Lenovo Ideapad A10

Hardware overview

The Ideapad A10 is a mix between Android tablet and netbook. Its hardware is pretty neat:

  • Rockchip RK3188 quadcore 1.6GHz ARM CPU
  • full accu-type keyboard
  • 10″ 1366×768 TFT LCD (I doubt it being an IPS type but it is still quite good)
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • 16GB NAND flash
  • 802.11bgn WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
  • 2 USB host ports
  • 1 USB client port, also used for charging, which is pretty neat so you can use your phone charger for charging your netbook
  • microHDMI port for connecting to external monitor or TV
  • 3.5mm headphone jack with microphone capability
  • 3.65V 6500mAh battery, supposedly to last up to 10h
  • VGA camera – well, quality is suboptimal

Android system software

Root – At last!

Finally I managed to root the device, despite its upgrade to the latest Lenovo firmware 131203 which obviously locked out most of the traditional root hacks. For rooting my device I used my Debian Linux notebook and the RKFlash tool. It worked more or less like this.
Using the RkFlash tool available here: https://github.com/linux-rockchip/rkflashtool.git

Using rkflashtool the system flash partition can be read. First you need to enable debugging and connect your device to your Linux box, which needs to have the Android tools installed, especially ADB. After connecting the device on the Linux box reboot into bootloader: adb reboot bootloader
After some seconds the device should show up on your USB bus but the display should remain dark – “rfkflashtool -v” should now print out the CPU version. If yes then download the content of the system partition: rkflashtool -r system > system.img
The filesystem images in flash are, I would never imagined this possible, EXT4 filesystem which can be mounted loopback on a Linux device – here you go 🙂 You can copy “su” over, setuid root, add the SuperSU apk and you are done. Umount the loopback device, sync, and write the image back into NAND: rkflashtool w system < system.img

Done, enjoy 🙂