on March 24, 2013
Let me preface this review by saying that if you are considering a secondhand Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet 2 ("TPT2"), or are purchasing it brand new, be sure that the vendor has a reputable return policy. Why? In my extensive research, it revealed the first batch of TPT2's manufactured in mid-to-late 2012 seem to be plagued with one or more issues: bad WiFi due to loose plug, poor pen calibration, crackling speaker, screen "lifting" out of the plastic, yellow smearing on the screen, off-centered camera, etc. That said, my review is based on the "27U" with a Manufactured Date of 2/7/2013, which I purchased in late February. I am happy to report that I have not experienced any of the 1st-run manufacturing problems in my month of ownership except for a slightly off-calibrated pen, which I will address later.
Also, be mindful that there are a variety of TPT2 models. The "27U" model includes the Wacom digitizing pen. Lower/cheaper models (e.g. "23U") may not include the pen, and/or may not even have the digitizer built-in (preventing you from buying a Wacom pen). They also may less on-board storage (e.g. 32gb instead of 64gb).
MY MAIN USES: I needed a light-weighing tablet to supplement my M.B.A. Graduate program with note-taking, PDF annotating, and full Microsoft Office capabilities. Secondary to this was a need for portability during business and personal travel. All of this meant the need for a long-lasting battery.
WEIGHT: One of the main reasons why I chose the TPT2 versus other Win 8 Atom tablets is the weight. At 1.3lb, the TPT2 is the LIGHTEST Win 8 Atom Tablet. The Dell Latitude 10 is 1.5lb, the larger Samsung ATIV SmartPC 500T (with 11.6" screen) is 1.65lb. After playing with competing tablets, the slight weight difference IS noticeable. More so, the iPad 2 is 1.33lb and the new iPad is 1.44lb. This is more of a philosophical issue, but I find that the iPad's 4:3 (magazine-like) aspect ratio is much easier to hold than the TPT2's 16:3 widescreen (movie-like) aspect ratio. It has to do with weight distribution since the TPT2 is a physically "longer" tablet, making it harder to hold with one-hand.
CHASSIS: The TPT2 has a rubbery surface covering every inch of the exterior, with the exception of the screen. The rubbery backing allows for you to easily grip the tablet no matter who you're holding it. If you've ever used an IBM or Lenovo Thinkpad notebook, you'll immediately feel right at home. This tactile-feel is important compared to the Samsung 500T, which has a plastic shell that can be slippery to hold.
PORTS: The TPT2 comes with a full-size USB 2.0 port, a Micro-USB port, a connector for the dock, an audio out jack, and a silo for holding the stylus pen.
BATTERY: Although not scientific, I observed at least 8 hours of continuous life throughout various uses (note-taking, old-school gaming, Pandora, etc.) with screen brightness around 35%-50%. However, I did notice a slight battery drain overnight (approximately 10% to 15%) if you choose not to plug in the tablet despite having "Sleep Mode" appropriately set. This drain is normal for most devices, but an area where the iPad trumps competition; I can leave my old iPad 2 unplugged and the battery will only have drained by 1% to 2%.
SCREEN: The 10.1" touchscreen with a 1366x768 resolution is simply beautiful. Many folks have expressed concern about the low resolution (especially in an age where "Retina-quality" is ubiquitously marketed). In practice, I have to strain to see pixels. In day-to-day use, I don't notice pixels.
If you want numbers, the TPT2 features the best pixel density as measured by pixels per inch (155 ppi, to be exact). In comparison, I DID notice pixilation with using the Samsung ATIV 500T; despite the same resolution, it has a larger 11.6" screen which reduces pixel density (132 ppi). The iPad 2 also only has a 132 ppi. Only the Dell Latitude 10 has the same pixel density as the TPT2.
The TPT2 has an In-Plane Switching ("IPS") screen. In lay terms, it means that changing viewing angles (e.g. when you shift your head) doesn't impact color rendition. Also, color vibrancy itself is beautiful and Windows 8's bold interface emphasizes that notion. Competitors all use IPS (or like technologies): Dell Latitude 10 uses IPS, the iPads all use IPS, and Samsung uses its "PLS" technology in the 500T.
