Lenovo Group, the world's third largest maker of personal computers, has unveiled a lineup of its personal computers in tablet form-factors. The ThinkPad tablet is designed for business and enterprise users, whereas two IdeaPad are designed for consumers and office workers. Each of the slates features unique capabilities useful for its target audience.
“Tablets are extremely personal technology devices. That’s why we have created a family of tablets that has something for everyone, including entertainment-friendly features and content for consumers, or business-friendly features to enhance productivity for professionals as well as security and manageability for IT managers,” said Liu Jun, senior vice president and president of mobile Internet digital home business group at Lenovo.
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet and IdeaPad K1 are based on Android 3.1 "Honeycomb" and Nvidia Tegra 2 system-on-chip with two ARM Cortex-A9 general-purpose cores, GeForce-class graphics engine and other useful functionality. The devices sport 10.1" IPS screens with 1280x800 resolution and are equipped with mini-HDMI outputs capable of streaming 1080p video to larger displays, SD card readers, integrated Bluetooth/802.11 Wi-Fi connectivity, 2MP front-facing and a 5MP rear-facing webcam as well as other features. Lenovo did not disclose flash and DRAM capacity inside its Android-based tablets, but said that the slates weigh roughly 1.65 lbs (740 gramms)
Using IdeaPad and ThinkPad tablets, Netflix members can instantly watch movies and TV shows streaming from Netflix directly to a big screen TV. Users can access hundreds of thousands of apps in Android Market and apps tested exclusively for premium function on the Lenovo Tablets in the Lenovo App Shop.
Being aimed at consumers and designed for consumption of various content, Lenovo IdeaPad K1 is preloaded with more than 40 apps from partners like Netflix, Amazon, Adobe, Electronic Arts, Rovio, Zinio, Dataviz and others (over $50 in value), including favorites like Need for Speed Shift, Angry Birds, Kindle reading app and Documents to Go, Adobe Flash Player 10.3 and so on. Users can access an entire network of friends and social sites all in one place, with Lenovo's exclusive SocialTouch app, which effectively creates a one-stop social connection. Users can sync, store and share files, music and photos with more integrated cloud storage, and less reliance on their local storage.
The 32GB model IdeaPad Tablet K1 is priced at $499, and can be ordered in the U.S. starting July 20, 2011. The product will be generally available in the U.S. in August 2011 and generally available worldwide during the third quarter 2011.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet adds security, reliability and manageability features ThinkPad is known for and is the first true business-class tablet. ThinkPad Tablet includes an optional digitizer pen, a full-size USB port, an optional ThinkPad quality Keyboard Folio Case with optical TrackPoint. The device comes pre-loaded with anti-theft software with the ability to disable the tablet if the device is lost or stolen with Computrace. Additional security features include virtual desktop support support with Citrix Receiver, simple zero-touch deployment with LanDesk and secure email support available from Good Technology. ThinkPad Tablet customers will have access to Lenovo’s full portfolio of enterprise-level services, such as ThinkPlus support, which provides business customers direct access to advanced technicians with tablet specific experience, and Tablet protection plan.
The 16GB ThinkPad Tablet is priced at $479 without the digitizer pen, and at $509 including the digitizer pen, for Wi-Fi models. The 32GB ThinkPad Tablet (Wi-Fi model) with digitizer pen is $589. There is also an optional keyboard portfolio carrying case available for $99. At a later date, shortly after launch, ThinkPad Tablets with 3G will become available. ThinkPad Tablet can be ordered in the U.S. starting August 2, 2011. The product will be generally available in the U.S. in August 2011 and generally available worldwide during the third quarter 2011.
The third tablet in Lenovo's family is IdeaPad P1, which is designed for office workers and is powered by Intel Atom Z-series system-on-chip clocked at 1.50GHz as well as Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. The device also has a 10.1" IPS screen with 1280x800 resolution and is designed for office work or as a compact replacement for a notebook for those, who need Microsoft Office and other Windows applications everywhere.
The IdeaPad Tablet P1 will be available in the fourth quarter 2011.
The announcement of three tablets designed for completely different types of customers and usage scenarios by Lenovo clearly means that the company fully recognizes slates as a new form-factor for PCs. It remains to be seen whether Lenovo's segmentation strategy for tablets will be successful. At present the most successful tablet is Apple iPad, which is aimed at different end-users. But perhaps, a more user-centric solution approach will end the domination of Apple on the market of slates.