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Chinese vendors ramp up Android tablet plans

Jun 14, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Huawei tipped a “MediaPad” tablet running Android 3.x, said to be due June 20 and to be the company's smallest and lightest offering. Meanwhile, rival Chinese manufacturer Lenovo will release both consumer and enterprise 10-inch Android tablets, under the IdeaPad and ThinkPad brands respectively, says an industry report.

Chinese manufacturer Huawei posted a photograph of an upcoming MediaPad tablet on a Facebook page, showing the tablet to be running Android 3.0. The company also said the tablet will ship on June 20. The posting follows a YouTube sneak preview video of the tablet tipped by Huawei (see below), as reported by Ubergizmo last week.

Huawei MediaPad

According to Huawei, the MediaPad, which appears to offer a seven-inch screen, will be its "smallest and lightest" ever. Neither the teaser nor the somewhat bizarre video (below) show much more except for a two-tone, black and white coloring on the back of the back of the device and a rear-facing camera. (We might have made better sense of the video if the guy had dripped honey on the girl's arm, but as far as we know Google does not have a "Cheese Danish" Android release in the works.)

Huawei's MediaPad sneak peak on YouTube — dripping with symbolism or just plain weird?
Source: Huawei
(Click to play)

Last year, the company released a seven-inch, Android 2.1 tablet called the SmaKit S7, later appearing from Expansys UK under the name Huawei S7. The tablet ran on the original 768MHz version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

It is unclear if the MediaPad is the same tablet tipped by ThisIsMyNext last month, citing a leaked roadmap from T-Mobile. The story said that an updated version of the Huawei S7 tablet would appear in August, possibly beefed up for 4G.

Lenovo preps dual 10-inch Android tablets

Huawei's Chinese rival Lenovo is also ramping up its Android tablet plans. According to the Wall Street Journal, Lenovo President Rory Read said two 10-inch Android 3.x tablets are heading for the U.S. market: a consumer IdeaPad version due in July and a business-focused, stylus-enabled ThinkPad version expected in August.

Pricing on the two 10-inch Android tablets is expected to range from $450 to $900. Later this year, Lenovo will also offer a Windows-based tablet, and seven-inch tablets of unknown OS will appear "later in the cycle," says the story.

Lenovo IdeaPad Android tablet
Source: AndroidAuthority

No other details were mentioned, but AndroidAuthority posted the above render images of the new IdeaPad tablet in a story that appeared to be based solely on the Journal report. The source of the images was unclear.

In April, leaked marketing materials posted by ThisIsMyNext appeared to show an upcoming Android-based ThinkPad tablet that plugs into a keyboard dock for a netbook experience. In this way, it is somewhat like Lenovo's earlier, Android-based LePad, which is now sold in China.

Like most other Android 3.0 tablets, the ThinkPad Tablet will be powered by a dual-core, Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, and feature a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 capacitive display, said the story. The touchscreen was said to offer IPS technology and provide a pen option.

Other cited features included up to 64GB storage, front and rear cameras, and 3G and 4G cellular options, plus USB 2.0, micro-USB, and mini-HDMI ports. The 1.6-pound tablet measures 0.55 inches, said ThisIsMyNext.

According to the new Wall Street Journal story, meanwhile, Lenovo's Read agreed that tablets are quickly taking the place of netbooks. "Netbooks are pretty much over," he was quoted as saying.

Read also said Lenovo likely won't have a smartphone in the U.S. market for at least 12 to 18 months, according to the Journal. Instead, Lenovo will start selling smartphones in China, and then spread to other emerging markets.

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