Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Lenovo is now taking orders for its ThinkPad Tablet running Google Android 3.1 Honeycomb. Prices start at $499 for a 16GB model. A 32GB version is available for $569, and you can snag a 64GB model for $669.

On paper the ThinkPad Tablet looks a lot like other Honeycomb tablets. It has a 10.1 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel multitouch display, 1GB of memory, and an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor. The 16GB model is WiFi-only, while Lenovo will offer 3G options for the 32GB and 64GB models starting in October.

But here are a few things that set the ThinkPad tablet apart from most of its peers:

  • There’s support for pressure-sensitive input with an optional $30 ThinkPad Tablet Pen.
  • An optional $100 keyboard folio case adds a keyboard and an optical TrackPoint system.
  • It’s one of the first Honeycomb tablets to support Netflix video streaming.
  • While Google Android Honeycomb doesn’t require physical buttons, Lenovo offers hardware keys for home, back, web browser, and screen orientation lock.

The tablet also comes with DataViz Documents To Go software for editing office documents. It has a front-facing 2MP camera and a rear facing 5MP camera, a mini HDMI port, a USB 2.0 port, a micro USB port, and a dock connector.

The ThinkPad tablet has a 24.1 Whr battery, measures 10.3″ x 7.2″ x 0.6″ and weighs about 1.6 pounds. It’s expected to ship starting on August 29th, but it’s available for order starting today.

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4 replies on “Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet now available for $499 and up”

  1. I think tablet manufacturers should use the following computer program algorithm to analyze their design before investing in the manufacture and sale:

    iPad = “A 10″ glowing rectangle”
    OurTablet = “Yet another 10″ glowing rectangle which doesn’t say iPad on it and costs $499.”

    if(Tablet == OurTablet)
       print(“it will be a failure – cancel the product”)
    else if(Tablet == iPad)
       print(“it will sell loads”)

    program output:
    it will be a failure – cancel the product

  2. Pizza baked in a wood fired brick oven is amazing.  In the local markets of small towns along the French and Italian Rivieras, there are even little “lunch trucks” that setup which have wood burning brick ovens right inside them.  It’s some of the freshest, best tasting pizza that I’ve ever had.  Locally, we have a restaurant, the marketing for which closely aligns with the wood fired brick oven concept.  Their oven is prominently displayed within the restaurant, showcased behind decorative glass, highlighted with special lighting, and adorned with busy, costumed restaurant staff stuffing things into it and yanking thanks out of it with long, rustic looking tools.  On the outside, the oven is all brick.  On the inside, it’s not.  It’s metal.  It’s not allowed to be brick.  Also, despite the cords of wood neatly stacked about, there’s no wood in the oven.  There’s not allowed to be wood.  The flame dancing and blaring at the back of the oven is the result of burning gas, and it’s not even what’s heating the oven.  It’s ornamental fire.  The oven itself is heated uniformly with electricity.  It reminds me of this “tablet”.  A pressure sensitive “pen”?  Big dumb deal.  I’m pretty sure that nearly 15 years ago we had slates that shipped with a stylus and a screen that could respond to its pressure.  I think they also ran on embedded hardware platforms with severely limited operating systems targeted to phones.  They were also cheaper than this nonsense.  The reason that this “tablet” reminds me of this “wood fired brick oven” restaurant is the fact that Android is NOT a tablet operating system.  It has no built in tablet features.  There’s no exposed tablet API for me to whip up a crAPP that can do something better than pen and paper can.  There are no additionally available features when sufficient hardware is there to enable proper tablet computing.  You can’t just add a “pen”.  In fact, there is general agreement that NO passive digitizer is up to the task of tablet computing yet.  There needs to be an active digitizer, but that’s just the hardware.  There needs to be actual software there to complete the tablet experience. Ideally, it’s part of the operating system, but at the very least there should be some applications that offer actual tablet computing experience.  If it’s not allowing me to do what I can do with a pen and paper while allowing the work to be more useful to me and better understood by the computer, then it’s not a tablet.  It’s finger painting with a stick instead of fingers.  It’s just another dumb oven.  Windows, which I hate (but respect and recommend more than most other proprietary operating systems, including Android), is the only consumer-friendly operating system for tablet computing.  Elsewhere, the pen is a marketing gimmick, like that fake fireplace.  I have no doubt that the pen is “useful”, just not for tablet computing.  The device itself doesn’t support the hardware with sufficient software, especially at the operating system level.  I know itt’s frustrating when you’re consumer-grade beliefs let you down, but the simple fact is that Windows was one of the first operating systems that was ever useful without a keyboard.  It was one of the first operating systems that was ever useful with just a pressure sensitive, finger-only touchscreen.  It is still one of the only operating systems that can actually make proper use of an active digitizers, and it is the only consumer available operating system that can let a “maybe tablet” be an actual tablet.  Oh yeah, and instead of wasting money on one of these lousy devices, go visit the Riviera (and have some pizza)!

  3. They raised the price on the 16GB model, it won’t ship until September 9th, and they added sales tax to the order. Even the shipping cost is taxed. I’m moving on.

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