Lenovo IdeaPad A1 7" Tablet Review and Root!

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paulnelson88

Senior Member
Jan 2, 2011
58
29
Portland
www.paulmnelson.com
Just picked up my new Lenovo A1 Tablet yesterday at Fry's! With a little elbow grease this thing rocks! I'm just going to go down a list of what Ive done to make it a sweet tablet.

1) Superoneclick 2.2 will root this baby just need to install adb drivers...easiest root to date.

2) Once it's rooted I installed LCD Density from market and set it to 200. Make sure you select killall and hit reboot.

3) Installed SetCPU from Market. I set it to Performance with the screen on then set it to conservative with the screen off 300mhz/300mhz. Make sure you hit the set to boot button. Once I did this it felt much faster than my Xoom. I havent tested battery life yet.

4) Installed Spare Parts from Market. Set the windows animations speed to fast and transition animations to fast. Makes a world of difference.

5) Installed LauncherPro! Get rid of the stupid Lenovo home screen!

6) I installed WidgetLocker Lockscreen. You can do the Honeycomb screen and re-size it to fit. Gives it a nice feel!

7) Installed the new Adobe Flash11 from market

8) Installed App2Sd and moved all my apps to my 4gig sd card and cleared cache.

9) Picked up a badass 7" case with a stand at OfficeMax! fits perfect! $30 http://www.officemax.com/technology/...^return_skus~Y The website only shows a 10" but they have a 7" version

10) Google Nav works great tethered to my phone via wifi. I'm downloading a offline Nav as we speak.

11) Charges Via USB!

12) Screen gets really bright at max. I just use Auto

13) Skype was working till I did the Lenovo update no video sound works fine. Front camera sucks back camera is good. To be honest I use my Samsung Galaxy2 for all my pictures.

14) As soon as I turned it on and connected to the internet it wanted to update. I don't know what the update is about but it was a huge file.

I'm just getting started with this tablet. I was torn between the Nook2 and Fire. What I love about this is its easy to root comes with Market and charges via usb. I installed Amazon Kindle and Google Books. Their is a new update to Amazon Kindle that makes the app look just like the fire lol.

Anyways hope this helps! Please feel free to ask me any questions. I will be updating this thread as I learn more.

Comes with Gingerbread 2.3.4




Link to ADB Usb drivers. Install first! make sure you have Debug on http://www.mediafire.com/?6v19365dkvc6k8r

SuperOneClick 2.2 Install 2nd http://www.mediafire.com/?0bi19eva4h4c218
 
Last edited:

chentopkimo

Member
Jun 11, 2010
5
2
Very happy that someone discuss/share the ideaPad A1 on XDA. Hope you could share more information on this. Could we install CyanogenMod on this product?
 

Sonix6

Member
Aug 1, 2007
21
0
Thanks for the info, Im in the market for a cheep tablet to use with Google Nav and a Virgin Mobile MIFI!

Btw, if you get the MIFI at Walmart you can get 20 dollar cards that are good for 1GB not the usual 500MBs!

And secondly thanks goes out to Google alerts, otherwise I would have never saw this and spent many hours looking for info!

PS: was the Android Market hard to get on it? How do you get it?
 
Last edited:

mark_r

Member
Nov 20, 2011
14
2
Thanks for taking the time to write this up! I've been trying to decide on a new tablet and every opinion helps.
 

Sonix6

Member
Aug 1, 2007
21
0
My IdeaPad A1 came with the Android Market already installed and working.
Reeeeeealy , good one, It doesn't mention the Android market @Lenovo! I guess you have Google Navigation, so can you check it out for us?

Btw, for all the negative things mentioned could someone give up some details? Saying lemon doesn't help much.

Btw, why root? If it gets me something that I like I will learn how to.
 

J_T

Senior Member
Sep 18, 2007
61
15
Jax, FL, USA
Reeeeeealy , good one, It doesn't mention the Android market @Lenovo! I guess you have Google Navigation, so can you check it out for us?

