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CES: Lenovo unveils first tablet PC

LePad will be followed by host of other tablet PCs

Lenovo has unveiled its first tablet computer, the LePad, and plans to launch more tablets later this year in a bid to carve out some share in the emerging market dominated by Apple's iPad.

The LePad has a 10.1in screen and runs Google's Android 2.2 OS on a 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It was unveiled at the start of the Consumer Electronics Show, which is currently taking place in Las Vegas.

The LePad will go on sale first in China later this quarter, priced between $399 and $449 (£255 and £288), said Leo Li, a Lenovo senior product manager. The company isn't certain yet if it will sell the product in other countires, including the UK, but it did say it was considering offering a version that connects to the Android Market available in a number of markets.

Lenovo also plans to launch several other Android-based tablets in other markets, perhaps in the second half of the year, Li said. He didn't provide further details.

Lenovo is the dominant PC maker in China and the first LePad has features aimed specifically at that market, including localised gaming, news and other content. It supports Flash, as many online gaming and video applications in China are driven by that technology.

Lenovo also showed the IdeaPad U1, a hybrid device that turns the LePad into a netbook-like product. The LePad serves as the monitor but can also be detached to function as a tablet. It runs a Windows OS and has an Intel Atom processor. The U1 will be priced at about $1,000 (£640). Company officials could not provide details about availability.

A version of the U1 tablet was shown at last year's CES, but the device was scrapped when development began on the LePad, Li said.

See also: Lenovo to show first tablets at CES

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