Tablet Review #2 - Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
September 13, 2011
In the ongoing "Tablet Wars" that have been given extra life by HP liquidating their WebOS enabled line there are still plenty of Android based tablets looking for the title of "Business Class Tablet" Lenovo has come to the table with what seems to be a solid entry with their ThinkPad Tablet. The current generation of Android Tablets all have the same basic internal hardware (NVidia Tegra Dual Core CPU, 802.11 B/G/N WiFi, GPS, Dual Cameras, etc) the main difference is what type of external ports each tablet has and what extra software each manufacturer decides to preinstall.
There are currently 3 models of ThinkPad Tablet available, 16GB. 32GB and 64GB onboard storage. Aside from the storage space the 32GB And 64GB Models come equipped with a stylus dubbed the "ThinkPad Tablet Pen" that fits physically in the unit the way a Stylus would fit into a Palm Pilot or any other older "Pocket PC". Every unit supports a Mini-HDMI Connector, A full size USB 2.0 Connector, A Micro USB Connector and a connector for Lenovo's proprietary dock unit. A note of interest is that this is currently the only tablet that can be charged through the Micro USB Port - every other tablet has their own way of supplying power to charge the battery, none use Mini/Micro USB. The ThinkPad Tablet also supports SD Cards for storage and has a SIM Card slot, opening up the possibility of using cellular service via SIM card in the future. If/When this feature becomes available all registered ThinkPad Tablet users will receive the software update that allows that to happen. Be sure to keep your unit registered for any updates.
What sets the ThinkPad Tablet apart from pretty much everyone else (aside from what I have already mentioned) are the applications that have been preinstalled. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Documents to Go:
Edit, view and create Word, Excel and PowerPoint files plus high fidelity viewing of PDF files. Supports password-protected Word & Excel 97-2007 files, Google Docs and includes a desktop Application (Windows) for bi-directional synchronization.
Print office documents, email, photos, contacts, calendars, text and picture/video messages, call logs and web pages from your device directly to a printer next to you or over the Internet anywhere in the world.
Citrix Receiver is a universal client that enables IT to securely deliver enterprise data, apps, desktops from virtualized XenDesktop and XenApp infrastructure. With Citrix Receiver, ThinkPad Tablet users can access their work applications and desktops and be productive from anywhere
And my personal favorite:
Myscript Notes Mobile:
With MyScript Notes Mobile you can create notebooks in which you can write, annotate, draw and insert pictures. Benefit from handwriting recognition in 27 languages and share notes through social networking tools installed on your tablet.
The Notes Mobile application takes a little bit of time to get used to but makes great use of the ThinkPad Tablet Pen. It converts your handwriting to text in what reminds me of a "Comic Sans" type font, then by hitting the Icon in the top left hand side of the software allows you to export either as text or a picture to GMail, Corporate Email, Etc. To me this application is what makes this stand out from all others. You can take notes in a meeting and within seconds send those notes via email.
In general the User Experience has been pleasing while using this tablet, however there were a couple of problems, One is the boot time - it takes longer to boot than any other Tablet I have seen (about a minute and a half) but I attribute that to their UI Enhancements and Included Antivirus and the other problem that we have seen were that some applications would "Force Close" (Android-speak for Crash) multiple times. As with any tablet though there are bound to be updates and patches that fix issues that are encountered and we received one of the first units that was available in the United States. Remember to register your tablet and you will receive notice when any future software patches, fixes and OS upgrades are available.
This is a tablet that you can take to work with you and get good use from. Lenovo has hit the target while aiming for a "Business Class" Tablet.
For More information on the tablet you can see Lenovo's datasheet here or can contact your EDI Account Exec.
Since 1997, EDI has been a value-added provider of high quality computer components, systems, servers, and computing solutions. Headquartered in Norcross, Georgia, EDI maintains a presence throughout the eastern United States and many European markets.
At EDI, we recognize that business policies and practices that serve the technology community provide an important business advantage, both for us and our customers. As a prominent distributor of computer components and white-box systems, we affect the communities where we do business. As such, we build quality relationships with clients and develop strong vendor alliances. For us, there are multiple benefits – better financial returns, increased opportunities, more efficient operations, higher employee motivation, and improved goodwill between us, our vendors, and our customers. For our customers, there is a triple bottom line – more efficient service, increased selection, and smart savings.
Leveraging our strengths (accelerated delivery time, affordable pricing, assorted purchase options, and exceptional customer service), we plan to improve product accessibility and affordability, provide innovative solutions, and continuously improve our service and products. To achieve this goal, EDI pursues an individual relationship with each customer and tailors services to meet each customer’s specific needs. By contributing to the success of our customers, we hope to stimulate the use of technology throughout a variety of industry sectors, including schools, government institutions, and corporations.