Fans of the ThinkPad franchise will really love the look of this tablet. My first laptop was an IBM ThinkPad so I really appreciated the throwback to that legendary device. Clean lines, jet black body with a matt finish, the “ i “ on the logo at the back has a dot that glows when the tablet is switched on, and the red tipped pen brings back memories of the good old rubber type pointing device that was the signature of all ThinkPad laptops.
The screen is a gorilla glass 10.1 inch (16:10) bright multi- touch display with large standard Android buttons at the bottom in portrait position, with a resolution of 1280×800 pixels.
At more than 700 grams, this tablet is definitely heavier than other Android Honeycomb tablets in the market. It is also one of the biggest in size and thickness (Almost 26 x 18 x 1.4 cm). Fortunately though, Lenovo makes up for that in features and performance.
Specifications and connectivity
The ThinkPad packs an NVIDIA Tegra 2 Dual-Core 1GHz processor with a 1 GB memory running Android 3.1. It comes with 16, 32 or 64 GB of internal storage, and adding more storage has never been easier on a tablet as you can connect full size SD cards and even USB thumb drives thanks to its full sized USB port. It also has a micro USB port, mini-HDMI, a headphone jack and comes with Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity.
Cameras and Speakers
This tablet comes with a 2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP rear-facing camera but both cameras didn’t meet our expectations for good quality images. The photos had a vintage feel to them due to low saturated colours, which would have been great as an extra software feature but not a full time thing.
Compared to other tablets, the ThinkPad speakers weren’t as great either. After all, as mentioned previously, this tablet is meant for the business consumer.
We feel that the pen is a must have with this tablet so it’s disappointing that it has to be bought separately. This is not just a standard stylus pen but an N-Trig DuoSense battery operated digitiser pen (requires 1 AAAA battery), which means that you can use it simultaneously with your hands for input, allowing you to comfortably rest your hand on the screen as you use the pen without causing any confusion. We would at least buy it for the red tip we mentioned previously.
The handwriting recognition is good enough if you use manuscript block letters; it wasn’t as effective with cursive handwriting.
This tablet is packed with apps. From business applications like “Documents to go”, which lets you create and edit office documents, and “PrinterShare” which lets you print basically anything from your laptop, to communication apps like “eBuddy” and “oovoo” for online instant messaging and video chat. This device also has eBook readers, movie and music streaming tools and a bunch of games. Basically, this machine is geared to go.
Performance and accessories
The battery gave a reasonable performance considering the size of the tablet Lenovo estimates a running time of a little over 8 hours when using a Wi-Fi connection. The charger was a medium sized unit with a micro-USB connector, and you can also charge using a standard USB connection but it’s a lot slower.
Lenovo offers a large collection of covers and accessories for this tablet, including a keyboard folio case that connects through the USB port and an optical pointer that looks like the old-school ThinkPad rubber pointer.
Verdict: Aye. Lenovo might not have factored in the weight and size issues when designing the ThinkPad Tablet, but they have brought us one of the best tablets the demanding business consumer can ask for.
This review was done by Fahed Sabbagh – proud geek and passionate blogger. You can catch him wax poetic on all things geeky at www.nerdyface.com.