Btw, for all the negative things mentioned could someone give up some details? Saying lemon doesn't help much.

Btw, why root? If it gets me something that I like I will learn how to.

From Lenovo's website: "More than 10 preloaded apps, with more available via Lenovo App Shop and Android Market"

Google Navigation only works with a data connection, not so useful with a WiFi only device. I did upgrade the Navdroyd app to the full version. Have not tried navigating with it yet, but the maps look pretty good. Anyone make make a motorcycle mount for the A1? :D

Why root? For me, that's a philosophical question. Because it's mine. The A1 actually comes with little bloatware, but things like AdFree and Titanium Backup require root.
 

Sonix6

Member
Aug 1, 2007
21
0
From Lenovo's website: "More than 10 preloaded apps, with more available via Lenovo App Shop and Android Market"

Google Navigation only works with a data connection, not so useful with a WiFi only device. I did upgrade the Navdroyd app to the full version. Have not tried navigating with it yet, but the maps look pretty good. Anyone make make a motorcycle mount for the A1? :D

Why root? For me, that's a philosophical question. Because it's mine. The A1 actually comes with little bloatware, but things like AdFree and Titanium Backup require root.
Google nav will cache a route while using WIFI, but I do have a MIFI WIFI hotspot! I also have a great sleeve that has a pocket for the MIFI. Verizon was selling them for 10 bucks, originality ~50. And I already have a goosneck seat mount, but I'm sure someone will be selling a motorsycle mount! :)

I hope there aren't any important fiasco's with the Tablet, because it looks like it's a go for me!

I need for the MIFI works with it because I get orders in gmail, so that's another deal breaker for me. Tell me when you bring the tablet out of standby is the WIFI connection going?
 

J_T

Senior Member
Sep 18, 2007
61
15
Jax, FL, USA
... Tell me when you bring the tablet out of standby is the WIFI connection going?

Depends on how long. When I got home from work today, WiFi was enabled but not connected.

When I just checked (in standby for 30 minutes or so), WiFi was still connected.

Edit: Let it sit for 3 hours and WiFi was still connected.
Edit 2: WiFi stayed connected overnight (9 hr in standby).
 
Last edited:

jschramm

Senior Member
Apr 28, 2008
151
18
New York
Got my A1 today. Trying to decide between the Fire and the A1. I am having some major problems with the A1 holding onto a wifi connection. I have only tried it with my Belkin router. Anyone else having wifi issues?
 

tcubed

New member
Nov 13, 2003
3
0
Chicago
WiFi problems reported

....major problems with the A1 holding onto a wifi connection. I have only tried it with my Belkin router. Anyone else having wifi issues?

forums.lenovo.com has a few reports of unstable WiFi connections. It's a bit early to tell if there is a widespread defect, or what the cause is.
HTH
 

chentopkimo

Member
Jun 11, 2010
5
2
other way to Root and install customize ROM: (those files form China side, just share to all)
download files and upzip into your local SD. Dont put update.zip under any folder.
following below process
==========
1. Go into power off mode.Hold "Vol-" and "power" key at the same time. You will see a logo.
2. Keep more then 10sec when logo disappearance then release keys.
3. re-process hold"vol-" and "power" keys at the same time until logo show on LCD and keep more than 1 sec. Release all keys.
4. Now you will go into ROM manager(Not fully function) from update.zip
5.Hold "vol-" when display show"Back menu button enabled" on lower location then release "vol-" key.
6. Choose "install zip form sdcard" and apply "lepad-a1-rooter_signed.zip" in your local sdcard. The process will form volume key(moving) and power key(apply)
7.Now you had Root your device.
==========
1.Hope someone could customize the Rom manager.
2.Hope someone could customize good ROM for ideapad, especially on 2g device. Cause Lenove make a crazy internal SD partition on device. We could see when we update 2375 ROM form web site, we just have 33MB internal SD space. That is not enough for others APK.
 

