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One for everyone

Few months back, when Lenovo introduced the A2107 tablet in India, their target low-end buyers, ignored it completely. Its features were impressive but buyers felt let down with the lack of calling facility, and chose “other” Made-in-China imports instead. Undaunted, Lenovo might actually succeed in its plans of dominating the over 5 million Indian tablet market with its new launches. Last week, they unveiled two Android-run tablets -- the A1000 and the still-under-development S6000 (the A3000, which it promised was missing) and two tablet PCs with Windows 8 -- the IdeaTab Lynx and Thinkpad Tablet 2.

The line-up shows its seriousness, but the idea of differentiating products feels otherwise. Of the gadgets, only the A1000 and the Thinkpad Tablet 2 got our immediate attention, compelling us to mull over the inevitable question -- Why? The A1000 appears more like the end result of a lesson well learnt (think A2107). The features are similar to that inexpensive tablets at this price offer (and the A2107, except for a lower internal storage and a slower processor) -- 1.2 Ghz dual core processor, 1GB RAM and 4GB internal storage with 2G calling facility. Besides, there’s the backing of an internationally renowned brand -- a factor that buyers missed in the other Chinese imports. But success based on A1000 relies on the assumption that 3G would wouldn’t pick up pace, at least for the next one year -- also the ideal life expectancy of the A1000, according to Lenovo. Perhaps that’s why there are no plans of further updates for the Jelly Bean 4.1 running the A1000. A big downer for buyers.

The 7-inch A3000 (expected in Mid September) is priced competitively at Rs 16,000, and comes with a quad core processor and HSPA+ 3G connectivity (up to 42MBPS). The S6000, the bigger cousin of the A3000 offers the same with a better screen, but is priced expensive at R27,000.

Now comes the biggest question -- what do they offer two Windows tablets: Thinkpad Tablet 2 and IdeaTabLynx (both expected to be available by the 2013-end) at near-similar prices? The answer lies in the target audience. The IdeaTabLynx powered by dual core 1.8 GHz Intel Atom processor comes with 16 hours power backup -- eight hours with the screen, and another eight with the keyboard dock (optional) and a 11.6-inch touch screen -- mostly suitable for creative professionals. The Thinkpad Tablet 2, however, offers eight hours of power backup, a 10-inch screen, a digital pen and an optional Bluetooth Thinkpad keyboard, making it more attractive. It also comes with an optional dock with USB, HDMI and connectivity through wired LAN. Overall, Lenovo seems bent to offer a bagful of assorted goodies; each meant to satisfy a different palate. Does it work? Watch this space.

Prices
Thinkpad Tablet 2: R50,000 (taxes extra); IdeaPad Lynx K3011: R51,990; Idea Tab A1000: R8,999; Idea Tab A3000: R16,000; Ideatab S6000: R27,000

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