Lenovo introduced its updated line of ThinkPad business laptops today, including the ThinkPad X201 Tablet, a $1549 computer with a 12 .1 inch touchscreen display and a swivel so that you can use the PC either in laptop or tablet mode. But CNET reports that there’s one thing we won’t be seeing from Lenovo’s business division anytime soon: a tablet without a keyboard.

Sure, cutting the keyboard would let you make thinner and lighter devices that can be used with stylus input and/or on-screen keyboards. But ThinkPads are productivity machines first and foremost, whereas tablets like the upcoming iPad are designed for consuming media rather than creating it.

That’s not to say Lenovo is completely sour on the idea of tablets and slates altogether. The company’s consumer division recently launched the Ideapad S10-3t, a netbook with a 10 inch touchscreen display that can be folded over the keyboard for use in tablet mode. The upcoming Lenovo IdeaPad U1 also has a keyboard, but features a removable slate that can be used on its own. I wouldn’t be shocked to see the company eventually release the slate portion of the U1 if demand is high enough. After all, the company’s already invested in the R&D necessary to make the U1 usable without the keyboard.

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2 replies on “Lenovo: Don’t hold your breath waiting for a ThinkPad slate PC”

  1. Huh, I was looking forward to playing with their tablet. Hopefully someone around here will pick up their hybrid so I can get a few minutes hands on with it…

    Oh well, I’m hardly surprised. My own research is leading me to believe that these devices are going to find a very apathetic market, regardless of how excited I am personally by them. A lot of people seem to be wedded to the keyboard.

    Then again people said the iPhone would never work when it came out, and who would want to actually TOUCH the screen and get finger smudges all over it… So maybe it’s a matter of time and market and cognitive space penetration.

    Or they’ll flop like they did when companies were trying to bring them to market at UMPCs.

    Time will tell.

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