It seems that, this time for real, everyone – not just Motorola – is trying to get into the tablet battlefield. Motorola already tried to compete with the iPad 2 and, in my opinion, they were badly defeated. Now, when Apple has just released the iPad2, everyone else seems to have decided that it is the right time to come into the game. There might be many strategical and commercial reasons that are out of my engineering-focused and marketing-lacked mind, but I think that one of the main reasons is that Apple’s iPad2 does not offer anything new.

When the iPad 2 comes just as a slightly smaller version that its older brother and with 2 cameras – I will never get tired of wondering why do people want the back-facing camera. Are you really going to carry your iPad around when you travel and use it to take pictures. No, because those memories in the shape of pictures have to be good enough to look good printed on an album. Will you pop out your iPad from your pocket during a concert or when you see something funny on the street to take a quick picture? No, because you already have your phone for that… – it looks “easier” to present “new” things to the market.

A couple of days ago I was presenting the new Asus tablet that, to me, looks really cool and runs on Windows 7 – if I could have my files organized in folders and such in my iPad and install Microsoft Office I would probably buy one… -, and not only that, but one can get that cool keyboard that, attached to the tablet, makes a very portable and light laptop.

Well, today I found out about a new tablet. Lenovo, the Chinese computer manufacturer that, a few years ago, bought IBM’s laptop division, is going to release the LePad in June. It might not be a good tablet, but at least it has an elegant name, huh? Well, let’s see how is this French cousin of the iPad going to be.

From Gotta Be Mobile:

LePad is already currently shipping in China with Lenovo’s customized UI on top of Android 2.2. The company is saying that U.S. availability will come this summer and the tablet will ship Stateside with Android 3.0 Honeycomb on the 10.1-inch 1,280 X 800 display.

One of the unique things about the LePad/Skylight tablet is the optional U1 docking accessory, which is capable of turning the Android tablet into a full Intel Core i5 portable notebook. Once docked into the U1 Hybrid Dock, you get a full Windows 7 notebook complete with keyboard, trackpad, HDD for storage, RAM, and other notebook components–the tablet’s display becomes the notebook’s screen. Unfortunately, though, if docked, the Windows environment will be a notebook-only situation meaning you won’t get inking, touch, or tablet features once docked.

The case of the LePad is a bit odd because, apparently, it is already available in China and, despite it will be released in the US and Europe in June, a new version (LePad 2) will be released next fall. We are lacked of more data about the second model, but Lenovo’s CEO recently announced that it will be slimmer.

This post is becoming a bit strange because I keep learning new things as I write it and I should rewrite it, but I will just leave it this way as a proof of how complicated the LePad situation seems to be. The Lenovo LePad seems to have been renamed for the Western release as Lenovo SkyLight.

Apparently it has officially been already presented at the recent CES 2011:

All in all, a bit confusing, but a new tablet in the market. And this one seems to bet for having a laptop/tablet in the same product…

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