Lenovo, formally IBM’s desktop division, has released a tablet that includes a collection of features you won’t find on other Android devices, like handwriting recognition and an optional Thinkpad keyboard folio. Weighing in at $499, can this contender make a game of it?
Perhaps it can. Lenovo has a chance to learn from all the recent device and marketing failures — including HP’s colossal WebOS/Touchpad crash. Another product, the RIM Playbook, was rushed to market even before native apps (like e-mail) were ready. Now, you know if an e-mail app isn’t ready by the company that practically invented mobile messaging, then you know it truly wasn’t ready. (Yes, I know Geoff Goodfellow invented it, but you see my point.)
With a valuable feature set targeted at business professionals, Lenovo’s ThinkPad tablet may have a shot at some market share. In addition to letting some of the bigger players take their shot, it has its own app market – that is, in addition to the Android Market – modeled after the Apple store. The Lenovo App Shop provides a collection of the most popular apps, the ones that work best on Lenovo devices and are checked for malware.
Finally, IT departments may like the ThinkPad for its encryption and remote management capabilities through third parties such as Good and Boxtone.