Lenovo appears to be on a bit of a roll, and has two enticing Android tablets – the Lenovo Ideapad K1 and the Thinkpad Tablet – set to go to market very soon. So soon in fact, that their upcoming ThinkPad tablet is scheduled for official release on August 23, with a starting price of $479.99. Oriented towards those with productivity, security, and durability in mind, this business-oriented tablet will ship with Android Honeycomb 3.1 (with 3.2+ to come) and the standard hardware we have come to expect from this current generation of Android tablets. Read on to find out why this tablet could be a big deal.
Spec-wise, the ThinkPad tablet features Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core processor, clocking in at 1 GHz with 1 GB of DDR2 RAM. Thankfully, it also features a 10.1-inch, IPS display which is alleged to be on par with what is considered the best tablet display on the market, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. Speaking of durability, the display will be protected by Corning’s Gorilla Glass, and will come in 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB flavors.
So, what makes this tablet special, and why would I want it? Excellent question dear reader. Standing alone, the tablet is slightly thicker (8.9mm vs 14 mm) than the world’s thinnest tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but features a few tricks up its sleeve that will differentiate it in the long run.
Lenovo is hoping to entice consumers with its venerable background in building quality business oriented notebooks, and with a healthy laundry list of accessories. These include a dock that offers charging, data synchronization and device expansion in an ergonomic vertical-positioning stand. This device includes a micro USB port, HDMI port, stereo out, microphone in and a USB 2.0 port. Additionally, it will work with wireless keyboards and mice too.
It’s worth noting that a tablet pen/stylus and keyboard folio case will also be available, which should appeal to business users, graphic designers, and others.
Also, of note to those with a keen eye is that the Thinkpad tab will come with a full sized USB port on board, which is part of the reason why Toshiba’s tablet has received somewhat of a cult following, as it allows the owner to connect to literally tens of thousands of USB devices. Plus, with Android 3.1 on board, this particular business tablet will have USB host functionality.
The keyboard itself, while lacking in a trackpad, features a similarly designed button to those featured on the Thinkpad line of notebooks, and folio case itself converts the tablet into a netbook-styled device, similar to the one that works with the Asus Transformer. Surely the Asus Transformer will be on the mind of those reading this article, and we’ve compared the Asus Transformer and the Thinkpad tablet (and their keyboards) in this article.
Also, Lenovo has been hard at work developing their own app market, which features apps that have been tested for security and functionality specifically for the Thinkpad tablet. Thankfully, it also includes access to Netflix,Kindle and a few more goodies too.
Also, be sure to check out a hands on video of the Thinkpad tablet here too. So, productivity minded folks, is the Lenovo name, active digitizer input (a la stylus), and full USB port on the tablet itself enough to sway you from the additional battery life that the Asus Transformer is afforded via its keyboard dock? Anyone out there still dreaming of Panasonic’s Tough tablet?