Lenovo ThinkPad 2 review: Hands on and video

A preview of the 10.1in Windows 8 tablet which runs on Intel's Clover Trail 1.8GHz processor and features a stylus.

With its strong rectangular lines and a black matte finish, the Lenovo ThinkPad could be mistaken for a larger version of the Blackberry PlayBook from a distance.

However, close up the 10.1in tablet has the distinctive ThinkPad logo, Windows home button and runs on what is soon to become the familiar Live tile interface. Specifications are also considerable better than RIM's ill-fated tablet.

Lenovo ThinkPad 2

The ThinkPad 2 bears a passing resemblance to the PlayBook, but it's functionality is closer to that of a laptop

The ThinkPad 2 is powered by a dual-core Intel Clover Trail processor, which is clocked at 1.8GHz. The Intel x86 architecture allows for the full version of Windows to be pre-loaded, so users will be able to access legacy apps such as the Office suite out-of-the-box.

Lenovo has included a crisp 1,366 x 768 IPS 10.1 display. We found it to be bright, although we found colours looked a tad washed out. We did find overhead lighting to be a problem, but this is a criticism that can be levelled at all tablet.

Other features include optional 3G/4G connectivity, and a pair of cameras (2-megapixel front and 8-megapixel rear). Up to 10 hours of battery life is touted by the manufacturer, which could make it an attractive option for business users who require Windows on the move.

In terms of ports, there are HDMI and USB connections are included as standard, so users will be able to hook up the device to a larger display and plug in peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse or hard drive. Enterprise admins will be pleased to see the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner too, which will help to keep data secure.

Lenovo ThinkPad 2 - Stylus

The stylus slots into the top of the tablet, and will be useful when it comes to annotations or design work

Despite having a slim 9.8mm chassis, the tablet felt robust. It houses an NFC chip, although this isn't essential at this time. Perhaps more relevant is the inclusion of a stylus, which slots neatly into the top. This will allow business users to make annotations or take notes during a meeting, without the need of a keyboard attachment.

During our hands-on, we found the stylus glided across the surface of the display smoothly. The accuracy of the handwriting recognition software was also reasonable and it converted our scribbles into text in the blink of an eye.

Lenovo ThinkPad 2 - Handwriting recognition

The device managed to accurately transcribe 10 out of 12 words in a quick test

We found the device to be easy to hold and Windows 8 ran was smoothly. However, we did find there was a noticeable stutter when playing full HD video and switching between applications. However, as this is a pre-production model, we expect this to be ironed out.

An optional keyboard will be made available, so the ThinkPad 2 can be used as a laptop. The dock with also feature three USB ports and an Ethernet jack.

The ThinkPad 2 is expected to be released in October after Windows 8 is launched on the 26 October. Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but with the ThinkPad branding, it is expected to be a premium.

A video preview is available below:

Verdict

The ThinkPad 2 could be the best Windows 8 tablet for the enterprise. The device looks great, comes with ample connectivity, solid build and an accurate stylus. However, the price point could be a stumbling block.

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