In a nutshell: Lenovo, the world's largest PC manufacturer, appears to have a fondness for a custom Android edition designed specifically for enterprise applications. The company has already introduced a new Android-ready AIO device and plans to launch three more systems by the end of the year.
Lenovo has entered into a reseller agreement with Esper, an "industry-leading" Android corporation, to offer all-in-one PCs compatible with Google's ubiquitous mobile operating system. The Chinese PC giant can now offer a portfolio of devices under the ThinkCentre brand, providing clients with the option of running a traditional Windows operating system, an x86-compatible Android custom OS, or perhaps both in a multi-boot configuration.
Esper Foundation for Android provides a "flexible, robust, and secure" Android OS designed to run on ARM or x86 hardware, as stated by the company. This custom OS combines Android's power and versatility with customizations and optimizations tailored for clients' purpose-built devices. Esper Foundation is built upon the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) but offers enterprise-grade capabilities for customized management, updates, and security options.
Lenovo currently offers the ThinkCentre M70a 3rd Gen AIO desktop with a choice of either Windows/Linux or Esper's Android 11-based OS. This PC comes with customizable branding, quarterly security patches, and long-term support (three years or more). Esper's dedicated management platform allows for remote deployment, management, monitoring, and updates of the device "from a single pane of glass."
Furthermore, Esper's platform can automate IT operations workflows, reducing unplanned downtime and the costs associated with in-field support. Lenovo has stated that the new Android option will benefit customers in various industries, including retail, hospitality, and healthcare. These industries can utilize Lenovo's reliable hardware while gaining the capability to deploy and monitor devices instantly.
Lenovo suggests that hospitals, retail, and other industries are eager to adopt an Android OS for managing operations, clients, and employees. The company is prepared to meet changing customer demands across the entire enterprise market. Esper's COO and co-founder, Shiv Sundar, emphasized the significant value of running mission-critical operations on Android tablets.
ThinkCentre M70a Gen 3 AIO prices start at $900 (with a 12th Gen Intel Core i3 CPU, 21.5" Full HD display, and 8 GB DDR4 RAM) and go up to $1,250 (with a Core i7-12700, 16 GB RAM, and 512 GB SSD). Lenovo will soon offer Esper Foundation for Android on three additional systems: ThinkCentre M70q, ThinkCentre M90n-1 IoT, and ThinkEdge SE30 v2.