It's a tough time to announce new tablet computers, after Apple's phenomenal quarterly report, but Lenovo is unveiling three new models taking aim at the iPad.
Two are based on Google's Android 3.1 operating system and have Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processors. They have 10.1-inch diagonal touch screens and weigh 1.65 pounds.
Lenovo calls them the first Android Honeycomb tablets "certified for Netflix." The streaming video application comes bundled with the tablets, which also have HDMI output for playing Netflix movies in high definition on a TV or large monitor.
Netflix video content also plays on the tablets' 1280 by 800 resolution screen.
The consumer-oriented IdeaPad K1 will be generally available in August for $499 for a 32 gigabyte model.
It also has a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera and 2 megapixel front-facing camera for chat sessions.
Lenovo also noted the device can be used to "browse all websites and watch online videos with ease" because it supports Adobe Flash 10.3, unlike Brand A.
A business-oriented ThinkPad Tablet with 16 gigabytes of storage will cost $479 or $509 with a digitizer pen when it becomes available in August. Models with 3G wireless will be announced later and will cost more.
It also has HDMI out - "for connecting to external projectors and displays" - plus a USB port and full-size SD slot.
Lenovo also announced a Windows 7 model with a similar design, but an Intel 1.5 gigahertz processor inside and solid-state drives with 32 or 64 gigabytes of capacity. It weighs 1.75 pounds and has a USB 2.0 port, Micro SD card reader and a slot for a cellular data card.
Called the P1, the Windows tablet will be available in the fourth quarter. Lenovo isn't yet disclosing its price (or whether it also has the HDMI out capability). I'll bet the same hardware will also be available with Windows 8 before too long. Maybe it will even be the reference hardware shown at Microsoft's developer conference in September.
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