What should your second laptop be, the one you use for portable computing? So far, the options seemed limited to Windows netbooks and the new line of Google’s Chromebooks. But Lenovo has a new contender in mind: the Android-toting Ideapad A10.
Specs: 10.1″ IPS touchscreen (1366×768 px resolution) | 1.6GHz quad-core Rockchip RK3188 Cortex-A9 processor | 1GB RAM | 16GB internal memory, microSD up to 64GB | VGA webcam | mini-HDMI, 2xUSB 3.0, microUSB ports | Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 | 4400mAh battery | Android 4.2 Jelly Bean with Lenovo Customization
Price: Rs 19,990
Design: The Ideapad A10 is a budget laptop and feels like one. The hinge is a little too tough, the plastic body recesses inside when you press it hard, and it’s overall chunky. That said, it’s definitely light and easy to carry around. One aspect that I really liked is that it uses a standard microUSB port to charge instead of a laptop adapter, which means you can use almost any mobile charger to juice up. Plus, there’s a mini-HDMI out and two standard USB ports for further connectivity.
Keyboard & Trackpad: This is a laptop, not an Android tablet, so the keyboard and trackpad are quite important. Lenovo has customised the keyboard so that it’s more useful for Android, putting in hardware buttons for Home, Back, Multi-tasking, Options, etc. A nice touch is that Lenovo has added a dedicated Search button which can be used to search inside any app in a jiffy.
As great as the keyboard is, the trackpad has major issues. It’s a small size so you can’t use it easily, plus it registers taps inconsistently, so you might need to actually press down on the trackpad to click—an arduous task because it’s a hard trackpad.
Screen: Considering it is a touchscreen IPS display, we expected the kind of viewing angles that you get on most tablets. But the A10 is more like a laptop—tilt it too much and the screen washes out. At the right angle, however, the 10-inch display is good enough. This is where the laptop’s ability to flip back flat comes in handy. The touchscreen is also responsive so you can play games like Angry Birds without a concern.
Performance: Android isn’t a great laptop OS, but in regular usage, you won’t find it lacking in performance. Whether you are browsing the Web or writing a quick proposal in a document, the A10 performs admirably. The only time it starts stuttering is when you ask it to multi-task extensively. Switch on a music player, fire up a browser, and try talking on a chat program at the same time—with frequent back-and-forth between the apps, the A10 will start lagging.
Connectivity: The Ideapad A10 worked with Wi-Fi perfectly well, but we didn’t have the same continued…