Lenovo plans to introduce an Android-powered tablet in summer 2011, execs from the company have said, declaring that Windows 7 and the current Android 2.2 are unsuitable for tablet computing.
Lenovo’s new technology director Howard Locker told PC Mag: "The challenge with Windows 7 is that it’s based on the same paradigm as 1985. It’s really an interface that’s optimised for a mouse and keyboard. It has to be optimised for touch. How do you do that?"
The firm had previously shipped touch-enabled notebooks with a front end interface designed to be more finger-friendly than the default Windows 7 interface.
However, comments by Locker also point to the different approaches to multitasking of Windows 7 and mobile-style operating systems such as Android which typically are designed to run one major task full screen at once. Locker pointed to benefits in battery life and the ability to ship lighter devices.
While some manufacturers such as Samsung have jumped the gun on Google’s Android operating system and released tablets based on the the current smartphone optimised Android 2.2, Lenovo has no such plans. Lenovo US boss Rory Read said he didn’t believe that Froyo was “the right base” for a fully functioning pad.
Read said that the Chinese PC-maker would look to the tablet-optimised Android version code-named “Honeycomb” before deciding what the firm’s plans were with regards to Lenovo LePad-branded tablets. While it’s not clear what version Honeycomb will be exactly, it’s believed to follow Gingerbread, or Android 3.0.
Lenovo’s smartphone brand, the Le Phone, has so far captured a sizable 13 per cent of the Chinese market but Read said the company would continue to focus on the Chinese market for up to two years before considering launching into the competitive Western market.