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Lenovo preps Honeycomb tablet with keyboard dock

Apr 25, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Lenovo is readying an Android 3.0 tablet that offers a pen option and plugs into a keyboard dock, says and industry report. Meanwhile, Archos announced its seven-inch, Android-based 7c Home Tablet, and Samsung is rumored to be building Amazon's first Android tablet.

Lenovo is prepping an Android 3.0 tablet for release this summer called either the ThinkPad Tablet or Think Slate, according to Joanna Stern, writing for This is my next. As detailed in a Lenovo PowerPoint stack acquired by the publication, the device will plug into a keyboard dock for a netbook experience, somewhat like Lenovo's earlier  LePad (see farther below). This time, however, it will be running Android rather than Windows.


Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Source: This is my next

Like most other Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") 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, says This is my next. The touchscreen offers IPS technology and provides a pen option, says the story.

Other ThinkPad Tablet features include an SD slot, up to 64GB storage, front and rear cameras, and 3G and 4G cellular options, writes Stern. The 1.6-pound tablet is said to measure 0.55 inches, and offer USB 2.0, micro-USB, and mini-HDMI ports.


ThinkPad Tablet plugging into keyboard dock

Source: This is my next

Lenovo has also developed what appears to be a version of the Skylight interface offered on the LePad as a UI skin for Android 3.0. The UI skin and bundled software has a business and security focus, says the story.

Pricing is said to start at $499 when the tablet goes on sale in July or August. Regional availability was not mentioned, but judging from the slides, a U.S. launch would seem likely.

In Jan. 2010, Lenovo demonstrated an IdeaPad UI hybrid mini-notebook that ran Windows 7, but which featured a detachable display that could act as a standalone Linux tablet. The device was redesigned and launched this January, with Android 2.2 replacing Linux on the removable 10.1-inch, Snapdragon-based tablet (the latter also available separately as the LePad tablet).

The LePad finally went on sale in China on Mar. 29, according to the Financial Times.

Archos announces 7c Home Tablet for $220

Earlier this month, Archos tipped an Archos 7c Home Tablet, said to be destined for a June launch in the U.S. and Europe, but offered only minimal details. Now, Archos has posted a product page for the Android-based seven-inch tablet, with a "notify me" button for availability notifications. Archos also posted an alluring price of just $220 for the 7c. The device joins a growing number of Android-based Archos tablets covering a wide range of screen sizes.


Archos 7c Home Tablet

(Click to enlarge)

According to the earlier ARMdevices.net story, which included a video interview with a Chinese Archos executive, the Archos 7c Home Tablet runs Android 2.3 on an ARM Cortex-A8-based Rockchip RK2918 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. On the product page, however, Archos now makes no mention of the processor, and says the tablet runs Android 1.5 or Linux.

To confuse matters further, a ZDNet story says that the tablet does indeed offer an Cortex-A8 processor, but runs Android 2.1, which actually sounds more likely than either 1.5 or 2.3. The tablet supports 720p HD video playback, says the story, and is expected to be available in the U.S. as early as this week.

According to the Archos 7c page, the tablet provides 8GB of flash memory, a micro-SDHC slot, as well as 800 x 480 resolution on the seven-inch touchscreen. This was previously said to be capacitive, but Archos makes no mention of that now.

The Archos 7c Home Tablet is further said to offer USB 2.0 host and slave ports, 802.11b/g, dual speakers, and a microphone. Measuring 8.0 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches, the tablet weighs just 13.7 ounces (388 grams), says Archos.

Samsung said to build Amazon Android tablet

Amazon.com's long-rumored Android tablet is a sure thing, writes Engadget co-founder Peter Rojas on Gdgt. Without citing sources, Rojas writes that he is almost certain that Samsung is building the much-anticipated tablet for the online retailer.

Beyond that, the story offers only speculation. Rojas suggests that the tablet might use a custom version of Android and be partially subsidized by providing Amazon services on the device, thereby enabling a low price.

Rojas' story comes a week after Instapaper application creator Marco Arment suggested Amazon could use the ad-supported model on its tablet, according to a Clint Boulton analysis for our sister publication eWEEK. Last week, Amazon updated its Kindle for Android app to support Android 3.0, according to a separate eWEEK report.

If true, the Samsung-Amazon relationship might be another reason Apple sued Samsung last week over Android related patents. Later in the week, Samsung countersued Apple, according to eWEEK. When Amazon launched its Appstore for Android in March, Apple sued the company over the use of the Appstore name.

An eWEEK analysis by Nicholas Kolakowski, meanwhile, says the Apple suit is different from other Android-related lawsuits in that it specifically cites "style" issues as opposed to more clearly defined patent allegations.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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