Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

Summary: Lenovo made its tablet move with two Android devices, including one that's aimed at the enterprise and its core ThinkPad customers.

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Lenovo made its tablet move with two Android devices, including one that's aimed at the enterprise and its core ThinkPad customers.

The company, which is one of the few PC vendors posting strong growth, is entering three devices into the tablet race. Two tablets will run on Nvidia's Tegra 2 processor and Android. Another will run Windows 7 and Intel.

  • A consumer-focused IdeaPad Tablet K-1. This tablet will start at $449 for a $16GB version, feature Android 3.1 and be the first to be certified to deliver Netflix streaming. The K-1 comes with a bundle of apps so it works out of the box and has Lenovo specific touches for social networking in the user interface. The device weighs in at 1.65 pounds and resembles Acer's Iconia. A 32GB K1 is $499 and available in August.

  • The ThinkPad tablet is clearly aimed at the enterprise and offers support packages as well as VPN support. Lenovo executives said that the ThinkPad Tablet is set up so IT managers won't have to sweat accessories and integration points with other devices. The ThinkPad Tablet has full-sized USB and SD card ports. Email support comes via Good Technology files can be swapped with Windows 7 PCs easily. Enterprises can also distribute company developed apps easily via custom app stores. The ThinkPad Tablet will be $499 without a digitizer pen and $529 with it. Preorders start July 20 with availability in August.

  • A Windows 7 IdeaPad that will be available in the fourth quarter. This tablet will include Intel processors and aims to meld the laptop and tablet experience.

Of those three aforementioned devices, the most interesting one is the ThinkPad Tablet. The K-1 seems a bit me-too even though 40 preloaded apps are a nice perk. As for the ThinkPad Tablet, Lenovo has a good shot at the wide open corporate market. Despite the consumerization movement, which has given Apple a nice lead with the iPad, many organizations will still buy tablets for employees.

These corporations happen to be used to buying from the likes of Lenovo, Research in Motion and HP. Dilip Bhatia, vice president of Lenovo's Think product group, said that the ThinkPad Tablet was designed with customer input. These customers wanted a tablet that didn't require new cables and easily connected to their PC infrastructure.

Here's a look at the ThinkPad Tablet specs:

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

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Lenovo, Mobility

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29 comments
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  • Shame about Q4

    We've been looking for a decent tablet for a while now and most suppliers try and fob us off with an iPad or Android device, or an Intel Atem based Windows tablet, none of which are suitable for our customer's use.

    The Windows 7 IdeaPad looks interesting, if we had specifications and availablility now, we would probably pounce on them...
    wright_is
    • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

      @wright_is
      Out of curiosity, what is it about the iPad that makes it unsuitable for your customers?
      sheepguy42
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @sheepguy42 <br>A few thoughts:<br>Lack of GP support<br>Lack of in app proxy support<br>Lack of USB port<br>Lack of SD or other card support<br>Lack of imaging ability or other pre-configuration tools (maybe this is more an IT issue but what user really wants to install all their own apps)<br>Lack of support for network printing (admittedly there are some dodgy wifi printer support, nothing that an enterprise will use tho)<br>DCHP issues (telling me to set a static IP is not a solution)<br>Can use full applications designed for windows (productivity wise this would be a big win)<br>Educational and site license options availiable for software
        real networking and options like file syncronisation<br>How much time you got?<br><br>The only down side I see to this is Win7's interface is a little clunky for tablet devices. If Win 8's interface is as good as it looks and it comes soon... It will likely dominate in enterprise.<br><br>Don't get me wrong, I like the Ipad. It's a great personal device. But personal and enterprise are very, very different and the Ipad is left wanting in many areas.
        red400r
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @ red400r<br>Um, what?!?<br>All of these things exist for the iPad, including in app proxy support, USB via 30-pin connector, SD card via 30-pin connector, central admin imaging, real networking and options like file synchronization already exist, as does network printing. Some of these are just TOTALLY disingenuous (though this matches your clear moral lassitude in your argument). Educational and site licensing of software is up to individual software vendors. Many DO offer these licenses. Claiming otherwise makes you ignorant or a liar. Requiring them to run Windows apps is just stupid.
        DeusXMachina
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @sheepguy42 some of what red400r said, plus the inability to run Java and Flash. Java is a prerequiste for the acceptance by one customer - and Androids non-compliant version means the apps don't work.

