Lenovo's Android-based ThinkPad Tablet
Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet is a 10.1-inch Android-based offering that targets business users. Hence the boring name, perhaps. It weighs more than most similarly sized tablets and its design evokes Lenovo's line of ThinkPad notebooks.
The tablet has a full-sized USB port on the left side. The ThinkPad Tablet also has a headphone jack, a mini HDMI-out port, a micro-USB port and a proprietary port for connecting accessories. On the bottom are an SD card slot and a slot for a SIM (on 3G models).
The display has a resolution of 1280x800 pixels; it's bright and clear, and it is responsive to input. The glossy surface makes it tough to see in direct sunlight, however, and while even indoors under fluorescent office lighting. One annoying thing about the screen is the small square shapes all over the screen; they are very noticeable at certain angles, particularly if there is light shining on the screen.
Something that distinguishes the ThinkPad Tablet from its competitors is its stylus: A digitiser pen powered by a single AAA battery. As you would expect, you can use it to take notes and draw on the screen.
The tablet runs version 3.1 of Google's Android mobile platform — "Honeycomb". Like other Honeycomb tablets, the ThinkPad Tablet offers Flash support, an excellent notification system and access to the Android Market for third-party applications.
Lenovo's pre-loaded software adds corporate and security features and is as a major selling point. It includes anti-theft software and the ability to disable the tablet if it's it is lost or stolen; it's similar to the Computrace software bundled on ThinkPad laptops.
Other features include SD card encryption, layered data encryption and VPN support. Lenovo also offers 2GB of Cloud storage for free.
The company also offers customisation for enterprise customers, such as disabling particular apps. The tablet's storage can also be partitioned to offers space for personal use.
Lenovo has also created its own app store, creatively titled the Lenovo App Shop. It offers a range of tablet-friendly apps tested by the company. The benefits, Lenovo claims, are guaranteed compatibility and safety from malware.
The tablet has a standard Android user interface, although Lenovo has added a handful of widgets.
Under the hood the ThinkPad Tablet has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and features Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity; 3G is also available on some models. It has a 5-megapixel rear camera (with no flash) and a 2-megapixel front camera for video calls.
A business-friendly accessory released by Lenovo is a portfolio case with a keyboard; it's available for $89. The case turns the ThinkPad Tablet into a notebook-style device. It includes a decent optical touchpad, too.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet has respectable battery life. It lasted about six and a half hours during general use; this will vary depending on usage patterns. Lenovo quotes an eight hour battery life in the specifications.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet comes in Wi-Fi only and Wi-Fi + 3G options in 16GB and 32GB sizes, though the 32GB model is only available with 3G. Pricing starts at $599 for the 16GB Wi-Fi only model, and $729 for the 16GB Wi-Fi + 3G model. The 32GB Wi-Fi + 3G model will sell for $839.
If you want a Windows-based business tablet, see our review of the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is a business tablet first and foremost and its digitiser pen alone makes it an attractive proposition. It also comes with useful security features and VPN support. All up, a fine first Android-based effort from Lenovo.