Lenovo has finally jumped into the tablet game with two feet. It has revealed two Android 3.1 tablets – one aimed at enterprise, one at consumers – as well as a Windows tablet, with the Android models available this week.
Lenovo is trying to differentiate itself from the rest of the Android tablet models with the business-orientated ThinkPad. The tablet features a 10.1in IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800. It features a 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage and will come with WiFi and 3G options. It will run Android 3.1 and will be the first Android device to offer Netflix streaming - though of course that’s only in the US (for now).
What is going to set this tablet apart however is the optional stylus ($30), which, unlike the HTC Flyer’s stylus, can be housed in the tablet when not in use. The stylus and N-trig active digitiser will allow you to take precise notes on the tablet and included in the group of apps to take advantage of this will be an app to convert your notes to text.
The ThinkPad isn’t the slimmest of tablets measuring 14mm and weighing in at 725g. This is mostly down to the inclusion of full-size USB 2.0, mini-HDMI and micro USB ports. There are also SIM and SD card slots included along the edge. Lenovo will also be offering a $99 keyboard dock similar to the Asus Eee Pad Transformer with the iconic red ThinkPad nub in the middle of the chiclet keyboard.
The WiFi-only ThinkPad can be ordered online from today for $499 in the US. We are awaiting UK pricing but it will be “generally available worldwide” in Q3 according to Lenovo.
Moving towards the consumer market, Lenovo has unveiled the IdeaPad K1. This tablet also sports a 10.1in screen with a 1280 x 800 resolution, but there’s no IPS here. It also has a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage.
In a bid to make it a little slimmer, gone are the full sized ports of the ThinkPad, with a mini-HDMI port and microSD card slot included on the IdeaPad K1. Despite shaving 1mm off the thickness of the tablet, Lenovo has somehow managed to push the weight of the IdeaPad K1 up to 750g.
As will practically all manufacturers these days, the Android OS has been skinned with Lenovo’s own software, called Launch Zone Android 3.1. Lenovo has also got its own App Store on board and will come with the Netflix app seen on the ThinkPad. When we saw this tablet at CES last January, then called the LePad, there was a keyboard dock in tow, which transformed the Android tablet into a Windows laptop but so far there’s no sign of the accessory from Lenovo.
The 32GB IdeaPad K1 is on sale from today (20 July) for $499 and again we are awaiting confirmation of a UK price but we’re told it will go on sale here in Q3.
Last (and probably least) is the IdeaPad P1 which is not set for release until Q4 and will come with Windows 7 installed. So far Windows 7 tablets have been pretty underwhelming to say the least, but given that the OS is in no way optimised for touch interfaces, we shouldn’t be that surprised.
Lenovo however is continuing with the platform and is set to release the 10.1in IdeaPad P1 in time for Christmas. Details about the tablet are still a little murky but we do know it will run a 1.5GHz Intel processor (possibly of the Atom Oak Trail variety) and will, like the ThinkPad, come with an optional stylus. It will also be a sizeable chunk of tablet measuring 14.5mm thick and weighing in at 907g.