Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: Windows 8 Slate Review - HotHardware

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2: Windows 8 Slate Review

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Imagine, if you will, a Lenovo tablet with a ThinkPad's design language. The ThinkPad Tablet 2 looks a lot like that device in your imagination. It's a slate with a 10.1-inch screen, a glossy black bezel, and the usual ThinkPad-style soft-touch matte black finish to the sides and back. The rear edge of the right side is beveled, so the tablet feels even thinner. The left side is not, so as to accommodate the stylus, which slips right into a dock on the tablet's left edge. The result is a 1.3 pound tablet that, especially compared to others in its size class, feels solid but comfortable and easy to hold. And unlike tablets with backs made from glossy, cheap-feeling plastic or industrial-looking aluminum, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 feels, well, like a grown-up tablet. It's serious business.

The left edge of the tablet has a microUSB port for charging and a rubberized flap covering a full-sized USB 2.0 port. Unfortunately, you can't use the microUSB port to sync with a desktop. It's for charging only. And the full-sized USB port only puts out 2.5W of power, which isn't enough to power a portable hard drive or optical drive.

The stylus slots into the top left corner and leaves a little red nub showing on the top left edge of the tablet. The nub, of course, looks just like the fabled ThinkPad trackpoint. Another flap covers the SIM and microSD card slots on the top of the tablet just to the right of the webcam. The far right of the top edge holds the power button. The right edge of the tablet has a headphone/mic jack, the volume keys, and an auto-rotate toggle, while the bottom edge holds a mini-HDMI port and a port for the $100 desktop docking station (sold separately).

The bezel around the screen is just around 2cm on each side. Above the screen (in landscape mode) is the 2MP webcam; the round Start button is its counterpart on the bottom bezel. The right bezel contains the ambient light sensor, and the ThinkPad logo is picked out on the right edge of the top bezel. The back of the tablet has an 8MP camera, LED flash, and the Lenovo and ThinkPad logos.

The 10.1-inch 1366x768 LED-backlit IPS screen is beautiful. Its colors are rich and accurate, and it looks great from any angle, though it's hard to use in direct sunlight due to its extreme glossiness and tendency to pick up fingerprints. The resolution isn't as high as you might want, but pairing high-resolution, small-sized screens with desktop Windows is a perilous task--just look at the Surface Pro's 10-inch 1920x1080 screen and its weird desktop scaling issues. Lenovo took the easier route and stuck with a 1366x768 screen and the standard UI scaling. Even at this scale it's hard to use the desktop mode without mechanical aid, but you don't have to, provided you spring for the keyboard and stylus. And you really should.

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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...

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Looks promising - but still lacking overall.


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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.

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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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