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  • 18
    Just picked up my new Lenovo A1 Tablet yesterday at Fry's! With a little elbow grease this thing rocks! I'm just going to go down a list of what Ive done to make it a sweet tablet.

    1) Superoneclick 2.2 will root this baby just need to install adb drivers...easiest root to date.

    2) Once it's rooted I installed LCD Density from market and set it to 200. Make sure you select killall and hit reboot.

    3) Installed SetCPU from Market. I set it to Performance with the screen on then set it to conservative with the screen off 300mhz/300mhz. Make sure you hit the set to boot button. Once I did this it felt much faster than my Xoom. I havent tested battery life yet.

    4) Installed Spare Parts from Market. Set the windows animations speed to fast and transition animations to fast. Makes a world of difference.

    5) Installed LauncherPro! Get rid of the stupid Lenovo home screen!

    6) I installed WidgetLocker Lockscreen. You can do the Honeycomb screen and re-size it to fit. Gives it a nice feel!

    7) Installed the new Adobe Flash11 from market

    8) Installed App2Sd and moved all my apps to my 4gig sd card and cleared cache.

    9) Picked up a badass 7" case with a stand at OfficeMax! fits perfect! $30 http://www.officemax.com/technology/...^return_skus~Y The website only shows a 10" but they have a 7" version

    10) Google Nav works great tethered to my phone via wifi. I'm downloading a offline Nav as we speak.

    11) Charges Via USB!

    12) Screen gets really bright at max. I just use Auto

    13) Skype was working till I did the Lenovo update no video sound works fine. Front camera sucks back camera is good. To be honest I use my Samsung Galaxy2 for all my pictures.

    14) As soon as I turned it on and connected to the internet it wanted to update. I don't know what the update is about but it was a huge file.

    I'm just getting started with this tablet. I was torn between the Nook2 and Fire. What I love about this is its easy to root comes with Market and charges via usb. I installed Amazon Kindle and Google Books. Their is a new update to Amazon Kindle that makes the app look just like the fire lol.

    Anyways hope this helps! Please feel free to ask me any questions. I will be updating this thread as I learn more.

    Comes with Gingerbread 2.3.4




    Link to ADB Usb drivers. Install first! make sure you have Debug on http://www.mediafire.com/?6v19365dkvc6k8r

    SuperOneClick 2.2 Install 2nd http://www.mediafire.com/?0bi19eva4h4c218
    6
    Just got a call from my customer advocate contact and he confirmed that the A1 source will be available next week. The K1 source was posted a few minutes ago.
    6
    If anyone needs the firmware files, you can find them here: http://download.lenovo.com/slates/a1/OTA

    SC = Simplified Chinese (I think)

    US = US

    To install:
    KiyoeHK said:
    1. Download the file, rename it to "update.zip".
    2. Copy the file to the root of micro SD card.
    3. Hold "Vol-" button, then power on. You will see a android logo and a status bar.
    4. After downloading the ROM, A1 is turned off itself.
    5. Power it on

    If you truly want to go back to factory settings:
    1. Install the firmware as described above (this will return your system partition to default and unroot you)
    2. Then do a factory reset from Settings -> Privacy -> Factory data reset (this returns your data partition to default)

    If you want an easy way to figure out you are having the rebooting issue without having to constantly monitor your tablet, then do the following:
    1. Turn on airplane mode
    2. Then turn on your wireless (you don't have to be connected, just have it on)
    If you come back to your tablet and the wireless has been checked off, that means your unit rebooted on its own. When airplane mode is on, all wireless connections will be unchecked after a reboot. If you don't have a reboot problem, then your wireless should stay checked until you manually reboot.

    If I can't fix the tablet today, I'm going to return it.
    5
    but I don't see much progress. Would be much happier if the CM7 becomes bug free (front camera video working, gps date fix etc.)

    We'll get there eventually. At the moment there's progress being made as a result of the kernel sources being available - for example, we're getting the capacitive button light to be always on. All this progress is down to Milaq.

