Can Lenovo's New 'ThinkPad' Tablet Beat the iPad?

Undaunted by HP TouchPad's poor performance in sales, Lenovo is still betting on the tablet market.

Lenovo today announced the launch of its ThinkPad Tablet, designed more for business and academic professionals as opposed to the average consumer, suggests the company's website.

Running on Android 3.1 Honeycomb, the ThinkPad Tablet will face fierce competition against other tablets of similar ranks such as Apple's iPad 2 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, although the company may believe that the tablet's distinctive features will distinguish it from those two.

The company states that the ThinkPad is a tablet "unlike other tablets on the market." The reason being is that it allows professionals to do more business, and work more productively and securely.

The ThinkPad does indeed have distinctive features unseen in popular tablet devices such as the iPad and the Galaxy Tab, but whether it may be distinctive or useful enough to draw attention away from iPad-using business enterprises, a key market audience for Lenovo, is something we will all have to wait and see.

The distinct features include:

  • optional digitizer pen
  • full-size USB port
  • full-size SD card slot
  • mini-HDMI for connecting to external displays
  • keyboard folio case with optical TrackPoint

“The ThinkPad Tablet gives mobile professionals the most intuitive user experience available on a tablet today, thanks to its unique pen-based handwriting recognition technology,” said Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of ThinkPad Business Unit, Lenovo. “We wanted to replicate the way people work naturally with pen and paper by allowing them to digitally write, draw and create content while also optimizing the ThinkPad Tablet for business with a layered security solution and full IT management.”

The tablet possesses a 10.1-inch 1280×800 touchscreen, a 1 GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1 GB of RAM, two cameras (five and two megapixels), weighs 1.6 pounds and is 0.57 inch thick.

Wi-Fi models can be purchased at Lenovo's website or its network of U.S. business partners for $499 (16GB), $569 (32GB), and $669 (64GB). They begin shipping this coming Monday. 3G and 4G models are not yet available.

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