Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: Windows 8 Slate Review

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Lenovo's first ThinkPad tablet was a bit of a disappointment to be candid. Even the best Android Honeycomb tablets were severely lacking on a number of fronts, back in the day. What was the use of a business tablet that couldn't run business apps? Well, forget all that. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a real business tablet, and one that actually feels like a ThinkPad--albeit one that has a detachable keyboard. It runs Windows; not Windows RT, not Android, not Windows XP, but real Windows 8 (or Windows 8 Pro). It has a gorgeous 10.1-inch 1366x768 LED IPS multitouch screen, an optional active digitizer stylus, optional mobile broadband, and ThinkPad good looks (if you're into that). Its optional keyboard dock is not really a dock and not really optional, but we'll get to that in just a bit. 


Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 As Tested
Specifications & Features
Operating System
Windows 8 Pro, 32-bit, no media, English
Display
10.1-inch IPS (1366 X 768) Wide View Angle IPS screen, LED Backlit
Capacitive 5 Finger Touch
Graphics
Integrated Intel HD SGX545
Processor
Intel Atom processor Z2760 (1.8GHz dual core with Hyper-Threading)
Memory
2GB L2DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz
Internal Storage
64GB eMMC Flash Storage
Wireless Connectivity
802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
Optional Gobi 4000 LTE/HSPA+ mobile broadband

Multimedia
dual .5W stereo speakers
3.5mm mic/headphone combo jack
dual integrated/noise reduction array microphones
2MP 720p front-facing video webcam
8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash

Ports and Expansion
microUSB (charge only)
USB 2.0
Docking connector
Stereo headphone/microphone combo jack
micro-SIM
microSD card slot
mini-HDMI
Proprietary dock connector
System Weight
1.3 pounds
System Dimensions
10.1 x 6.9 x 0.34 inches
Battery
2 cell (30Whr) Li-polymer battery
Extras
GPS, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, compass
Accessories
Bluetooth keyboard w/ stand, $120
ThinkPad 2 Desktop Dock w/ 3 USB 2, HDMI, Ethernet, and 65W AC adapter, $100
Price
$730 as configured (Windows 8 Pro w/ stylus); $850 w/ keyboard


The ThinkPad Tablet 2's Atom Z2760 processor is dual-core and hyper-threaded, but it's still an Atom processor. Add in just 2GB of DDR2LP (low-powered) at 800MHz and it's obvious this computer isn't going to be breaking any land speed records--not while running desktop Windows. But the purpose of Atom is not to be the fastest; the purpose of Atom is to be good enough to run Windows while sipping power. If you want fast, get a Core processor. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 isn't supposed to be a speed demon; it's supposed to be a tablet for business users, one with an emphasis on productivity--and with the keyboard dock, it's obvious that's not just lip service.

We'll go in-depth on the ThinkPad Tablet 2's design, user experience, and performance over the next few pages, but first, here's Dave's video review of the ThinkPad Tablet 2 in action:

So, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a tablet that thinks it's a ThinkPad laptop. Is it good enough to be a ThinkPad? Is it even good enough to be a good tablet? Let's find out...
 

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Comments

Comments
JDiaz one year ago

Actually. in reference to your video performance tests, the decoder supports hardware decoding of video in AVC/H.264, VC1/WMV9 and MPEG-2 formats. However, MPEG-4 part2 (Xvid codec) is apparently not supported. So you do have to be sure the video is supported...

Though, for most it's the default configuration of media players that are the main issues for getting hardware acceleration working properly... requiring getting the DXVA working properly and/or installing the proper codecs.

Basically, the Clover Trail GMA is essentially the same as the older Cedar Trail GMA 3600/3650... just clocked at 533MHz instead of 400/640... So when properly configured it should be able to easily play video up to just over 20Mbps bit rate Blu Ray, with only around 40% CPU usage... it just doesn't always do so out of the box because of the lack of support... the same issue for example plagued the Cedar Trail release until people figured out how to properly configure their media players.

For streaming though, Adobe Flash doesn't support the GMA and thus hardware acceleration won't work. So streaming is limited to CPU performance unless using a media player and playing a video format online... Though, dual core 1.8GHz ATOM is better performing than older ATOMs and so should get at least clean 720P video, along with some lower bit rate 1080P working...

Mind also on the need for HD video support that the HDMI out does mean the tablet can be used for media consumption on a external screen that does support full 1080P...

CaseyDombos one year ago

Looks promising - but still lacking overall.

 

Endersothergame one year ago

I agree with Casey here, they are almost where I would want them to be for me to buy one to replace my aging Galaxy 10.1. I have spent two weeks now with a windows tablet for work related reasons, and as I get used to it I am finding the want to buy one getting more and more irresistible as time goes on.

ivanatfirst one year ago

Lenovo ThinkPad 2 as a business tool – not yet.

I have been using the Lenovo ThinkPad 2 as a replacement to a laptop for work purposes for about 8 weeks. At this stage, in my opinion, it’s not a business tool nor an alternative to a laptop or desk top pc.

I am running Windows 8 with Office 365 and it is so slow that at times it’s almost unusable and I often revert back to my laptop.

Using Word, it is usually playing catch up as I type. Often I am literally waiting for the sentence to appear. Other than iTunes, I am not running any other programs that should be slowing it down. At time you can almost forget trying to watch a video on it unless you are willing to stop / start while it catches up.

Plug in your iPhone at the wrong time and it crashes. Trying to start it after it crashes takes some time also.

My advice, wait for a more refined business tablet to present.

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