Lenovo Launches ThinkPad, Unfazed by HP Failure

Dennis Faas's picture

Given that Hewlett-Packard (HP) just slashed the price of its TouchPad tablet to $99, now may not be the best time to launch a $500+ business-inspired touchscreen device. Nevertheless, Lenovo believes it can succeed where HP failed by targeting the suit-and-tie crowd.

Just last week, HP abandoned its relatively unpopular TouchPad tablet. The decision prompted a widespread fire-sale that included cutting the price of the 16GB TouchPad from $399 to an unbelievable $99, while the 32GB edition went from $499 to just $149.

While many consumers were wowed by the price and bulldozed their way through Best Buy outlets to get their hands on the abandoned TouchPad, the underlying story was that a major hardware manufacturer had tried to beat Apple's iPad and failed, miserably.

ThinkPad Tablet Price Range: $499 to $669

In essence, the message from the HP TouchPad bonanza was that Apple is a very tough competitor and continues to maintain a stranglehold on a surprisingly profitable market. Nonetheless, Lenovo has continued with the launch of their 10.1-inch ThinkPad Tablet, which went on sale on Tuesday. It comes in three flavors.

The 16GB version goes for $499, the 32GB for $569, and a bulky 64GB edition retails for a whopping $669. All feature WiFi now, but we're told WiFi/3G combination packages are on the way. (Source: unwiredview.com)

The difference between the iPad and ThinkPad Tablet is the targeted audience. As usual, Apple has gone after the casual consumer and the general audience -- not a bad idea. But Lenovo believes there's room in this market for what it calls "the first true business-friendly tablet" that targets "business users" and "mobile professionals" with a "business tablet ecosystem". (Source: theregister.co.uk)

Android 3.1, Business Software, Multiple Inputs Lead Feature List

That ecosystem is based around Google's Android 3.1 platform and includes the Good Technology 'Good for Enterprise' mobile applications suite. There's also access to the Cisco AnyConnect VPN client, Computrace Mobile device tracker, and PrinterShare from Printer Anywhere.

Lenovo is also marketing the device along with a couple swishy-looking business-style accessories, including the ThinkPad Tablet Keyboard Folio (retails for $100) and the ThinkPad Tablet Pen ($40). The Folio keeps the tablet safe with style, while the luxurious-looking pen allows users to scribble notes on the touchscreen display.

Also setting the ThinkPad Tablet apart is its milieu of input options: there are two USB ports (one mini, one full-sized), an SD Card slot, a dock connection, and even a mini-HDMI port for linking to external video.

In case consumers are worried the ThinkPad Tablet is all work and no play, Lenovo says the device comes pre-loaded with 25 apps, including the popular game Angry Birds.

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