Lenovo's plans to release two Honeycomb tablets weren't the best kept secret out there, but now Lenovo has officially unveiled the cover over them: both share a dual-core Tegra 2 chip, a similar 10.1-inch display, RAM and ports, but the ThinkPad Tablet has a down-to-business look, an optional stylus and keyboard dock, while the IdeaPad K1, previously known as the Lenovo LePad, comes with a rounded body and an affordable price tag.
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
The ThinkPad Tablet has a serious, rectangular design and seems squarely aimed at corporate folk. It almost looks vintage but it packs some serious hardware: Gorilla Glass 10.1-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, a 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip, 1GB of RAM and optional 3G. It's not even close to matching the thin profile of tablets like the iPad 2 with its .55-inches of girth (14mm) and 1.6 pounds (725 grams) of pure weight. But it does offer plenty of connectivity options as a trade-off: mini-HDMI, full-size USB 2.0 and microUSB ports, none of which you have on the iPad 2. The slate has a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front facing one, perfect for video conferencing. Wi-Fi only version of the slate is expected to last as much as 8.7 hours.
It's not just about the hardware, though. The ThinkPad Tablet is well complemented by a handful of accessories, making it a true transformer. For $30 extra you can get a capacitive stylus and the N-Trig active digitizer allowing you to take notes with greater precision. You can also easily store the stylus on the edge of the device, so you always have it at hand. An additional $99 will buy you a keyboard dock, the ThinkPad Keyboard Folio, putting the ThinkPad Tablet in the same league as the ASUS Transformer. It even has Lenovo's signature red pointing stick.
On the software side, Lenovo is adding Netflix for movie streaming to Honeycomb 3.1, but also corporate security and communication apps like Cisco VPN and Computrace. Actually, the device is advertized with over 25 free applications including DocsToGo for editing your office files and Angry Birds HD. If you can overlook its squarey form, Lenovo's tablet can reward you with its versatile functionality starting in August when it is expected to hit shelves. Prices are planned at $499 for the basic 16GB model and $529 for the 32GB version.
Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1
The IdeaPad K1, previously known as the Lenovo LePad, has a much more fun look, with round edges and definitely a more consumer-oriented design. Spec-wise, though, it's very similar to the ThinkPad Tablet, with a 10.1” screen with 1280 x 800 pixels of resolution (this time it's no IPS display, though), Tegra 2 chip and 1GB of RAM. It doesn't feature any full size ports though as it only has a minid-HDMI connector and microSD slot.
In terms of dimensions, the IdeaPad K1 features a .52” profile with a still considerable heft of 1.65 pounds. Honeycomb here is skinned with Lenovo's Launch Zone on top of Honeycomb 3.1, but it also features Lenovo's own App Shop, and apps like Netflix for movie streaming along with a handful of others. Prices for the IdeaPad K1 start at $449, with the tablet expected to hit shelves today, July 20th.
I know this tablet was just announced, but how long will it take to get a full ThinkPad review and also a ThinkPad vs. Toshiba's Thrive showdown? I really, really like the idea of having a full-size USB 2.0 port and with both tablets new to the scene, I would like to know which one is a real "winner".