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Lenovo’s Honeycomb tablets feature Netflix

Jul 20, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Lenovo announced two Android 3.1 tablets: a consumer-oriented IdeaPad Tablet K1 claimed to be the first tablet to offer Netflix, and a business-focused ThinkPad Tablet. Each tablet follows the Honeycomb script by offering an Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, a 10.1-inch WXGA display, and dual cameras, but the ThinkPad also features pen support and a standard-size USB port and SD reader.

Tipped by Lenovo last month with scant details, the IdeaPad Tablet K1 and ThinkPad Tablet are billed as the Chinese computing giant's first Android tablets. In January, however, the company announced a hybrid IdeaPad U1 that combines a detachable 10.1-inch LePad Android tablet running on a 1.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, with a Windows 7 base unit using an Intel CPU. (Lenovo also announced a 10.1-inch Windows 7 tablet due this fall called the IdeaPad Tablet P1.) 

According to Lenovo, the IdeaPad Tablet K1 (pictured) will be the industry's first Android-powered tablet certified to deliver Netflix video streaming when it ships later this month. What's more, as detailed below, it appears to be the first to allow local storage of Netflix movies, thanks to built-in hardware-based DRM.

The IdeaPad Tablet K1 appears to be the first Nvidia Tegra 2 based Android device to receive Netflix certification, which has been granted to a smattering of Qualcomm Snapdragon based phones and the Samsung Hummingbird-based Samsung Nexus S. Netflix will also appear on devices running Texas Instruments' OMAP4 processors this fall.

Although Netflix is downplayed on the enterprise-focused ThinkPad Tablet, due in August, it appears that the tablet shares the K1's Netflix skills. The announcement reads: "With HDMI output and Digital Rights Management (DRM) built directly into the IdeaPad and ThinkPad tablets, Netflix members can instantly watch movies and TV shows streaming from Netflix directly to a big screen TV."

IdeaPad Tablet K1

Aside from its Netflix support, the IdeaPad Tablet K1 appears to be a fairly typical Honeycomb tablet. It runs the new bug-fixed, USB-enabled Android 3.1 on the standard dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, and features a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 pocapacitive touchscreen, according to Lenovo. The tablet ships with 1GB DDR2 memory and offers up to 64GB of SSD storage and a microSD slot, says the company.

IdeaPad Tablet K1

The device weighs a hefty 1.63 pounds and measures 10.4 x 7.4 x 0.5 inches. In weight and thickness, it's about the same as the tubby Toshiba Thrive, and a long way from the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which features a 0.34-inch thickness and 1.25-pound weight. Up to 10 hours of battery life is promised.

The IdeaPad Tablet K1 offers the standard two-megapixel front-facing webcam and five-megapixel rear-facing camera. The mini-HDMI connection allows up to 1080p HD viewing when connected to an HDTV or monitor, says Lenovo. Other standard features are said to include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

K1 in all its colors

Lenovo offered no more hardware details, but according to Engadget, which published a hands-on overview of the K1, the tablet will ship in 16GB and 32GB flavors, in both a WiFi-only model and another version that also adds 3G. The latter will include a Gobi 3G chip that can connect with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, or Sprint services in the U.S., says the story.

The Engadget story links to a Lenovo data sheet in PDF format that adds some more details, including the availability of a mic, headphone, dual half-Watt speakers, and an ambient light sensor. There's also a feature that is not standard issue on a Honeycomb tablet: a good old-fashioned 10/100 Ethernet port. In addition, the K1 provides a docking port that supports an optional keyboard dock with power-charging capabilities, essentially turning the tablet into a netbook. 

According to Lenovo, the IdeaPad Tablet K1 is preloaded with more than 40 apps from Netflix, Amazon, Electronic Arts, Rovio, Zinio, Dataviz, and others, claimed to be a $50 value. Apps are said to include Angry Birds, the Kindle reading app, Documents to Go, and Need for Speed Shift (pictured). Adobe Flash Player 10.3. is also said to be available.

Shortly after launch, users will also be able to rent or buy movies to play off-line with an upcoming Lenovo app, says the company. Lenovo also offers its SocialTouch social networking app, and up to 2GB free cloud storage.

Apps are said to be available via Android Market as well as a new Lenovo App Shop with apps that have been certified for optimal performance on the K1 or ThinkPad tablets.

ThinkPad Tablet

Like the IdeaPad Tablet K1, the ThinkPad Tablet runs Android 3.1 on a Tegra 2 and features a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 capacitive touchscreen. The display is enhanced with iPad-like 16:10 IPS technology, and features a 178-degree viewing angle and scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass, says Lenovo. The display even offers digitizer input, and a digitizer pen is said to be optional.

ThinkPad Tablet

RAM was not listed, but the tablet is said to ship with up to 64GB of SSD storage. Instead of the usual microSD slot, however, there's a full-size SD slot, as with the Toshiba Thrive.

ThinkPad Tablet in optional keyboard dock

Also like the Thrive, the ThinkPad Tablet features a full-size USB 2.0 port, in addition to a micro-USB port and the usual mini-HDMI port. Other features are said to include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G connectivity. Dual cameras are mentioned, without specs, and battery life is listed at eight hours.

Thinkpad Tablet options are said to include the aforementioned keyboard docking station, pictured above. Like the K1, the tablet is offered with 2GB of free cloud storage.

Thinkpad Tablet showing, left to right, Documents to Go, PrinterShare, and Computrace Mobile

(Click to enlarge)

As noted, the ThinkPad Tablet offers Netflix. However, Lenovo promotes its business features first, led by its layered data security features. These are said to include anti-theft software, SD card encryption, and the ability to disable the tablet if the device is lost or stolen, using Absolute Software's Computrace Mobile. Virtual desktop support is offered with Citrix Receiver, and Good Technology provides secure email support, as well as its Good for Enterprise says Lenovo.

Other preloaded ThinkPad Tablet software includes Lenovo's SocialTouch, the ooVoo videoconferencing app (pictured), and Documents to Go from DataViz. With Lenovo's own file copy utility, users can sync key files and folders with an attached Windows 7 PC, says the company.

Like the K1, the tablet offers Android Market and The Lenovo App Shop support, and it also provides corporate apps that can be downloaded from the Lenovo Image Technology Center.


The 32GB version of the IdeaPad Tablet K1 is priced at $499, and can be ordered in the U.S. starting July 20 via select business partners and retail stores, or on Lenovo's tablet site. It will be generally available in the U.S. in August followed by a third-quarter 2011 worldwide release, says Lenovo.

More information may be found at Lenovo's K1 page.

The ThinkPad Tablet can be ordered in the U.S. starting August 2. It will be generally available in the U.S. later that month, and generally available worldwide during the third quarter, says the company.

The 16GB version of the ThinkPad Tablet is priced at $479 without the digitizer pen, and at $509 including the digitizer pen for Wi-Fi only models. The 32GB, Wi-Fi only version with digitizer pen is priced at $589, with the optional keyboard portfolio carrying case available for $99. Shortly after launch, ThinkPad Tablets with 3G will become available, says the company.

More information may be found at Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet page.

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