It's important to note that Windows 8 has some scaling issues, in general. Tablets with higher resolutions (e.g. MS's own Surface Pro with 1920x1080) doesn't properly scale text, icons or buttons in certain applications. Things are sometimes too small, making it very hard to use your finger to press the "File" menu in a program, for example. Lucky for the TPT2, the lower resolution mostly negates this issue. Similarly, I have no issues with finger/touch calibration (which is not the same as pen calibration).
This is subjective but I personally have no issue with the glossy anti-glare coating. I sometimes see reflections, but only if I am sitting directly in sunlight (or a very bright lightsource). Regardless, it's no different than the gloss seen on the iPad's or other glossy devices sitting around the house. Even in daytime use, I have no problem seeing the screen as long as I increase screen brightness to about 50%.
DIGITIZING: There are two types of digitizers: "Passive" and "Active." Passive is equated to less accuracy (since it doesn't have the hardware to detect pen pressure) and lacks an ability to reject your palm when you lay it on the screen. In short, it simply relies on the same touch interface that is used for your finger input. An Active Digitizer is much more accurate; it can detect changing levels in pressure, the stylus tip is accurate down to the pixel level, and it can immediately reject your palm. "Wacom" has been the king in this arena for years and is the preferred technology for many artists and professionals who digitally scribe for a living.
The TPT2 has a "Wacom" digitizer, as does the Samsung ATIV 500T and Dell Latitude 10. All of the iPad's are Passive. To be fair, there are a few hardware add-on's and software Apps that mitigate this weakness in the iPad, but many folks say the workarounds sound better on paper than in actual practice. Also, not all Windows 8 Atom tablets have a Wacom digitizer; they may not have one and/or have an inferior digitizer (called "N-Trig") that is less accurate than Wacom.
For whatever reason, the stylus pen calibration is *sometimes* slightly off on the TPT2 but not in competitor tablets. When defining "slightly off," we're talking just a few millimeters off - enough to be noticeable but not enough to handicap non-critical work. The issue is also *sometimes* exacerbated when one holds the pen at an angle. Worse yet, it gets worse around the screen edges. I have tried re-calibrating using Windows 8's built-in tool with no success. Many folks online have even said that the manual calibration process makes accuracy even worse than default.
The online communities aren't sure if this is a hardware-level or software-level problem, but we're all hoping a future driver update will fix the issue. All of that said, I am not doing any "critical" work (like sketching art), so the slight inaccuracy doesn't bother me too much. It's more of an annoyance, but it may drive you bonkers. Writing was very natural and I had no problem adapting from paper to screen. The pen itself has an inch-wide button that is equal to the "right-click" on a mouse. It also has a white plastic tip that is reminiscent to the tip of a standard BIC pen.
My only two complaints are: lack of eraser and pen size. Erasing anything is annoying (as the user is forced to click the "Eraser" button in a menu). Also, the pen itself is small (but this is a forgiving issue as a larger pen wouldn't fit inside the thin tablet's silo). Speaking of, I have never been worried about the pen falling out - it is very securely held within the silo.
PRODUCTIVITY - ONENOTE: An important distinction to point out is that there are two versions of OneNote. There is a free one in the Microsoft Store, which is limited to basic note-taking and lacks many of the powerful features in the "real" OneNote 2013 that comes with Microsoft Office suite of products. A good comparison is "Wordpad" vs. Microsoft Word. Despite the calibration issues, I love using the TPT2 with Microsoft OneNote 2013. Beyond basic note-taking, I can convert PDFs (e.g. Harvard Business Case Studies) into a OneNote-compatible format that allows me to highlight text and write notes. This has led to a drastic reduction in the number of printed documents.
PRODUCTIVITY - MS OFFICE: I am typing this review on Microsoft Word 2013 - it works FLAWLESSLY. For my M.B.A. classes, I was asked to install Excel add-ins (specifically, the "Data Analysis Plus" plug-in for Statistics purposes). This and other Excel add-ins are not compatible with Google Docs, Open Office, and other copycat software. Also, much of the business/enterprise world uses Microsoft as its backbone. You CAN run the full version of Outlook on here, you CAN use Access databases (as long as you're not trying to compile database code), and you CAN use Macro's prevalent in Excel. Again, these are other handicaps when you use third-party software or try to use Office-compatible apps on Android or iOS.
