Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lenovo Android tablets go worldwide in July, Windows model due this year

Lenovo — though still a fairly new name in the North American computing market — is preparing to make a tablet-powered splash in the U.S. this summer. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the company will be launching two Android tablets in the coming months and a Windows model will follow later on in 2011.

Android devices aren’t a totally new venture for Lenovo. The company released its first device, the Miro 01, in 2009 and followed up with the slick, transformable LePhone in 2010. Back in March of 2011, Lenovo finally launched the LePad — its first Android tablet — in China. The LePad debuted with a 1.3Ghz processor running Android 2.2 and is available in Wi-Fi and 3G configs sporting 16 or 32GB of internal storage.

According to Lenovo’s COO Rory Read, two new 10-inch tablets running Android 3.X Honeycomb will begin shipping worldwide starting in July, with a consumer IdeaPad arriving first and a ThinkPad aimed at enterprise use following shortly thereafter. Later this year, the Android tables will be followed up by a Windows version — which will ship with Windows 7, in all likelihood. Unfortunately, Read didn’t mention any specifics about the hardware, though it’s safe to assume they’ll be comparable to existing Android Honeycomb tablets from Motorola, Acer, Asus, and LG.

Read states that Lenovo had been biding its time, reaching into the cliche bag to say that the company would only get one chance to make a good first impression. The company had, of course, create plenty of buzz around the tablets it teased at CES in both 2010 and 2011. Now that they’re finally slated to arrive on American shores, it’ll be interesting to see how they’re received by a relatively unfamiliar consumer base.


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