After HTC and LG, here is another tablet device that will not be sticking to its launch plans. This times, its Lenovo’s turn and as per the latest that we are getting to hear of the otherwise brilliant concept is that the tablet won’t be ready for a market launch before the second half of 2011. And the interesting thing is all three of them are tied in with the same reason – its the next iteration of Android that they all are waiting for.
In fact, its not even the Gingerbread that Lenovo is waiting for but the version beyond that, Android 3.5 Honeycomb to be precise. This when we already have a plethora of tablets running not even the Android 2.2 Froyo, the latest version of the Android currently being adopted.
Also, while this can’t be sweet on the ears of those who have been waiting for the Lenovo tablet ever since it was brought to the fore back in CES January, Google will surely be pleased with the development. It has been trying but in vain to convince OEM to await till the release of at least the Gingerbread – the first version of the Android that will be optimized for tablet like devices. Needless to say the majority of manufacturers has thrown all caution to the winds and are going ahead with their Android tablet PC plans full steam. Even Samsung too have launched their Galaxy Tab running Android 2.2.
Google, on its part have cautioned that its not even the Gingerbread but only HoneyComb that OEM’s should wait for to incorporate on their tablets if they wish to come anywhere close to the success iPad has met with. Android 3.5 will have advanced power management facilities along with many other benefits that all current versions of Android are deprived of at the moment. Rory Read, the COO of Lenovo’s U.S. operations was quoted saying, “I don’t believe ‘Froyo’ is the right base to have a fully functioning pad.”
In a related development, Lenovo has also ruled out Windows 7 to be just perfect for use on touchscreen based devices. “The challenge with Windows 7 is that it’s based on the same paradigm as 1985—it’s really an interface that’s optimized for a mouse and keyboard. It has to be optimized for touch. How do you do that?” said Lenovo’s director of new technology, Howard Locker.
Update: We just got a mail from Lenovo wherein they have denied any specific timeline wrt to their forthcoming tablet PC launches in the coming year. Instead, what they have stated is a reiteration of what has already been mentioned here – that Lenovo will launch the LePad towards the end of this year in China “and intends to later expand to other parts of the world with slate-based products.” The tablet will be Android based but is yet to reveal version details. There are already reports of Google almost done with the tablet specific Android 3.0 which is now undergoing performance tests. So it might just be possible that Lenovo surprises us all with the LePad running Android 3.0.
Also, as for Windows 7, or for that matter, as far as a suitable OS is concerned for Slate or Tablet devices, Lenovo has said they are open to all operating systems that delivers superior performance under a tablet environment including Windows 7. “Lenovo is evaluating all options for operating systems for both slate and tablet devices. We currently offer a number of Windows 7-based tablets (convertible notebooks) like the ThinkPad X201 tablet and the IdeaPad S10-3 tablet, and will continue to deploy Microsoft’s Windows 7 in its products, so we have not ruled out Windows 7 on tablet devices,” Lenovo mentioned in its mail to Good E-Reader Blog.