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.