Lenovo just released this quick video, showing their upcoming LePad slate and its docking IdeaPad U1 hybrid base in action. From what we see here, the customized Android interface is fast and fluid, as is the switch from slate-only LePad to the IdeaPad U1 base running Windows 7 on an Intel CULV processor.
Officially announced in final form at CES 2010, the LePad is a 10.1-inch slate running Google’s Android 2.2 operating system. It is powered by a 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and will be available in China soon for around $520 USD, with a U.S. debut expected later this year.
The IdeaPad U1 is the optional docking base that allows the LePad to snap in and seamlessly switch from the Snapdragon/Android slate to a standard notebook running Windows 7 with an Intel CULV processor. The IdeaPad U1 with LePad included is expected to run about $1300 USD.
The time has finally come for the official launch of Lenovo’s long expected IdeaPad U1 Hybrid and LePad slate. The product concept is still very similar to what was originally announced early last year: a Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered slate with a base/dock that runs Windows 7 with an Intel processor. Read on for the full scoop [click to continue…]
A number of little tidbits have been slipping out from Lenovo HQ, so we’ve gathered them up in this post to keep our dear readers in the know.
Right off the bat, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing is touting a strong drive within Lenovo to continue their strong growth. He pointed out in particular the growing market for tablet devices, ala iPad and LePad, which Lenovo wants to cash in on. Not one known for beating around the bush, Yuanqing had the following to say:
“We will keep growing faster than the market average, than the competition.”
Speaking of tablets, Yang also confirmed that their LePad slate tablet will be coming to the U.S. sometime next year. There is no word on pricing, but we do know that it should debut in China in December.
As part of their plan for global domination (er, of the PC market), they are also once again publicly looking for companies to put in their pocket. The last we heard of such talk was back in April, when they were considering buying Palm (which was snapped up by HP) and Brazilian PC maker Positivo.
While there are no details on what companies they are trying to court, Positivo hasn’t been snapped up yet and would be a logical choice given their strong position in the South American PC market, an area that Lenovo is drooling over.
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.
Lenovo has apparently started spilling the beans on its Google Android powered slate tablet, the LePad.
They will release the slate in December, with the hybrid dock seen in the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid coming in January. There is no word on specs or hardware, so for all we know this could be the original U1 Hybrid as shown at CES 2010 and they just decided to sell the tablet by itself.
The bad news here is that for the time being this will be sold only in China. Lenovo’s CEO has already gloated that Apple is missing the boat to China and their decision to focus innovative new products in that region is no surprise. Add in the huge opportunity that Android has in China and Lenovo’s decision makes a lot of sense.
While this means the mature markets won’t get the sexy new LePad for a while, it could also mean we will get a more refined second generation device with fewer bugs.