Lenovo Tablet PC line is extensive and interesting but does it match up?

Three different Lenovo Tablet PC devices are being released this year, the IdeaPad Tablet K1, the ThinkPad Tablet and the IdeaPad Tablet P1.

 

While the first two are based on the Android platform, the P1 is expected to be a Microsoft Tablet PC, equipped with the Windows 7 operating system.

The K1 is targeting consumers, the ThinkPad is geared towards business oriented users and the P1 is supposed bridge the gap between tablets and laptop computers.

It is a bold move for Lenovo to enter such a crowded market with three Lenovo Tablet PC products at the same time. As a company that started out in the 1980s as an agent for imported computer products, Lenovo quickly morphed into a multinational IT behemoth, which culminated with the 2005 acquisition of the IBM Personal Computing Division.

Suddenly expanding into the third-largest personal computer manufacturing enterprise in the world, Lenovo established a good brand name based on quality products and sound customer care. 

IdeaPad Tablet K1

Lenovo Tablet PC, Lenovo K1 Ideapad

Equipped with the NVIDIA Tegra T20 1 GHz Processor and featuring the Android 3.1 Honeycomb OS, up to 1GB DDR2 memory and up to 64 GB SSD storage capacity, this new Lenovo tablet PC goes a step further than the competition.

Providing the already common microSD slot, but also other features expected from a high end device, such as two cameras, one in the front and one in the back, HDMI connectivity and a double digit battery life, the K1 tablet will nevertheless have a hard time competing the already overly crowded market.

Since that it is meant to be in direct competition with the market leader, Apple’s iPad, it lacks two fundamental necessities to be really interesting: First, it is not priced low enough and second, it brings nothing new to the market.

It seems that Lenovo is trying to push the business version and perhaps even the Windows 7 version more and releases the K1 just because everybody else releases a Honeycomb entertainment tablet.

Competition is hard, particularly with Android devices and Lenovo offers with the K1 nothing new, but a high quality device featuring all the expected characteristics. Read more about the Lenovo Android Tablet K1… 

Lenovo Tablet PC, Lenovo K1 Ideapad, pros-cons

IdeaPad Tablet A1

Lenovo Tablet PC, Lenovo A1 Ideapad

The laptop manufacturing giant releases another Lenovo Tablet PC, which will turn the whole market upside down. The seven inch device features an ARM Cortex A8 1.0 GHz processor and 512 DDR RAM memory, up to 16 GB onboard storage, 1024 x 600 screen resolution with two finger touchscreen.

The front VGA camera is for video chat, the back camera at 3 megapixels allows HD video recording.

There are several interesting features that raise the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 well above the price range, for instance, the integrated GPS is available in offline mode as well, there is full Adobe Flash support, Micro-USB connector is on board, as is a microSD card reader, propelling the expandability of storage way beyond the competition.

It needs to be noted that the operating system is (only) Android 2.3, Gingerbread, and that any upgrades to Android 3.0 or above are not planned.

Furthermore, the RAM memory is with 512 MB below the expected standard, but the said standard applies to tablet devices in a price range amounting almost double and more.

Frankly speaking, Lenovo did the decent thing and really provided an entry level tablet, saving money wherever feasible without compromising too much. A fine line has been threaded and threaded well.

The tablet does not feel cheap, quite to the contrary, it appears more debonair than many of the much more expensive tablets on the market. Most of the applications run without any perceivable inhibition, the average user would probably barely see any difference between the IdeaPad A1 and, for instance, the Dell Streak 7 Wi-Fi, which is significantly more expensive.

As an inexpensive, entry level tablet, the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 gives the Amazon Kindle Fire ample competition, with a significant difference: the IdeaPad A1 is available for purchase worldwide, the Kindle Fire is not.Read our full Lenovo IdeaPad A1 review…

Lenovo Tablet PC, Lenovo A1 Ideapad pros and cons

The ThinkPad tablet

Lenovo Tablet PC, ThinkPad Tablet

Similarly equipped like the K1 – only without the SSD storage and for some reason with a lower battery life – the third of the new Lenovo tablet PCs is pre-loaded with several useful applications targeting business oriented users.

This much touted attribute is apparently stressed by the optionally available digitizer input pen and the McAfee Securityapplication. The only other application that is also not included in the previously reviewed K1 is the extremely useful Citrix Receiver, which provides direct tablet access to a stationery computer, granting full access if the corresponding client on the target machine has been configured as such.

A foldable tablet keyboard folio case is available as an option, which makes this a direct competitor to the ASUS Tablet PC the Eee Transformer.

Unfortunately the folio case does not provide the additional battery power like the Transformer does. On the other hand, it has full size USB 2.0 and micro-USB ports on the device.

If Lenovo would have put the good features of the ThinkPad and the K1 into one device, now that would have been a really interesting tablet – unfortunately Lenovo decided to go for the marketing punchlines rather than uniqueness and ingenuity. An in depth look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Android Tablet is availabe… 

Lenovo Tablet PC, ThinkPad Tablet, pros-cons

IdeaPad Tablet P1 – the Microsoft Tablet PC

Lenovo Tablet PC, Lenovo P1 Ideapad

The first tablet device that featured a Windows based operating system was introduced way back in 2001 and commercially released a year later.

It was not a success, at least it did not make waves like the iPad the Apple tablet pc did in 2010.

In the latest wave of tablet PC releases, several such incarnations are more of a laptop with a touchscreen, rather than a fully blown tablet with Windows 7.

Of all the new Lenovo tablet PCs, this is the one is targeting the reluctant crowd that is not yet ready to abandon their netbooks and tries to provide them with the best of both worlds, Windows 7 and tablet innovation as the current trend.

While this Microsoft tablet PC may be interesting, the performance will be an issue, particularly in comparison with already available models from the competition, some already featuring integrated full-size keyboards. To read a more detailed review about Lenovo IdeaPad P1 Windows Tablet PC… 

Lenovo Tablet PC, Lenovo P1 Ideapad, pros-cons

Conclusion

The new Lenovo Tablet PC devices are interesting products from one of the largest IT technology manufacturers that are designed to conquer a niche in the very crowded tablet device market.

High quality products from a reputable manufacturer generally fare well, particularly with business oriented users. The only serious flaw of the tablets is the price.

Within the projected sale price there are already scores of useful and quite capable devices, including the very popular Samsung Tablet PC the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

A big manufacturer such as Lenovo with all the available resources should have been able to produce the tablets at a lower price, making thereby a more serious impact in the market. Unfortunately the designers chose to split good features between the tablets (SSD drive, USB slot), but this is no deal-breaker.