Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet: Software
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet will ship out of the box with the latest version of Google's Android software, 'Honeycomb' 3.1, and will also be upgradeable to future versions. However, Lenovo says Android is merely the "base" of the ThinkPad — Lenovo’s pre-loaded software that adds corporate and security features is billed as a major strength over competitors.
Firstly, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet includes anti-theft software and the ability to disable the device if it's lost or stolen. It's similar to the Computrace software that Lenovo uses in its ThinkPad notebooks. Once activated, the software can track, located and remotely disable or lock the device in the event of theft. Other security features include an encrypted SD card slot, layered data encryption and the addition of Cisco VPN (virtual private network) to access corporate networks. The ThinkPad Tablet also comes with 2GB of free cloud storage.
During our demonstration, Lenovo's David Heyworth used the example of out of the box customisation as a key differentiator that would attract corporate clients. He said Lenovo was able to customise the ThinkPad Tablet from the factory to suit individual business clients. This included basic aspects like loading the tablet with a company logo as the wallpaper, and disabling or enabling certain apps depending on the clients needs. Lenovo also says it can partition the ThinkPad's hard drive for personal use if the tablet is deployed by an IT department. "We are really confident the ThinkPad will become the tablet of choice for business users," said Heyworth.
Lenovo is also pushing its own ecosystem, the Lenovo App Shop. The Lenovo App Shop is simply a range of tablet apps that have been tested by Lenovo itself, and will therefore work effectively on the ThinkPad Tablet. Lenovo says this will ensure consumers the app work on the tablet, and cited the store as a way of combating the issue of cross-compatibility of Android apps on smartphones and tablets, as well as negating security issues around malware and viruses.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet includes a digitiser pen that allows users to take notes straight onto the screen, and annotate PDF documents. Lenovo also sells an optional keyboard portfolio carry case for $89 that turns the ThinkPad into a notebook-style device.
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet: Australian availability
The Lenovo 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 will sell for $839.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet will be available to order online later this month, but will officially release in Australia in September.
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