PRODUCTIVITY - PHOTOSHOP: Although I am a semi-professional (high amateur) photographer, I do not want to "waste" a product key on installing Photoshop or Lightroom on this device. I have other computing devices that can easily process my RAW files without breaking a sweat. Other folks have mentioned being able to lightly use Photoshop on the TPT2 with no issues, but the lack of RAM (only 2gb) hinders any excruciating Photoshop work.
GAMES: Don't expect to play any modern PC games on the TPT2. A good rule of thumb is that anything prior to 2003 should work on the TPT2, assuming you can somehow make it work in Windows 8 to begin with. Steam is a bit slow, as expected. Even the original Half-Life chugs along when you have Settings on High. However, the TPT2 is a good excuse for loading up old-school games from the 90's. There are stores that sell downloadable versions of old-school games. The caveat is that some games require a connected mouse and keyboard since it obviously doesn't have a touchscreen interface. That said, I was able to play Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri with mouse and keyboard. Others folks have mentioned playing other titles like SimCity 3000 and Baldur's Gate.
MOVIES: Netflix performance is fine on this tablet - as long as you download the Netflix app from the Microsoft Store. Browser-based Netflix (e.g. using Netflix through Internet Explorer) is poor but that's because it uses the CPU-hungry Silverlight plug-in, and performance is an issue even on more powerful devices. Although I don't personally toy with this and is not my area of expertise, I feel the need to point out that other folks have reported *some* success in ripping movies (at DVD-level quality), importing and playing them back on the TPT2. It seems to be a hit-or-miss that is attributable to the lack of GPU graphical processing power.
WEB BROWSING: General web browsing is great, as long as you use the included Microsoft Internet Explorer 10. Other popular browsers, such as Google's Chrome, run pretty poorly on the TPT2. This is due to coding that hasn't been fully optimized for low-powered Windows 8 devices. Chrome doesn't even support pinch-to-zoom (as of this writing), a critical necessity for touchscreen devices. I was frustrated at first, but Internet Explorer is actually not a bad alternative.
CAMERA: I used the TPT2's camera ONCE to take a picture of my cat, so my sample activity is limited. The act of photography via a tablet is quite awkward, and again, I already have semi-professional equipment for high-end photographs. For anyone who is curious though, the TPT2's picture quality seems average, at best. Professional pundits have come to that same conclusion.
SOFTWARE: This is more of a general Windows 8 issue, but is worth mentioning. One would think that having access to decades of x86 software is useful, but a las, it is not. I really miss "Flipboard" (the popular magazine-style reader available on iOS and Android) and the Windows 8 equivalent "News Bento" doesn't feel quite as polished. Even Microsoft's own "Mail" app seems half-baked.
Other notable apps are missing; there is no Pandora app, no dedicated Gmail app, no Personal Assistant app (e.g. Apple Siri or Google Now), etc. Third-party alternatives are buggy, at best. You can obviously access these services through a browser, but the web interface lacks a sense of polish (especially in a touch environment). App selection will hopefully change in time, but does handicap the TPT2 if you're used to operating in an Android or iOS environment.
CONCLUSION: If I were NOT enrolled in a Graduate program (where digitizing capabilities and portable access to Microsoft Office were unnecessary), then I see no need for an Atom-based Windows 8 tablet. Price notwithstanding, other Android and Apple tablets are more than sufficient for content consumption, and in some cases, do a better job at those basic tasks due to their superior and polished App ecosystems.
However, the more I use the Thinkpad Tablet 2 (and come to peace with its limitations), the more I come to love it. My old Vista-based laptop may have more computing might than the TPT2, but the TPT2 wins in portability, productivity and longevity - key needs in my life right now.
If you're in the market for an Atom-tablet, and know for sure that you can live with its limitations, then by all means pull the trigger on the TPT2. It is the best Atom-tablet available in the market today. Just be ready to use that return policy, if necessary.
RATING: 4 out of 5 stars.
on January 11, 2013
I like many others were stoked when the myriad of windows 8 tablets were announced back in October. Several months and delays later most of them have started to appear. This tablet is in hard competition with others such as the Samsung 500t and the Asus vivo, tablets that have support for styluses.
I choose the Lenovo as it was the only tablet with a stylus that had a 10.1 inch screen; I had held and tested several of the 11.1 inch models in various stores and I found them too big. In addition they were not very well balanced in my hand when carrying around.
