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The No Name Tablets and Customer Confidence

airpad x10

Why buy a Nook Color at $249 or a Kindle Tablet at $250 when you could buy a Lenovo IdeaPad running Android for $199?  Lenovo has announced that it will sell at an Android tablet for $199.  It has a 7″, 1024×600, capacitive touchscreen and runs on a single-core processor.  There is 8 GB of onboard storage and two cameras.  There is WiFi connectivity. It will have access to the entire Android Marketplace which includes Nook and Kindle apps; Gmail; web browsers; music streaming; games; and movies.

How does this compare?

[table id=99 /]

*There is 5GB available for content and 4GB is for content purchased at the BN Nook store.

In sum, the Lenovo beats out the other two devices in almost every area. Plus, it is a more versatile device. Both Nook and Kindle will limit you to the Nook Marketplace or Amazon Marketplace. The Lenovo will grant you access to the entire Android Marketplace which include both the Nook and the Amazon apps. Along with the Sony and Google bookstores. The Lenovo is particularly more robust that the Nook Color because of its access to Netflix, Hulu and other Android video apps. While the Nook Color can play videos, there is no easy marketplace from which to download or stream video from within the Nook Color.

So why is there almost no mainstream coverage of the Lenovo IdeaPad at $199? It’s a misnomer to call Lenovo a no name tablet maker but to many casual consumers, Lenovo is not a well known brand name. Not like Apple, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Maybe the Lenovo IdeaPad will take off much like the Asus devices did because of the low price point. I admit that I am more excited about the Amazon tablet because of its integration with the Amazon Instant Video and Amazon Cloud Player although there is an Android Amazon Could Player that would be compatible with the Lenovo device. The Lenovo device, like the Amazon Tablet, is not yet launched.

But there are other devices such as the Airpad for $199 that is available now. x10 offers a 7″ capacitive touchscreen, 4GB of onboard memory, and a 1.2Ghz A8 processor. There is a camera and it runs the latest Android OS at 2.3. The downside to this device is that the screen is only 800×480-pixel-resolution versus the 1024 x 600 of the other devices above. Still, at $199, it’s got a lot that the current LCD ereaders don’t offer.  It even calls itself the Nook and Kindle killer:

Why pay a couple hundred dollars separately for a NOOK or Kindle? Simply download the Nook or Kindle app on your AirPad! The NOOK app gives you instant access to download more than two million titles, including book, magazines and newspapers! The Kindle app gives you access to more than 900,000 titles, and is optimized for Android devices with a super easy-to-use interface. And the crystal clear, 7″ AirPad screen is perfect for reading. Weighing less than a pound, the AirPad allows you to bring your entire library with you anywhere you go!

So is it the brand behind the device that matters?

Brand name matters when it comes to a tablet device purchase?

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If it is “yes” the brand matters, can you articulate why in the comments? Is it because you feel it will lack features? Or because of customer service concerns? And if you are buying an LCD color reading device, what features are you looking for?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

47 Comments

  1. Milena
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 04:46:32

    Coming at this from a non-USAn perspective, I really don’t care whether a device has support for features I can’t use, such as Netflix or Amazon clouds, so for me it’s really just about what the device itself has to offer.

    That said, Lenovo is far from being an unknown brand, and it’s really the first pad-device that I really want. (Well, it’s a lie: I wanted Nook color, but didn’t get it precisely because of all the geographic complications it carries along.) Up until now, I’ve been reading on my phone. This really makes me itch… as soon as my budget allows it…

  2. Kaetrin
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 05:05:52

    It’s more related to quality for me. I’d be reluctant to buy a brand I hadn’t heard of before. I know that Sony and Amazon are brands I can trust – they are big names it the ebook industry and they have a big reputation to live up to. I’d consider a less well known brand but only after I’d seen quite a few positive reviews etc. However, as I tend to be an early adopter, I usually end up with a more well known brand because I can be assured of the quality.

