Apple iPad 2 vs Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet: Tablet showdown

Which is the better tablet: Apple's iPad 2 or the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet?

Apple's iPad 2 may be flying off the shelves, but the launch of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet (available in September) makes for an interesting battle. Though it's yet another Android tablet, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is one of the first that will be targeted directly at business and corporate users.

Read our comprehensive iPad 2 review and Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet preview, and check out our guide to the best upcoming tablets in 2011.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is equipped with a 10.1in touchscreen and runs the latest version of Google's Android 3.1 'Honeycomb', software, but Lenovo's included digitiser pen and optional keyboard portfolio carry case that makes it an interesting proposition.

With this in mind, how does the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet stack up against the iPad 2 when it comes to specifications?

Apple iPad 2 vs Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet: Specifications

Feature Apple iPad 2 Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet Verdict?
Operating system (OS) Apple iOS 4 (upgradeable to iOS 5) Google Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) Apple iPad 2
Display size 9.7in 10.1in Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Display technology Capacitive LED-backlit IPS Capacitive IPS Draw
Display resolution 1024x768 pixels 1280x800 pixels Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Multitouch Yes Yes Draw
Front camera VGA 2 megapixels Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Rear camera 0.7 megapixels, no flash 5 megapixels, no flash, autofocus, geotagging Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Video recording Yes, 720p HD Yes, 720p HD Draw
GPS Yes Yes Draw
Internal memory 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB 16GB or 32GB Apple iPad 2
Expandable memory None Full sized SD card Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Dimensions 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8mm 260.4 x 181.7 x 14mm Apple iPad 2
Weight 607g 715g Apple iPad 2
Application store Apple App Store Google Android Market Apple iPad 2
Processor Apple A5 dual-core (1GHz) NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core (1GHz) Draw
RAM 512MB 1GB Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
3G Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 3G models Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 3G models Draw
Wi-Fi Yes Yes Draw
Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP 2.1 with A2DP Draw
HDMI-out No (Yes with optional digital AV adapter Yes (Mini HDMI-out) Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
USB port No Yes, full size Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Quoted battery life Up to 10 hours Up to 8 hours Apple iPad 2
Adobe Flash support No Yes Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Design

The iPad 2 is faster, thinner and lighter than its predecessor. The iPad 2 is 33 per cent thinner than the original iPad, weighs 613g, and comes in both black and white models. The curved design of the back of the iPad 2 makes it comfortable to hold, and it is relatively thin given the size of its screen. The iPad 2 is ideal for use in either portrait or landscape layouts, and its built in accelerometer rotates quickly and without delay.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet possesses a thick design that intends to mirror the Lenovo's ThinkPad range of business notebooks. Weighing 715g, it's heavier than the iPad 2. The ThinkPad Tablet has square, sharp edges, and physical shortcut keys below the display. The 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.

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.

Display

The 9.7in display of the iPad 2 is bright, crisp and clear and really brings content to life, particularly photos and videos. Though the iPad has the same oleophobic screen coating as the iPhone 4, its larger size means a few taps on the display quickly results in a grubby mess that is hard to clean. The iPad 2 also has another serious flaw — its display is virtually impossible to see in direct sunlight, which is a huge issue on a device that's designed for portability and travel.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet has a slightly larger display at 10.1in, and its resolution of 1280x800 pixels is an improvement over the iPad 2's 1024x768 display. Being a business tablet, we wish Lenovo opted for a matte screen on the ThinkPad Tablet, which would have made it much easier to view in direct sunlight. 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.

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Tags AppleiPad 2Lenovo ThinkPad TabletLenovotabletsApple iPad 2Android tablets

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Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World

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