CES 2012: IdeaTab 'transformer' turns tablet into a laptop

The IdeaTab S2 and IdeaTab K2, a pair of tablets showcased at CES 2012, are both set for 2012 release. 

The IdeaPad S2 is shown at the technology show CES 2012 in Las Vegas this week.

The tablet market these days isn't so much a horse race as an absolute rout – there's the high-end iPad, the low-end Kindle Fire, and then there's everyone else. But Apple can't hold the coveted top spot forever, and in recent months, an increasing number of competitors have announced or unveiled Android-powered tablets, including Google itself.

The latest such device is the IdeaTab S2, the 10-inch tablet introduced by Lenovo at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) this week. Computerworld is reporting that the S2, set for release this year, will ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and in a few different memory configurations: 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB, just like the iPad. Look for 1 GB of RAM, a Snapdragon MSM 8960 processor, rear- and forward-facing cameras, and a svelte, 1.3-pound body – also much like the iPad. 

Best of all, the IdeaTab S2 is a "transformer." With a little work (and a couple hundred bucks), it becomes a full-fledged laptop. 

"As is common with most 10-inch tablets, the [S2] can operate for approximately 9 hours on a charge," Lance Ulanoff writes over at Mashable. "However, you can double the battery life if you add the $200 keyboard dock, which includes a second battery, full-sized keyboard and touchpad and adds two USB ports and a storage card reader. In other words, it turns the IdeaTab [S2] into a laptop." 

Also at CES, Lenovo took the wraps off an IdeaTab-branded tablet called the K2, which will ship with Nvidia's quad-core Tegra 3 processor and Google's Android 4.0 OS, IDG News is reporting. Details on the K2 are pretty murky: Lenovo appears to be positioning the device as a "gaming and multimedia" tablet with HD graphics, as opposed to the more utilitarian S2.

The K2, certainly won't get a budget price, Tech Radar reports, but it will get a fingerprint reader for extra security, and a super-high resolution screen, for watching plenty of videos and playing plenty of games. The device is slated to launch in China this year, but unlike the S2, it has not yet been confirmed for a US release, which is too bad. The thing's apparently a real powerhouse

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