  3. library addict
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 05:37:17

    I said it depends because I would want to read reviews and hopefully try out each device at Best Buy or something before buying.

  4. Elaine
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 06:18:40

    My laptop is a Lenova Ideapad. It isn’t as cute as some other laptops, but it has been a real workhorse for the past three years. Lenova bought the Thinkpad business from IBM and I have been extremely pleased with my laptop.

  5. LVLMLeah
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 06:35:56

    Trusted name brands mean nothing to me if they don’t offer what I want. I hate the limited ability of Kindle and Nook and Apple refuses to make a 7″ tablet, so I went with a Samsung 7″ Galaxy. Not because it’s a brand name, but because I could get everything I wanted. The only thing is that it’s quite expensive if you’re only going to use it as a reader, as I pretty much do.

    I was very happy for a long time with an eBookwise, which practically no one has heard of or uses. So I have no problems trying a no name product if it fits the bill for me and it would be at a price I would feel I could be OK with if it turned out to be crap. But like others, I would read reviews before buying.

  6. Maili
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 06:40:07

    @Milena:

    That said, Lenovo is far from being an unknown brand

    I strongly agree.

  7. Mary Anne Graham
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 07:02:56

    I hadn’t really heard of the Lenovo until this blog post, but it sounds like a great deal at $199.00. However, I’m a little skittish about entering the tablet market until I see what Amazon comes out with, so I guess that’s the brand name thing again.

    Until the market shakes out a bit, I think I’ll hold onto my e-reader a while longer…

    http://alldayallnightwritingdivas.blogspot.com/2011/09/men-cant-love-like-women-unless-theyre.html

  8. Statch
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 07:05:38

    My main problem is convincing myself that I need a tablet, since I have a smartphone, Touch, laptop, and Kindle. Once I manage to get past that little hurdle (the $199 price tag helps!), I will be very interested in the Lenovo, or another like it. Even though I love my Kindle, once I heard that the Amazon tablet will be so customized, I’m no longer interested. There are so many little things they could have done for the Kindle software to make it less clunky. If they haven’t bothered with that, I don’t trust them to do anything for the tablet that doesn’t make them money.

  9. Lisa J
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 08:00:44

    It depends on quite a few things. I want to read the reviews, decide what features are important to me. I’ll wait for a while to see what comes out and the platforms available. I’m not sure I want to be tied to one company, that’s one of the reasons I love my Sony reader, I buy everywhere and I’ve found I don’t mind side loading or need the wireless.

    My boss has an i-Pad someone gave him and he is not a technology person, so I am the one responsible for loading content and keeping it up. So far I’m not impressed and don’t have any desire to have one or replace my reader with anything similar.

  10. DS
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 08:19:33

    I have so many gadgets, but that still doesn’t stop me from buying more. The one I still carry for work situations is my Entourage Edge– out of production, never found it’s audience, still a great item. However, the one I play with the most is my Viewsonic 10″ g-tab. It has a good developers community, so even though company development stopped on it (Lor, I can sure pick them) there’s a lot of of good ROMs floating out there.

    I’ll probably buy the Amazon tablet but that’s not saying I won’t try the Lenovo also. My lust for an ipad died some time ago though– I didn’t even notice its passing..

    I will say my attitude toward getting something I can fiddle with rather than a complete name brand product arose from discovering the developers communities and learning how to modify myself. I did jailbreak my first gen iphone but that was about as far as I got.

  11. Keishon
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 08:25:11

    Self-deleted. I’m not buying a tablet and already own one. Sorry. Not the audience for this post.

  12. ms bookjunkie
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 08:27:27

    Hi! International reader here. That “international” part makes me consider differently what actually matters with the device.

    I’m going to list some concerns I have (the ones that I remember at the moment) as I consider a new ereading device. (I don’t care what else it does, for me the reading part is the first consideration. I already have a laptop that I lug about with me pretty much everywhere that does other things for me. And an iTouch, which is much easier to lug around.)

    – Is the device available to me? (That’s actually quite a big one!)

