It was rumored back in April that Lenovo would be releasing a tablet or two around now, and today the Chinese manufacturer surprised us slightly by unveiling not one, not even two, but three new tablets.

The 10.1-inch devices will be sold globally, with prices to be set close to those of the popular iPad, its main rival.

So how do the three tablets line up? Well, for consumers Lenovo has come up with the IdeaPad Tablet K1 . For business users there’s the ThinkPad Tablet. And for home and office use you have the IdeaPad Tablet P1.

Both the IdeaPad Tablet K1 and ThinkPad Tablet run Android 3.1, come equipped with Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processors, have full Flash support, 1280×800 displays, microSD/full-size SD/USB ports, and front and rear cameras. The ThinkPad Tablet also has an optional digitizer pen for note-taking. The IdeaPad Tablet K1 weighs less than 2 lb, while the the ThinkPad Tablet comes in at 1.65lb. The iPad, in comparison, tips the scales at 1.33 lb.

Both devices will be available in the US in August, and the rest of the world soon after.

The IdeaPad Tablet P1 runs Windows 7, has full Flash support, and incorporates microSD/USB ports and a front-mounted webcam. The P1 will be available some time in the fall.

All devices will be Wi-Fi only, with 3G versions coming later.

As for pricing, the 32GB version of the IdeaPad Tablet K1 is going for $499, while the 16GB version of the ThinkPad Tablet comes in at $479. The price of the IdeaPad Tablet P1 hasn’t yet been set.

Lenovo’s announcement follows hot on the heels of Apple’s news of record profits in its last quarter. This was due in part to strong sales of the company’s iPad (more than 9 million units) – a clear indication that the Chinese company has its work cut out if it’s going to make an impact in the tablet market.

A breakdown of the new devices is below.

Lenovo IdeaPad K1

The IdeaPad K1 runs fairly standard Android tablet specs. It has a 10.1-inch 1290×800 display, runs Android 3.1, has a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, up to 64GB of internal storage, and up to 1GB of RAM. The front camera is 2MP and the rear is 5MP. The casing is aluminum.

Lenovo IdeaPad P1

The IdeaPad P1 is much like the K1, but it runs Windows 7 Professional with a 1.5GHz Intel processor. The tablet can be equipped with up to 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. It has a .3MP front-facing camera, but not a rear camera. The display is still 10.1 inches with a 1280×800 pixel resolution. Unfortunately, while the K1 should get up to 10 hours, because of its Intel processor and Windows 7 OS, the P1 will only get up to 6 hours.

Lenovo ThinkPad

Like the P1, the ThinkPad tablet is intended for business users, but this one comes with Android 3.1 (possibly 3.2 soon). It has a 1GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 10.1-inch display at 1280x800px, between 16 and 64GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a 5MP rear and 2MP front camera, a host of productivity applications, and is rated to get 8.7 hours of battery life while on Wi-Fi. A capacitive touch ThinkPad Tablet Pen also looks to be included and a very interesting laptop case/dock accessory lets you use the tablet with a full keyboard.

Update: we’ve added photos and descriptions of each device.