Update: Lenovo reached out to clarify that it is on track to launch an Android tablet called the LePad in China before year’s end. The company hasn’t officially announced a time frame for bringing that tablet to the US. The company also hasn’t ruled out producing a Windows 7 tablet, but has no products to announce at this time.

The company also isn’t commenting on rumors of an upcoming ThinkPad slate

Lenovo may not launch an Android powered tablet computer until the summer of 2011. CEO Rory Read told PC Magazine that the company plans to wait until after Google launches the a new version of its Android operating system. What’s interesting is that Read is indicating that it’s Android’s Honeycomb update which will bring tablet-friendly features, not the upcoming Gingerbread release. In other words, we might have to wait for two major Android updates until Lenovo and some other companies bring Android tablets to market. Or maybe Read just has his desserts mixed up.

Last I’d heard, Lenovo’s upcoming tablet would be based on a similar design to the tablet portion of the IdeaPad U1 hybrid notebook/tablet the company showcased at CES earlier this year. With these major delays, there’s a good chance the hardware will be redesigned by the time the Lenovo Android tablet finally makes it to market.

Read also says that Lenovo has no plans to launch a Windows 7 slate PC — although the company does offer convertible tablet-style laptops for both consumers and business users. That includes the IdeaPad S10-3t convertible tablet style netbook and ThinkPad X series tablets. The difference is that those computers have keyboards and touchscreen displays and can be used as either tablets or laptops.

There had been a rumor going around that Lenovo was planning to offer a ThinkPad Slate, but it looks like that’s not currently on Read’s roadmap for the company.

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4 replies on “Lenovo Android tablets delayed until mid-2011?”

  1. Sensible move. They won’t be taking a bath like the manufacturers jumping in now.

    Years from now, people will refer to this period like they did with Vista and Windows ME.

    And while I’m no Apple fanboy (I don’t have any recent Apple products), I’m afraid Apple will further cement its market share leadership. Even more so when iPad gen 2 comes out.

    And don’t be surprised if Apple STILL comes out with a 7″ tablet, Jobs’ rant notwithstanding. He may just be pointing out competitors’ shortcomings, only to “magically” address them with an Apple 7″ device.

    And to address the “fingers don’t scale” issue, I wouldn’t put it past Apple to also introduce a hardware Bluetooth keyboard with touchpad that makes a clamshell “netbook” for it’s 7″ slate, or a Lenovo IdeaPad U1-type base.

    In the meantime, look for Android and Windows 7 slates from the usual suspects: Acer, Asus, possibly MSI, HTC, Foxconn, Compal, and Quanta.

    MSI could be the dark horse here as they are quitting the motherboard business to concentrate on laptops, netbooks, tablets,
    and slates.

    Asus has been putting out very good netbooks although it has stumbled with convertibles (T91, T101) recently. But they quickly
    come back with with many, and good products (1015PN with ION, 1015PEM, 1215N dual core netbooks). I just hope they seal the deal by fixing their few quirks (like their one button touchpad buttons).

    Acer has been very aggessive in pricing, and could give Apple a
    run for its money pricewise. I’m just hoping that one doesn’t have
    to make too many sacrifices or cost reductions. Acer is one of the
    world’s larges computer makers, and has the resources to go head
    to head against anyone. Their stated goal has been to become the world’s larges computer maker, and that would naturally include slates/tablets.

    HTC is another dark horse. They’ve executed very well and quickly
    on smartphones, and could try to scale up.

    Foxconn, Compal, and Quanta make many products for big players
    like HP, Apple, Dell, Toshiba. They may already be making slates/tablets for noname brands.

  2. I don’t think there are such big problems with Android Froyo on tablets.

    Apps have to be optimized for the bigger screen size but that is about it.

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