Lenovo to launch IdeaPad and ThinkPad Android Honeycomb tablets this summer
Lenovo apparently has big plans in the tablet space. It, of course, is just the latest in a long list of computer makers to see the appeal of the tablet market. All three of the top three computer makers (HP, Dell, and Acer) already sell tablets. So here’s the fourth largest PC maker following suit.
Lenovo will launch not one, but two 10-inch tablets running Android Honeycomb very soon. The first one will be branded IdeaPad and will be sold to consumers worldwide starting in July. Yes, it seems like in just a few weeks you’ll be able to buy a brand new Lenovo IdeaPad Android tablet.
Lenovo will release the second, business-focused tablet a bit later, probably in August. This tablet will be branded ThinkPad, bringing an iconic brand from the PC space into the tablet market. It will be interesting to see how die-hard ThinkPad fans will react to their beloved brand being applied to a tablet, where it will lose some of the key features people love about ThinkPad-branded gear (such as the keyboard).
Both 10-inch Lenovo tablets will cost between $450 and $900, depending on configuration. The ThinkPad tablet will come with a capacitive stylus to facilitate signature capture.
Lenovo’s plans don’t stop there though. It will launch a tablet running Windows later this year. This will also be a 10-inch device. At some later point (it’s unclear if this year or not), Lenovo even plans to introduce 7-inch tablets “for certain uses”.
Lenovo President and Chief Operating Officer Rory Read said that “some of the early-generation Android devices were a little ahead of their time, and what we’re doing here is making sure [our tablets] are strong. We only have one opportunity to make that first good impression”. That sounds about right, and fits in nicely with what Mr. Read had to say back in October of last year, when we first heard that Lenovo was going to launch a Honeycomb tablet.
Read expects tablets to make up around 15% of the computer market in the next three years or so, and thinks that “netbooks are pretty much over”.
What remains to be seen is how much Lenovo will be able to differentiate its tablets in an increasingly crowded space filled with lookalike Android offerings. Thankfully though, it looks like we won’t have to wait long to find out.
As for smartphones, the US won’t see a Lenovo handset for at least 12-18 months, with the company focusing on its home market in China, then planning to expand to other emerging markets after it has gained enough scale.