tablets

Lenovo ThinkPad Review

Frequent crashes and severe battery drain make the ThinkPad Tablet a less-than-ideal purchase.

February 03, 2012
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Introduction

The battery and screen performances of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet aren't too far off the "average" range for tablet performance, but little things like the accelerometers lagging significantly, as well as frequent crashes and severe battery drain while asleep, make the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet tough to recommend.

Design & Usability

Contrary to popular belief, bigger isn't always better.

Within the very environmentally-unfriendly mess of cardboard and plastic that is the box for the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is a charger, a micro-USB cable, an individually packaged US-specific plug to mount on the charger, and assorted documentation. There's also a tablet in there, but you probably already guessed that.

This tablet is heavy. Not only that, but it's huge as well. Couple those detriments along with the fact that the device is a half-inch thick and a bit angular, and this tablet ranks up there with the most difficult to hold that we've reviewed thus far. If you plan on using this Lenovo for a long time, expect arm fatigue, depending on the endurance of your forearms.

If you plan on using this Lenovo for a long time, expect arm fatigue. Tweet It

Quite possibly the biggest thing that sets the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet apart from the rest of the pack is the fact that it is fairly versatile with pieces of office equipment. Not only can it export video and other media via HDMI, but it can also hook up to a peripheral like a keyboard or mouse using the hidden full USB port. This is very beneficial, as the tablet comes with a word processor, as well as other office programs pre-installed.

The ThinkPad Tablet can be operated much like any other tablet can through the capacitive touchscreen. Things like tapping to open files and apps, pinch to zoom, and flick to turn a page/switch homescreens all work on the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. In addition, there are physical volume controls, a physical power button, and four other buttons on one side of the tablet, including a back button, a home button, a browser button, and an auto-rotate on/off button.

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Performance

Middling performance in nearly every category

The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is built around an 8.625 x 5.325 inch IPS LED backlit LCD display with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Aside from the IPS (in-plane switching) screen, this is about par for the course as far as tablets in this price range go. The IPS screen enables users to have a fairly wide viewing angle, but there's only a very small chance that this would become a big deal unless you were showing your friends something on the screen.

With the commonplace screen size of 10.1 inches and the equally commonplace resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, you should not want for a bigger screen. The resolution also nets the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet a DPI (dots per inch) of 149. While not the best in the world, that's not too far behind what other tablets in its price range and size give us.

LIke most tablets with an LCD screen, the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet doesn't fare so well outdoors. Because LCD screens require a backlight to make their image seen, direct sunlight often drowns out the light emitted by the tablet itself, resulting in a picture that is difficult to see at best (especially considering the high reflectivity). Tablets with LCD screens typically disappoint here, and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is no different.

The battery is firmly in the "bad" category for tablets. Tweet It

Unfortunately, even with its huge surface area, Lenovo couldn't ship its flagship tablet with a decent battery. Providing just over 5 hours of video playback or eBook reading, the battery is firmly in the "bad" category for tablets. Perhaps it's due to the big screen, but for whatever reason, this tablet will leave you high and dry on long trips.

Conclusion

If you can find the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet on sale, it may be a buy. Otherwise, take a pass on this tablet.

It's no surprise to us that one of the major computer producers has released a tablet under the name of its iconic laptops, but what is surprising is just how bad the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is. Relatively speaking, the battery and screen performances aren't too far off the "average" range for tablet performance, but little things like the accelerometers lagging significantly, as well as frequent crashes and severe battery drain while asleep make the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet a less-than-ideal purchase.

If you can find this tablet on a firesale, it may not be such a bad investment if you would like to use peripherals that require a USB port, but if that's the case, you're probably better off going with a Toshiba Thrive instead. Beyond that small advantage, there is very little reason to get the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet over another similarly priced Android tablet.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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