CNET First Look
Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 has a great designThis Windows 8 tablet from Lenovo scores with great industrial design and battery life, but adding practically required accessories makes it very expensive for what you get.
I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. Now, this looks like a lot of the other Windows 8 tablets that we've seen so far. This falls into one of the two main categories and that is the Intel Atom Tablet, the other main thread being the Intel Core i5 tablet, things like the Microsoft Surface and the Samsung ATIV. In the Atom side, you've got things like the ThinkPad Tablet 2, you've got the Acer W510, you've got the Dell Latitude 10. They're all pretty much the same. They've got an Intel Atom processor, which is sort of an outgrowth to what we used to see years ago in netbooks-- a very low power processor-- along with a 64 GB solid-state hard drive and 2 GB of RAM. Now, that smaller hard drive size doesn't give you a heck of a lot of storage space especially after the full Windows 8 install, but I think this still has a big advantage over, let's say, Windows RT tablet in that it's basically got the full version of Windows 8 on it; and a touchscreen that is very responsive especially in the Windows 8 UI, even though it's on that Atom tablet. And as we've seen in some other Atom tablets, some apps that are optimized for the Atom experience on Windows 8 like IE and Netflix really do work very well on here. You don't have to worry about staggering or slow down where some other apps like Chrome are maybe not quite as optimized yet. Hopefully, they will be soon. Now, I really like the design of the ThinkPad Tablet 2 a lot more so than a lot of the other Windows 8 tablets we've seen. It's probably second only to the Microsoft Surface, I think, in terms of overall design. I like that the tablet itself is very thin; it's very light; it's got a nice squared off design. They work in active digitizer right here into the corner and you can use that on the screen and they just slide right into this slot right here. And I love this little keyboard base, that's a $100 and I think a $30 option and it just sits right in there, connects via Bluetooth, but you get a variation on that really excellent ThinkPad keyboard that's really tough to-- tough to top. And you can get a nice leather sleeve that the whole thing fits into. It's like another 30 bucks. Now, that brings us to the negative part about all these Atom tablets but this one in particular, they're really a lot more expensive than you would expect an Atom product to be, and really not that much less expensive than a full Core i5 version of something similar or a touchscreen Core i5 Ultrabook. This guy starts at $670. For that, you just get the tablet. Once you add the $130 keyboard stand and the $30 case, you're looking at about a little under $850 for the entire package. It's a very nice package but if you had $850 in your pocket, there are a lot of really great touchscreen full Core i5 Ultrabooks and laptops you can get. And maybe if you invest just a little bit more, then you're looking at a Core i5 Tablet or maybe even something like a MacBook Air. I am Dan Ackerman and that is the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2.