For me the 10.1 size is on the edge of comfortable, and while I might have preferred a 9 inch instead it is light enough and small enough that it feels like a device I will continue to carry around, even after the novelty of a new devices goes away.
The build quality feels solid, the tablet also feels like a quality product that can withstand daily abuse and use.
The tablet came pre-loaded with some crapware, but not much. Biggest drawback was Norton Suite, that company should have been forced to close a long time ago. Had to download an additional uninstaller from their site to completely remove their software, leaving it in would probably have been worse than having any viruses, so it had to be done. Windows 8 comes pre-loaded with a very good anti-virus, so there is really no need to use Norton at all, ever. In addition some of the Lenovo "bundled" software are more or less just links to paid versions from third-party publishers that you can get for a discounted price, in other words not that awesome, but easy to get rid of at least.
-10.1 screen, a bit smaller physical size than its competition.
-Lightweight, among the lightest of the Atom tablets.
-Stylus, this is simply awesome and makes the transition from keyboard/mouse to touch easier.
-64gb storage built in, and a microSD slot for expansion.
-Small amount of crapware pre-installed.
-Good battery time, lasts me a day at work with some extra to spare for when I get home
-USB charging cable, no proprietorial connector means that you can replace the charger and cable for cheap, or buy spare ones.
-Full size USB port, makes data transfers and doing backups easy.
-Can use any windows software you already have or decide to download, don't have to go through an app store.
-Intel SoC graphics, so far not impressed, but maybe this could be resolved with updated drivers in the future.
-32 App updates and 28 System updates should be installed once you boot up, system is not up-to-date, plan on spending an hour or so (depending on download speed) to complete this.
-The included charging cord is 3 feet long, hardly reaching anywhere; need a power outlet at your desk or the optional docking station. Good thing is that its USB and not propriatory, so I could buy a longer one for cheap.
-Windows media player seems to downscale videos, making them look pixelated and horrible in full-screen. Fixed this by downloading VLC (videolan.org) and using that for media playback instead.
-Lacking App store, this will change I guess in the coming months. I expected this though as an early adopter, but I still somewhat miss the numbers of alternatives the Google play store have.
So far I love this device, screen is bright and clear even outside, its lightweight and have ample battery time for my use. However it should be noted that this is a productivity device (Office and mobile office duties, web-browsing, programming, light drawing and illustrating and other non-intensive tasks), if your main use is playing games, editing raw pictures or video then you are probably gonna be less impressed. Overall this is everything I expected it to be and a little bit more.
on March 13, 2013
I have been buying a LOT of W8 Tablets in an effort to find a very portable unit for my work (we need 32 total) which requires integration with several high-tech Bluetooth enabled devices. We also require at least one full size USB port. The Lenovo Tablet 2 has been my favorite (tested ASUS, Fujitsu, Acer and Samsung so far). It is capable of handling the task, the screen resolution is excellent. The processor and memory are not that great but they do the job we require just fine, making this, almost, the perfect system for our needs.
The problem I have is that my particular tablet has a hardware issue which causes it to randomly (and sometimes very frequently) go into either sleep mode or just go blank at the user log-in screen. This is both frustrating and makes the system completely unusable. This almost always happens when picking up the tablet. There seems to be a loose connection or something that is 'activated' when the back of the tablet is touched near the power button. It can also happen on its own or when touching the sides of the tablet. I really like this tablet and if it were not for the hardware issue my company would probably be ordering 32 or more of these. As it stands, I am not sure if mine is the odd tablet out or it this is a common issue from poor design or manufacturing. I have reported this to Amazon and the seller so I hope they will make good on this issue and that a working replacement will be sent. (If a working replacement is sent and this system holds up to our needs I will write a follow-up to this review and up the stars.)
In the meantime, it seems the Samsung ATIV Smart Pro 700T may be the tablet of choice even though it falls in second behind the Tablet 2 if discounting the Tablet 2 hardware glitch. The Tablet 2 battery lasts over 11 hours with our BT equipment communicating where the Samsung only lasts about 5.5 hours while working. The Tablet 2 screen is far superior, with the ASUS Vivo-Tab equal too or better than the Lenovo screen. The ASUS battery lasts about 4.5 hours. The ASUS fails though in that the full size USB port is only located on the keyboard with a large adapter required to use USB on the tablet (not at all acceptable for our needs but this may be fine for others.) The Fujitsu is a bulkier system that has passed its prime while Fujitsu delays in releasing its promised W8 Tablets in the U.S. market.
