updated 07:00 pm EST, Sun January 8, 2012
Lenovo IdeaPad S2 kicks up speed and follows ASUS
Lenovo has led off CES Unveiled by revealing the IdeaTab S2, the sequel to its very first Android tablet. The new 10-inch tablet is one of the first mainstream slates to ship with Android 4.0 and is also a major leap in performance. It ships with a new, 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon MSM8960 that takes advantage of both a higher clock speed and a new cooler, more efficient chip design.
The tablet goes on to borrow the concept of full keyboard docking from ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer and Transformer Prime. While it doesn't form a clamshell, it gives access to a full-size keyboard and trackpad for those turning it into a makeshift computer. The addition can run completely wirelessly, roughly doubling the battery life from nine to 20 hours, and brings both a pair of full USB ports and a card reader.
Lenovo has slimmed down the tablet to a much more competitive 0.34 inches and 1.3 pounds while adding micro HDMI for video and using both a five-megapixel rear camera and a front camera. Built-in storage will run up to 64GB.
The IdeaTab S2 is due to ship sometime in the spring. Lenovo hasn't yet committed to a price on the tablet, but does plan to ship it worldwide. Versions should come both with Wi-Fi only and with 3G. Owners of 3G versions will have the option of making phone calls.
Its launch marks a quick turnaround for Lenovo, which only just shipped the IdeaPad K1 this summer. The company has never given out direct sales figures, but its US share is low enough that it was out of the top five non-iPad competitors, itself a small group relative to Apple.
(Better pictures and hands-on possible soon)