    – Can I buy the device closer to home or do I have to order from across the pond?

    – If I can get the device, can I get the books I want on it? (Including books I already have in my elibrary.)
    – Will I have a choice about what reading programs/apps I use? Will I have to have anything to do with ADE?
    – Can I buy from different stores or would I be tied to one?
    – How expensive will those books be for me? Will there be additional fees for international users?
    – Is there DRM (in-device/in-store)?
    – Can I read those books on another device?
    – Do I own the books or will I have to fear random disappearances from my library?
    – How about geo restrictions? Will I be cut off from a large part of what the store offers?
    – If the device is somehow destroyed, will I be cut off from my library forever?
    – How simple/complicated is it to add/delete books?
    – Is it possible to file/catalogue/tag the books?
    – Can I use an SD card or other outside storage with the device?

    – Is it eink? Touchscreen?

    – What else can I do with the device?

    – Is wifi necessary for satisfactory use of the device?

    – What will the device *actually* cost? (Taxes, delivery, warranty… Not to mention protective cover, cords and other necessary paraphernalia!)

    – How is the customer service that is associated with the device? Good? Worse than indifferent? (This is actually a biggie when you’re far, far away!)

    I’m sure I went off on a tangent, but I couldn’t resist. I’m also sure I forgot a lot of important stuff. Now I need to go cure the headache that thinking about all this tech stuff gave me…

  13. Mireya
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 08:32:10

    I really don’t care, and the main reason is because I like gadgets, that means that every year or every other year I’ll be wanting a new device… spending over $200 on any tablet device when there are others available at or under $200, doesn’t make sense to a consumer like me, unless the device allows for upgradeability to the latest OS version or can be “modified”. Though the nook still has the best color screen and as it stands now, can be “hacked” either by the end user following instructions readily available online, or purchasing a memory stick with a hack that turns it into a true android tablet, it still doesn’t have, for example the cameras, and the price, with tax, is closer to $270 for me. I am still waiting on all the new releases before making a decision. The Lenovo does look very attractive, now, if stores like Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart would bother to have them on display so that I could physically check them, that would be paradise… sadly, that is too much to ask it seems. *sigh*

  14. Becca
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 08:57:23

    What’s almost more important to me than the specs is follow-up customer service. I don’t like the idea of Amazon creating it’s own tightly walled garden, but to the best of my knowledge they’ve got the best customer service out there, even to replacing (sometimes for a small fee) Kindles that are way out of warranty.

    When I worked for Borders, we were pushing the Velocity Cruz readers/tablets – which were pieces of shit. A customer who purchased one that was defective (almost all of them) could only return it for another one of the same model, no refunds at all. I hated selling those things. I guess that experience soured me for less-well-known names.

  15. Sunita
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 09:19:58

    There seems to be some confusion about the storage capacity of the Lenovo. Engadget says the $199 model will be 8g, but PC World’s story dated the same day says it will only have 2g. Of course you can put a MicroSD card in and expand the capacity, so it doesn’t matter that much, but it’s worth knowing which one it is!

    I agree that Lenovo is a well-known company with reliable computers. Ebook reader buyers may not be as familiar with it but it’s done really well in the laptop/netbook segment of the market. For the other, truly no-name brands, I’d be skeptical if I couldn’t see it before I bought it. They are usually shoddier in build quality, the processors are often more sluggish, and the screens aren’t as good (and are sometimes resistive rather than capacitive).

    I would buy this in a heartbeat. I much prefer the 7″ size for reading and surfing. We picked up one of the HP TouchPads for $99 in the idiotic HP fire sale, and while that size is better for video, pdf reading, and composing, it’s just too cumbersome for me for ebook reading. I went back to my rooted NookColor. The HP frenzy may have convinced companies that they can compete at the lower price point, and if that means more 7″ tablets I’m all for it.

