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By 21 July 2011 | Categories: news

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Another computer manufacturer has joined the tablet fray. This time it is Lenovo, and they are doing so with an announcement of not one but rather three tablets aimed at consumers and businesses: the IdeaPad K1, the IdeaPad P1 and a ThinkPad tablet.
Both the IdeaPad K1 and the ThinkPad tablet will feature the fast Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core mobile processors and support for Adobe Flash player.
Lenovo's IdeaPad K1
 
Clearly for the consumer
The 10.1” IdeaPad K1, which will run the Android 3.1 Honeycomb operating system, is firmly aimed at consumers, and will ship preloaded with more than forty apps, including Angry Birds, Kindle and Documents To Go.
One of the 32 GB tablet’s distinguishing features is the ability to stream content from Netflix , which is sadly a service that is not available in South Africa. Nonetheless, users will be able to take advantage of the IdeaPad K1’s 1280 x 800 resolution screen, and flash support for web browsing.

The onboard mini HDMI connection further allows up to 1080p HD viewing when connected to an HDTV or monitor.

Additionally, Lenovo has included its own exclusive SocialTouch app on the IdeaPad K1, bringing social networks such as Facebook and Twitter into a centralised location.

The IdeaPad K1 also packs two onboard cameras - a two-megapixel front-facing and a five-megapixel rear-facing webcam, while connectivity will be provided by integrated Bluetooth and 802.11 Wi-Fi.

Along with the hundreds of thousands of apps available in the Android market, users will additionally be able to access apps tested exclusively for optimum function on the IdeaPad K1 in Lenovo’s App Shop.
Lenovo's ThinkPad tablet

Boon for business

For enterprise users, Lenovo has also launched the business-centric ThinkPad tablet. The ThinkPad boasts a 10.1” WXGA (1280x800) display, a full-size USB port (just like the Acer A500), full-size SD card slot, and mini-HDMI for connecting to external projectors and displays.  

As data security is of prime concern in a business environment, the ThinkPad will further include anti-theft software and the ability to disable the tablet if the device is lost or stolen with Computrace.

Additionally, users will have the ability to protect confidential data with SD card encryption.

As on the IdeaPad K1, Data Viz’ Documents to Go app will be preloaded, for editing Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the tablet. Optional accessories for the tablet include a keyboard folio case and digitizer pen.

The ThinkPad will be available as both 16 GB and 32 GB versions.
Lenovo's IdeaPad P1

Will this be a multifunctional marvel?

Lenovo’s third tablet is neither a consumer only device, nor an enterprise focused tablet, but is intended to serve a bit of both. However, instead of offering Android as the operating system, the 10.1” IdeaPad P1 tablet will run Microsoft Windows 7 and include a 1.5 GHz Intel processor.

The IdeaPad P1 will be 14.5 mm thick and have a multi-touch touch screen display. An optional stylus pen will also be available.

It is a curious and bold move by Lenovo, since one of the main arguments against Windows 7 on tablet devices is that the operating system is not specifically designed for touch navigation. Also raising concern is that it was the tablet for which the least details were available.

Additionally, it will be interesting to see what battery life the IdeaPad P1 will offer, as compared to the IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad tablets, and other tablets running Android.

South African consumers will have to wait for details on when exactly, and for how much, Lenovo’s tablets will be available in South Africa, as there has been no word as yet on local release dates and prices. However, while the Lenovo tablets will launch in the US in August, the company stated that the  tablets are expected to be available worldwide during the third quarter of this year. If the market will take to these rather late tablet entries remains to be seen.

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