HP has had some tough times in the past year – after their then-CEO Leo Apotheker announced that HP would be stepping out of the PC game, their sales figures took a small dive, but luckily he got ousted before such rash moves. HP is now once again back in the number one spot when it comes to overall PC sales worldwide.
Canalis’s research now starts to include tablet devices under PC sales, and Apple’s iPad sales has contributed significantly to Apple’s sales numbers, but even so, HP’s sales was slightly higher overall. So Apple was in second place, Lenovo in third (with big increases in sales) and Acer and Dell taking the fourth and fifth spots.
What is clear however, is that tablet devices has started to eat away at the previously very popular netbook market:
“The total client PC market grew by 21% to 107 million units. Importantly, while the pad category exhibited the highest growth – more than 200% year on year – notebook and desktop PC shipments were up too, rising 11% and 8% respectively. Netbook shipments, however, were down 34% on the year-ago quarter – the sixth such fall in succession.”
Clearly the next big battle in the tech world is TV – not in terms of ever growing screen sizes and resolutions, but rather the software and services that power it. With rumours circling about Apple’s apparent entry into the TV market, many manufacturers are taking a wait and see approach. Not Lenovo though – they decided they will build there first TV as well, and it will be powered by Android. Lenovo is planning to release their first TV in China at first, but international markets will get it later. It should be noted that this TV will not ship with Google TV. Instead it will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich, with Lenovo’s own custom skin, and it will pack some serious processing power. Here are some of the specs:
The TV will still ship with standard HDMI inputs, so you can still connect your set-top boxes. Lenovo must still announce their streaming services that combine with this TV – which makes us think this was rushed to market as an answer to that apparent Apple threat. Which we are not to certain about either… The idea that Apple would move into a highly commoditzed market like TV manufacturing is still difficult to comprehend, but their advantage will lie in the ecosystem that iTunes will provide. But if a Apple Cinema Display costs $1000, we wonder if Apple can crack the TV market where profit margins are lower than ever.
The tablet market is in a peculiar situation right now – according to sales figures it is basically Apple’s iPad and then everyone else. This is however not because of a lack of choice. In fact, there is a multitude of Android tablets out there from a variety of manufacturers in all shapes and sizes. The danger with this situation is that the Android tablet market is becoming somewhat commoditized, and there is not really a lot of them out there that are truly unique.
So we have been looking forward to trying the Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet, which really does seem a bit different from the rest, and not *Just Another Android Tablet*. Yes, it is called the “Thinkpad Tablet” despite Lenovo making a variety of tablets on a number of operating systems. So why is this one different? First off, it carries the Thinkpad name, so it should have good performance and be built well. Right? And secondly, the Thinkpad Tablet has a decent stylus included (at least the one I reviewed) for handwriting recognition and notes. But we will get to that later.
Our current favourite Android tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (see our review here), but the Thinkpad might just take that crown. So how does it do?