  16. theo
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 09:21:11

    I too am a gadget nut and did a lot of looking before I bought. I have a Nook Color with a 32G micro sd card that I loaded Cyanogen 7 on. Cyanogen runs off the sd card because the NC looks for a card first when it boots, then the internal OS. I can do anything on the NC that any other pad can do, or laptop for that matter. I have the Nook app, Kindle app, dozens of others, complete access to the Android Market, Double Twist media player (which is still the best, I think,) movies, games, books, office apps and a whole lot more and am very happy with it.

    If something goes wrong with my NC and I need to warranty it, I just pull the sd card and it’s a stock NC all over again.

    The one tiny drawback is that if I’m not home or at work, I do have to be somewhere that has open wi-fi. However, that’s a small price to pay since there’s open wi-fi almost everywhere you go now.

  17. Christine M.
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 09:39:11

    Depends on the brand. I’ve had 2 laptops inb the last 10 years…. Lenovo’s. So, yeah, I’d buy a Lenovo tablet over a Nook Colour or an Amazon tablet any day. All the better if it’s cheaper, too!

  18. Brian
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 10:11:43

    Has Lenovo said they’d have the Netflix and Hulu (it’s plus only) apps? They’re limited to certain devices unless you’re talking about getting a hacked app and trying to get it working. Or do you mean through something like PlayOn or Orb?

    FWIW if you shop around you can get refurbed Nook Colors for $150-$170 now and it works great if you want mainly a reader with a few extras.

    The Lenovo looks pretty nice for what it is (I think of it, and most non-Honeycomb tablets, as basically a phone with a larger screen horsepower wise), it all depends on what you plan to do with it.

    I’m personally looking forward to seeing what Kal-El based tabs (like the possible Amazon ‘Hollywood’ 10″er) can do late this year/early next.

    I am looking forward to seeing what Amazon puts out soon (they usually do something ‘interesting’ love it or hate it) although having both a NC and a Transformer I find I much prefer the 10″ screen size.

  19. Laura P
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 10:39:32

    More important to me than just the “name brand” is product quality and the customer service aspect. I think some of the BIG brand names are highly overrated and overpriced! And I have had some bad experiences with some of the bigger name brands in both quality and customer service. So I know from experience that sticking with the BIG name brands are no guarantee to a high quality, problem free product.
    As with any gadget purchase, I thoroughly research products before making a decision and name brand isn’t the sole factor in the decision. I do consider products from “lesser known” brands and many times prefer them over the BIG name brands.

  20. Gina
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 10:52:56

    I have no problem with “no name” – brand names are just an excuse to charge premium prices. However I followed the link to the Lenovo specs and down at the bottom under Update it says that it’s unlikely to be upgraded to Honeycomb. I do have a problem with buying “new technology” that I can’t upgrade. Whether it’s $199 or $529 – if I buy it today and a new OS comes out in 3 months I should be able to get the upgraded OS. Their making themselves obsolete before they hit the shelves – you can upgrade a pc, a mac, a smartphone, even my nook pushes upgrades automatically, a tablet should be no different.

  21. Rhianna
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 11:03:29

    When it comes to buying gadgets and electronics I’m the sort who shops around, reads lots of reviews, and eventually settles on what meets my needs and fits my price range. That said, once I find a brand I’ve had a good track record with I’m willing to pay a bit more for their products when it comes to future purchases.

    I happen to have an iPad 2 which I received as part of a promo my blog did earlier this summer and it has managed to do two things… sell me on tablets and convince me I want Amazon’s tablet. I do most of my media purchasing through Amazon already and have for years so the ability to stream AIV in particular would be my favorite feature.

    Not to say I might not consider a “no-name” brand—when it comes to my tweenagers these tend to make more sense economically—but my experiences with Amazon have all been positive.

    I think, honestly, that it would be difficult to sway me from whatever Amazon releases. One of the things I love about the Kindle is that when the screen of the one I bought my husband for his birthday broke at no fault of ours the warranty team was SO helpful and had a replacement on our doorstep within 48 hours. Having great customer service, support, and a brand that backs up their product is very important to me.

