The Chinese-based computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd. has entered the fierce tablet market fray with a global release of three tablet devices. Lenovo joins a lineup of similar technology companies like Research in Motion, Samsung Electronics, and Toshiba in offering competing tablets in a market dominated by Apple Inc.’s iPad.
Yesterday, Apple revealed that its fiscal third quarter earnings doubled this year from $3.25 billion to $7.3 billion due to the popular iPad; a huge revenue jump that underscored the seemingly limitless profitability of the consumer tablet market.
Lenovo’s tablet offerings cover the consumer gamut, offering business users the ThinkPad tablet, consumers the IdeaPad K1 tablet, and home/office-users the IdeaPad Tablet P1.
“Tablets are extremely personal technology devices…which is why we’ve created a family of tablets that has something for everyon,”said Liu Jun, Senior Vice President and President of Lenovo.
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All of the tablets are 10.1 inch touchscreens and weigh in at 1.65 pounds. The 16 GB ThinkPad tablet and the 32 GB IdeaPad Tablet K1 both run on Google’s Android software and the Ideapad Tablet P1 runs on Microsoft Windows 7 software.
The K1 and ThinkPad tablets feature Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processors with built-in Flash, while the P1 runs on an Intel 1.5GHz.
Lenovo’s Android tablets are the first to offer Netflix streaming on their 1280 x 800 pixel resolution screens. The consumer K1 tablet’s battery lasts up to 10 hours, the business ThinkPad gets 8 hours, and the P1 battery lasts 6 hours.
The ThinkPad comes with an optional keyboard portfolio carrying case as well as a pressure-sensitive pen. It also offers 2GB of free cloud storage, a standard USB port and an SD card reader. Presentations can be viewed through an external monitor connected to the ThinkPad's mini-HDMI port. Dual HD cameras provide video conferencing over apps.
The K1 tablet is available for online ordering today and at select US stores for $499 but won’t be generally available in the U.S. until August. The 16GB ThinkPad Tablet with Wi-Fi sells for $479 or for $509 with the pressure-sensitive touch pen.
Also Lenovo will be releasing a 3G version at an unspecified later date. The Windows-based IdeaPad Tablet P1 tablet will be available in the fourth quarter and pricing has not been released. Lenovo stated that the tablets would be available worldwide in the third quarter but did not give a specific date.