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Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet

Andrew Williams

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Summary

What is the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet?

The Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet is an 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet. Last year, Lenovo made a bunch of cheapy tablets that barely made an impact whatsoever. However, this one is different.

With a decent price (expected sub-£400), great design and top-notch flexibility, the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet is one of the best small Windows tablets we've seen.

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet 2

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet - Design

The Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet is a slim tablet that looks and feels a good deal like Lenovo's take on the iPad mini. And that is not meant as a snide dig.

Build quality is excellent, with the sort of body density and high-end feel we've not seen in another Lenovo tablet to date. The back of the thing is made of aluminium and this is a super-slim tablet at just 8.8mm thick.

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet 3

The one clear sign that the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet subscribes to the ThinkPad build ethic, rather than the Apple one, is that the sides are plastic – for practical reasons. This is in order to give the antennae enough room for their signal to escape into the outside world – metal acts as a barrier. It's a minor point, though, and the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 looks and feels great throughout.

The tablet also has several of the hardware features we might see on a ThinkPad laptop. There's a USB 3.0 port that we've only seem once on a mobile device, in the Galaxy Note 3, and TPM security for business users. There is no stylus, though, which is the most serious hardware omission here.

3G is an option, and there's microSD slot to let you add to the up-to 128GB of internal storage. Lenovo ThinkPad 8 TabletThere are two little speaker grilles on the back

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet - Screen and Specs

The Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet has an 8.4-inch screen of 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution. Although not quite as high-res as the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina display, it's sharp, bright and has good viewing angles thanks to its IPS-style display.

One potential issue is how well Windows will scale to a screen of this size and resolution, but we'll experiment with optimising this when we get a Lenovo Thinkpad 8 Tablet in to review.

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet 6

As you'd expect from a little tablet like this that's set to cost less than £400, the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet uses an Intel Atom processor rather than an Intel Core-series one. These have caused pretty serious performance issues with Windows tablets in the past, but as it's a CPU of the latest Bay Trail generation, we're not pitching our expectations too low. You get 2GB of RAM here, which again is an entry-level spec.

It's enough power for the Office tasks that separate the 'ideal' ThinkpPad user from the 'ideal' iPad owner, though, and the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet comes with a Microsoft Office license as standard.

What we like so much about the Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet is that it successfully balances business and lifestyle priorities, without seemingly trading away anything too vital. We can imagine people who get given one of these tablets for work wanting to take it home for a bit of sofa browsing or Netflix on the sofa. Its design is just that good.

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet 5

Another hardware nod to the more fun possibilities of the tablet, the ThinkPad 8 has two cameras - an 8-megapixel one on the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front.

Lenovo ThinkPad 8 Tablet 4

The official case has a magnetic flap for easy access to the camera

Early Impressions

The ThinkPad 8 Tablet is a thing that – cue empowering music – understands that businesspeople are normal people too. It looks and feels better than any 8-inch Windows tablet we've seen. And while it's not super-powered, we imagine that many will be happy with what's on offer here given the tablet's size.

Next, read our best Windows tablets round-up

Jedibeeftrix

January 11, 2014, 10:59 am

will there be a dock for it?

ZIM

January 12, 2014, 12:05 am

Will you be able to CHARGE it while its plugged into a USB DEVICE?

Antony

January 12, 2014, 11:55 pm

From the look of it at other online reviews, yes and no.
It only has one mini USB 3.0 port, so unless you plugin the base-station (not dockable?), you may not charge and use USB devices at the same time.

Antony

January 12, 2014, 11:56 pm

I saw a quick video review from MobileTechReview (search YouTube), and yes, it has a base-station that either allows ThinkPad 8 to connect or to dock.

Unlike other 8 inchers, this one does not offer a stylus... that's too bad

ZIM

January 13, 2014, 12:25 am

Yea, I dont think it will charge while "docked". To be honest, its probably going to be a deal breaker for me. I want a tablet that is going to replace my laptop on my desk and that requires that it drive my (2) 40" displays.

I could live with using bluetooth keyboard/mouse, and using media drives over the network, but 1 large monitor and 1 tiny screen doesnt work for me...

Antony

January 13, 2014, 2:32 am

Well, I suppose we can wait and find out.
Because honestly, if the tablet doesn't get charged while being docked.. that would be the most lamest dock station ever.

u_evan

January 13, 2014, 4:56 pm

I got the HP Omni 10 and really like it as a laptop replacement.

ZIM

January 13, 2014, 9:13 pm

I want something that fits in my pocket. I already have a very nice laptop, if I have to carry something, it will stay home.

ZIM

January 13, 2014, 9:15 pm

The "dock" they showed at CES was just a simple USB dock, THINKPAD DOCK 3.0, its nothing special, works on any laptop and does NOT send power back through the port.

So the only way this machine will do that, is if they include a special USB Y cable that allows you to SEND power to the machine while its accessing the USB port for the dock.

This is possible, people are already hacking cables to work on the other 8" tablets, so I suppose Lenovo could have one of their own.

ZIM

January 13, 2014, 9:18 pm

Yea, the dock they show is just a simple USB port replicator like think, there are many like it and the one they showed has been around for a long time, its called the THINKPAD DOCK 3.0.

rahrahrah71

January 14, 2014, 4:55 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

In this video of the Onelink dock the first thing the demonstrator explains is that the dock supplies power. This example uses a laptop, so I can't say that it will function in the same manner with the tablet, but it remains a possibility?

Marwan Al-Qasem

January 14, 2014, 7:23 pm

Though it comes with NO stylus, Is it possible to use a stylus with the ThinkPad 8 tablet ??? example: a thinkpad x230 tablet stylus ???

Marwan Al-Qasem

January 15, 2014, 8:37 am

It does not offers a stylus, BUT, does it accepts one ??!. i.e. is it possible to use other tabs. stylus on the ThinkPad 8 ???!!!

Antony

January 17, 2014, 12:03 am

No, I doubt it. It is just a touch screen. Just like an iPad, you can't really use a Wacom on an iPad

However, you may be able to use similar stylus introduced by Paper awhile back? http://www.fiftythree.com/penc...

MrEsleMan

January 19, 2014, 9:01 pm

I thought it was a 1920*1200 resolution on this one?

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