    Something to consider too… it’s a lot easier to find quality protective products (ie. screen protectors, cases) for well-known name brands.

    With all of that in mind I won’t be rushing to get the Amazon tablet as soon as it releases. I am on a tight budget and these sorts of things aren’t everyday purchases for me. Plus I’d really like to see what folks think of the 7″ vs. 10″ sizes before I decide which will suit my needs. I like the bigger screen on my iPad but it can get unwieldy when my arms are tired in the evening.

  22. lorenet
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 11:07:05

    I listened to the video in your link. It claimed the $199 version would not be available in the US, only one with more memory at $249.

    And the $199 Airpad is tempting. But I am waiting to see if my $99 HP touchpad order is filled.

  23. Mike Cane
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 11:39:57

    The $199 Lenovo is an illusion. AFAIK, that model will never appear in the US. We will get the $249 16GB one. A brand name matters to me in that I can be confident the company will be there to update the software as well as deal with material defects for swap-outs. The Lenovo should excite me but it doesn’t. I need to see it in the flesh first.

  24. Susan Laura
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 16:38:41

    The company needs to be established enough to offer reliable customer service but otherwise I don’t put a lot of stock in the name on the device. So often, many of these products are manufactured by the same company! However, I will rarely buy the 1st generation of any new technology. I like the get the 2nd go-round with all the kinks worked out.

    Question: I want a device like this for reading, primarily. All the other bells and whistles are just nice extras. Will this Ideapad have the type of screen that is gentle on the eyes for readers?

  25. Ros
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 17:56:15

    I am still struggling to see the attraction of a tablet at all, tbh. I love my Kindle primarily because of the eInk and the humungous battery life. I don’t need it to do anything other than download books and let me read them.

    If I want portable computing, what I really want is a replacement for my recently deceased netbook, that lets me type properly and do a whole host of things with more memory and flexibility than any of these tablets, so far as I can see.

  26. eggs
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 21:21:46

    I agree with Ros – I don’t see the tablet-as-e-reader attraction at all. I already live in a house full of internet connectable thingies. I just counted, and there are already 10 different devices in the house that can connect to the internet. I don’t need yet ANOTHER way to connect to the bloody thing.

    I just want to use my ereader as a book. When I read a book, I usually finish it the same day I start it, so I want to be able to read an entire book from start to finish without having to stop and go charge it or get a headache from the glaring screen. This means I want dedicated e-ink reader. Price is not the deciding factor – suitability to primary purpose (i.e. reading) is what matters. I love my kindle. It does exactly what I want it to with no dramas or distractions whatsoever.

  27. Tae
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 23:04:58

    I’ve had a Lenovo IBM Thinkpad before, so I know the company and to me they’re a name brand.
    I own two MAC laptops, an ASUS netbook, an iPad 1, a Sony PRS 505 and yes I’d still think about buying a new tablet. I never thought I’d ever stop using my Sony, but I haven’t touched it in over a year since I got the iPad. The iPad is nice and I love it, but I don’t really do a lot of apps, mostly I surf the web, read books, use recipes and sometimes listen to music or look at my pictures. I’m looking for something a little simpler than the iPad when I upgrade in a few years. Going with a name I trust is important when I buy any kind of gadgets if it’s going to be more than $20. I’ve been burned before when I’ve bought on the cheap and end up buying a more expensive name brand later.

  28. jeayci
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 23:37:51

    I’m not sure I want a tablet, especially not for ereading. I like having a dedicated ereader. But when I buy any electronic device, my process and considerations are basically the same:

    – what are the minimum features I must have? Obviously, there’s no point in considering something that doesn’t have those. :)

    – what are the professional and knowledgeable amateur reviewers saying about it? If it’s too new to have many reviews, what did people say about the precursor (assuming there was one)?

    – is it locking me into something (like Amazon marketplace or iBookstore)? I want versatility and flexibility, not to be tied to Big Brother (in whatever form that may take).

