A VAR Guy Preview: Lenovo IdeaPad K1, ThinkPad Tablet Event
You may remember in July we reported Lenovo unveiled a trio of tablets: two Android tablets and one Windows-based tablet. I’ve been tapped to review two of those tablets, The IdeaPad K1 (for an extended period) and the ThinkPad Tablet (at a special Lenovo event Aug. 30, 2011). Here’s what I’ll be looking for to find out if the tablets are a winner for you, the channel, or the SMB …
First up, the IdeaPad K1 is designed with the consumer in mind. It’s Lenovo’s Android tablet designed to compete directly in the 10-inch tablet space, running Android Honeycomb 3.1 with the popular Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU. For this tablet, I’ll be looking for clues regarding how well Lenovo deals with one of my main complaints about Android in general: stuttering and lag. The Tegra 2 is a zippy CPU, but Lenovo is also known for making things faster with its Lenovo Enhanced Experience on PCs, so I’ll be pleased if it did something similar with Android. But since the K1 is a consumer product, I’ll be focusing on the multimedia aspects of the device, including camera quality and overall speediness of the web browser with Flash, as well as a full review of Android Honeycomb and the Google Marketplace tablet app library. I’m allowed to have the loaner unit for up to 60 days, so feel free to add anything in the comments you’d like me to test.
At Lenovo’s tablet event, I’ll spend some hands-on time with the ThinkPad Tablet, which is designed for the business user. From the looks of it, the ThinkPad Tablet is a sleeker, sexier version of the K1, with a few more business features in mind, such as a special stylus, SD card reader with built-in encryption capabilities, and a unique ThinkPad Tablet keyboard case. I’ll be looking to play with all these unique accessorizes and determine their usefulness in the business world.
Currently, it’s been hard to pick one tablet best for a business user’s needs. There’s the Cisco Cius, but it’s most useful when you’ve bought into the Cisco ecosystem of products. The businessman’s tablet still is something that is a mix of consumerization of IT trends, and whatever product an IT team is willing to support.
I have high hopes for both units, as Lenovo has impressed me in the past with its hardware design and eye to detail in the PC world. I’m hopeful the company can apply the same polish to the Android world. If you have anything specifically that you’d like me to test out or dig deep on with the ThinkPad Tablet, let me know and I’ll be sure to grab the right person’s ear at the ThinkPad event.