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lenovo ThinkPad Tablet review

lenovo ThinkPad Tablet review
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The ThinkPad Tablet combines a superior media and entertainment experience with the security, reliability and manageability features for which ThinkPad is known to create a true business-class tablet. Designed as a companion computing device for professionals on the go, the ThinkPad Tablet includes an optional digitiser pen, a full-size USB port
Review On : lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

17 February 2012 - The brand new enterprise Lenovo ThinkPad tablet has been released in Malaysia, it is a big, heavy device aimed at the enterprise crowd. It is derived from Lenovo’s ThinkPad laptops, so let’s see what the ThinkPad tablet is all about.



At a glance:

+ Accurate stylus

+ Enterprise-friendly

+ Tough

- Heavy and bulky

- Poor camera

In the Box:

- Tablet

- Charger adapter

- MicroUSB Cable

Exterior, Controls and Screen

The ThinkPad tablet has a 10.1-inch design that displays 1280 x 800 pixels. The touchscreen is protected by damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. The screen’s resolution looks pretty good, but the brightness could be higher.

It certainly swings its weight around at 715 grams and it is bulky too at 14mm thick, and despite its 10 inch display, it much taller and wider than a Samsung Galaxy Tab. A clear homage to their black, red rubberised ThinkPad laptops, it certainly holds like a laptop without the keyboard attachment. And like those laptops, the ThinkPad tablet is best operated when laid flat on the table. The 10-inch device feels solid though, and with that solid magnesium chassis with rubberised back, it sure looks like it can survive some serious drops.

Hold the tablet in a landscape mode, and the power/standby button is located on the top right side. The bezel has four physical buttons - an orientation locker, a quick internet button, a back button and a home button. On the left side there is a volume rocker.

The right side of the Thinkpad has plenty of ports - there is the 3.5mm jack, HDMI-out, microUSB, docking connector, a SD card slot and a 3G SIM card slot. Plus, ThinkPad comes with a USB port, which worked with our mouse to navigate the ThinkPad.



There is a capacitive pen slotted in there too, powered by an AAA battery. Speaking of which, the stylus is accurate when moving across the screen or writing. It is sensitive enough you don’t have to press hard for it to register. The docking port also supports tool like the Keyboard Folio case and the Wireless keyboard and mouse for increase productivity.

Encased inside the chassis there is an NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. We have the 32GB Internal memory tablet on hand with the aforementioned SD slot. It also comes in 16GB and 64GB versions. 

Lenovo is claiming a modest five hour battery life, but in the course of our tests, the standby time lasted up to two days with a little juice left in the tank, meanwhile there is more or less of eight hours of power with WiFi turned on, the occasional gaming session and web surfing.



Software, Application and Games

It is powered by the Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) OS skinned with Lenovo’s customised skin and collection of widgets. The touch buttons are skinned white too. Honeycomb’s multitask bar is merged together with Lenovo’s task-killer, so when you tap the big red X, the app goes to sleep. Lenovo has promised that it is upgradable to Android 3.2.

Lenovo also placed their Launch Centre on the home screen, which has four zones or customisable shortcuts. The default settings will allow to access to your music, videos, email and read e-books. There is also a browser shortcut inside the widget and a settings menu. The settings allow you to change the shortcuts, for example in the music section to set it to a music service (like mSpot) or the music player of your choice. Or you can change it to a quick launcher for apps.

So expect Honeycomb features like a zero physical button experience. The system bar will display additional buttons when it is required. It will also auto hide when you are viewing photos in the Gallery app or playing videos. Need more shortcuts? Lenovo’s UI comes with a carousel of six of the top apps you use at the bottom of the screen (it looks like a talk bubble). Tap it and you can scroll through and quickly use recently closed apps.

Lenovo added some enterprise-orientated tools like remote administration in case the tablet gets lost or stolen, support for Cisco VPN, and full device encryption. To add to whole enterprise outlook, apps included like Documents to Go that’ll allow you to create and edit work documents, and PrinterShare that allows wireless printing for the tablet.

If you need more storage, Lenovo threw in a Cloud-base service called Arc Sync that offers 2GB cloud storage after you sign-up. Users can access their file in both tablet and PCs, along as they install the required Arc software in the computer. As for taking notes, there is an application called Notes Mobile that works with the stylus.

It’s not all serious and business though, the ThinkPad has music and video players. There is access to both Lenovo and Android marketplaces so there are plenty of apps to get. There are a number of pre-installed games too.

Connectivity

There is a good amount of connectivity options for the weekend warrior - HSPA 14.4Mbps downlink, WiFi, Bluetooth and Bluetooth. Lenovo threw in GPS functionality and the microUSB port supports data transfer between your PC and the tablet. If you have a HDMI cable, the tablet outputs 720p video too.

 



Camera, Video and Audio

The ThinkPad has rear 5-megapixel camera, and shooting with such a hefty tablet isn’t the most practical thing to do. Shots aren’t as sharp and we noticed the ‘halo effect’ when lighting conditions get a little skewed. It records 720p video, and the quality is similar to still shots. There is a front-facing two-megapixel camera too, but it is hampered by the tablet’s large form factor.

Verdict

The 32GB ThinkPad tablet is priced at RM2199, and while it’ll appeal to enterprise types, its hefty weight and business apps may make it difficult to appeal to the average consumers. And while Lenovo tried to find the middle ground here by installing a variety of apps, serious Android users that the tablet is catered to may find it obstructive.

That’s not to say the ThinkPad doesn’t have its strong points, there are enough enterprise applications in there for business users and the sheer amount of ports (we especially like the full fledged USB) that will rival a netbook.

Will your average tablet user make the jump to the ThinkPad, we suppose not. But serious Android fans that are keen to get security and productivity together in a package may opt for a tablet instead of a bulkier laptop.



Conclusion: Appeals to enterprise types looking for a tablet to replace their much heavier laptops

 


Editor's rating:
Good


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