    – if we’re talking ebook-related hardware, will it allow me to actually own and control my own ebooks? Will it allow me to have whatever I put on there viewed only by me and whomever I choose to share it with? (These are Amazon- and Apple-killing considerations.)

    – I’m a student, so price is an important consideration. But even more important than price is value. I’ll pay an extra $50 (or whatever) if I feel the value is worth it to me (based on the above points).

    Based on the information in this article, the Lenovo would be far and away my prime prospect if I were looking for a tablet. But I’d also do a lot more reading before buying, especially about some of the more obscure devices out there.

  29. Jennie M.
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 00:23:39

    This tablet sounds great. If it works properly, I would consider getting it over the brand name ones. As a college student, I’m looking into getting a table that can be used as a useful tool in the classroom. Most classmates use iPads, but I think they are too expensive. Thanks for sharing the information about this tablet. I will be looking into it as it is more affordable and seems useful to me.

  30. peggy Quidor
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 00:31:15

    It doesn’t have to be a brand name when you are on a tight budget it’s the one that is most affordable.So I will keep looking until then.

  31. Nicola
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 00:34:12

    It’s a customer service issue for me, and Amazon wins that game.

  32. ArkieRN
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 01:40:01

    I’m a heavy reader and the e-ink on my Kindle is why I won’t be replacing it with a tablet. Using Kindle for PC is more functional now that you can drag and drop into collections but I get eyestrain and headaches using it.

    And I agree that Amazon customer service rocks! My son broke my Kindle screen and they sent me a new one over night. Refunding Kindle book purchases are also super easy.

  33. Hydecat
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 06:59:11

    I’m really familiar with Lenovo as a brand, so their tablet isn’t a “no-name” device to me. But, I’d say that I combine shopping for brand with shopping using reviews and customer feedback when it comes to devices. One thing I’d really look for in a tablet would be versatility, and I think I’m more likely to get that from a company that isn’t one of the monopoly giants like Amazon or Apple.

    Also, something else the Lenovo tablet might be able to access if it is running the Android system is Google Music, which is my new favorite music cloud player.

  34. Kristi
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 07:46:18

    I’m happy to see the tablet prices coming down. Hubby and I are techies so “customer service” isn’t a player for us. Hubby had his Evo rooted within about 2 days of purchasing. I would be happy if device manufacturers (pcs, phones, tablets, whatever) would quit installing crap on the devices–proprietary programs, special “help”, stupid stuff–that I will never use and can’t uninstall without a major headache (Sprint Football and Nascar apps, I’m looking at you…).

    Lenovo isn’t an unknown brand in the computer world, and if they make feature-rich tablets at good prices, then consumers will buy them. Buyers who aren’t comfortable if they don’t have some dude on the phone in India to screw up their device help them with problems will stick with the big name brands. It all depends on the individual consumers’s needs.

  35. helen
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 07:50:34

    They are not e-ink. Plain and simple. If I wanted to read on a computer screen, I’d read on my computer or touch phone.

  36. Carolyn Jewel
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 09:09:57

    “Most features cheapest price” doesn’t matter if there are performance and/or UI problems. Sometimes it’s better to pay a little more and not end up frustrated or unable to use all those features.

    I agree as well with others who mention the importance of customer service. That’s worth a lot.

  37. Melissa B
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 09:11:10

    I have to say I choose the Amazon tablet for the simple reason that their customer service where the Kindle is concerned is the best I’ve ever experienced. I have several Kindles, and have bought them for my daughter and Mom ~ any time I’ve had a problem, with ANY of them, back to my Kindle 2, I call Amazon up, they try to trouble shoot over the phone, and if it takes more than a couple min.s and they can’t fix it, they’ve sent me a new one. More than once, and over the year mark. I’m sure it helps I spend hundreds of dollars on Kindle books ~ but as long as they are willing to go above and beyond for me, I’ll stick with them. And I can buy Kindle format at all the indie sites now, so that really isn’t a concern for me ~ there might be things I’ll encounter I don’t like, but I know I don’t know how to use the Lenovo, so it’a total no brainer for me!

