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.