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CES: Lenovo’s Android LePad tablet morphs into a Windows machine

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It’s raining tablets! With more than 80 of the flat-'n'-touchable devices to be showcased at CES this week, it will be hard to keep up with -- or to tell the difference between -- the many similar offerings. They all look a little bit like the iPad, and manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show will have to work hard to show what makes theirs special.

China-based Lenovo approach to the issue is to make its LePad tablet work with both Android and Windows 7 operating systems. As a standalone 10.1-inch tablet, LePad runs Android, will support Flash, offer a 3G cellular connection and allow access to a number of custom Lenovo apps from China.

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But slide it into its laptop base (kind of like a docking station but with an actual processor built in), and the LePad becomes a Windows 7 computer ‘for users who need the full functionality of a mainstream laptop for doing content creation with Windows-based productivity applications.’ Phew, calling Strunk & White!

Though it seems a touch odd to be switching users back and forth between operatings systems, perhaps there’s a niche for that kind of thing.

The LePad, which will go on sale in China sometime during the first quarter of this year, will retail for about $520 as a standalone tablet and $1,300 with the laptop attachment.

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-- David Sarno


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