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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.


Tweaked home screen and lock screen


The screenshot below shows the A2109's customized home screen, containing a combination of app launchers and folders (generated via the Folder Organizer app); I use mixed-case names for app launchers and upper-case names for folders.

(click image to enlarge)

The pair of screenshots below show the tablet's customized lock screen; I opted for the pattern-based unlock option in the tablet's configuration settings:

(click images to enlarge)



Alternative text entry methods


The screenshots below demonstrate various ways to enter text on the A2109, including...

  • The standard Android keyboard.
  • The GO Keyboard, which offers a nifty thumb-typing mode, among other interesting features.
  • The Hacker's Keyboard, my personal favorite.
  • "Google Voice Typing," which works amazingly well, but requires an active broadband data connection.

(click images to enlarge)

Although Google Voice Typing works extremely well, the most efficient way to get serious work done on this or any tablet is with a good quality Bluetooth keyboard, such as the ones available from Logitech and Zagg.

The bottom line

So, is there really a need for mid-sized Android tablets, positioned between today's popular 7- and 10-inch configurations?

Assuming typical price points of $200-250, $300-350, and $400-450 for 7-, 9-, and 10-inch models, based on my experience with the IdeaPad A2109 I'd say the answer is "yes." But please, Lenovo, upgrade that display!


Lenovo IdeaPad A2109 Android tablet


Name: IdeaPad A2109 (manufactured by Lenovo)

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

Price: $399

Pro:

  • Quad-core 1.2 GHz processor
  • Rear camera
  • Hardware GPS
  • Video output port (micro-HDMI)
  • Wi-Fi Direct support
  • Beefy 6000 mAh battery
  • Backed by Lenovo

Con:

  • Poor display brightness
  • Too large/heavy/slippery for comfortable one-handed use
  • Overly recessed power button

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