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Lenovo Announces $200 Rival To Original Apple iPad Tablet

Chinese hardware manufacturer Lenovo is bound to get some attention with an ultra cheap Android-based tablet, the A1, which is set to go on sale for $200 in the US (and hopefully in the UK).

The tablet, which was announced at IFA, comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a front-facing and rear camera, Wi-Fi, and features offline GPS which allows it to connect directly to a satellite - extremely useful in notspots or to avoid paying roaming charges.

Weighing less than 400g, it does come with a small 7-inch screen with a 1024x600 pixel resolution (hopefully capacitive), the same as the Samsung Galaxy Tab but not high enough to accommodate Honeycomb (interestingly, that's not far from the original Apple iPad); there's 8GB onboard storage, a magnesium alloy body (making it resistant to drops and shocks), a Cortex-A8 TI OMAP3 SoC clocked at 1GHz (like the original Apple A4 in the iPad and the iPhone 4).

Lenovo also says that the tablet will support both the Lenovo app market and Google Android market but it is the pricing that gets us excited. $199 is a sweet spot and one which is likely to get heads turning.

But we're not surprised given that the Hannspree Hannspad is available from around £150; it is a dual core model which features the newer Cortex-A9 and has a much bigger 10.1-inch display.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.