Flavor of the Week: Lenovo’s Android Tablets

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THE HYPE: PC maker Lenovo is launching its first family
of tablets — three Wi-Fi models capable of streaming
Netflix movies and Adobe Flash video directly on their
screens or an external HD display. Two are built on
Google’s Android 3.1 operating system: The IdeaPad
Tablet K1 for consumers and the ThinkPad Tablet for
business customers, which both provide access to
more than 250,000 apps in the Android Market, plus
apps in the Lenovo App Shop. The IdeaPad Tablet P1
for home and office users runs Microsoft’s Windows
7 platform.

WHAT IT MEANS: Lenovo is aiming to crack into the
tablet market, which to date has been dominated by
Apple. Unlike the iPad, Lenovo tablets provide built-in
Adobe Flash Player to provide access to video from
Hulu and other sites. Lenovo also is developing a new
application to be preloaded on the tablets that will let
users rent or buy movies to play offline. A forthcoming
ThinkPad Tablet will have a 3G wireless option.

($499) was available to order starting July 20; 16-GB
ThinkPad Tablet ($509 with digitizer pen and Wi-Fi)
and 32-GB ThinkPad Tablet ($589 with digitizer pen
and Wi-Fi) will be available to order starting Aug. 2.
The IdeaPad Tablet P1 is to be available in the fourth
quarter of 2011.