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10/15/2012
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Mid-Sized Tablets Emerge With Lenovo's IdeaPad A2109

Lenovo's mid-sized IdeaPad A2109 Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) tablet is loaded with features and very reasonably priced. Unfortunately, it's too heavy for its size and suffers from an anemic display.

Using the IdeaPad A2109

Given that the IdeaPad 2109 runs a standard Android 4.0 OS and supports Google's full set of Android apps and services, there isn't much unique, from a software perspective, about what you get on the device. The screenshots below showcase the A2109's default user interface, home screens, folder function, and pre-installed apps.



Default home screens


(click images to enlarge)



Default folder function


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Preinstalled Android apps


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Default widgets


(click images to enlarge)


Tailoring the tablet

As with all Android tablets, the A2109 is highly customizable. You're free to modify the look and feel to a large extent, including adding or substituting functionality in numerous areas -- without having to resort to "rooting" the device.

For example, you can install apps from sources other than Google's Android apps market, such as Amazon's Android app store, or "side-load" apps obtained from your other Android devices. You can also add alternative home screen environments, folder functions, onscreen keyboards, and much, much more.

The screenshots below demonstrate the results of several mods I made to the A2109. The customizations included:

  • Setting the home screen wallpaper to my favorite nebula image.
  • Installing about 200 apps, mostly side-loaded from my growing stash of Android app "APKs".
  • Installing the Android Folder Organizer app (one of my all-time favs) and using it to create 15 folders on the primary home screen, making it easy to launch any app with one or two taps.
  • Installing my favorite alternative keyboard, the Hacker's Keyboard. Another alternative keyboard, the GO Keyboard, comes preinstalled on the A2109 and is also shown below, as is Android's excellent Google Voice Typing function.



Alternative folder function


These screenshots show the contents of the 15 folders I installed on the home screen:

(click images to enlarge)

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