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Lenovo Says Customers Don't Want Slate-Tablets

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 54 comments

Lenovo has made the bold statement that customers don't want slate PCs.

CNet reports that, despite updating its tablet line of PCs, adding Intel's Core i5 and i7 CPUs to the mix, Lenovo has said it will not be bringing a slate PC to the market because customers don't want them. Lenovo asked a wide range of customers about slate PCs and found that people were too attached to their keyboards to think about ditching them for a slate PC.

“We of course build plastic mock-ups that we show (to customers). We had a slate form factor. The feedback was that for (our) customers it will not work because of the need to have (a physical) keyboard,” Mika Majapuro, senior worldwide product marketing manager at Lenovo, said in an interview with CNet. Majapuro goes on to say that he found the response from customers nothing short of amazing:

"It was amazing to me. At first I didn't want to believe (our customers) but the keyboard was such a big need for them."

According to CNet, Lenovo didn't just ask professionals and businesses, they also quizzed high school students about their desires for a slate PC. However, their reaction was much the same; they needed a keyboard.

"These were 14-year-old kids, who, I thought, would be most willing to try a virtual keyboard but they said no, we want the physical (built-in) keyboard," said Majapuro.

The news comes at a time when several companies (HP and Apple) have already announced slate PCs and others are rumored to launch slates later this year.

Would you buy a Lenovo slate PC? Let us know in the comments below.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    burnley14 , February 23, 2010 7:46 PM
    I agree, I want my physical keyboard too. No Slate/Tablet for me.
Other Comments
  • 23 Hide
    burnley14 , February 23, 2010 7:46 PM
    I agree, I want my physical keyboard too. No Slate/Tablet for me.
  • 9 Hide
    Hothr , February 23, 2010 7:47 PM
    I can see the slate PCs taking over where netbooks are now. Casual couch surfing and media playback.
    That is what I would want it for.
  • Display all 54 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    makotech222 , February 23, 2010 8:07 PM
    I have the x200 tablet and its pretty darn good tablet PC. I couldnt imagine using it without a keyboard/trackpoint though.
  • -1 Hide
    mianmian , February 23, 2010 8:07 PM
    There is definitely market for slate. But need more touch friendly apps for big screen.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2010 8:08 PM
    Lenovo/IBM ThinkPads always had a good reputation for quality keyboards. I imagine that people who are used to Lenovo's portable offerings wouldn't want to lose a strong selling point.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , February 23, 2010 8:27 PM
    Personally I would love to have a slate PC. I see it as the perfect device for the living room. Good for pictures, media, browsing, and they tend to look slick to boot. Sure, they're not good for everything, but then netbooks aren't good for everything either. With a netbook you have to either use a mouse (and carry it around with you), or use the touchpad. Personally I think it's a heck of a lot easier to just touch the screen.
  • -4 Hide
    hakesterman , February 23, 2010 8:32 PM
    I don't get why people are so attached to physical Keyboards. I have typed emails on touch
    screens and it works perfectly. The digital keys will be nearly the same size and they are as senative
    as a real keyboard. I love the idea of not haveing an extra keyboard and haveing it built in is just
    awsome. It seems like whenever something different comes along people hesitate for awhile before they
    even want to try it. Try it and i assure you it's easy to adapt to.
  • -1 Hide
    phantomtrooper , February 23, 2010 8:33 PM
    i would buy a netbook before i bought a tablet. a tablet is kind of like a novelty item. sure the touch technology is cool but its far from the easiest to use. i will stick with my mouse and keyboard thank you. oh and i hope the ipad is a falls flat on its face.
  • 0 Hide
    fradav4 , February 23, 2010 8:46 PM
    How has no one brought this up? What about keyboards as accessories. Why should having a slate pc mean no physical keyboard? On the go I would use it as a slate PC. If I were in a more comfortable working environment (like on a desk) then I would just connect a physical keyboard to it.
  • 7 Hide
    r0x0r , February 23, 2010 8:46 PM
    hakestermanI don't get why people are so attached to physical Keyboards. I have typed emails on touchscreens and it works perfectly. The digital keys will be nearly the same size and they are as senativeas a real keyboard. I love the idea of not haveing an extra keyboard and haveing it built in is justawsome. It seems like whenever something different comes along people hesitate for awhile before theyeven want to try it. Try it and i assure you it's easy to adapt to.


