Amid Lenovo's unveiling of several Android tablets, a Windows alternative still remains. The IdeaPad P1, also announced today, adopts a similar appearance to the Android IdeaPad K1 tablet, but with a Windows 7 operating system and PC-oriented specs and features. It's like an iPad that runs Windows.
The 10.1-inch 1,280x800-pixel multitouch display also works with an optional stylus. A 0.3-megapixel Webcam handles video calls, but the IdeaPad P1 conspicuously lacks a rear camera. The rear panel comes in either Clementine orange or Silver gray, resembling the back of a Netbook.
The IdeaPad P1 comes with either 32GB or 64GB of SSD storage and up to 2GB of RAM. OS options cover the gamut from Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Professional. Connection options are sparse: a single USB 2.0 port, a microSD card reader, a SIM card slot for optional 3G, and a docking port. The P1 also has 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
As far as processor speed, it's a bit unclear; the 1.79-pound tablet has a 1.5GHz Intel processor (exact type thus far unspecified), along with integrated Intel HD graphics, which have proven decent thus far for basic gaming. A two-cell battery offers up to 6 hours of battery life, according to Lenovo.
Who, exactly, would want a Windows tablet instead of an Android tablet or iPad? We're not trying to be critical, but one of the biggest hurdles facing Windows tablets has been Windows 7 itself and its tablet-targeted applications, or lack thereof. Windows 7 supports touch, but it always feels glommed on in smaller touch-screen tablet environments. Windows 8 might begin to solve these issues, but for now, it seems that companies like Lenovo haven't given up hope. Lenovo App Manager, installed on the IdeaPad P1, aims to offer better app discovery and app switching. We haven't seen it in action yet, but Windows tablets have a lot of work to do as far as offering a user interface and experience that's anywhere close to what's already available on the iPad and other Android/WebOS alternatives.
The IdeaPad P1 has no price yet, and will be available sometime in the "fourth quarter 2011." We remain intrigued, but skeptical.