        On top of that, we also need IP-65 tablets for another customer (water resistant, they get coverred in blood and offle and need to be able to be cleaned by a water jet on a regular basis.

        @red400r the user interface of the OS is irrelevant. The tablet boots into a single application, no Windows UI in sight.
        wright_is
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @sheepguy42

        I didn't mean a windows user environment, also dodgy addons to use USB/card etc. do not count! If you think they do then you do not support users.. finally if you have a link to something that will fully image/configure and deploy all apps and all setting (including network) so when I hand my users the device everything is ready to go imediately.... then please post it for me asap as I could really use it?

        As for being a liar, incorrect I may well turn out to be but I'd like to see some proof first (please post links) rather than the general rambling of a fanboy.
        red400r
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        I'd have to say: Not much USB Port, GP Support, Proxy Support and imaging abilities. I feel Win7 is a tad chunky interface wise for tablets. <a href="http://www.lacarhire.net">LA Car Hire</a>
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        molly83
  • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

    Not a bad initial salvo..

    Wonder what is in the K1 that allows Netflix?
    :|
    rhonin
    • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

      @rhonin
      I think tablets (and phones, etc.) need to support HDCP (high bandwidth digital content protection) to have Netflix. Chances are, if the device has an HDMI out port, it does.
      dvanderwerken
  • By the time Lenovo gets this to market - it will be obsolete. 1 word. IPAD

    This is the first tablet I ever thought of purchasing because I do not like IPADs. I would run Ubuntu or Android 3 on it but with the advancements coming so fast and furious from Apple, competitors like Lenovo have to move faster to get their products to market.

    The products have to "out-sexy" and out-perform the IPAD. I like the price point but max limitations on hardware like RAM - really make me wonder; which market are you guys competing in? Apples?

    Come stronger and faster next time Lenovo. How about this? Make a Tablet that will eliminate the need for users to carry a phone and a Tablet. I would prefer to see Tablet + Bluetooth earpiece/glasses combo for $1000 that can receive and transmit voice and video cellular calls while using the 4G network (oops) and work with Verizon's network too. Do that and IPAD loses. Do it quick and Apple can stop claiming first prize every quarter and then doing an Usain Bolt on yah!
    hrhkee@...
    • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

      @hrhkee@... I dunno I can already do most things on my netbook that I do on my fully fledged laptop. If I had the netbook in tablet formfactor I'd be happy as a pig in the proverbial... I think most consumers are more than happy with the performance, it's having something that's seemless and easy to use. The improvements in windows 7 tablet interface long time coming but now here make a win7 tab a viable alternative to ipad. And if you want something lighter and cheaper, still with the performance of an ipad, go for an android device. Very similiar modus operandi to the ipad but with nice extras like memory slots and better wifi connectivity.
      pitdroidtech
    • No &quot;sexy&quot; required at work...

      @hrhkee@...
      Corporate users (who actually work) don't care about "sexy." They want a powerful, flexible machine that can get real work done with business productivity applications and mature, proprietary, Windows-based client software that is authenticated on an Active Directory policy-controlled network. This is why corporate iPad adoption has been minimal -- iOS wasn't designed for business systems integration.

      I see this as a potential laptop computer replacement. I use my Lenovo T61 docked 99% of the time. During the times that I'm running on battery power, I rarely use the keyboard for serious data entry -- usually just for reference or network troubleshooting. If extensive data entry is required, a small USB keyboard can be taken along with the Lenovo tablet.
      Bit-Smacker
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @Bit-Smacker

        "This is why corporate iPad adoption has been minimal -- iOS wasn't designed for business systems integration."

        Um, newsflash. Windows tablets have been around for over a decade, and corporate adoption has been essentially zero. So good luck with all that.
        DeusXMachina
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @DeusXMachina
        Unfortunately, IBM was too far ahead of its time with the tablet idea. IBM had production tablets long before the iPad was considered. The problem is that the chosen OS lacked touch-screen refinements that would have made it practical.

