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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 review

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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a light Windows 8 tablet that offers users go-anywhere connectivity and a usefully long battery life in a highly portable device. While it can run standard Windows apps, its modest performance limits it to basic productivity work.

Pros:

Light and compact; good battery life; 3G and Wi-Fi

Cons:

Integrated battery; modest performance

Overall Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

Price: £582 (with stylus)

Manufacturer: Lenovo

Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet 2 breaks the mould of Windows tablets somewhat by delivering a compact and lightweight design that combines great battery life with enough performance for everyday applications.

First announced last year but only recently available, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 follows Lenovo's recent trend of adding thin-and-light models to its corporate ThinkPad brand, as demonstrated by the X1 laptop line.

At 600g even for the fully configured version, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 is one of the lightest Windows tablets we have seen, but still manages to carry off the distinctive ThinkPad styling and build quality.

With both Wi-Fi and mobile broadband, the version we looked at is a viable option for mobile workers in usage scenarios where Apple's iPad might otherwise be the obvious choice.

However, with its Atom processor, the same limitations apply to the Tablet 2 as to Dell's Latitude 10, namely that it is limited to 2GB of memory and only modest performance.

To set against that, the Tablet 2 can be joined to a corporate domain and managed along with the rest of a company's Windows PCs, and will run standard Windows apps from its 64GB solid-state disk, of course.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

At 263x164x9.8mm, Lenovo's system adopts more of a letterbox shape than many other tablet devices, and its relatively low weight makes it easier to hold in just one hand, and when dropped into a bag or briefcase for carrying, you hardly notice the weight at all.

The design of the ThinkPad Tablet 2 recalls that of Lenovo's laptops, but it does not seem to have the rugged carbon-fibre casing of recent ThinkPad models. Nevertheless, it features Asahi Dragontrail glass (comparable to Gorilla Glass) to protect the screen, and is sturdy enough to withstand a few knocks.

We inadvertently tested this when the Tablet 2 slid off our desk onto the floor during testing, and survived completely unscathed.

Sadly, Lenovo has followed the example of many other tablet vendors (plus the firm's own ultrabooks) by making its battery an integral component that cannot be swapped out, although the Tablet 2 can last for pretty much a whole working day from a single charge.

Next: Hardware and I/O

Display: 10.1in, 1366x768 Asahi Dragontrail glass
Processor: Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz
Memory: 2GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
Operating system: Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
Storage: 64GB eMMC SSD (32GB optional)
Wireless: 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, 3G/HSPA+, NFC
Ports: USB 2.0, mini HDMI, microSD, dock, headset jack
Camera: 8MP rear, 2MP front-facing
Dimensions: 263 x 164 x 9.8mm
Battery: 2-cell 30WHr lithium polymer
Weight: 600g

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Daniel Robinson
About

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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