Lenovo today announced three new tablet devices that it will deliver throughout 2011, two based on Android and one on Windows 7. I was briefed about these new plans last week, so here are a few notes about each.
Lenovo's first Android-based ThinkPad is a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 slate design that features a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB of solid state storage, front and rear facing cameras (2 MP and 5 MP, respectively), an HDMI connector, a USB 2.0 connector, a micro-USB connector, a 3-in-1 media card reader, and a dock connector. There are versions with Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi/3G. Battery life is rated at 8.7 hours for the Wi-Fi version.
The ThinkPad Tablet runs Android 3.1 and comes pre-loaded with a suite of business-friendly apps, including Documents to Go (for Microsoft Office compatibility), MyScripts Notes Mobile, Lenovo Launch Zone (an app launcher, basically), Lenovo SocialTouch (integrated mail, maps, calendar, and more), and a USB transfer utility. It also provides encryption for user data and SD cards, outputs 1080p video over HDMI, and supports Flash 10.3.
The big deal here, perhaps, is the optional ThinkPad Keyboard Folio add-on, which provides a ThinkPad keyboard and TrackPoint, transforming the ThinkPad Tablet into a laptop-like experience. There's also a separate ThinkPad Tablet Dock that lets you charge and sync the device. And the Tablet comes with an accurate, touch-sensitive pen so you can take handwritten notes; software built into the device will convert your handwritten notes to text.
The ThinkPad Tablet will ship in August 2011 and retail for $499 and up. The Keyboard Folio is $99.
IdeaPad Tablet K1
This tablet is, perhaps, the most similar to Apple's popular iPad. It features the same 1280 x 800, 10.1-inch display as the ThinkPad Tablet, as well as the same dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB to 64 GB of storage, front and back cameras, and ports and connectors (minus the dock connector). But the K1 adds an NDIVIA GeForce GPU and provides up to 10 hours of battery life with a 2-cell battery. Wi-Fi and 3G appear to be standard.
The K1 is very thin and light, and at 13.3 mm thick is actually a tiny bit thinner than the iPad 2, which is 13.34 mm. And unlike the iPad, the K1 supports Adobe Flash 10.3. HDMI output from the device is 1080p quality, and since it supports various DRM content types, it could be a viable digital media alternative to the iPad.
Included software is consumer-heavy, of course: Google Mobile Services for Android 3.1, Flash 10.2, Lenovo Social Touch, Lenovo Media Gallery, Lenovo Video Player, Lenovo Music Player, Lenovo eBook Reader, Cloud, mSpot Music, Complete HD codes formats (except for MKV&MPEG-2 & RMVB), PlayReady DRM, Lenovo AppStore, Oovoo, Poketalk, eBuddy, Connectify, Facebook, Twitter, Norton Mobile Security, AccuEather, Dataviz: Documents to Go, Printershare, Zinio E-Mag, Amazon Kindle E-Book reader, Luck Launcher Games: Galaxy on Fire2, Need for Speed: Shift, Angry Birds, Vendetta Online, Murtha Drawing Pad, Talking Tom, Silver Creek: Solitaire, Silver Creek: Hearts, Silver Creek: Spades, Silver Creek: Euchre, Silver Creek: Backgammon, Warships, Treasure Arm, Flash Game Arcade, and more, depending on region.
There's a keyboard dock available for the K1, but it's more like the iPad keyboard dock in look and feel, basically a charger base with an attached keyboard. The K1 is also available in four colors: red, black, brown, and white.
The IdeaPad K1 will be available July 20 at Office Depot and other electronics retailers, Lenovo says. The 32 GB model will retail for $499.
IdeaPad Tablet P1
The IdeaPad P1 is the most interesting of the three devices, to me, but it's the one most lacking in details at the moment, especially around the launch date, which is vaguely set for "Q4 2011," and the price, which wasn't discussed.
What we're looking at here is a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 multi-touch (2 contact points) tablet running Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, or Professional, depending on the market. It includes a 1.5 GHz Intel processor of some kind (I'm guessing Atom, but I'll need to check on that), integrated Intel graphics, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB or 64 GB of SSD storage, integrated Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, optional 3G, a .3 MP front facing camera, 1 USB 2.0 port, micro-SD card reader, mini-PCIx3 expansion, docking port, mic and headphone jacks, and an optional stylus pen for Tablet PC functionality.
Battery life is rated at 6 hours with a 2-cell battery. Despite the presence of a docking port, no dock was announced.
Bundled software includes OneKey Rescue System 7.0, Lenovo Energy Management, Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft Office 2010, Lenovo Ebook Reader, Lenovo App Manager, VeriTouch (for multi-touch logon), Software Keyboard, Intelligent Game, Angry Birds, ArtRage 3.0, YouCam 3.0, Lenovo Task Manager, Dock , and Arcsoft TotalMedia Center.
I'll definitely be trying out the P1, and perhaps the ThinkPad Tablet since I'm such a ThinkPad fan. More info as it arrives.