CES 2012: Lenovo bets big on Windows 8, Google Android, and tablet convertibles

by George Jones

January 10 2012

Yoga is scheduled for release when Windows 8 debuts later this year and will cost approximately $1200
Yoga is scheduled for release when Windows 8 debuts later this year and will cost approximately $1200

Lenovo gave TabTimes a little more insight into its product roadmap for 2012, revealing the logic behind its new series of Windows and Android tablet convertibles, and updating us on the current generation of products.

More than most manufacturers, Lenovo is focusing a great deal of energy on the tablet convertible form-factor. Interestingly, the company's legacy of X-series convertible Windows tablets, which have been around for many years now, may give the company an advantage over newcomers to a category that has been rapidly ignited by Asus' Transformer Prime.

The company attracted quite a bit of attention with the announcement of its IdeaPad Yoga--a Windows 8 tablet convertible that can be converted into four different positions thanks to a unique double hinge.

The IdeaPad S2110, however, raised our eyebrows even more. Also a convertible tablet, the Android-based S2110 allows users to quickly eject the screen from a keyboard dock, which immediately transforms into an iPad-sized 10-inch Android tablet.

The tablet's 1.5GHz CPU provided a nice, snappy feel as we browsed through various apps and home screens. Lenovo has also developed a custom "Mandarin" OS interface layer for Android that feels like a cross between Windows 8 and iOS, which features a series of active square tiles that provide access to apps as well as real-time information (if the apps support this).

The S2110 costs $399 for the tablet alone, and $549 for the tablet with the keyboard dock. IT buyers should take note that because this is an IdeaPad series device, it lacks the security- and IT-oriented features that the ThinkPad series and ThinkPad Tablet possess.

The ThinkPad keyboard has reached almost legendary status for professionals and corporate buyers. We're happy to say that, after spending 20 minutes experimenting with the keyboard in Lenovo's new line of convertibles, it's clear that the keyboard's best attributes remain intact. Also nice is the presence of the thumb-based mouse control. 

Furthermore, Lenovo also told TabTimes that's its existing line of ThinkPad Tablet devices will receive Android's Ice Cream Sandwich update very soon. Furthermore, this update should grant a small speedboost to the platform, which has been dinged for less-than-stellar performance.

"Google is aware of the [performance] problems", Lenovo Worldwide Product Manager Richard LaBennett told TabTimes. "They're putting a lot of effort into improving performance."

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