Today Lenovo introduced two upcoming Android tablets, the consumer-focused IdeaPad Tablet K1 and the business-oriented ThinkPad Tablet, plus the IdeaPad P1 running Windows 7.
The two Android models will run the latest Honeycomb 3.1 version of the operating system, and will include the DRM (digital rights management) software required to stream Netflix and other protected content. These are not the first Android devices to support Netflix — the HTC Evo holds that honor — but the Evo runs the older 2.3 version of Android. Lenovo’s Android tablets also feature 1080p output via HDMI, so users can play high-def video on a connected TV.
There’s nothing radical in the tablets’ hardware design. Each tried-and-true curved-edge rectangle features a 10.1-inch multi-touch display with 1280x800 resolution, though the high-end ThinkPad model provides a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass face. Under the hood, the Android tablets run NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processors, while the IdeaPad P1 offers a 1.5GHz Intel processor.
In addition to the Android Market, Lenovo is also offering the Lenovo App Shop to feature applications tailored to the capabilities of the company’s tablets.
The IdeaPad K1 tablet, designed for the home user, weighs in at 1.6 lbs. It has a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for web chats and a 5-megapixel camera on the back. The IdeaPad K1 will come with more than 40 apps pre-installed, including Documents to Go to encourage productivity and Angry Birds to kill productivity. Lenovo claims a battery life of “up to 10 hours.”
With 32GB of storage, the IdeaPad K1 with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity can be ordered now for $499. Models equipped with 3G and/or a more storage will be available later, at a price to be announced.
The ThinkPad tablet, designed for business users, offers the data security and encryption options that make IT managers smile, but in most physical respects resembles the K1. Two key differences are a standard-size USB port and an SD card reader, making it much easier to interact with existing cables and memory cards than most tablets on the market. It matches the 1.6-pound weight of the IdeaPad K1.
Part of what makes the ThinkPad tablet interesting is the accessory lineup. Lenovo will offer a Keyboard Folio Case ($99) with a built-in keyboard (complete with the signature ThinkPad TrackPoint cursor control) that promises to make the tablet a viable laptop substitute. A digitizer pen with handwriting recognition software , providing a second alternative to typing on a flat glass surface.
The ThinkPad tablet can be ordered today for $479 in a Wi-Fi only, 16-gigabyte configuration, or $509 with the digitizer pen. 3G and higher-capacity models will be offered later in the year.
Finally, the IdeaPad P1 brings the warm familiarity of Windows 7 Home Premium software to a tablet device. Slightly heavier than its Android cousins at 1.79 pounds, the IdeaPad P1 will support solid state drives with up to 64GB capacity. Unlike the Android tablets, there will only be one, front-facing camera.
Lenovo estimates IdeaPad P1 battery life at 6 hours. There will be models with and without 3G connectivity, and an optional stylus pen for on-screen note-taking. Pricing for this model, which won’t ship until the fourth quarter, was not revealed.