GADGET WATCH: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

Lenovo products aren’t necessarily a household name, but they’re known among gadget lovers for being powerful and durable. They get the job done. But is the company ready to enter the tablet-laptop hybrid space?

Plenty of companies have been attempting to get in on this market, not the least of which being Microsoft. But can Lenovo offer something more with its ThinkPad Tablet 2?

Hardware and features

The ThinkPad Tablet 2 features a 10.1-inch screen, with a 500:1 contrast ratio and a 1,366×768 resolution. Powered by an Intel Atom 1.8Ghz processor, with 2GB of RAM, the gadget also features PowerVR graphics.

Connectivity-wise, the gadget features one USB 2.0 port and another micro-USB 2.0 port, although it’s only used for charging. The device also comes with a mini-HDMI port, and is available in both 3G and 4G models. NFC is built in.

The ThinkPad comes with two cameras, one being an eight megapixel rear camera with LED flash, and the other featuring a two megapixel lens.

What’s the consensus?

Over at The Verge, the publication says straight-up the gadget shouldn’t be called a hybrid, saying it’s very much a tablet with a built in keyboard. It notes the device is wide, skinny and thin, “more like a Kindle Fire HD than a MacBook Air”. But it’s built well:

“The device gives and flexes a little more than I’d like, but it held up well to all the times I ‘accidentally’ let it slide off my lap and onto the floor, and even the time I picked up my bag from the bottom (genuinely unintentionally), which sent the tablet careening onto my hardwood floors.”

“It has a couple of scuffs after a few weeks of heavy use, but nothing worrisome.”

Over at Engadget, the publication said the device was good to hold, being lightweight and thin, along with its softer, rounded edges.

It also had good things to say about the keyboard, which despite its shrunken size worked quite well:

“These buttons are dense and cushy, backed up by a sturdy panel that can withstand even the pushiest of typists. It’s easily the best keyboard you’ll find on a hybrid device — the sort of thing you can use to get some real work done.”

However, it did note some lag over the Bluetooth connection, and pointed out you’ll still need to charge the keyboard separately.

At Slashgear, the publication delved into how Windows 8 works on the device, noting the performance was snappy, although not quite as fast as the Surface Pro with its i5 processor.

“The multi-tasking worked like a charm and in general there was no noticeable slowdown. We did have a hiccup or two while using the front facing camera, but that was a one-time event.”

“Coming with 64GB of flash storage things were quick, but then you’ll only get around 33 GB or so left out of the box due to some bloatware.”

However, The Verge said the desktop mode in Windows 8 is more difficult to use, and users will want to stick to the Metro screen.

The publication also had good things to say about battery life, which lasted seven hours, saying it “definitely passes the cross-country-flight test”.

Who’s it for?

The ThinkPad isn’t going to be for everyone. But if you need a lightweight, portable machine that can help you get work done while on the move, the ThinkPad is an excellent choice and a good alternative to the Surface. It may not be the most powerful machine around, but it’ll get the job done.


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