The Tablet 2 also has far superior sound over the other Tablets. When watching "The Crow" on all the systems, via Netflix, the Tablet 2 definitely prevails, if not for the constant log-off or standby. The Samsung screen seems washed out a bit with movies and while watching our work screen which is very high graphics. The ASUS was very good screen resolution with the speakers a bit soft.
That is it for now.
on April 10, 2013
I first saw the ThinkPad Tablet 2 while on my way to purchase a Surface Pro. I ended up deciding that despite its more powerful configuration, the Surface Pro was bigger and heavier than I wanted. I have been looking for a tablet with about the size, weight, and battery life of an iPad, and the TPT2 meets my wishes exactly.
I've only had it for about 10 days, but so far, I have not experienced any performance issues other than during my initial installation of Windows and app patches. That seemed to take a while, but with automatic updates enabled, it's a one-time event. Otherwise, I've found OS and application performance to be perfectly acceptable. You're obviously going to experience a different level of performance between an Atom processor like the TPT2, and an i5 like the Surface Pro. However, for the types of uses I have for a 10-inch device, I've found the TPT2 to be very responsive. This isn't a device for running Hyper-V, playing Call of Duty or editing a huge spreadsheet in Excel. Used for its intended purposes - for anything you'd truly want to do on a 10-inch tablet - it's awesome.
The build quality of this tablet is excellent. Yes, it's plastic, but it's very sturdy and appears to be well built. I have not had any issues with touch or the stylus - the screen is very responsive.
One important issue I would like to point out is that the stylus is very important, and it can't be added later (the stylus models have a different screen). I stronly recommend this exact model - the 367927U - specifically for that reason. The stylus is invaluable in desktop mode, where many of the controls, menus etc. are way too small for easy touch access. Also, some web sites seem to have menus, login prompts, and other elements that don't work well with touch. Even if you don't ever envision yourself using the stylus for writing or drawing, it greatly simplifies a number of usage scenarios, and it's more than worth the small extra cost. This modely gets you Windows 8 Pro, as well, which among other things adds BitLocker encryption. The TPT2 includes a TPM to facilitate full disk encryption, so this is a nice added benefit for security conscious users.
As far as the negatives others have pointed out: it's true that the TPT2 will not accommodate an external USB device that requires power from the PC, such as external hard drives. It does support flash drives well, and any USB device with its own power (printers etc), and the optional dock will provide power to any USB device connected there. The included power cable is indeed quite short, but these are available anywhere. The cable plugs into the power supply rather than being permanently connected, so for a couple of bucks you can get a longer one if necessary. I've seen reviewers wish for a higher resolution screen. I disagree with this personally, finding the TPT2 screen perfect for my uses, but this is a matter of individual choice. If you think you might prefer the resolution of a different device, I recommend looking for yourself rather than rejecting the TPT2 based on specs alone. I've seen complaints about wi-fi issues and glitches seemingly related to power management. I have not seen anything like that myself, and wonder if they might be associated with the earliest shipping units - I've had no performance or bug-type issues at all, no freezing, hanging, or random restarts. I did run the Lenovo updating app, which installed some updates, so maybe these things have been fixed.
If you are considering the TPT2 but have doubts, I'd strongly urge you to go and look at one. Any negative comments I've seen on these, other than those who got them right at first release, have been from people commenting based on specs rather than actual performance. If you get your hands on one, you'll almost surely love it as much as I do.
(One last comment - Amazon Marketplace merchant 17th St. Photo shipped this within an hour or two of my order, well packaged, and it arrived in perfect condition).
on March 12, 2013
I debated and waited and debated and waited and finally this Thinkpad became acquirable!
Many argue that it is too expensive compared to an iPad? Seriously? 64 Gig + SD slot + Windows 8 PRO + HDMI + Pen!
Sorry, I have both, and while I LOVE my iPad(3), this Thinkpad with Office 2013 and my Lumia 920 as a cellular hotspot (LTE) is a winnning combination. (Note: while testing the Lumia 920 WP8 for work, my iPhone became simless....permanently!)
