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Thinkpad Tablet: Initial impression

The Thinkpad Tablet is more like an Ideapad K1 with a matte coat but some useful enterprise features

Lenovo recently released two powerful and important tablets, at least to their own portfolio – the Ideapad K1 and the Thinkpad Tablet. The K1 is targeted at general consumers with its glossy sporty looks acting as a lifestyle product. On the other hand, the Thinkpad tablet, like all Thinkpads have been, is aimed at business. This is reflected in its serious matte looks with a few interesting enterprise features.

Although both the tablets are aimed at two different segments, essentially they are the same system with different external coats and a few superficial differences. The Thinkpad Tablet, like the Ideapad K1, sports a 10.1” display panel with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, a 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, Android 3.1 operating system and up to 64GB of storage. There are Wi-Fi, HDMI out, full-size USB port, an SD card reader that supports encryption and optional 3G as connectivity options. But it is a few enterprise features that sets it apart from the K1 including a pressure-sensitive Think Pad Tablet pen for writing or drawing, and a Folio keyboard case with Lenovo’s TrackPoint system. There is also a 2GB online storage facility to back up our data.

The Tablet sports an IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the 10.1” display. With the borders on all four sides, the Tablet measures 10.3″ x 7.2″ x 0.6″ in dimension and weighs only about 0.71 kg. Unlike most of the other Honeycomb tablets – the Thinkpad tablet has four hot-keys in hardware forms. They seem to be the Home, back, Internet and orientation change keys. The Tablet is supposed to be used primarily in portrait mode as the “Lenovo” and “Thinkpad” tags suggest. There are a lot of hardware control keys on the sides as well. Apart from the I/O ports, there are the volume controls, micro USB port, provision for putting a headphone and clip.

There will be software to support its business profile like the Documents To Go app as a substitute for MS Office.

There will be optional accessories like the dock with additional USB, mic, HDMI out and stereo output jacks.

Pricing and availability

The Thinkpad Tablet should be available in the US starting next month for about $499, and to the rest of the world anytime in Q3 this year. $499 with a host of enterprise features, especially the pressure pen will put the Thinkpad Tablet in to a definite advantage over other tablets in terms of both price and features. The huge brand image of “Thinkpad” will only help further.



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Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2011-07-25 (Update: 2019-04-30)