Lenovo Android tablets coming down under in September

Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 and ThinkPad Tablet targeting consumers and business users, respectively

The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1

The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1

Better late than never, right? PC manufacturer Lenovo today announced that its first range of Android-powered tablets, the IdeaPad Tablet K1 and the ThinkPad Tablet, will both be available in Australia from September.

Check out our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Lenovo says the IdeaPad Tablet K1 is aimed directly at consumers, while business and corporate customers will be better suited to the ThinkPad Tablet. However, both tablets run the latest Google Android 'Honeycomb' 3.1 operating system, and possess similar specifications.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1, the "consumer model", has a 10.1in capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 1280x800, is powered by a 1GHZ NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, and has a hefty 1GB of RAM along with a microSD card slot for extra storage. It also has a HDMI-out port so it can be connected to a high-definition TV. At 13.3mm thick, it's much chunkier than the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which will measure just 8.6mm, and weighs 730g.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, the company's "business model", has almost identical specifications to the IdeaPad Tablet K1, but possesses a slightly thicker design that intends to mirror the company's ThinkPad range of business notebooks. The main differences in design surround the squarer, sharper edges, and the physical keys below the display. The ThinkPad Tablet also has a full-sized USB port, and a full-sized SD card slot, neither of which are features of the IdeaPad Tablet K1.

Lenovo also includes a digitiser pen with the ThinkPad Tablet that allows users to take notes straight onto the screen. The digitiser pen supports handwritten text entry, document mark-up and drawing.

"Lenovo Tablets will change computing as we know it, bringing a more personalised device to consumers and to commercial customers, a device that enables business and doesn't restrict it," said Alan Munro, vice president and managing director, Lenovo Australia and New Zealand. "It has built-in security, manageability and flexibility. We don't believe in a 'one size fits all' device, Lenovo is committed to developing tailored solutions that can be configured to users' needs."

"We've created a family of tablets that has something for everyone; from entertainment-friendly features and content for consumers, to business-friendly features to enhance productivity and maximise security and manageability for professionals. We have listened to our customers and are delivering Android tablets designed to meet their particular needs."

Out of the box, the consumer-targeted Lenovo Tablet K1 is preloaded with more than 40 apps including Need for Speed Shift, Angry Birds, Amazon Kindle and Documents to Go. The tablet also comes with Lenovo's SocialTouch UI overlay, which enables quick access to Facebook and Twitter services.

The business-orientated Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet includes anti-theft software and the ability to disable the tablet if the device is lost or stolen, along with SD card encryption. Both the IdeaPad Tablet K1 and the ThinkPad Tablet come with 2GB of free cloud storage.

The Lenovo IdeaPad Tablet K1 comes in both Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi+3G options in 16GB and 32GB sizes, starting at $569 for the entry level 16GB Wi-Fi only model. It costs $709 for the 16GB Wi-Fi+3G model, $679 for the 32GB Wi-Fi only model and $809 for the top of the range 32GB Wi-Fi+3G model. Lenovo sells a 64GB model of the tablet in overseas markets, but will not offer this larger capacity model in Australia.

The ThinkPad Tablet comes in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi+3G options in 16GB and 32GB sizes, though the 32GB model is only available with 3G. Pricing starts at $599 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, and $729 for the 16GB Wi-Fi+3G model. The 32GB Wi-Fi+3G model sells for $839. An optional keyboard portfolio carrying case for the ThinkPad Tablet will sell for $89.

Both Lenovo tablets will be available to order online through Lenovo's Web site in early August, and will be "generally available in Australia in September".

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
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