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Lenovo Android tablet, Samsung Galaxy S II due in August

by Kristen Nicole

More Android tablets are coming out with specialized features. From keyboard attachments to styluses, manufacturers are looking to differentiate their models amongst the steady stream of gadget launches. Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet has both a keyboard and a pen, making an inexpensive laptop alternative. Samsung has a few things in the works, with word of a Galaxy S II U.S. launch in August, as well as rumors of the Galaxy Q to be released later this year as well.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet - AT&T, Verizon and Sprint

Marking another Android tablet release for the summer is Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet, a 10.1-inch device that is designed to replace your laptop. Running Android Honeycomb 3.1, the ThinkPad comes with an optional keyboard attachment and a digitizing pen, which can work on the screen even when your hand is resting on the touch display. It i pressure-sensitive, so you can draw thin or wide lines and get more detailed with your screen writing. Lenovo’s second Android tablet, the ThinkPad will ship with 16, 32 and 64GB options, supporting WiFi and 3G. U.S. carriers will include AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, without contracts. Instead, users will get a 3G data plan based on your carrier offerings. The 16GB WiFi model is priced at $499, but no other pricing details have been released. U.S. buyers can look to buy the ThinkPad in August.

Samsung Galaxy S II - AT&T, Verizon and Sprint

After months of waiting, U.S. buyers will be able to order the Samsung Galaxy S II next month. Announced earlier this week, Samsung revealed the details of its next-generation handset, with plans to make it available across multiple carriers. Each carrier model will have different variations, with rumors that Sprint’s Galaxy S II will be labeled the Samsung Within, while Verizon’s edition will be called the Samsung Function. AT&T is thought to be getting the Samsung Attain. It is the hardware that is so appealing for the Galaxy S II smartphone, boasting a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 8-megapixel camera on the back, with a 2-mp front-facing camera. Running the latest version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the Samsung Galaxy S II also features the manufacturer’s custom TouchWiz interface.

While Samsung smartphones are still wildly popular, there is also a great deal of anticipation building around the company’s upcoming tablets too. The latest rumors suggest a tablet/smartphone hybrid called the Samsung Galaxy Q, expected to be released at IFA 2011 in September. The 5.3-inch device would round out the Galaxy family, with expected features including 3G and 4G LTE support. That indicates Verizon or AT&T as the carriers of choice in the U.S.

Motorola Droid 3 for Verizon

Motorola is still deep in the Android game, with its well-built Droid series evolving into its 3rd generation. The Droid 3’s slide-out keyboard is a plus for many, and it comes with Android Gingerbread 2.3. Priced at $200 with a 2-year Verizon contract, the Droid 3 has a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 960x540-pixel qHD display. The downfall of the Droid 3 is its lacking camera, and its pre-installed bloatware has deterred many users already.

HTC Status for AT&T

HTC is another manufacturer with a penchant for Android devices, and it is looking to expand its market appeal with a phone for social networking. Known as the HTC ChaCha in international markets, the HTC Status has finally hit the U.S. market. It is priced well at $50 with a 2-year contract from AT&T. The HTC Status comes with a Facebook button on the front, which will pulse with light when the phone thinks you are doing something that’s worthy of a Facebook share. This would include reading news articles or taking photos. Online browsing makes it easy to share links and comments on Facebook, and holding down your context-aware Facebook button lets you check-in to Places. The HTC Status is not the most powerful smartphone on the market, but it is geared towards younger texters that can’t get enough of Facebook.

The latest HTC rumors indicate that a tablet is also headed to AT&T, nicknamed the HTC Puccini. A recent filing with the FCC shows an HTC tablet with LTE support, running Android Honeycomb and 1,280x800 screen resolution.