Sci-Tech Today: Android Tablets from Lenovo

Mark Long
Sci-Tech Today

A new family of media tablets with two models running Android 3.0, Honeycomb, has been introduced by Lenovo. Besides the IdeaPad K1 with Adobe Flash Player, Lenovo plans an enterprise-class ThinkPad tablet. Lenovo's IdeaPad K1 is certified to stream Netflix videos. Lenovo's ThinkPad tablet will offer encryption and anti-theft software.

Lenovo has introduced a new family of media tablets that includes two models running Google's tablet -centric Android 3.0, Honeycomb. Certified for delivery of Netflix video streaming, the new IdeaPad K1 features Adobe Flash Player 10.3 as well as console-quality gaming capabilities.
The K1 integrates HDMI output and digital rights management so Netflix members can stream movies and TV programs to a big-screen TV. The company's upcoming ThinkPad tablet will also have this capability when it becomes available next month.

"Currently the K1 tablet has the ability to rent and stream movies via the Mspot movies app preloaded on the device," noted Ninis Samuel, global director of mobile product marketing at Lenovo. "After a system update is added," Samuel explained Wednesday, "users can stream TV shows and movies" directly from Netflix.

For Consumers and Professionals

Lenovo's future tablet plans include the addition of an app that will let users watch movie-rental downloads while offline. "However, we are not able to provide details on this future service or the partner involved at this time," Samuel said.

Tipping the scales at about 1.65 pounds, Lenovo's IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad tablets sport 10.1-inch high-definition widescreen displays. The enterprise -class ThinkPad, however, also features scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass as well as a 178-degree viewing angle.

Other shared hardware features include Nvidia's dual-core Tegra 2 processor and ultralow-power GeForce GPU, together with support for a maximum 64GB of solid-state drive (SSD) storage and DDR2 memory of up to 1GB. Both tablets also have two-megapixel (front) and five-megapixel (back) cameras, as well as Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth radios.

The two Honeycomb-powered tablets integrate micro-USB and SIM card ports and either a micro HDMI (IdeaPad) or mini-HDMI (ThinkPad) port for connecting to external projectors and displays. The ThinkPad also includes a native USB 2.0 port and a full-size SD card slot as well as support for optional accessories, such as a digitizer pen and a $99 ThinkPad keyboard folio case.

ThinkPad Security Features

The ThinkPad tablet maintains data confidentiality through the use of SD card encryption, lost device disablement, and anti-theft software. For example, the tablet's built-in Computrace technology, which maintains a persistent connection, enables the unit to be frozen and its data deleted if lost or stolen.

Lenovo's ThinkPad includes Citrix Receiver -- a universal client that enables IT departments to securely deliver enterprise data, apps and complete desktops from virtualized XenDesktop and XenApp infrastructures. Also on tap is McAfee's mobile security suite, which automatically backs up and restores user data as well as safeguarding the machine from viruses, spyware and bogus web sites.

On the software side, the ThinkPad will ship with Documents to Go, which enables users to view, edit and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint files as well as display PDF files. Offering support for password-protected Word and Excel 97-2007 files, Documents to Go also includes a Windows desktop app for achieving bidirectional synchronization.

Priced at $499, the IdeaPad K1 with a 32GB SSD can be purchased beginning Thursday through select business partners and retail stores nationwide, while the ThinkPad with a 16GB SSD is scheduled for launch on Aug. 2 at $479 -- or at $509 with an optional digitizer pen. Additionally, Lenovo is planning a fourth-quarter launch for the IdeaPad P1, a tablet that will run Microsoft's Windows 7 and feature a 1.5-GHz Intel processor.

July 20th, 2011