Lenovo announces ThinkPad 2 - its first Windows 8 tablet


August 10, 2012

Lenovo's first Windows 8 tablet will be available for the October launch of Windows 8

Lenovo's first Windows 8 tablet will be available for the October launch of Windows 8

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Lenovo has announced the upcoming availability of its first tablet to run the new Microsoft operating system. The product, pitched as a “multi-use” tablet, has a 10.1 inch display, is 9.8 mm (0.39 in) thick and features an optional digitizer and pen. There's no word on price yet, but the release date is set to correspond with the October launch of Windows 8.

The ThinkPad 2 runs on an Intel Atom processor and comes with the Pro version of Windows 8. For the uninitiated, that means you get access to both the new, app-friendly Start screen and the traditional desktop environment. The tablet comes fitted with full-size USB and HDMI ports.

The optional digitizer pen provides some extra functionality in the form of hand-written annotation and note taking, and the device comes with the ubiquitous front and rear-facing cameras. There's also good news for those on the move, with 3G and 4G models available for purchase.

Lenovo is apparently pitching the device as a sort of middle-ground between work and play, claiming it will help manage “the increasing overlap between personal and work life today”. But marketing spiel aside, it's clear that Lenovo is targeting the enterprise market with this new offering. Accordingly, it comes equipped with a number of security features including a fingerprint reader, IT manageability technologies, and corporate level service and support. The new device will replace the current Android-powered ThinkPad tablet.

When looking at the competition, the obvious candidate for comparison is Microsoft's own Surface tablets. The Windows 8 Pro version of Redmond's tablet weighs in at 903 g and is 13.5 mm thick. Lenovo's offering has the edge here, coming in at less than 600 g, with a thickness of 9.8 mm. However, the Surface features a 10.6 inch Full HD display, while the ThinkPad's 10.1 inch offering comes with a 1366 x 768 IPS display. The Ivy Bridge Intel i5 CPU in the Surface also packs a significantly bigger punch than the ThinkPad's Intel Atom offering.

Additionally, the Surface also has an advantage in the form of its Touch and Type Cover keyboards, making it the more obvious choice for those looking for a device capable of replacing their laptop or desktop PC. However, Lenovo is addressing this issue by means of an optional keyboard and dock that aim to provide the user with “PC-like computing in the office”.

There are also accessories such as the recently announced Wedge Mobile Keyboard and Mouse made by Microsoft themselves. Products such as these could serve to significantly narrow the Surface's advantage, allowing third-party tablets to achieve laptop levels of functionality.

There's one other significant consideration: the price. The cost of the ThinkPad 2 remains a mystery, but its non-premium construction, lower screen resolution and less powerful processor will almost certainly translate into a lower price tag than the Pro version of the Surface (expected to retail for around US$1000).

Source: Lenovo

About the Author
Chris Wood Chris specializes in mobile technology for Gizmag, but also likes to dabble in the latest gaming gadgets. He has a degree in Politics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter, and lives in Gloucestershire, UK. In his spare time you might find him playing music, following a variety of sports or binge watching Game of Thrones. All articles by Chris Wood

I would have hoped they try and be competitive with pricing as I think I'd jump at this instead of going for the Asus transformer prime. But im not paying over £500 for a tablet which is basically a toy if you will. We'll see I suppose.

Mike Daniels

U hit the nail bang on the head Michael . I want to add that I still think Android is a essentially a play OS,( great for 5 inches or smaller) and Windows 8 will define the emergence of the 'real' tablet . I have a lot of faith on MS, whatever the critics might say .

Atul Malhotra

It's funny. I consider the touch screen functionality a bonus. All I really care about is getting a full version of windows in the smallest package possible with the most power possible, for the size. I carry my laptop from home to work. I have bluetooth keyboards, mice and large monitors at both locations. Right now I carry a MBP with Windows on it. I've had a MBA as well. I'm excited that these tablets are going to be much smaller.

I was really hoping that someone would get full windows 8 on a cell phone. That would work really well for me.

Abe Gilbert

M$ Windows 8 has the ugliest GUI I have ever seen! I think it will fail in the marketplace miserably. I personally will wait for Windows 9, it will have their mistakes fixed.

Billy Brooks
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