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Lenovo prepping 5-inch Android-based tablet, report says

The device will reportedly come with a front-facing camera, Micro-USB port, HDMI output, and a dual-core processor.

Is this a new 5-inch tablet from Lenovo?
Is this a new 5-inch tablet from Lenovo?

Lenovo may be working on a 5-inch tablet, Engadget reports, citing an anonymous source.

According to the gadget news site, it has received some basic specs and photos of the device from its source. The site claims the device will come with a 5-inch display, run Android, and feature a dual-core processor. In addition, the photos seem to show that it comes with a Micro-USB port, a front-facing camera, and HDMI output. Engadget's source is unsure when the tablet might launch.

There's no telling what market the 5-inch tablet is designed for, but Lenovo is heavily focused on the enterprise. The company's ThinkPad Tablet, for example, "has several business-oriented features that should bring a smile to the IT crowd," CNET's Donald Bell said in a review of the device last month.

However, that device, which Bell gave 3.5 stars out of 5, comes with a 10.1-inch display. The rumored Lenovo tablet's 5-inch screen is a bit of a risk, given the past and current state of the tablet market.

Over the summer, Dell quietly discontinued its Streak 5 tablet, an Android-based device that came with a 5-inch screen. The company is now focusing on larger screen sizes. The issue was that the device's small display couldn't quite appeal to consumers that wanted a tablet featuring much larger screen sizes, like the 9.7-inch option found in the iPad.

"[The Dell Streak 5's] size puts it on the fence between tablets and smartphones," Bell had said in his review of that device.

Can the rumored Lenovo tablet succeed where the Streak 5 failed? It's tough to say. But considering the vast majority of tablet makers are offering devices that come with 7- to 10.1-inch displays, and smartphones are now coming with bigger screens--the Galaxy Nexus has a 4.65-inch display, after all--it might be difficult for Lenovo or any company selling a 5-inch tablet to attract customers.

Lenovo did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.