ThinkPad Tablet 2 on the way

ThinkPad Tablet 2 on the way

Summary: There is rarely a gadget I don't like and I buy far too many of them. History repeats itself as I have a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 on the way.

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Tablet 2
Image credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet

One of the best Windows 8 tablets I have tested is the ThinkPad Tablet 2 by Lenovo. When I looked at it earlier this year the 10.1-inch screen impressed me as it created a great form factor for a tablet. I was tempted to buy the Tablet 2 when I tested it at launch but the list price of $729 stopped me cold. Like other Windows 8 tablets the price of the Tablet 2 has dropped quite a bit so I opened my wallet and have one on the way.

The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a great tablet due to its size and weight. The screen is relatively high resolution (1366x768) for its 10.1-inch size and at 1.3 lbs it is lighter than the iPad. Throw in a thin form (0.39 in) and you have a very mobile tablet that runs full Windows 8 for over 10 hours.

See related: ThinkPad Tablet 2: First look | ThinkPad Tablet 2: Inking in Windows 8 | ThinkPad Tablet 2: First impressions

The Tablet 2 I bought comes with a stylus, so I will be able to take full advantage of the good inking in Windows 8. I've been missing the ability to use a pen with Windows as my HP Envy x2 lacks pen support. The video below was shot earlier this year when I was first testing the tablet and it shows the inking capability of the Tablet 2.

I am very excited the ThinkPad Tablet 2 will be showing up soon. I was pleased with everything about it when I was testing it, except the price. With the price now less than $600 I couldn't pass it up.

Tablet 2 keyboard
Image credit: James Kendrick/ZDNet

I also purchased the portable keyboard for the Tablet 2 since I do so much writing. I found it to be a good balance between portability and functionality so buying one was a given. I don't like the $120 price however, which I find to be a bit high.

I'll be sharing my continued experiences with the ThinkPad Tablet 2 once I have it, meanwhile the specs of my purchase are as follows:

  • Processor: Intel Atom Z2760 (2 cores, 1.8 GHz, 1MG cache)
  • OS: Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
  • Display: 10.1-inch IPS (1366 x 768)
  • Pen: yes
  • Graphics: PowerVR SGX545 in Atom SoC
  • Storage: 64GB eMMC
  • Memory: 2GB
  • Cameras: 2MP front; 8MP rear (720p video capture)
  • Sound: stereo speakers (0.5 Watt x 2)
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi a/b/g/n; Bluetooth 4.0; GPS
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 10.34 x 6.48 x 0.39 inches
  • Battery: 30 Whr
  • Slots/ports: 1-USB 2.0; miniHDMI; microSD; dock connector; 3.5mm audio

Topics: Mobility, Lenovo, Tablets, Windows 8

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12 comments
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  • I need a tablet with inking, unlikely I would bite on this

    Since I tend to hang on to things, a few things on this would likely compel me to pass: No Haswell, so less powerful CPU and not-quite-as-good battery life. While your demo showed that graphics seem okay, I wouldn't mind having Haswell's better graphics. Can storage be upgraded? 64GB seems light and I'm not a big believer in a MicroSD workaround. I'd also like a full 1080 on the screen ( if not better ) and use Win8.1 to scale the fonts up.
    To me this device just screams 'last-year's model'......is there a Tablet 3 on the way?
    alsw
    • definitely not at this point

      To answer some if your points.

      No Haswell, Atom. Means MUCH less power (like to many WebPages at once will give to palpitations) but battery life is probably better then even Haswell can deliver. And graphics equals barely adequate, so long as you don't actually plan on using it. Ever.

      Nothing can be upgraded. Its a tablet so they don't go in for that sort of thing. I'm sure they'll tell you its a design feature, but it was only designed by the accounting department to ensure the maximum number of future sales.

      1080p is out of the question. As mentioned earlier the integrated graphics on these Atom chips just isn't up to pushing around that many pixels.

      Basically, yes this is very much last years model and we can only hope they are planning a Thinkpad3. Hopefully featuring one of the upcoming Baytrail next generation Atoms that should fix many of the problems with these current devices. They'll still be under powered next to full scale laptop and desktop chips but they should be a massive step forward and at least have enough graphics power to get just about anything except gaming done and run that 1080p screen you want, while still giving double figure hours of battery life.
      Daishi83
      • Small correction

        For office-type tasks the gpu is fine- it happily runs the internal screen PLUS an external HDMI 1080p monitor in extended desktop for me. Just don't try any PC games written in the last 7 years and expect them to run!
        For me the biggest problems with this configuration (I have the Samsung equivalent) is simply it tends to be a bit laggier than a full blown PC, and that 64 GB memory gets in the way quite a bit- annoyingly Windows 8 treats the SD card as a second-class citizen and won't let Libraries live there.
        edwardmfrench@...
      • Seems ok

        The little Z2780 has the same Experience index as my older Pentium D 3Ghz and it does many things faster. I know people always want "faster" but really, today's computers are fast enough unless you are gaming. I was even shocked how fast my Envy X2 rendered HD video for a quick project. Unless I have heavy lifting, I don't bother with my 8GB quad machine because the Atom boots about 5x faster.
        LarsDennert
    • Haswell

      Haswell is seriously overclocked as was my Ivy Bridge I5 (in an ultrabook) which despite a strong fan underneath it (it vented down and there was a warning in the Quick Start to never let the bottom touch your skin or clothing because the result would be severe burns) overheated and stopped working. Those 0-7.9 rating had the CPU at 7.4. I asked them, after they replaced the overheat-damaged parts, to take off the overclocking and all of a sudden my CPU rating is 3.7 which is quite sufficient. It dropped the resting temperature by 12C. Your stock Haswell will do the same thing according to the message that the tech sent back. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.
      GerryR1
  • 10 inches is too small for 1080p

    The resolution the Tablet 2 uses (1366x768) is already high for such a small screen since the Windows desktop does not scale to fit high-res displays. 1080p would be practically unusable at 10 inches.
    JamesKendrick
    • I disagree with that opinion, James, with one caveat.

      My Surface Pro has 1080p resolution. But Windows also provides display resolution scaling or "zoom levels" if one prefers.

      When one views video, 1080p is preferred at it's native zoom level.

      When one is viewing text on a screen, a 125 to 150 zoom level increase is desirable.
      kenosha77a
    • Maybe, but...

      The 8.1 update is supposed to improve the scaling for these high resolution small screens. And with the increase in graphics power that Baytrail should be bringing to the table it would seems strange for future devices in this category not to take advantage of that.
      Daishi83
  • Battery Application

    James - where did you get that Metro battery indicator in the top left spot on the start screen - I've been wanting a battery indicator since day one!
    dksmidtx
    • Not a battery gauge

      Alas, I thought it was back when I installed it but it's a battery control app. The live tile looks like a battery gauge but it's not.
      JamesKendrick
  • Just Returned Two of These

    Thought I'd add my experience with this device. We ordered two in the hopes that we could use them for two managers who wanted a tablet with Office and a couple adobe products. Out of the box they functioned well enough. However, once we started joining it to the domain and installing security software...well, performance dropped off significantly to the point of being painful to use. Then we started having issues with both devices having connectivity issues to both ATT and local wireless networks. That was the breaking point for us and we returned them. Another thing to note is that the 32GB version has a restore USB stick that can be purchased if you wanted to completely re-image the system. With the 64GB version there is no such option so if you need it re-imaged you have to send it in.
    AKTechSupport
  • No USB 3?

    That's a show stopper for me.
    jaykayess