I feel like a kid in the candy store. Suddenly I am no longer dealing with 2 ecosystems between work and play. My office desktop, phone, and tablet are all on one ecosystem. And while the learning (unlearning IOS)curve for the way Windows 8 works was a bit confusing at first, I'm mastering and loving it simultaneously. I even added the Lenovo desktop touchpad to my work computer so I would train myself to touchscreen techniques regardless of which piece of hardware is in my hands.
Specifically, This Thinkpad is NOT the powerhouse that the Surface Pro is. I admit that. Hard for the atom processor to compete against the I5 that the Surface Pro runs on. But nothing I am doing on the Thinkpad requires the extra grunt. And I just wasn't willing to give up the battery life that the iPad had spoiled me with.
My only gripes are:
*The silly short charging chord. There was no reason for a premium product to cheap out there.
*Wish the atom supported X64 so it would support Windows 8 64 bit AND thus this tablet would have more than 2 gigs of ram.
*I got used to the scaling of the Ipad at 4x3. I'm not sure if I like the way my Remote Desktops look and behave at 16x9. (just a personal thing. Not a flaw)
My favorite aspects of this tablet are:
*Man it feels good in my hands! Classic Lenovo look and feel. I've always liked their design.
*I'm getting really good range on the wireless Lan adapter. (read otherwise in some reviews)
*The pen is really cool for when my old-man eyes and fat fingers can't touch a small enough area.
*Battery life!!! It's not as good as my phone, but impressive for a full Windows 8 machine.
*SD slot. Hello Apple!
*Boots up FAST! Remember, this is Windows. How do they do that? LOL
As a network admin for a company that is open 24/7, I am never off the grid. This is the tool I have been wating for.
We live in amazing times.
on April 20, 2013
I'm very impressed with the Thinkpad 2. My title is a bit tongue in cheek since it all ways seems that with any piece of "cutting edge" computer hardware someone is complaining "my elctroprious doesn't accelerate like my Ferrari"...
My 5 star rating is based on the following points...
Historically I've viewed ipads and similar as media consumption devices. I do own a lenvovo ThinkPad (android) and an HTC flyer. Together they gave me a combination of media consumption and some measure of business productivity. Combining one with my Asus 121 slate allowed me to have a true win PC (limited by the short battery life) and the benefits of a tablet. Once the Surface came out I was very tempted to grab one immediately. While far far superior to the 121 I felt that the Surface Pro still had potential battery issues and it's form factor was somehow still slightly bricky in a difficult to articulate way.
When traveling with the Asus slate I needed to manage usage carefully. I felt I was lugging it around on the chance I might need it...but often pushing the edge on the android thinkpad. While normally "work arounds" work they result in extra steps and occasionally real issues since sometimes there is no real equivalent.
So I realized my prior experience left me with 2 stark realities...whatever I bought would need to last all day and would need to run everything I need with reasonable proficiency. I've got Office 365 home premium, my CRM program + a few personal add-ons and all the Win8 media consumption apps from netlfix, hulu+, kindle etc (35-40 total apps so far). Based on my initial run it seems that I can get 7-8 hours of continuous video playback/Skype etc. This should solidify in the 8 hr+ range as the battery cycles a few times. So my projection is that given travel time and down time the thinkpad 2 should easily accommodate the typical 10-12 hour business day.
The atom processor runs office and basic mainstream computer programs with minimal fuss. Obviously this is where the understanding of what your primary use is comes in. If your using CAD, photoshop or cpu intense number crunching programs regularly this particular tablet (and probably any tablet) is a marginal choice. However if your intent is making a typical, sales, marketing, production, IT support, admin or similar capability truly portable then I would recommend this highly.
What set both the original thinkpad and now the thinkpad 2 apart for me is the digital ink. Both for its politically correct use in a consulting environment where a laptop is often deemed inappropriate or rude and the reality that free form "doodling" and note taking is often exceptionally productive....especially when you can work directly off of someone else's PDF , schematics or images.
This is by no means a "powerhouse" computing device....but it is a powerhouse productivity device.
*** Additional Comments ***
I spent some time yesterday adding media consumption app's from the windows store and watching Netflix Hulu etc. This AM I let it update windows (did not prompt me to plug the tablet in)...then I hooked it up to my monitor with an HDMI cord and to a wireless mouse/keyboard combo...and worked with it all day.
