, Chromebook has a slightly larger and better screen, the keyboard is also slightly better. Chromebook costs $279 and the win8 $349. For that extra $70 you get full Win8.1 which is able to do every single thing ChromeOS can, plus run all "legacy" windows software and the new Metro apps from the appstore.

    The CPU in the 2 machines is incomparable with the ASUS being head and shoulders above (the Chromebook was admittedly jerky and slow running), so much for them being faster, and could not even sustain a 1080p Youtube vid. The CB 's battery life was just over 4.5 hours where the ASUS was able to get 8.5+ (with the keyboard, it would likely be more without it), this is absolutely huge. The ASUS is also a hybrid so can be used in tablet mode if travelling or a laptop when you need a keyboard and trackpad, in tablet mode the ASUS is literally half the weight.

    If you continue to add in all of the other smaller bits such as having USB3.0 there is no reason for any consumer to ever look at a chromebook. I get your scenario of them being easier for you to manage but that is because of their inherent lack of features and freedom to do much of anything with them.

    Android could help with this as they have lots of apps to work with but ultimately the OS is built for touchscreens and to convert it to a desktop OS would be a huge undertaking and not something that will happen overnight, it could also add a huge amount of bloat and will never have the amount of software that windows has nor will it have the install base to warrant devs building software for it as few people will take on the Android in a notebook/desktop.

    A lot of the new Windows hybrids are looking to be very price competitive with the current Android tablets and they can actually be used for more than Temple Run and Angry Birds.
  • 0 Hide
    Jeff Krogue , October 20, 2013 7:53 AM
    Latops should get the arm A15 chip.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , October 22, 2013 7:46 AM
    Quote:
    The big drawbacks to Android currently is its relative lack of good productivity apps. At present, the full Google Docs experience is not available on the Android version of Chrome. Also, Android really isn't designed with a mouse in mind as right click doesn't work and you are limited to full screen apps. Perhaps Lenovo has fixed that with its custom software? I doubt it is as intuitive as Chrome OS or the desktop part of Windows.

    If Google were make the OS more mouse and keyboard friendly, allow the use of windowed apps and a taskbar, and provide full access to all of Google's productivity tools, then there wouldn't be much need for any other OS truthfully.

    I'm not so sure the one OS fits all model is that smart though. Look at what a mess it made of Windows. If Google could come up with some way to make Android change form based on the size of screen and attached peripherals, they might have something.

    Chrome OS still has advantages though. No installed programs and very little stored locally is a big plus along with instant updates, instant boot, absolutely no possibility for malware or bloatware. Also, a lot of Chrome apps can be used offline now as well. You can use the full office and email suite offline as well as HTML 5 games and photo editors.

    After looking at my phone and Nexus 7, the only thing it seems like Android can do that Chrome can't is play the higher end games. About everything else you can do on your phone can be done in a browser. Apps have always just been a way to get that full web experience into a polished, mobile form. This is a problem I have on my Windows 8 laptop. There are all those apps in the Win 8 store, but most of them can be done just as easily in a web browser on the desktop so I find that I never use them. Maybe on a tablet they would be useful?

    Steve, do you find yourself using those apps a lot on your surface when you have a keyboard and mouse attached? (if you ever do?) I'm just curious if there are any other than games where the same tasks they accomplish couldn't be replicated in a web browser.

    Both operating systems have their place but I think they can coexist just fine. Does Google really want to become the next Microsoft? I'm not so sure.

    Having said that, I can't wait to try this thing and see what it's like.


    Hey JD,

    We're already talking about functionality-compromised devices any which way here, so the "becoming like big like Windows" thing. Android at this point needs minimal tweaking to move all of its current functionality to a mouse and keyboard device. As such, I'm not really sure making it more like Windows would be a necessity.

    This also doesn't necessitate a "one OS fits all" model because, really, the only places this currently is aiming is at exactly that - functionality compromised devices. Phones, limited functionality laptops, tablets. Neither a Chromebook nor an Android laptop is meant to be a full desktop replacement any more than a Surface RT is - rather an on-the-go device or a temporary fill in for a full computer.

    The advantage of "no installed apps" on the Chromebook though isn't an advantage as I can see it - because Android can do all of that too. If you choose to not install apps and run everything through Android's Chrome browser - or one of several other browser, since Android offers them -, what can Chromebook do that Android can't? But should you choose to install some application, you have that ability. Chromebook, you don't.. Part of my gripe with Chromebooks, after fiddling around with them after our previous discussions, is that I could emulate what I did with a Chromebook on an Android device, but using either dedicated apps or multiple browsers I had to choose from. Both lightweight OS's, both free, both well suited for a mobile environment, but one offers a world of options that the other doesn't.

    Also, it's kind of funny that you ask me about the apps VS just doing it in the browser thing. A few years ago, I though that apps were utter garbage, since each "app" was basically just a dedicated program for one of my browser bookmarks. Now though, I see it differently. "More polished form" is key here though and the short answer to your question is that, yes, I do use some apps when using my mouse and keyboard, since many modern apps are designed to be quite mouse/keyboard friendly. My Allrecipes app is a staple and I find myself using that ahead of that oft visited webpage almost exlusively now. Weather apps just for convenience - I don't even necessarily open the app, but having it on a live tile, it's basically functions as a widget which I can click should I need more detailed information. Smartglass is, obviously, a good one, and news apps. Netflix, calendar, Skype, video player (though I do still use VLC for this much of the time), media player, ebook reader - all apps, I'll use all with a mouse or with touch without finding either a pain, and at least 80% of the time I find them to be a better experience than the website equivalent for those that do have a website equivalent.

    How it often goes is, sitting at my TV with my tablet hooked up to it, go into Allrecipes app. Sift through things, find what I want, then get up, pick up tablet (only hook up is HDMI) and just leave my mouse and keyboard there - and then bring the tablet to the kitchen, set it down, and start using it. Modern apps - at least, with my Surface RT - are actually quite keyboard/mouse friendly, but they obviously work well with touch. Unfortunately, web pages tend to work well with a mouse and keyboard, but not so great with touch - outside of the mobile versions, and frankly, I find few of them to be great user experiences.

    What apps become is a sort of lite and touch friendly version of the web function and, 90% of the time, I find myself getting what I want out of the app faster because it is more simple and more streamlined while still having most of the information of the web page. The 10% where I need more than the app makes readily available, I go to the web page and sift through the increased functionality. The reality is, when you only need more than 80% of the functionality 20% of the time, then the rest of the time, that other functionality usually amounts to more clicks and sifting through more information to get what you want. Apps... Well, they kind of embody this, and even if they are streamlined versions of websites, streamlining can be very nice depending on the type of usage you're doing. Also, a well designed app is good - a poorly designed app is bad. There are plenty of both.

    Games are obviously the 800lb gorilla in the room and, even if I play very few app games (a bit of Kingdom Rush, Everlands, a few others), some people play *lots* of games on their mobile systems. Chromebook VS Android on the gaming front isn't even a competition, and having that option really doesn't hurt anybody.

    I guess my big gripe at this point is that you don't need to load up an Android tablet with apps if you don't want to and it has access to all of the browser functions that Chromebook has. That being the case, what's the perk of Chromebook over Android?