Remember the original ThinkPad Tablet? In many ways it was our favourite Android tab, thanks to being built like a tank, sporting more extensive connectivity than any other, offering a pressure-sensitive N-Trig stylus, and the best keyboard folio case for any Android device.
Now Lenovo has announced its successor, the 10.1in ThinkPad Tablet 2, and it’s running Windows 8. Thinner at 9.8mm and lighter, the new ThinkPad Tablet ditches its predecessor’s cumbersome, boxy shape for a more streamlined aesthetic that’ll appeal to a wider audience.
However, it still offers a full-size USB port, HDMI output, and card reader, along with 8MP/2MP cameras and NFC. More premium/business-oriented features include optional 3G/4G, a fingerprint reader, what looks like a Wacom stylus (or maybe the new and improved N-Trig digitizer that allows for slim styli), and again what appears to be the best portable tablet keyboard accessory (apart from, perhaps, Logitech’s iPad selection). Then there’s an optional dock with three USB ports, a full-size HDMI output and Ethernet.
Image courtesy of Engadget
So far it looks to cater to exactly the same crowd as the original ThinkPad tablet, except that - as it’s an X86 device running the full edition of Windows 8 Pro - you’ll also be able to run the vast software catalogue already available for Microsoft’s OS catalogue. That’s probably a major improvement over the original’s Android app selection, even if Lenovo’s vetted app store made the process far more secure than with most Android slates.
Still, it’s not all good news. Though it likely uses a high-quality IPS panel, some will be disappointed with the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2’s 1,366 x 768 screen resolution, rather than 1,920 x 1,080 as on the Microsoft Surface Pro Windows 8 tablet. Even more will probably be put off by the news that there’s an Atom processor beating at its heart, rather than the Core i3/5/7 that power users may have been hoping for. Let’s hope it’ll come in at a lower price…
Still, we can’t wait to get our hands on one when it ships towards the end of October.