If you happen to be enthusiastic about Lenovo, tablets, and your American residency, look away now. Lenovo still plans to ship the Android-based LePad in China some time soonish, but its US roadmap can pretty much be summed up as “wait and see.” The company’s COO Rory Read has been cited as saying there are no plans to release a slate for the US market until at least Android’s Honeycomb version comes out, agreeing with Google on the point that Froyo is not “the right base to have a fully functioning pad.” Lest you think Windows 7 will fill the void until whenever in 2011 that Android tablet does arrive, Lenovo’s director of new technology, Howard Locker, sets you straight: “Windows 7 is based on the same paradigm as 1985 — it’s really an interface that’s optimized for a mouse and keyboard,” and the Thinking machine team doesn’t intend to build a slate around it. And if you were thinking of maybe picking up a LePhone as a consolation prize, tough luck, that won’t be arriving in the US for at least another two years (which in smartphone terms is basically “never”), although it’s good to know that it’s now got 13 percent of the smartphone market in China. You know, in case you own stock in LeCompany.
When it comes to webOS 2.0 (now actually called HP webOS), it almost felt like we’d never see the version number, let alone get to review it. It’s been an intense few months for Palm: after floundering in the early part of the smartphone wars, it was scooped up by HP for a tidy sum of $1.2b. Though it seemed like the dream of webOS could fade away, the company made it clear that it had plans to not only continue the work Palm had done in the mobile world, but extend what the tiny company had created to other platforms as well (tablets, and yes, printers). We’ve heard a lot of talk from both parties since the acquisition, but have seen little in the way of proof that progress was indeed being made — but that’s all changed today. Palm has officially released its second generation OS into the wild, along with a new, beefed up version of the Pre (at least in France — North American handsets are coming soon). The company offered us an early developer phone to test out the new OS and see if the combination of tightened code and a significantly faster device (the Pre 2 clocks in with a 1GHz CPU) could make a difference between last place and a fighting chance. We’ve taken an extensive look at the new OS, so read on for our full take! Read more