Dull but functional styling and rock-solid build quality? Yep, this is Lenovo’s entry into the tablet market. If you want something a bit more curvy and consumer freindly, you’ll need to wait for the IdeaPad K1 to be released in the UK. At the moment, your only choice is the very serious and enterprise-oriented ThinkPad Tablet.
Even though Honeycomb doesn’t require physical controls, Lenovo gives you some so you can lock the screen rotation, launch the web browser, bring the home screen up or return a step through a row of rather stiff buttons. You also get full-size USB and SD slots and a screen that you can write on using a stylus. Look at the logos on the front and Lenovo clearly envisages the ThinkPad being used mainly in portrait mode.
Lenovo scores points for a decent software bundle, including the FlexT9 swipe keyboard, a full version of Documents To Go and Citrix Receiver. The excellent folio-cum-keyboard is worth a mention too. The IPS screen is nothing out of the ordinary, though, and is a bit short on brightness. The price is a little on the steep side. One for corporate IT departments rather than Joe Public.
More Info Lenovo
LG Optimus Pad
This being the iPad era, LG decided that everyone really wants a 8.9in tablet with the capacity to record video in 3D - hence the presence of two 5Mp cameras in the back of the Optimus Pad - but without a true 3D screen. That’s a decision that limits the potential market to people who don’t want an iPad or a 10in ‘droid, but who do own a 3D TV. I suspect that’s a group small enough to fit in my kitchen.
If there was a Nintendo 3DS-style screen here maybe I could make a case for LG but the only way to watch your content leap out of the page is with the pair of bundled, migraine-inducing 3D specs. In short, the 3D ability isn’t a feature, it’s a temporary amusement. It’s all a bit of a shame because the 8.9in, 1280 x 800 screen is otherwise rather good.
The final nail in the coffin of LG’s pad is its price. Best Buy - one of the few places in the UK you can find the Optimus Pad for sale; even LG seems to have disowned it - wants an eye-watering £750 for it. And it’s not as if that gets you a premium product because the exterior feels a bit cheap and there’s no storage expansion. If the form-factor appeals save yourself £550 and buy an Archos 80 G9.
More Info Best Buy
Next page: Motorola Xoom
Re: Written by an iPad owner I think..
The writer does not own an iPad, and as much as you might achingly hope that Android has a higher market share than it does, all market data - vendor shipments and sell-through - suggests it does not.
Sorry to puncture your wee bubble, 'Barry'
"An iPad is an iPad is an iPad"
And yet your poor friend's iPad 1 can still use all the same software as an iPad 2 (except FaceTime), is still getting all software updates on day of release (if you're happy to trust Apple's QA), and is still one of the best tablets around even at 18 months old.
How many Android tablets are going to get Android 4 - without having to hack them? Which, remember, is kit that's mostly less than 6 months old. HTC are still selling their Flyer with 2.3, which was out of date when they launched the product! They've not even upgraded it to Android 3 yet...
Equally we can contrast my HTC Wildfire with an iPhone 3GS. Both phones are about the same age (admittedly the Wildfire was never top of the range). The iPhone 3GS is still getting updates and still on sale. HTC were still selling the Wildfire up to a couple of months ago, so they've no excuse for saying it's 'out of support'. The Wildfire got an update from 2.1 to 2.2 (about 6 months late), and that's it. The 3GS has been updated from iOS3, to iOS4 and now iOS5.
And it's not as if I'm cherry picking. Android kit getting timely updates is very unusual. Even Google only seem to update their reference phones once, then dump them.
This is the reason my next tablet will probably be Apple - well that and the Android tablet makers' obsession with widescreen. It's also why I recommend iPhone/iPad to non-geeks.
It's a shame, I was looking forward to going Android. But my experience with the phone OS has been poor, and their first attempt at tablets has been a mess. My only hope to avoid the clutches of Apple seems to be Microsoft. Windows Phone is looking interesting, and Windows 8 on tablets could be quite nice too.
I bought a tablet for my wife for her birthday back in August. Toddled along to try them out, liked the iPad, also liked the Eee Pad Transformer - very little to separate them, a fractionally better touchscreen on the Apple, much better expansion options on the Asus. I decided that for me, I would buy the Asus, but would get the wife an iPad as it was a Cortina. HOWEVER, they were out of stock - so Asus won out. And she's been very happy with it; she likes a lot about it, including the keyboard if she wants to do anything serious. The quality of the whole package is great, and she also likes not having to fork out for apps that are chargeable on our son's iPod Touch, so I've got plenty of brownie points. Remember that however popular the Cortina was, it wasn't actually a very good car... ;)
If by "hackers" you mean "anyone who wants to transfer photos from their real camera to their tablet and anybody who wants to expand storage capacity without having to replace their device", then you are absolutely correct. But as you don't, you're not.
Not having a pop Mr Vomit but why do some people wail and gnash their teeth when Apple bring out an updated/new product? No one has a go at Ford for changing the shape of the Fiesta or when they add more features with a facelift. I don't moan about Sony bringinging out new TVs since I bought mine three years ago.
It seems to me to be a ludicrous complaint made by the more irrational end of the Apple hating spectrum. But then the whole 'my phone/tablet/PC/whatever is better than yours' argument is childish beyond belief anyway.
I should add that apart from a work issued 3GS I own no Apple products. Or ones of an Android flavour for that matter.