Chinese computer maker Lenovo plans to release its first-ever tablet, the LePad, worldwide this June, reports PC World. The device will first be released in China at the end of March.
The most notable detail about the LePad may be its price. According to Lenovo, the tablet could sell for between $399 and $449 — lower than any other widely-released tablet on the market. Even the lowest-end iPad model runs as much as $100 more than the LePad’s potentially low price.
The sub-$500 price is yet unconfirmed, so it could cost as much as $520.
So far, there are no details on the LePad’s exact specifications. But when Lenovo first announced the LePad in January during the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, the tablet was running the Android 2.2 operating system with a customized LeOS skin, powered by a 1.3GHz Snapdragon processor and sporting a 10.1-inch 1280×800 display. It’s not yet known whether Lenovo will update to Android 3.0 Honeycomb, but many suspect they will do so.
Customers can also purchase an optional IdeaPad U1 base, which the LePad combines with, transforming the Android tablet into a full notebook that can run Windows 7. The two together will reportedly run around $1,300.
Lenovo, the fourth largest PC maker in China, typically produces laptops designed for the business and enterprise markets. But a recent announcement by the company indicates that it plans to expand outside its confines to find new business in the smartphone, tablet and smart TV sectors.
“Lenovo recognizes the tremendous growth potential of the mobile internet, as well as that of new categories like cloud computing and smart TV,” said Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing last month, “and so we are putting the focus and investments in place to fully capitalize on these opportunities to drive growth in our business today and for many years to come.”
In order to compete in the burgeoning tablet market, LePad must go up against devices like the heralded Motorola Xoom, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and, presumably, a second (and maybe even third) generation Apple iPad.
Lenovo has not yet revealed which countries outside of China will be the first to receive the LePad.
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