Lenovo Pad Tablet 2014

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At the launch of Windows 8 there were only a few tablets that were delivered to the market and it seams that it has come time for more manufacturers to offer their devices. Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 is one of the latest that were presented to the market.
Design:
Glancing at the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, there’s no arguing it stands out prominently for paying homage to the enterprise style that embodies the ThinkPad legacy. Certainly a compact (0.39” / 9.9mm thin) and lightweight (19.93 oz / 565 grams) slate, it’s something that doesn’t occupy much space in a backpack – making it travel friendly and easy on the spine! Sporting a black matte finish, it does a wonderful job to maintain its clean appearance, while at the same time, the rubbery-like surface sufficiently allows for plenty of grip with our hands. Throw in the fact that its construction is solid too, we can’t complain how everything meshes together seamlessly to make the Think Pad Tablet 2 one of the more portable and solid Windows 8 slates out right now.
On the faƧade of the ThinkPad Tablet 2, there’s a flush Start button directly beneath the display – while the front-facing 2-megeapixel is seen on the opposite edge.
Pressing the tablet’s power button is a challenge in itself, seeing that it’s flush and rather indistinct to the touch. Fortunately, there’s no concern with its separated volume controls and screen rotation lock switch that are located on its right trim. Always useful and adding value to the ThinkPad Tablet 2, we’re pleased to find that it’s packing along a microSD card slot, SIM slot, mini-HDMI port, and a full-sized USB port. Needless to say, with that kind of arsenal in tow, it undoubtedly enhances its usefulness as a true laptop replacement. Also, there’s a proprietary docking port on the bottom edge that allows the tablet to connect with its optional keyboard dock.
In the rear, we find slots on both edges for its speaker grills – while its 8-megapixel auto-focus camera and LED flash, which has the ability to shoot 1080p videos, are positioned squarely towards the upper-middle section of the casing.
Lastly, much like other recent Windows 8 slates we’ve been scoping of late, it features a pressure sensitive stylus, which thankfully can be tucked away discretely into the slot that’s built into the tablet’s left edge.
Display:
It’s surely not going to win any awards, but the 10.1-inch 1366 x 768 IPS display of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 is pleasant enough to accept. Needless to say, it doesn’t impress on paper with its 155 ppi pixel density, but frankly speaking, it’s more than sufficient when we’re viewing it from a normal distance away – though, we can clearly tell it’s not as sharp looking with fine details when compared to 10-inch 1920×1080 displays. On the colors side, it’s a bit reserved with its tones, but we’re happy that its viewing angles are good enough to maintain its clarity. Unfortunately, with its low contrast and brightness, it doesn’t particularly handle outdoor conditions too well with the sun bearing down on it.
Interface and Functionality:
By now, there are no surprises with the experience on this particular Windows 8 tablet, since Microsoft’s new platform is pretty much standardized between devices – so we get the same Modern UI on the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. Being a Windows 8 tablet, instead of Windows RT, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 can run legacy Windows 7 computer” apps, bridging the gap between a tablet and a computer. Aside from the stock set of apps that are normally found with all Windows 8 slates, Lenovo throws in a few from its stable, but to tell you the truth, they don’t necessarily add any depth to the experience. Rather, they’re basically portals to some of the surface functions of Windows 8. Specifically, we have Lenovo Settings that provides access to some common settings, the information and services offerings of Lenovo Companion, and finally the screenshot-crop app in Lenovo QuickSnip.
Yet again, we’re not surprised that the core set of organizer apps are nothing new to us. Therefore, whether you’re using the email or calendar apps, there’s nothing separating this from other Windows 8 slates.
More than effective for typing things up with its on-screen keyboard, we’re presented with the usual set of options that are standard with Windows 8, which include the full-sized and split style keyboards – with a hand writing recognition one as well to complement the experience.
Camera:
Brandishing an 8-megapixel auto-focus camera, which is undeniably above average amongst Windows 8 slates thus far, we’re quick to realize that there’s nothing impressive with the outcome. In fact, details are pretty much faint and indistinct looking – while colors are muted in tone. For some uncanny reason, there’s no way to manually turn off the LED flash, so it’ll automatically kick in whenever it deems lighting isn’t adequate. Naturally, we’d expect the presence of the flash to strengthen its quality, but it doesn’t add much since it casts a noticeable vignetting effect to the shot.
At the same time, 1080p video recording quality is also underwhelming to say the least. Some of the unwanted distractions with its quality include its flat details, slower 24 frames per second recording, distorted audio recording, heavy artifacting elements, and erratic focus adjustment.
Multimedia:
Again, there’s nothing terribly new to say about the music player, since it’s the same one used by all Windows 8 devices. Even though it’s packing stereo support with its two speakers, it sounds rather strained at the loudest setting – so placing it at the middle setting produces tones that are more pleasant.
Obviously, the display size is ample enough for our liking when it comes to watching videos. Unfortunately though, it buckles under the pressure when it comes down to playing 1080p videos. So much so that sluggishness and delays become rampant during playback.
Conclusion:
If we came upon the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 in a store and quickly glance over its specs sheet, we probably wouldn’t get too excited. And who would considering its low-res display and choice of packing an Intel Atom processor? As we’ve seen, though, the tablet is still equipped in providing us with the same experience as its beefier counterparts – well, it probably will take more time in executing the same tasks. Regardless, if we’re to look at the $579 base price (32GB, Wi-Fi only) of the tablet, there’s some good value when we take into consideration its travel friendly size, great battery life, and wealth of ports. A good alternative is the Asus VivoTab Smart which is even more affordable at $500 for the base model.
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