Lenovo ThinkPad – Performance
When it comes to speed, battery life and size, the ThinkPad 10 offers a great all-round experience.
Despite being slim and light, I found the ThinkPad 10 is reasonably speedy. It boots promptly enough, apps open with only a slight pause and generally the interface doesn’t feel sluggish. By all means it is slower than Android tablets and iPads but not to the point of being frustrating.
Firing up a few benchmarks, in PCMark 7 the ThinkPad (2913pts) slightly outpaced the Microsoft Surface 3 (2793pts) and beat a few even cheaper tablets such as the Toshiba Satelite Radius 11 (1796). In comparison, a thin and light laptop will score around 4000-5000 and gaming laptops will hit 6000-7000.
It’s a similar story in Geekbench where the ThinkPad scored 3403 and the Surface 3 scored 3491. It actually performed a little better than expected in Cinebench R15 too, hitting 137pts, which equals the HP EliteBook 1020 G1.
You can even stretch to a bit of gaming if you really turn all the detail settings down. In my standard Unigine Heaven test at 1366 x 768 it managed 6.5fps. Plug a keyboard and mouse into this thing and that might just be enough to get you a quick session of Counter-Strike or Minecraft, all be it at an even lower resolution.
Lenovo ThinkPad – Battery Life
The other crucial area where the ThinkPad 10 largely delivers is in battery life. Despite the slim chassis and that decent performance Powermark recorded battery life at 8 hours and 36 minutes. That beats many a thin and light laptop and is on par with Android and Apple tablets.
In real world usage it’ll just come up short of a full working day if it’s your main machine but a half hour top up should keep it going.
Lenovo ThinkPad – Camera
The rear camera of the ThinkPad 10 can take a half decent snap in good light. Its 5MP resolution is just enough to provide sufficient detail for casual shots and it produces accurate colours.
In poorer lighting conditions it struggles, with pictures looking grainy and generally full of sensor noise. The LED flash helps out in some instances but all told this is not the sort of camera you want to be relying on regularly. Up front is a 1.5MP webcam that is fine for basic video chat.
Lenovo ThinkPad – Audio
The stereo speakers on the back of the ThinkPad fail to live up to expectations. Despite the two sound holes the overall volume pales in comparison to an iPad, and it falls well short when it comes to low-end grunt as well.
Instead all you get is a fairly tinny, shrill sound. Accuracy and clarity wise, they’re okay, and you can notice the stereo affect, but as soon as some power is required they fall utterly flat.
Related: Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet
Should I buy the Lenovo ThinkPad 10?
If you’re after a tablet for general day to day computing – email, web browsing, etc – then for the most part the ThinkPad 10 doesn’t really convince. Despite its impressive build, decent performance and good battery life, the tablet experience on Windows still doesn’t cut it.
This may change if you use the ThinkPad 10 with its keyboard dock, where it can more often double as more of a laptop-style device, but otherwise an iPad or Android tablet will make for an easier life. The convenience of having a proper USB port and the power of Windows to use it for a multitude of things isn’t to be sniffed at but then I’d still recommend some sort of hybrid device if that’s a priority.
Mostly, then, the ThinkPad 10 will find its place in office environments. With its ability to run any normal Windows program it opens up a great number of possibilities for running business software on a truly portable, long-lasting device.
Even in that context it doesn’t absolutely nail everything – those pointy corners really are irksome – but I could definitely see it being useful in certain situations.
As such, if you can pick one of these up at the £309.99 some shops are selling it for it’s a good buy. The £430+ Lenovo is asking for, though, does seem a bit steep, let alone the $700 for the 4G version.
The ThinkPad 10 won’t be convincing too many people to part with their iPads and Android tablets but its combination of true portability, long battery life and full-fat Windows experience could be useful for some.
How we test tablets
We test every tablet we review thoroughly. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly and we use the tablet as our main device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Score in detail
Software & Apps 5
Sound Quality 6
Screen Quality 7
Battery Life 8
Build Quality 8
Heat & Noise 7