Lenovo has recently clarified their slate tablet plans, unequivocally stating they are skipping Windows 7 for slates and waiting for the upcoming release of Android codenamed “Honeycomb.”
The LePad, Lenovo’s revised slate PC, announced in September with intentions to ship in December, but only in China. Plans to release Android products outside of China were mum, but it now appears those plans may materialize by summer 2011.
Regardless, these timeframes are all dependent on the slate-specific version of Google’s Android OS, codenamed Honeycomb. Lenovo has no interest in shipping a slate with the current Android 2.2, aka Froyo, just as they wouldn’t use Windows 7. While Froyo is clearly a touch-optimized OS, it is not optimized for the larger screens in slates and would present a problematic experience.
Windows 7, on the other hand, is optimized around mouse and keyboard input. While recent changes make Windows 7 the most touch-friendly Windows OS to date, it is still far from ideal. In this market, with the sheer amount of competition in the slate space, one must have a well polished solution to have any chance of being competitive.