Apple's iPad has been crushing the competition in the tablet market, but suddenly HP's discontinued TouchPad is red hot and Lenovo has just entered the market with the first ThinkPad tablets now available.
The 10.1-inch ThinkPad is built around the Android system, the most competitive tablet platform to Apple's iOS used in the iPad tablet. The ThinkPad is also geared toward the business market, not the consumer market. Lenovo introduced its first business-class Android-based ThinkPad Tablet on Tuesday.
The ThinkPad is touchscreen, and has a powerful dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Terga 2 processor. What sets ThinkPad apart, say some product reviewers, and possibly can find an opening with corporate users and IT departments, is additional hardware and software not offered with more consumer based products like Apple's iPad or Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet can accept input from a digital pen, allowing users to draw and annotate documents and pictures. Also, Lenovo can bundle 25 apps with the product, including Documents on the Go, which allows editing of Microsoft Office files, and PrinterShare, which connects the tablet to any printer.
The ThinkPad's pen-based handwriting recognition technology is one of the product's signature aspects, differing from other products on the market. It allows users to digitally write, draw, and create content.
HP tried to appeal to potential tablet business customers, but instead once the company launched the tablet with heavy product outlay in retail stores including Best Buy it never connected. HP tried discounting the product by $100 weeks after launch but that didn't help slow sales. Last week HP announced it was discontinuing the TouchPad only seven weeks after launch and slashing prices to fire sale level.
Apple's iPad simply controlled the market, and priced similarly, consumers and business buyers didn't want the TouchPad. But once HP said it was killing the TouchPad and slashing prices to $99, the product quickly sold out.
Now, in less than one week Apple has at least temporarily lost the potential of thousands of tablet buyers now spending their time with the TouchPad and other buyers have the option of getting a ThinkPad with more capabilities, including the digital pen.
Lenovo is hoping to pick up at the attempt HP couldn't finish, filling a tablet niche in the business market and ably competing against Apple's iPad. Lenovo is now accepting orders for the ThinkPad Tablet at the company's Web site.
The company promotes the ThinkPad line as the do anything, anywhere, anytime TABLETS.
Prices range from $500 for a 16GB model without the digital pen to $700 for a 64GB model with a digital pen. A keyboard portfolio case costs an additional $100.