Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2 again delayed

Already delayed twice, Lenovo now hopes to push out the ThinkPad Tablet 2 in December.

Lenovo has delayed shipment of the highly anticipated ThinkPad Tablet 2, which will now become available to buyers in December.

The 10.1-inch tablet, which comes with Microsoft's Windows 8 and an Intel Atom Z2760 processor, was originally scheduled to ship in late October, which was then delayed to November. The company is experiencing some "unexpected delays," a company spokeswoman said in an e-mail. She didn't provide specifics on what is causing the delays.

Lenovo said the tablet could become available as soon as early December, but did not provide a specific date.

The company has changed the U.S. availability details of the ThinkPad Tablet 2 on its website to "coming soon." Earlier, the website carried a shipping date of November. Lenovo has said it will ship the tablet worldwide.

The tablet is priced at US$649, though online retailer JR.com is taking orders for $709. The tablet weighs 565 grams, measures 0.4 inches thick, and has 10 hours of battery life. The multitouch display can show images at a 1366 by 768-pixel resolution.

Other specifications include 64GB of storage, 2GB of RAM, NFC, a mini-HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) port, a full-size USB port and a micro-SD slot. Optional accessories include a docking station, a Bluetooth keyboard dock, and a digitizer and pen.

The ThinkPad Tablet 2 succeeds the original ThinkPad Tablet, which was based on Google's Android 3.1 OS and an ARM processor. With the new tablet, Lenovo has adopted Windows and a chip from Intel, a combination that dominates PCs but is not yet established in tablets. The dual-core Intel Atom chip, code-named Clover Trail, has a clock speed of 1.86GHz

The tablet is largely targeted at home and business use. With Windows 8, the tablet will be able to run applications from previous versions of Windows. IT managers can remotely deploy applications and software images to the tablet, and also manage and prevent users from installing specific applications.

Lenovo already offers a range of IdeaPad consumer tablets with the Android OS. The company is selling the IdeaPad Yoga 11 laptop-tablet hybrid, which has an ARM processor and Windows RT. Old Windows applications will not work on RT, which was written for ARM processors but has the same look and feel of Windows 8.

AT&T plans to offer the ThinkPad Tablet 2 with LTE and 3G mobile broadband connectivity, though prices for that model are not yet available. Depending on the connectivity options, Lenovo has said 3G or 4G models will be available in other countries.

The ThinkPad Tablet 2 will compete with tablets priced between $500 and $700 from Dell, Asus, Acer and other device makers. It will also compete with Windows RT tablets like Microsoft's Surface and Dell's XPS 10, both of which carry a price tag of $499.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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