Can Lenovo be a tablet player? You bet via the ThinkPad brand

Summary:Lenovo has the relationships, know-how, support and sales team to grab a foothold in the corporate tablet market, which is up for grabs as RIM, HP and Cisco jockey for position.

Given the parade of Apple iPad competitors---Motorola's Xoom, BlackBerry's PlayBook, Samsung's Galaxy Tab and tablets from Dell and HP---and the lack of traction the have it's almost too easy to dismiss a player like Lenovo.

Don't. Lenovo reportedly has an interesting Android 3.0 ThinkPad tablet slated for June. Big deal? According to Joanna Stern at This is My Next, a slide presentation reveals what Lenovo is cooking up.

Among the key data points:

  • The ThinkPad tablet will have a keyboard folio drawer---Lenovo is best known for its keyboards.
  • Lenovo has spent a lot of time tweaking the Android UI. That move could overcome Honeycomb's issues.
  • Lenovo knows its audience. The slide deck touts enterprise features for the user as well as the IT administrator.
  • Lots of ports are being offered.
  • Native enterprise support for tools like Citrix and remote desktop software.
  • The tablet can be a hotspot.
  • And Lenovo talks Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other corporate basics.
  • The pricing starts at $499.

Folks that buy ThinkPads are swayed by function over form. Lenovo's tablet seems to be playing to that strength. ThinkPad also has strong support.

In other words, Lenovo can be a tablet player---especially in corporations. After all, Lenovo has been rolling along courtesy of the enterprise PC upgrade cycle. Lenovo is also one of the few PC vendors growing at a healthy clip in IDC's market share statistics. There could be a joint PC/tablet upgrade cycle in the enterprise for Lenovo to exploit.

The bottom line: The tablet field is wide open and the winning players know what they are---and aren't. Lenovo has the relationships, know-how and sales team to grab the enterprise, a market that is up for grabs as RIM, HP and Cisco jockey for position.

Related:

PC market contracts: Business upgrade cycle weakens, consumers wary

Weak PC sales likely to ding Microsoft's Windows cash cow

Topics: Lenovo, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Tablets

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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