Monday, June 06, 2005


Tablet PC gets big backer in Lenovo

Todd Bishop of SeattlePI has already published an article with quotes from Microsoft and Lenovo on its' new Thinkpad Tablet PC.

Here are a few:

"Everybody has been waiting for IBM, and now Lenovo, to bring out a ThinkPad Tablet to provide credibility," said analyst Leslie Fiering, Gartner mobile computing vice president.

Lenovo's move is "a signal to the market," said Susan Cameron, Microsoft Tablet PC group product manager. "There are a lot of loyal customers of the ThinkPad brand, and it will certainly push people who have been considering the Tablet to purchase."

The move to expand the ThinkPad line with a Tablet PC version began prior to the $1.75 billion acquisition of IBM's PC business by Lenovo, based in China, executives said. That deal was completed last month.

"It took us a while to really figure out that this thing is bigger than that vertical market and that the investment here is worth the payoff down the road," said Rob Herman, Lenovo's program director for worldwide ThinkPad marketing, explaining why the company didn't align itself with Microsoft's Tablet PC initiative sooner. "We think that the Tablet will transcend beyond verticals."

The companies will offer a first look at the ThinkPad Tablet PC and discuss it this week at Microsoft's TechEd Conference in Orlando.

Microsoft says the ThinkPad Tablets will cost only about $100 more than comparable, standard ThinkPad laptops. Lenovo said prices for different varieties of the ThinkPad X41 Tablet PCs will range from $1,899 to $2,599.

But Gartner's Fiering said the difference between Tablet PCs and standard mobile computers is generally still large enough to deter price-sensitive consumers and companies buying in bulk.

On the other hand, she said, the ThinkPad Tablet PCs are noticeably well designed, overcoming what has been another challenge for tablet computing. Among other things, she said, the machine is well balanced and light -- about 3.5 pounds -- and doesn't force a compromise in areas such as keyboard or screen quality.

Analyst Tim Bajarin, Creative Strategies Inc. president, called the ThinkPad Tablet PC the best convertible he has seen yet. The ThinkPad's emergence in the segment "puts serious muscle" behind the Tablet PC initiative, he said"

Here' the link to the full article
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