Android 4.0 tablet for under $400? Say hello to the IdeaTab.

The Android-powered IdeaTab S2109 was introduced by Lenovo this week. The IdeaTab, which is powered by the Android Ice Cream Sandwich operating system, will reportedly retail for $349. 

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    The IdeaTab S2109 tablet from Lenovo. The S2109 runs the Android 4.0 OS.
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Lenovo this week took the wraps off the IdeaTab S2109, an Android 4.0-powered tablet purpose-built for media consumption. The IdeaTab S2109, which will sell for $349 – $150 less than the cheapest iPad – ships with a dual-core CPU, 720p HD playback, 1GB of system memory, and a sleek 9.7-inch frame. Lenovo says its latest tablet will be available early next month at Office Depot stores and on the Lenovo site. 

"The IdeaTab S2109 tablet is an entertainment maven’s dream device," Lenovo exec Yao Li said in a statement. To that end, the IdeaTab will offer access to both the Android Market and the in-house Lenovo App Shop and yield a reported 10 hours in battery life, even when watching video or browsing the Web.

Bonus feature: Hook the IdeaTab S2109 up to a television via the HDMI port, and you'll get 1080p resolution video on the TV set.  

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A full-featured tablet with Android 4.0 capability and a high-resolution display: not bad for under 400 bucks. Of course, as Agam Shah notes over at IDG, the IdeaTab S2109 – seriously, they couldn't come up with a jazzier name than that? – has at least one major competitor in its own price class: The $379, quad-core Transformer Pad 300, from Asus. (An optional dock on the Transformer Pad allows users to convert the thing into a netbook.) 

In related news, NPD, which recently released its quarterly report on the tablet market, has speculated that the overall tablet market will swell from 81.6 million units in 2011 to 424.9 million units by 2017 (hat tip to Apple Insider). The iPad currently dominates the tablet game, with almost 70 percent of all tablet sales, but interestingly, NPD expects Apple's grip on the market to eventually dwindle. 

By 2017, NPD said, Apple could have just 51 percent of the tablet market. Meaning there will be plenty of room for the Transformer Pads and the IdeaTabs. 

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