Overall I'm very comfortable that this can be utilized as a primary business PC in a pinch. Occasional lag but nothing significant. As other have noted the integrated VC is less then stellar but all in all it was fine. What I can confirm is that it's capable of handling a typical business day on the road with no issues. I used to carry 2 spare batteries with my Toshiba R822 and still worry about where I could snag an outlet during the day.
I see no issues catching up with correspondence and email at the airport...watching a movie or reading a book on the plane...working a full day and then using it as a media device on the return or at the hotel in the evening. This is not meant as a comparison vs other Win8 tablets or a contrast vs a true business desktop. Simply an attempt to accurately portray the capabilities of the ThinkPad2 as a business class tool...
on March 5, 2013
Notes & Observations
* Preloaded with a lot of crapware
* 36.8 GB available out of the box. 39.7 GB available after all crapware removed, updates installed, and recovery partition saved to USB and deleted locally. This is prior to installing any Windows Store apps or my own data
* Feels significantly smaller and lighter than my Surface RT, even though on paper it's only slightly smaller and lighter
* My existing micro USB phone chargers and portable battery don't supply enough power to run the Tablet 2, but they will charge it while in connected standby
* The plastic digitizer pen feels cheap-ish but performs well; on par with the Samsung Series 7 slate
* Noticeably better performance than Windows RT devices in all aspects. Resume, login, app launching, app switching, etc. Everything is faster. The performance gains are more noticeable within the Modern UI than in the desktop.
* It's nice to have a hardware screen rotation lock button
* Micro USB charging* (see note above). This is significant, IMO, and the more I've used it the more I feel this could be a selling point all by itself. The more devices I can consolidate to a single charging spec, the better. Charging it with my mobile phone charger in the car is highly awesome, and we already have micro USB chargers all over the house that I can plug into. I traveled with the Tablet 2 this weekend and charged the tablet and my smartphone from the same dual port USB charger on the hotel nightstand.
* Integrated slot for the digitizer pen so you won't lose it
* Low power USB port; won't drive bus-powered external drives / DVD players. Requires powered devices, powered USB hub or the optional Lenovo docking station
* Battery life not quite as good as my Surface RT. However, I believe this is offset by micro USB charging and the ability to charge from portable batteries and mobile phone automotive AC adapters
* Mini HDMI port is on bottom of device, not accessible when in keyboard stand. So if you wanted to present with the Tablet 2, or connect to a TV in a hotel room. you'd either need to lay it flat or use the optional powered dock which has a full size HDMI out. I realize that if you're sitting at your desk and wanted to use a second monitor you can use the docking station and be fine. However the beauty of an Atom based Windows 8 tablet is mobility. I don't want to have to travel with a ton of separate accessories to equal what a Surface can do by itself, or what tablet & keyboard solutions from Samsung, Asus, and Acer can do.
I owned a Surface RT and replaced it with the Lenovo Tablet 2 because I wanted compatibility with x86 applications. I heavily researched the Lenovo, the Asus VivoTab TF810C w/ keyboard, and the Acer Iconia W510 w/ keyboard. The Lenovo made the most sense for me as a companion device and it's truly an awesome device. However, the integration with other Lenovo accessories is extremely poor; it's as if the teams that made the keyboard, the folio case, and the sleeve never talked to each other nor even considered that they're accessories should play nicely together. There's truly some really bad engineering decisions on each of the accessories that seem like such no brainers and leave you wondering what Lenovo was thinking. There are gotcha's all over the place with the accessories: The sleeve doesn't work if you have the Folio case; The tablet doesn't fit into the keyboard or the dock if you have the folio case; the HDMI port on the tablet isn't accessible when using the keyboard; the tablet doesn't lock into the keyboard, etc.
on December 22, 2014
I personally love this tablet. I bought it on sale from the Lenovo site about a year ago and I absolutely adore it (flukes and all)! I actually started looking into buying a tablet because books at my college range from $200- $500 for a physical copy. But digital copies only ranged from $50 - $100. I was outraged my second semester because I bought a USED math book for $350 and when I went to sell it back they would only give me $10 for it because the school was switching to the "new" edition. My friend, meanwhile, rented the same book online, for his iPad, for $125. I did the math and found that, for my first two semesters, I could have bought a tablet and all my books online for CHEAPER than buying them physically!
