Hopefully you weren’t sitting on the Android tablet sidelines, patiently waiting for Lenovo’s options. Yeah, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. The company’s COO recent stated that the Lenovo’s US-market tablet will not be based around the Android 2.2 Froyo release, but rather Honeycomb. Therefore, if Google pushes back Honeycomb, Lenovo’s tablet will obviously have to suit. This puts the tablet on schedule for a Summer 2011 release — or rather a few months into the iPad 2’s life.
While the Android tablet was delayed, the Windows 7 flavor is simply canceled and for good reason too. Lenovo’s director of new technology, Howard Locker, nailed it by saying, “The challenge with Windows 7 is that it’s based on the same paradigm as 1985—it’s really an interface that’s optimized for a mouse and keyboard. It has to be optimized for touch. How do you do that?” Finally! At least someone gets it. Well, seeing how there really isn’t that many Windows 7 tablets available, a good amount of higher-ups probably get it, but it’s nice to see one actually say why.
It’s somewhat strange, however, to see Lenovo taking this standoffish approach though. This is the same company that stunned the CES 2010 press with some of the only innovative products at the whole show.
Think back to CES 2010. Ereaders where all the rage but a few companies had tablets. Lenovo took a little different approach. It didn’t show just borring ol’ tablets. Oh no, they took it to a new level with the Skylight smartbook and the U1 hybrid netbook tablet thing. Both were totally different from anything else at the show and we were promised that they would hit the market in the coming months.
But as things go, that didn’t happen. The Skylight, with it’s Snapdragon CPU and custom Linux CPU, met the chopping block. The U1’s OS was switched from the Lenovo’s Linux build to Android but it’s still M.I.A.
However, Lenovo still has the Android LePad destined for the Asian market. This tablet is said to be released by the end of the year and will not be held up until Honeycomb.
Update: Terminology is hard. Sometimes companies use different terms for different products. It seems that Lenovo calls their convertible notebooks, tablets and so the company would like to clarify that they have no plans on canceling the ThinkPad X Series Tablet line. Fair enough, but let’s try not to call apples, oranges and convertible notebooks, tablets.