Pricing for Lenovo's ThinkPad tablet 16GB model is $499 without a digitizer pen, or $529 including the pen.
Lenovo is getting deeper
into the tablet fray, announcing that the ThinkPad Tablet, the company's
first business-class Android-based tablet, is now available for sale through
the computer vendor's network of U.S. business partners and online with models
starting at $499. Additionally, the company noted Seton Hall University would
be the first educational institution to deploy the ThinkPad Tablet when 350
students begin using it this fall.
The ThinkPad tablet, which
runs Google's Android 3.1 "Honeycomb" mobile OS, offers an optional
digitizer pen, full-size USB port, full-size SD card slot, mini-HDMI (mini-High-Definition
Multimedia Interface) for connecting to external displays and a keyboard folio
case with optical TrackPoint. The tablet also provides access to more than
250,000 applications in the Android Market as well as the curated Lenovo App
Shop, a fast track to the leading apps that are certified to work on Lenovo
products and are malware-free. Pricing for the 16GB model is $499 without the
digitizer pen, or $529 including the pen. Pricing for the 32GB model with the
digitizer pen is $599, and pricing for the 64GB version with the pen is $699.
Pricing for the optional keyboard portfolio case is $100.
"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,"
Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of Lenovo's ThinkPad business
unit, said in a statement. "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."
With Documents to Go by
DataViz, users can view and edit Microsoft Office documents while synchronizing
with their desktops via USB or Bluetooth. The tablet's pen and virtual desktop
support via Citrix Receiver allow users to leverage their corporate tools
without being in the office. Lenovo's SocialTouch application keeps track of
email, calendar notices and more, and OoVoo makes videoconferences possible by
using the Tablet's front-facing camera.
The tablet's layered
security solutions include full encryption (including SD card), remote wipe and
disable via Computrace to combat theft, and full VPN support. In addition, IT
managers can configure security and device settings with custom corporate
preloads from Lenovo's Imaging Technology Center. The open API set allows for
zero-touch deployment and management though LANDesk.
"CSC sees a rapidly
growing market opportunity for an enterprise tablet device that will enrich our
clients' experience with the cloud and provide the quality and highly secure
standards that are required by today's dynamic businesses," Nick
Wilkinson, president, of market and product strategy for the managed services
sector at CSC, said in a statement. "Lenovo has a proven track record of
launching enterprise-quality devices, and we are excited to be working with the
ThinkPad Tablet and expect to drive toward integration with our vertical
specific services in the near future."
In an interview
with the Financial Times, Lenovo
CEO Yang Yuanquing had some challenging words for Apple and the company's
iPad tablet, which currently dominates the market. Lenovo officials plan to hit
areas of the market that the pricier iPad may not reach, Yang said.
"We will be one of the
strongest of the players in this area," he said. "Apple only covers the
top tier. With a $500 price you cannot go to the small cities, townships, low
salary class, low-income class. I don't want to say we want to significantly
lower the price; rather our strategy is to provide more categories, to cover
different market segments."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.