Lenovo Announces New Ideatabs and IdeaPads at IFAby Jarred Walton on August 30, 2012 7:11 PM EST
It has been a busy week for product announcements, with all the major OEMs at IFA announcing and launching new tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc. For Lenovo, that means Ideatabs and IdeaPads today (with more to follow). There are three new Ideatab offerings to discuss, the S2110, A2107, and A2109; on the IdeaPad front, Lenovo has added the S300, S400, and S405.
Starting with the Ideatab offerings, at launch the three new tablets will come with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with the two A-series products targeting more affordable price points. Both the A2107 and A2109 come with metal alloy enclosures and similar design language, but that’s about the extent of their similarities. The A2109 is a 9-inch 1280x800 TN (uh oh!) tablet using the ubiquitous NVIDIA Tegra 3 SoC (T30SL clocked at 1.2GHz), with four-point capacitive input, 1080p output via the tablet’s Micro-HDMI port, and two speakers with SRS TruMedia audio enhancement. (Note that there’s apparently an older A2109 model that comes with an OMAP 4430 1GHz SoC.) It measures 236x164x11.65mm and tips the scales at 570g. Other features include 1.3 megapixel (Mp) front and 3Mp rear-facing cameras, dual microphones, GPS, a Micro USB port, and 8GB or 16GB of storage with MicroSD card support for up to an additional 32GB. That makes it slightly lighter than typical 10.1” tablets, but not dramatically so. Availability should be September for the new Tegra 3 models, with a suggested price of $299.
The A2107 won’t be available until “later in 2012”, and it will be a 7” tablet designed for reading, web browsing, and email. How it will stack up against the Nexus 7 in terms of pricing remains to be seen, but Lenovo will have a standard version as well as a model with 3G support. The core hardware in the A2107 is also different from the A2109, with a MediaTek MTK6575 SoC running a Cortex-A9 core clocked at 1GHz with a PowerVR SGX531 graphics chip and either 512MB (WiFi) or 1GB (3G) LPDDR2 RAM. The display is a TN 1024x600 4-point multitouch offering, and at least the TN part of that equation is quite underwhelming. Lenovo does tout “Professional Level GPS” however, with the ability to get a location lock in 10 seconds as a reference point. The A2107 will also have front- and rear-facing cameras, with 0.3Mp and 2Mp respectively. Rounding out the feature list, you get 4GB/16GB of eMMC storage standard (it’s not clear if the 4GB is for the WiFi or if there’s 16GB storage with an extra 4GB from somewhere else), Micro USB, MicroSD (up to 32GB support), built-in FM radio, and a targeted eight hours of battery life. Some of the specs could still change before the actual launch, but the dimensions are 192x122x11.5mm with a 400g weight.
Where the A-series Ideatabs target the value sector (and make some sacrifices to hit lower price points), the Ideatab S2110 is more of a premium offering with a textured back cover that provides a more comfortable grip. There’s an optional detachable keyboard dock that includes an additional battery, putting the S2110 squarely into the same hybrid tablet/laptop category as the ASUS Transformer Prime. Measuring just 8.69mm thick (260x178x8.69mm), it’s one of the thinnest 10.1” tablets around and weighs just 580g. The S2110 also includes an impressive 10-point multi-touch 1280x800 IPS display; Lenovo bills it as being ideal for two-player gaming, though I’m sure there are other uses for the extra inputs. Powering the tablet is a Qualcomm APQ8060A dual-core 1.5GHz SoC, which has Krait cores and an Adreno 225 GPU. Like the A2109, it includes a Micro-HDMI port with full 1080p output support as well as an SD card reader a micro-USB port, along with a 5Mp rear-facing camera with an LED flash and a 1.3Mp front-facing camera, 1GB RAM, and 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. Connectivity comes via WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and WCDAMA/EVDO. Battery life is rated at 10 hours. The S2110 should be available now with a starting price of $399 for the 16GB model.
