The old-line PC industry isn’t waiting around for Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to articulate a tablet strategy, if a report that Lenovo is working on an Android tablet results in a shipping product later this year. Lenovo has a few Windows 7-based tablets in its toolkit, but those pricey and bulky devices are not what have the mobile industry scrambling to match the iPad.
Instead, they’re turning to Google’s Android 3.0 software, which is at the heart of Lenovo’s tablet plans according to a report from This Is My Next. Lenovo appears to be sticking to its enterprise-technology roots as keepers of the ThinkPad brand, with plans to launch a convertible tablet with a keyboard case and a stylus as part of the overall $499 package.
Lenovo, like many Android partners, layered its own user interface skin over the basic Android 3.0 design that This Is My Next says is similar to a UI Lenovo built for an Android tablet it built for its home market in China called the LePad. It’s an interesting gambit to see if it can attract the business users that Research in Motion (NSDQ: RIMM) desperately wants to hang onto with the Playbook, and could be out later this year.