With so many options to choose from in the tablet-PC market, it can be tough choosing the right device for you. While Apple’s iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Amazon’s Kindle are well-known to hardened technology enthusiasts and casual users alike, there are many alternatives available, one such alternative being Lenovo’s IdeaTab range.
The IdeaTab A3000 is Lenovo’s mid-range offering, but not to be overlooked as this device has plenty of power beneath its chassis. With its 1.2GHz quad-core processor, it easily competes with its more popular brethren. Combine that with 1GB of LP-DDR2 memory and the PowerVR SGX544 GPU and you have a pretty beefy piece of kit, especially if you intend on gaming with it.
I on the other hand chose the A3000 purely for comics and books, and thanks to the IPS (in-plane switching) display, it was my reader of choice over its Samsung counterpart in the same price range. While I definitely considered the superior Lenovo S5000, a lack of any sort of memory expansion (no microSD support) meant choosing the A3000 over it, especially when one is able to effortlessly slap in an extra 64GB of space.
As one would expect, the A3000 comes preloaded with Android’s Jelly Bean 4.2.2 as well as a multitude of preinstalled apps that people have become accustomed to (Gmail, AccuWeather, Skype and so forth). However, as is life, one must tweak a device based on their personal preferences and tastes so in my case I replaced the default image viewer with the superior QuickPic and downloaded Moon+ Reader as my reader of choice. Moon+ is feature-rich and does an excellent job of managing a multitude of formats such as mobi (Kindle files), epub, txt, html and cbr (comics) and facilitates night-time reading.
Since Lenovo doesn’t fall under the aforementioned ‘big 3’, I struggled to find any sort of accessories, covers or protective sleeves for the A3000 however, a quick browse of the Lenovo site enabled me to purchase the Folio Case and Film.
The overall look and feel of the A3000 is satisfying. The device is stylish in its design (available in Black Slate and White Satin) and small enough (11mm (0.43″) thick and weighing in at a mere 345g (0.76 lbs)) to facilitate one-handed reading making it an ideal companion for commuters. The device’s 3500mAh Li-Polymer battery offers up to 7 hours of WiFi browsing and can remain idle for an impressive 2 weeks before needing recharging. The A3000 offers a maximum resolution of 1024×600 and manages to produce a sharp, crisp picture and bright colours ideal for reading comics, books and watching movies. While a resolution of 1024×600 may seem meager, especially in comparison to the iPad 3’s ridiculous resolution of 2048×1536, in terms of a reader and competitor to dedicated readers such as Kindle, the A3000 shines.
Additional features include a 0.3MP front-facing webcam as well as a 5MP rear-facing camera ideal for photos and so forth and apart from WiFi connectivity, the A3000 facilitates dual sim cards (3G/2G + 2G) – an extremely lucrative feature for the device. All-in-all, I’d recommend the A3000 as a perfect mid-range offering in a flooded tablet-PC market, especially for the budget conscious looking for maximum bang for their buck. Slim, stylish, functional and fast, the A3000 won’t disappoint.