A steady stream of Windows 8 devices have shipped since the beginning of the year, including a number of tablets designed to take advantage of the touch-centric interface in Microsoft's latest operating system.
With further usability improvements due to arrive with Windows 8.1 in the next few months, CIO.com decided to take a close look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 to evaluate how well this Windows tablet works for business users.
ThinkPad Tablet 2 Specifications
The ThinkPad Tablet 2 comes with a bright, vibrant 10.1-inch (1366x768) IPS display that remains viewable even at extreme angles. There's a Z2760 Intel Atom processor under the hood; this dual-core chip is clocked at 1.8GHz with hyper-threading. An integrated graphics processor, 2GB of system memory, and long-term storage in the form of 64GB of embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) memory all support this processor, while an integrated microSD slot makes it simple to increase storage capacity.
The Tablet 2 offers standard capabilities such as 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, built-in stereo speakers and front (2MP) and rear (8MP) cameras. Notably, the Tablet 2 comes with a USB 2.0 port along the left side of the tablet, and micro-HDMI port along its bottom. On the right are volume and orientation lock buttons, as well as a headphone/microphone combo jack.
The Lenovo tablet comes with a Wacom digitizer that works with the supplied stylus. The combination offers pressure-sensitive pen input with automatic palm rejection when writing. An integrated slot on the top left of the tablet offers easy stowing.
The stylus that comes with the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 makes it easy to jot down notes.
Overall, the Tablet 2 looks every part a premium tablet, part of it due to sporting the same anti-slip coating you see on high-end ThinkPad laptops such as the Lenovo X1 Carbon. The Tablet 2 is a slim 0.34 inches (9.8mm) thick and weighs 1.3 pounds (0.59 kg)-a good size for business users who need to quickly access files while waiting in a queue or sitting in an airport departure lounge.
ThinkPad Tablet 2 Usability: Easy to Write, Easy to Charge, Easy to See
To evaluate the ThinkPad Tablet 2's suitability for business use, we installed productivity Microsoft Office 2013, the Google Chrome browser and SugarSync cloud sync software.
Everything installed uneventfully and launched fine, and we encountered no problems working with basic Word documents, spreadsheets and Web browsing. While everything loaded slower than it might on a laptop, most applications launched within seconds of clicking on their icons. Microsoft Outlook worked great, too, even after synchronizing it with a mailbox containing more than 1GB of email messages.
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