Lenovo, the Chinese company now responsible for ThinkPad laptops, as well as several China-exclusive Android devices has plans to bring Honeycomb tablets to the world this summer. The first will be the Lenovo IdeaPad, which we’ve seen spring up on websites recently, listed as out of stock, and is due out in July. The more business-centric ThinkPad (not to be confused with Lenovo’s laptops) will be available sometime in August. Lenovo is convinced that they’ve taken extra time to create tablets that will outshine the first batch 3.x devices, which were, in Lenovo’s President’s opinion “released before their time.”
Lenovo’s President, Rory Read, seems fairly confident that these tablets will outdo the current competition, like the Xoom, thanks to the extra time taken by Lenovo in development. If the specs that we got from the IdeaPad’s leak a few weeks ago are accurate, we have our reservations. Barring change to those specs, the IdeaPad is set to be a 10.1″ tablet, with a Tegra 2 and 1 GB of RAM, a familiar spec list by now. The stand out spec, is unfortunately a negative. At a rumored 1.65 lbs, the IdeaPad would be heavier than the Motorola Xoom, or even the original iPad. The ThinkPad tablet has managed to stay under cover a bit better, and we’ll have to wait to see what Lenovo has planned for it.
This leaves software as the castle from which Lenovo will have to make its stand. Both tablets will feature a Lenovo specific UI skin. We don’t know much about what the skin will entail other than the few pictures available, but Honeycomb has been, for better or worse, lacking in many of the manufacturer skins we see layered over phones. With Samsung’s tablet version of TouchWiz not yet finished, Lenovo could be the first with a substantial Honeycomb customization. Whether or not this is a good thing, we’ll have to wait and see.
The other ace up Lenovo’s sleeve, as mentioned during the leak late may, is a large base of pre-installed software including several premium games such as Need For Speed, and Galaxy on Fire 2. The list is actually quite impressive, and can be seen here.. All this premium content may come at a cost though, as the rumored price is between $450 and $900 depending on model, putting the IdeaPad squarely in the most expensive bracket of Android Tablets.
On paper these may not look too exciting, but we’ll reserve judgement until we get a chance to see, and play with Lenovo’s journey into the tablet space. ThinkPad is a recognizable name in portable computers, and it may draw in a few, who would otherwise pass on a tablet for their laptop. Will Lenovo revolutionize the Android tablet for those who choose to wait out the first wave? We’ll see in the next couple months.