First Impression: IdeaPad A1000L-F

The IdeaPad A1000L-F manufacturered by Lenovo was received in the afternoon of 2013-11-30. As with all of my reviews, I go into detail of the role of the device. While I won’t say it was a need (as opposed to the Nexus 4 replacing the G2x), the tablet will carry a number of roles to offset the demands of the phone.

The tablet will be functioning as an e-reader (until I get a real one), an RSS reader, and podcast device. It will also serve in a role of handling music, videos, and casual games – all of which I would rather not do with the phone. The phone will still play music when I am not home considering I do not have a multi-point Bluetooth set. However, the tablet will handle many demands that I will normally use my cellular phone for now. Since the tablet is not cellular capable, it will use my cellular router to connect when it is not home.

The tablet is a 7” tablet with a somewhat strange placement of buttons and slots. The micro-USB port is located on the top which feels awkward. Also, the connection port is upside down when based on normal expectations. At top is also the headphone jack (3.5mm), and the power button. There is nothing on the left side, while the bottom has a microphone pinhole.The right has the volume rocker, and a micro-SD card slot, but the slot is located in an awkward position with it being on the back. This could be an annoyance with cases. There is also a VGA camera on the front.

The Good

I do like the feel, and the weighty quality to tablet. It might be that my standards are low with this being my first tablet, but that is my opinion. Another nice thing is I was prompted for a firmware upgrade which meant that if there were bugs, they should be fixed right away. There is a UI overly, but relatively unobtrusive with a couple of exceptions. I also like the fact the headphone jack is on the top.

The Bad

Even after the firmware upgrade, the tablet has rebooted on me twice for no reason I can figure out. About the only change I done was installed a brand new 8GB micro-SD card in the tablet which is what I will assume the SD card reader is for. Even with checking my storage, I used less than 1GB of storage for the tablet. To add insult to injury, the update gives the tablet OS to 4.1.2 – so what was it before the update?

The UI has got in the way as I can’t use a two finger swipe to get a battery reading. This now means I have to go and install a battery meter widget. While I have sufficient space for now, I always like to take a minimalistic approach to things. Again, I will expect better.

The Ugly

I have yet to find where I could use multiple profiles. I am guessing that I don’t have an up to date enough version of Android. I will be looking for that later. I also find that WhatsApp isn’t compatible with the tablet. I can only guess that it is due to a lack of a cellular connection, but there was hopes.

Final Thoughts

This tablet cost me $60 on sale, and with an extra $10 on 1 year of ADP. I am assuming if I continue to have rebooting issues on it, I will be using my warranty. I haven’t had the chance to jump into every feature yet, but I will be looking forward to that.

If you need a tablet for truly important tasks, the fact this one has rebooted a couple of times for no reason bothers me. I wouldn’t trust it to replace or compliment my notebook. For those that want something reliable, Lenovo with this model may not be for you.

Since my demands are not as tasking, I am willing to give this a chance – however, knowing what I know, the sale price of $60 is about what I think it should be. Now, I am not saying that this tablet is comparable to the no name pieces of junk you would buy in Walmart, or Radioshack, but I wouldn’t really recommend those at all. At least this tablet is backed by a real name company. A fuller review probably at the start of the year will give a more solid impression.

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