    I'm presently working on a safe way to flash kernels, that won't brick your A1 if you flash a bad kernel. I think this is necessary to make it easy for lots of people to test an experiment with different kernels and compile their own, without taking any risks themselves. This could take me a little while to implement though.
    5
    Video How-To

    I'm removing my presence at the Lenovo Community. I didn't want to lose this, so I'm moving it here:

    This is a guide to transcoding video for playback on the A1. In principle, it also applies the K1 but there are no specific instructions for it.

    Background:

    The processor in the A1 has hardware support for multimedia. It supports a number of codecs (video coding/decoding) and, if the video being played conforms to the supported codecs, playing that video will result in better picture quality and longer battery life.

    The "stock" video player only supports hardware playback, so any videos that are not supported by the hardware will not play back properly. There are other video players available for Android that may play videos not supported by the hardware, but because those require more CPU, they may not support as high a quality of video and will run down the battery far more quickly.

    A better alternative, when possible, is to transcode (convert from one codec to another) the video so that it can be played by the stock player using hardware codec support. This guide suggests the use of the free transcoding software, Handbrake, which is available on Mac, Windows an Linux: http://handbrake.fr/ In addition to being available on multiple platforms, Handbrake will take full advantage of multicore CPUs to perform the transcoding, resulting in very fast transcoding times -- or, at least as fast as it can be.

    Some relevant information about the A1: The screen resolution is 1024*600 which gives it an aspect ratio of 16:9.375. Information about the processor and the codecs it supports can be found here: http://www.arm.com/products/processors/technologies/neon.php


    Steps:

    Install Handbrake on your computer using the instructions found via the link above
    Download the following preset: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/25738269/A1.plist
    Using the Options button on the lower-right side of the Handbrake interface, import the preset. It will be called "A1" in the preset list.
    Using the source button, find the video you want to convert
    Click the preset to make sure it's applied

    Have a look at the Scale Dimensions. At this point, for widescreen content, the first dimension should be equal to 1024. For 4:3 ratio content, the second dimension should be 600. If neither is the case, click Picture Settings and change the the storage width or height (depending on wide screen or not, respectively) to 1024 or 600 (for example, 1024*576 or 800*600) -- the goal is to maximize one value to the limit on the A1 without the other going over. This is to avoid the A1 doing any scaling to play the video. Once set, close the picture settings.

    If you are going to be on an airplane when you view the video and you do not have a noise cancelling headset, you may want to click on the Audio tab and expand the Advanced section. Bump up the gain a few dB. Careful, though... if you set that too high, your audio will be distorted. Select the destination for the converted video, then press start.

    How long the process takes depends on your PC and the video being encoded. For wide screen video the resulting size of the video will be about 0.5GB per hour of recording. For highly dynamic video (action movies, for example) the result will be greater. If you need a smaller video and are willing to give up quality, before starting the conversion, click the Video tab and lower the bitrate value. Values below 1000 kbps will show noticeable degradation, but experiment to find what's right for you. Alternatively, you can increase the bitrate, but at some point, the hardware won't be able to keep up. If you have lots of time, you can also have Handbrake do two-pass encoding for an even better picture.


    Sources:

    Handbrake will rip directly from DVD.

    Flash recordings can be downloaded from sites like YouTube with a Firefox plugin called DownloadHelper.

    TiVos are also a good source of video content. You can use the TiVo desktop (www.tivo.com/desktop) or a direct https connection to the tivo (https://[your tivo ip here] using "tivo" as the username and your media access key as the password) to transfer recordings. The recording will be in an encrypted format, but you can use a tool like tivodecode (http://tivodecode.sourceforge.net/) to decrypt it. The result will be an MPEG-2. Some recordings may not be transferable from the TiVo because of content protection applied by your cable provider -- complain to your cable company. Verizon FiOS provides content protection-free service.

    Feedback:

    Always welcome