Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Windows 8.1 Tablet Review

Camera Performance & Software

The ThinkPad 8 has a 2MP front camera for video chats and an 8MP back camera for snapping shots. The back cam comes complete with flash and autofocus, and it took relatively (for a tablet) high quality shots for us indoors and out.

Indoor shots in portrait and landscape mode with the Lenovo ThinkPad 8.

The ThinkPad 8 handles daylight well - but then, what typical camera doesn't look good in daylight? Indoor shots are where you're likely to end up with grainy photos, but this camera handled dim lighting (with the flash off) well, too.

Outdoor photos from the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 tablet camera.

As for software, Lenovo typically keeps installed applications to a minimum, but the ThinkPad 8 comes with quite a few apps. The good news is that most of them are popular apps (like Evernote) or Lenovo-branded utilities. Chances are, you’ll spot one or two apps that you want to keep – and you can easily remove or ignore the rest.

The Lenovo apps include Companion, Support, QuickCast, Solution Center, and ThinkVantage System Update. Companion provides very basic tablet tips and isn’t going to teach you anything new, but it might be mildly useful for a first-time tablet user. QuickCast lets you send files to other devices that have QuickCast. The most useful of these apps are Support, Solution Center, and ThinkVantage System Update. The Support app is easy to navigate and gives you quick access to Lenovo’s knowledge base and forums. The Solution Center has a slick interface that lets you adjust Windows settings and troubleshoot. Yes, Windows already has its own Control Panel, but Lenovo’s version doesn’t hurt and might appeal to some users.

The ThinkPad 8’s third party apps are mostly of the free-to-install variety. Amazon Kindle is a preloaded freebie, for example, and so is AccuWeather, Evernote, a Nitro Pro 8 trial, and Skitch Touch. Lenovo also preloaded Norton Studio and makes a 30-day trial of Norton Internet Security 2014 available. NIS 2014 isn’t already installed, which is a nice touch for users who don’t want NIS and don’t want to be bothered with the uninstallation. Zinio (digital magazines) and rara (a music-streaming service) are also included.

Keep in mind that, as we mentioned earlier, Microsoft Office Home and Student is preloaded on the $399 version of the tablet.

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