    Using multi-keys (shift + key for example) on a keyboard instead of a screen means that your finger has somewhere secure to rest (textured, indented key), whilst the rest of your hand moves about, thus reducing the chance of your finger sliding away and resulting in a error.

    Also keyboards are far, far greater for touch typing and speed typing. Not only that, a virtual keyboard doesn't give you the haptic perception you get with a proper physical keyboard. It's this haptic perception which allows people to type 50+wpm (that, and a lot of practice!)
  • 0 Hide
    fradav4 , February 23, 2010 8:49 PM
    Personally I would rather use a slate pc than a netbook, as long as it had the option to connect a keyboard to it, either via USB or bluetooth.
  • 1 Hide
    ern p b , February 23, 2010 8:52 PM
    It would need to be a touch-screen with a stylus, anyone remember Grafitti? It is a great way for me to enter notes, edit etc.
    With tha,. t you really don`t need a keyboard. It has to be rugged, I`m a commercial construction contractor.

    I want it to do a couple of things well...

    1. Fast boot so i can take notes on the fly.

    2. rotate to portrait and function as an e-reader. I`m an avid reader,
    it's unthinkable not to have some form of novel or reference material nearby.

    3. enough horsepower to do multi-media and spreadsheet/word processing efficently.

    4. Be about the dimensions of the e-books I`ve been seeing.

    5. Bluetooth for the times you do want a keyboard and mouse, and sync-ing with my cell-phone and wire-less stereo/mic headset.

    That's what I'm looking for in a portable.
  • -1 Hide
    enzo matrix , February 23, 2010 8:55 PM
    I prefer a convertible.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , February 23, 2010 9:00 PM
    HothrI can see the slate PCs taking over where netbooks are now. Casual couch surfing and media playback.That is what I would want it for.

    Yes, unlike the over sized iTouch...er... I mean iPad a slate PC would be a MUCH better option for media and surfing the net.
  • 0 Hide
    doc70 , February 23, 2010 9:10 PM
    I prefer a tablet. I can use it as a touchscreen if I want, or as a notebook if I need a keyboard.
  • -1 Hide
    rsud , February 23, 2010 9:16 PM
    Nice self serving poll that essentially goes...
    We asked OUR customers who are used to laptops and buy laptops if they would buy something thats not a laptop.

    iPad / Slates are for folks who don't have laptops and don't want or don't have the lifestyle spend their time sitting in front of a laptop.

    Appears lenovo doesn't care to expand their market to non-laptop users and this is what apple is after. Apple did the same with the iPhone, made a "smartphone" for all the folks who didn't already own smartphones. And this was a vast majority of the market.

    For me (a laptop user) I will likely have an iPad floating around.
    Instant ON anywhere and anytime I am in the house is compelling. But I also need it to be able to print to a network printer (a recipe, directions, etc). Dunno if this will be available (it isn't on my iTouch).
  • 0 Hide
    MattBauer09 , February 23, 2010 9:21 PM
    You're right. We DON'T want a slate-tablet. Not until Apple told us we needed one.
  • 1 Hide
    maestintaolius , February 23, 2010 9:22 PM
    makotech222I have the x200 tablet and its pretty darn good tablet PC. I couldnt imagine using it without a keyboard/trackpoint though.


    I've been very happy with my x200. As enzo said, I too perfer a convertible. It's a slate when I want it to be and a laptop when I don't.
  • -5 Hide
    hakesterman , February 23, 2010 9:33 PM
    You can easily type 50 words a minute on a Ipad or other slate device, all you have to do is
    try. This perception that a physical keyboard is a must is retarted, it's for those who have mental
    blocks about change.

  • 0 Hide
    jenesuispasbavard , February 23, 2010 9:34 PM
    If I want to couchsurf I'll use my phone.
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