So, initial I was looking into buying something cheap or, maybe even a Kindle, because I have some years to go until I'm finished with my masters degree.That will be a lot of books by the end of it all! But being an artist, and an art student, I started thinking that MAYBE I could buy a tablet that would allow me to well... draw on it. I was surprised to find that there aren't many tablets that suit an artists needs and, the ones that do, are insanely expensive! But I continued researching and found the Lenovo ThinkPad 2 which, in my opinion, is the best for its price.
The digitized stylus works PERFECTLY with the tablet. Although, it's a tad hit and miss if you want to purchase another stylus. I don't see why you would though, unless you have large hands. But, my friends and I compared the pressure sensitivity to our bamboo tablets that we rent from the school and, we found that the pressure sensitivity on my Lenovo was leagues better! Of course, the pen for this tablet is made by wacom as well.
Although, I have to say the PC mode was kind of the "saving grace" for this tablet because, otherwise, all the microsoft art apps just would not cut it for me. I decided to buy a 64 GB micro SD card for my tablet which already had 64 GB of memory. I saved all my PC art programs on the the SD card and, It works perfectly for me. I have both Autodesk Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop CS6 (student version). I have to say that Autodesk has better touch sensitivity as well as a better price! I downloaded Photoshop and for some reason I had problems with touch sensitivity. So, I spent time installing drivers (from Lenovo and Wacom) and the touch sensitivity worked better but nothing like it should. I got on forums and found there wasn't much more to do. So, I gave up and I loaded some custom brushes. But, for whatever reason, the touch sensitivity worked great all of a sudden but, only with the custom brushes. Not to mention, you need a lot of free space or an external hard drive to run Photoshop properly. I have a 3 TB hard drive that works great for this purpose. But, I also have the kind that plugs into the wall and doesn't need the Lenovo as a power source. I've read that people have problems connecting external hard drives to their Lenovo ThinkPad 2. So, if I had to recommend one over the other (on this tablet) I would recommend sticking to Autodesk, saving your stuff as a "PSD" and then edit it on the computer later in Photoshop.
So, as an artist tablet I'd say it's a solid 8/10 but as a causal tablet..? Well... I don't have problems with the Lenovo tablet but I also have an associates degree in computer science. I personally feel that this tablet is not very user friendly to those who aren't tech savvy. This tablet has a few "flukes" as I said. For starters the power button is kind of weird. When turning my tablet off, it doesn't really give any indication that my tablet is actually powering off. I have to push the center button just to make sure.
And all the updates when I got the thing, oh wow was that a pain! I had 146 updates! I remember because I went into PC mode and installed them 10 at a time. I figured installing them ALL at once would mess up the tablet. And judging by reviews it did! I don't understand why, in tablet mode, it would be programed to install EVERYTHING all at once. That's madness! So, if you're looking into buying one and haven't yet, keep this in mind.
It's also kind of a pain that the Lenovo ThinkPad 2 is a bit unpopular and irregular in size. It's hard to find off brand product accessories that fit and are compatible. To me, this is one of the biggest downsides because usually buying things straight from Lenovo is expensive.
So, in short. This is a great tablet for its price for art purposes. However, it is not always the most user friendly and it's hard to find accessories for.
on April 4, 2013
This is the best overall tablet on the market. I use tablets as a handheld ultra portable device for web browsing, email, watching movies while travelling, and book reading. We have 3 iPads, which are nice devices, but without Flash support for web browsing it's really frustrating to use. With Intel based Win8 tablets in general you get full Win7/win8 capability and a real web browser. Everything else runs great including emails (I use outlook) and movies. And I can watch 2+ full-length movie rentals and still have battery life to spare. With this Lenovo tablet in particular, the different screen technology with a fine point pen (other tablets including the iPad uses a capacitive pen about the size of a small finger) that makes hitting things much more accurate. And with Win8 you can skip the tablet style finger-pecking keyboard and just write with the pen. This thing is >90% accurate in reading my handwriting, and I can't even read my own writing. This is by far the best tablet I've used so far.
on February 3, 2013
I read over many reviews for window 8 tablets, I needed a tablet that can do everything without any restrictions. I previously had Surface RT but it was so restricted that I sold it. Lenovo has made a great working tablet for windows 8 with full windows 8 running on the tablet! The Tablet is fast,fluid at all features on windows 8, would recommend this for users that need a tablet that is light and can be used for work and home.