While others spend their time complaining and making threats they probably can’t back up, Lenovo has decided to go head on against Microsoft come October with their very own Windows 8 tablet. During a New York event celebrating the 20th anniversary of its ThinkPad line, the company officially announced the ThinkPad Tablet 2, a 10.1-inch slate powered by an Intel chip and running the full Windows 8 OS.
"This is the tablet that the industry has been waiting for," Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of Lenovo's business unit said. The device will replace the current ThinkPad Tablet, which runs Android.
Specs include an Intel "Clover Trail" processor, a 1,366 x 768 IPS display, a 10-hour battery, optional 3G / 4G, micro-HDMI output, a full-size USB port, a microSD slot, front (2MP) and rear (8MP) cameras, optional NFC and fingerprint reader. Lenovo also offers a stylus that can be slid into a corner of the device.
Overall, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 weighs just over a pound and measures 9.88mm thick -- for reference, the current-generation iPad weighs 1.44 pounds and is 9.4mm thick. Lenovo’s tablet will be sold alongside an optional keyboard, as well as a dock with three USB ports, HDMI-out and an Ethernet jack.
Lenovo says the tablet will be available in October, when Windows 8 starts shipping, but the company hasn’t shared pricing details yet. The current ThinkPad Tablet is listed at $430, but we’d be surprised if they are able to maintain a similar price point, given it runs an Intel chip and the full desktop version of Windows 8.
Microsoft’s Intel-based Surface Pro, which would directly compete with Lenovo’s tablet, isn’t expected until early 2013 and will be priced in line with Ultrabooks (~$800). The Surface RT launching in October uses an ARM-based Tegra 3 chip, runs the more limited Windows RT, and should cost between ~$400-$600.