First look: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

We get our hands on the Lenovo ThinkPad tablet, targeted squarely at business users

Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet

Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet

Tablets are the hot tech product of 2011, but most seem to offer very little differentiation in screen size, specifications and software. Lenovo is at least attempting something new with its ThinkPad Tablet: it's aimed squarely at business users and comes with a digitiser pen for drawing.

Read our comprehensive Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet preview and check out our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet: Hardware and design

Lenovo describes the ThinkPad Tablet as having the "DNA of a commercial notebook" so it's no surprise that its thick design intends to mirror the company's ThinkPad range of business laptops. Lenovo's commercial product group manager David Heyworth says the company tried to provide a balance of durability and portability when it came to designing the ThinkPad Tablet. Weighing 715g, the ThinkPad Tablet is heavier than both the iPad 2, and Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 but surprisingly lighter than Lenovo's own IdeaPad Tablet K1, which is marketed directly at consumers.

The key design elements of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet include square, sharp edges, and physical shortcut keys below the display. The latter is a key feature according to Lenovo: it says that accidentally bumping the edge of the keys will not depress the buttons, avoiding accidental presses. The physical buttons are large and easy to press, and we much prefer them over the software buttons on most other Android tablets.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet definitely feels a little heavy and chunky, but the weight isn't overwhelming. We particularly like the rubber-style finish on the sides and rear, which doesn't attract fingerprints. The same can't be said for the front of the tablet, which is fairly glossy and does become a grubby mess after limited use. Lenovo says the use of a glossy screen is due to the fact the display is manufactured with gorilla glass, and this wouldn't have been possible with a matte finish.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet comes standard with a digitiser pen that sits in the top left corner of the device, much like a stylus. Critically, the digitiser pen doesn't feel too different from an ordinary pen. It has a relatively fine tip, and is comfortable to grip. The pen allows users to take notes straight onto the screen. It supports handwritten text entry, document mark-up and drawing. The ThinkPad Tablet includes a note taking app that is compatible with the digitiser, but users can also annotate PDF documents, too. Lenovo cited the use of the digitiser pen in the education sector as once example of its appeal.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet has a thick design that intends to mirror the Lenovo's ThinkPad range of business notebooks. It has square, sharp edges, and physical shortcut keys below its display.

Perhaps the best feature of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is its optional keyboard portfolio carry case, which will sell as a separate accessory for $89. Much like the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, the portfolio case turns the ThinkPad Tablet into a notebook-style device. Unlike the Transformer, the accessory doesn't have its own battery, but it does double as a proper protective case, and has a surprisingly responsive optical trackpad.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags google android tabletsLenovo ThinkPad TabletLenovotablets

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?