  38. Angela
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 11:33:47

    The brand name certainly factors into my decisions. But having a strong brand name doesn’t necessarily mean good points for me.

    For example, the B&N Nook color/tablet is out for me, because I know so many people that have had huge problems with their Nooks, and/or customer service at B&N. I won’t buy any B&N technology until I hear it’s greatly improved in both aspects.

    I love my Kindle already, so that will factor into thoughts that I have about the Amazon tablet. I know what their customer service is like, I know how they handle my questions and complaints.

    But the thing that will make, or break, the sale for me is if the device has the features that I want and allows me to use it the way I want to use it.

    Lenovo isn’t an off brand. I’ve heard of it before, and read some good things about their devices, so I don’t know that it’s easy for me to make a comparison here to the question you’re asking. If it truly was a brand I’d never heard of, and this was the first thing I’d seen them jumping into the marketplace with, then I’d wait. Wait for reviews, in depth analysis of the device, and if I could see one in person.

  39. Amy
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 13:41:29

    Brand names give us a sense of security in the item’s durability and warranty. So when deciding on an item, i would give a known brand more weight but not if it’s at a hefty cost.

  40. Lynnd
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 13:56:53

    @eggs: I agree with you and Ros on not wanting a tablet if it’s primary purpose is for reading. I really like my Kobo e-ink screen for the reasons you articulated.

    If I ever do get into the table market, I want a quality product that is not going to lock me into any particular company as Apple does and, it appears, that Amazon will do. To me a tablet it just another form of computer.

    I have a Lenovo laptop and it is a good product. At some point I might consider getting a tablet from them or anotheer company like Toshiba or Dell if they ever come up with a good product.

  41. elizabeth84
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 15:01:50

    My first thought is to go for the features I want, and the name would only count for reliability (not the same as fame).
    I got a nookcolor right when it came out. I do miss a real app store, and am disappointed by what gets through to B&N. Plus, it turns out that the nookcolor can only support a limited number of apps, and then I am told (after making a purchase) that I must archive some apps to make room for the latest one. This is a serious limitation.
    I would love a chance to compare the *reading experience* on an android tablet and the nookcolor. Is using an app as good an experience as on a dedicated ereader?

  42. kate r
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 11:33:27

    IBM had a good rep for customer service and Lenovo is IBM. Did it translate? My neph’s computer is Lenovo and their customer service has been amazing, as in (for once) fast and professional.

  43. Sunita
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 11:50:25

    @kate r: Lenovo is not IBM. Lenovo bought IBM’s PC business when the latter sold it to concentrate on its business customers (HP’s current moves are essentially designed to reproduce IBM’s successful transition).

    IBM and Lenovo are linked in a pretty complex relationship, and IBM has (had?) a minority stake in Lenovo. But Lenovo had to establish its own reputation, which it has done quite successfully, from what I can tell.

  44. April V.
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 19:55:30

    Currently, my nonexistent budget drives all of my purchase decisions. I won’t buy any of these.

    However, had I ready cash and interest in a tablet (haven’t decided that it would be of any benefit to someone who already has a laptop) I would definitely get the Lenovo.

    Why? It has all the power and accessibility needed, it is a well-established brand that has been around a while (I’d be a little more hesitant with a pop-up tablet maker) and there is no need to pay the extra money for a name.

    I was always a bargain shopper anyway but the economy troubles of the past few years and honed and strengthened my desire to spend the least amount possible and get the most for every dime.

  45. kate r
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 17:56:50

    @sunita Ha–and to think the neph bought that computer because of the IBM connection.

  46. Stumbling Over Chaos :: Languid linkity lounges lazily
    Sep 23, 2011 @ 11:40:34

    […] Dear Author on consumer confidence and “no-name” brand tablets… although Lenovo (featured in the post) is certainly not a “no-name” brand! […]

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