Lenovo’s tablet portfolio currently contains three devices - to wit, the IdeaPad A1, IdeaPad K1 and ThinkPad. But according to an Engadget exclusive, the vendor has plans to expand its tablet portfolio with the addition of a dual-core 5-inch Android tablet. Hit the jump for more.
Before you go and drop a couple of Benjamins on a Kindle Fire from Amazon or $250 on a Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, there's something you should know. Research In Motion is slashing the price of its BlackBerry PlayBook to $199 at Best Buy, Staples, and a bunch of other popular retailers, putting it in direct competition with the two aforementioned tablets.
Don't worry if you just locked yourself into a two-year contract with a dual-core smartphone, there aren't a ton of apps out there that truly take advantage all that computing power anyway. We're not saying that to make you feel bad about purchasing a dual-core phone; on the contrary, we don't think anyone should needlessly stress about all those quad-core devices on the horizon.
So far what is the biggest threat to the iPad’s largely unchallenged supremacy in the tablet market? The answer has certainly got to be Amazon's Kindle Fire, which sports a very enticing $200 price tag. Even though the Kindle Fire is probably the only non-iPad tablet to have generated iPad-like buzz, it's not the only affordable tablet on the market. The ranks of sub-$300 tablets are constantly swelling. And if NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is right, soon there will be a number of Tegra 3 tablets in this price range.
For better or worse, Asus has every intention of riding the growing tablet wave, no matter what else you might have heard. And what we heard earlier this week was that Asus, along with Acer, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard, were likely to bow out of the tablet market now that Amazon and Barnes & Noble have both joined the fray. That prompted speculation that maybe Asus and others were giving up competing for Android and were going to wait for Windows 8, perhaps in a mad grab for enterprise dollars. Nope, that's wrong too.
Ultrabooks, Ultrabooks, Ultrabooks! If you think you’re hearing an awful lot about the portable, powerful laptops now, be prepared to be flooded in Ultrabook news next year. According to a key director behind the annual Consumer Electronics Show, as many as half a hundred Ultrabooks could break cover at CES 2012. In fact, it's starting to sound like CES 2012's slogan could be "Smaller is better."
Amazon is almost certainly losing money on each Kindle Fire tablet it sells, but the dollar amount might not be as high as some analysts originally thought. According to preliminary findings from IHS iSuppli's teardown analysis, the Kindle Fire carries a BOM (build of materials) cost of $185.60 for the hardware, and $201.70 overall when factoring in manufacturing services expenses.
Computer system builders like Hewlett-Packard and Dell may look to pull out of the tablet market now that both Amazon and Barnes & Noble cannonballed the shallow end of the pool. Over in the deep end is Apple with its full-size (9.7-inch) iPad line, the only one that seems to be able to stay afloat at the $500 mark and above. Is it worth trying to compete anymore?
More good news for budget conscious tablet shoppers. For those of you who pre-ordered a Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, it too is shipping early, just like Amazon's Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch. The Nook Tablet was supposed to ship out on November 18, 2011 (this Friday), but will be available for pick-up from B&N stores a day early.
So the Kindle Fire’s out, and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet is due any day now, too. But if you’re in the mood for a cheap, yet awesome tablet this holiday season, it might just be worth it to brave the crowds and – GASP – venture out to Best Buy on Black Friday. A leaked ad shows that the older, but still viable Asus Eee Pad Transformer will be available for just $250 on that crappiest of days. That’s the same price as the Nook Tablet and just $50 more than the Fire.