If you want to add the optional keyboard, it measures 260x190x9.85mm and adds an additional 600g. The keyboard dock doubles the battery capacity and provides up to 20 hours of activity. Besides the keyboard interface and extra battery life, Lenovo also includes two additional USB 2.0 ports on the keyboard, a 3-in-1 SD card reader, and a multitouch touchpad. It looks like right now, adding the keyboard dock to the S2110 will increase the price by $100, with the 32GB model adding $30 over the 16GB offering.
New IdeaPad Models
Lenovo’s new IdeaPad S300/S400/S405 take an interesting path by being ultraportables without the price premium of Ultrabooks. They’re still less than an inch thick (21.9mm), which makes them slightly thicker than an Ultrabook but potentially with better cooling and/or keyboard travel. They use ULV CPUs and weigh under four pounds, with the S405 model will supporting up to A8 series AMD APUs and the S300 and S400 using Intel CPUs. Actually, there are a few other minor differences, so let’s dig into the low-level details on each laptop.
The IdeaPad S300 is the smallest of the laptops, with a 13.3” 1366x768 display that we’ve come to know and loath. The dimensions of the laptop are 12.9”x9.06”x0.88” (330x230x22.4mm) with a starting weight of 1.8kg/3.7lbs. CPU support includes both 2nd and 3rd Generation Core i3/i5 Intel processors, along with three Pentium ULV chips at the very low end (ULV987, ULV997, and ULV2117U), and there’s an option to add a discrete AMD Radeon HD 7450M GPU for those that want a bit more graphics power. Storage options consist of 320GB and 500GB 5400RPM and 7200RPM hard drives, with an optional 32GB SSD cache available. Wrapping up the basic specs, the S300 has a single SO-DIMM slot supporting up to 4GB RAM, one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, a 0.3Mp webcam, and a 4-cell battery rated for up to five hours of battery life, with intelligent energy management features helping to improve long-term battery durability. Connectivity options include 10/100Mbit Ethernet, 802.11bgn WiFi, Bluetooth, and (optional) Intel WiMAX.
The IdeaPad S400 has virtually identical specs to the S300 most areas, with the major difference being the use of a 14” 1366x768 display. It measures 13.2”x9.4”x0.86” (336.6x241.2x21.9mm) and weighs less than 1.8kg/3.75lbs. Basically, it’s just a slightly larger laptop for those who might find 13.3” too small, though I’d suggest that the extra 0.7” of screen diagonal is hardly noticeable. The CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage options all look the same as the S300.
Where the S400 appears to be a slightly larger version of the S300, the S405 branches out into AMD territory and shakes up the spec sheet appropriately. Naturally, you get a similar chassis as the S400, with a 14” 1366x768 LCD and the same port general port configuration, but there are actually quite a few differences. For one, the S405 includes an optical drive, which is interesting as the dimensions of the S405 are still the same 336.6x241.2x21.9mm with a weight of 1.8kg. Lenovo also indicates in their press release that the S405 supports up to 1TB of storage, presumably if you give up the DVD for a second HDD, and it has an optional 24GB SSD cache. The bigger difference of course is in the choice of processor, with the S405 supporting AMD’s A4-4355M, A6-4455M, and A8-4555M APUs. In an interesting turn of events, the A4-4355M and A8-4555M aren’t APUs that we’ve seen specs for previously; AMD’s Ultrathin APU page only lists the A6-4455M and the A10-4655M, so we’re not even sure what sort of clocks or GPU core counts the A4 and A8 APUs will have. We do know that the A4 APU includes HD 7420 graphics, the A6 is the 7520, and the A8 is the 7640, but that’s all we have to go on right now. Like the Intel models, the S405 also has an optional HD 7450M discrete GPU.
All three models are available in a variety of colors, including crimson red, silver grey, and cotton-candy pink (that one’s for Dustin, surely, though it’s not quite as pink as the ASUS offerings we’ve seen in the past); pricing starts at $499. The laptops currently ship with Windows 7, with a $15 upgrade to Windows 8 available. None of the laptops are currently available for purchase, but that should change shortly.