        My ThinkPad TransNote actually works great. Windows 2000 was a bit clunky for it (however, it still could join an Active Directory domain), but the real reason it failed to sell was excessive price. With Windows 7, it's much more functional as a touch screen device, and would be more practical in daily use, but the hardware is now too old and slow (owner's manual shows Copyright 2000). Still, take the same hardware and install Android or tablet edition Linux on it, and it's a perfectly functional tablet PC.

        All of this technology existed long before the iPad or iPhone, which is why I laugh when I read about Apple's pitiful patent infringement complaints. Everything they sell was copied from a real innovator. They simply, more artfully, implemented it -- but that doesn't give them the right to pretend they created something new.
        Bit-Smacker
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @Bit-Smacker

        Again, you are just misinformed. First, IBM had nothing to do with the first tablets. Tablets from GRiD Systems predate anything from IBM. Nor is your comment about "touch screen refinements" even remotely sensical. IBM had a HUGE R&D arm, and certainly could have worked on this field if they so chose. They didn't. Apple did. More on this later.
        Third, if all your comments re: Android and Tablet Linux were true, vis-a-vis business use of tablets were even REMOTELY applicable, then the Archos MIDs would have been the ones causing the stir. They are not. But calling the Transnote a perfectly functional tablet PC SHOWS the silliness of this argument.

        "All of this technology existed long before the iPad or iPhone, which is why I laugh when I read about Apple's pitiful patent infringement complaints."

        No, it didn't. Capacitive touch screens, for one, did not. Nor did the heuristics Apple developed for Multi-Touch, nor many of the other specifics developed by FingerWorks, which Apple acquired, with patents dating back to 1998. Please list these devices prior to 1998.
        Since the R&D for the iPad predates the iPhone, and started well before 2005, you will be hard pressed to provide a single example that bolsters your claim.

        "Everything they sell was copied from a real innovator."

        Oh really. It is easy for revisionist history hacks such as yourself to post this tripe on the internet, not quite so easy for you to back it up. So let's see some citations, SPECIFIC devices that predate specific patents. Bet you can't come up with much.
        DeusXMachina
  • Full PC tablets that have a keyboard & everything else

    From Dell -- Inspiron Duo (under 600$), HP -- 2760p, Lenovo X220T & S10-3t (under 600$), Asus (some under 600$), Fujitsu 900, Panasonic C1 Toughbook, etc...
    It's not spam. While slates are a cool & needed option for entertainment and consumption, slates are getting too much hype -- especially for business.

    For business use, a full featured Tablet PC loaded with MS Office -- especially One Note, makes more sense than a large form factor mobile-oriented OS.
    voltrarian
    • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

      @voltrarian
      And yet over ten years later, STILL no one is buying them.
      DeusXMachina
  • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

    I am a IT professional, I am waiting the Thinkpad Tablet with Linux (Android) since I hear about it, this will be so helpful in my work. The reason why I do not have a tablet jet is because none serious vendor has a tablet with linux, mac and windows are not for IT professional but for final users.
    xcallejas
    • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

      @xcallejas

      Um, being that OSX is a fully POSIX compliant UNIX, and Linux is not, I fail to see how that makes Linux superior.
      DeusXMachina
      • RE: Lenovo launches tablet portfolio, eyes enterprise with ThinkPad Tablet

        @DeusXMachina

        xcallejas is correct. Linux can be (legally) virtualized and massively scaled in various cloud infrastructures. OSX is held back from so many great possibilities by Apple's own paranoid vendor lock-in practices.

        Apple finally made the move to an industry-standard Intel-based architecture. Why not provide datacenter virtualization licensing so that OSX supporters could use it as a base for cloud applications and happily pay for such licensing? AWS could offer an OSX AMI with licensing costs included in the usage fees and Apple would have a nice new income stream for their otherwise defunct OSX Server platform.

        But, as usual, Apple wants to do everything in-house with their own late-to-the-game cloud attempt. It cheapens the OS and makes it look like a toy in the eyes of the I.T. industry. They're really only hurting their own advocates who would welcome open accessibility to OSX-based cloud servers and services.
        Bit-Smacker