Lenovo's got some pretty exciting things lined up for 2012 as far as Android hardware goes, but apparently they haven't forgot about users of their buttoned-down ThinkPad tablet. ITWorld reports that the company has committed to upgrading the Honeycomb tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich some time in the second quarter of this year. Specific dates weren't given, but the should put the release at somewhere between 2 and 5 months from now, barring and delays.
The ThinkPad Tablet was released last summer to generally favorable reviews, especially among fans of the company's no-nonsense line of laptops. The 10.1-inch tablet still runs Android 3.1 Honeycomb with a few of Lenovo's custom UI overlays. The ThinkPad Tablet is pretty solid as a first-generation Honeycomb device, with a 1280x800 screen, Tegra 2 processor and an integrated stylus (which, incidentally, nails the "red nub" ThinkPad style). Retail prices are still hovering in the $400-500 range, but the tablet is often seen on sale or reduced.
Fans of the hardware caught a break last week, as the unusually hard-to-crack software was finally rooted for the first time. In almost no time at all a version of ClockworkMod recovery was installed, paving the way for custom ROMs and other modifications. Though it's almost certain that someone will get Ice Cream Sandwich running on the ThinkPad tablet before the official update (likely based on CyanogenMod's public code) it's nice to see Lenovo supporting its more pedestrian users. The release will also help modders to get a more stable and reliable version of custom ROMs working.
Unfortunately, there's still no word on an updated version of the ThinkPad Tablet's hardware. We'll be keeping an eye out.