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Lenovo ThinkPad tablet 2 a good, but pricey, business tool

Paul Mah | Aug. 2, 2013
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a business-centric mobile device that offers an all-day PC experience. Battery life is impressive, as is the included stylus. But the optional accessories that make it an effective tool for power users are also the features that leave the most room for improvement.

Overall, it was amazing to see such a tiny device deliver a full desktop experience without an excessive amount of lag. The tablet did warm up mildly after heavy usage, though not uncomfortably so.

Despite a glossy display, the brightness of the ThinkPad Tablet 2's backlight and its visibility from extreme angles allowed it to be used in relatively bright environments. Indeed, the screen was vibrant enough to make up for a resolution just 1366x768.

Writing with the stylus was an exceptional experience, as the palm rejection capabilities and 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity make it possible to write naturally on the Tablet 2. Don't lose the stylus, though- the digitizer display in the Tablet 2 won't work with just any stylus, and it'll cost you $24.99 for a new one.

The micro-USB charging port on the left of the ThinkPad Tablet 2 is particularly useful, as it frees traveling executives from packing yet another proprietary charger on long road trips. We managed to get the Tablet 2 to charge using an Innergie PocketCell Duo portable battery though, as noted, different USB batteries will bring different results.

Accessories Prime ThinkPad Tablet 2 for Business Use...
As with its ThinkPad laptop series, Lenovo has clearly positioned the ThinkPad Tablet 2 for business users. Optional accessories-ranging from a business-centric docking station ($99.99) to a portable Bluetooth keyboard with integrated stand ($119.99) to a VGA monitor adapter for organizations that have yet to make the shift to HDMI-make this readily apparent. The Tablet 2 also travels well, in either a slim case or a snug case ($39.99) that's designed to transport the tablet and the optional Bluetooth Keyboard accessory together.

The docking station deserve special mention, as it's a stable base that adds Fast Ethernet wired connectivity, three USB ports, microphone and speaker jacks, and a HDMI out port.

While it's somewhat strange that Lenovo didn't offer the more common VGA or DVI for video output, the HDMI port nevertheless makes it possible to wire up an external monitor of up to 1920x1080 resolution when back at the desk. The Tablet 2 slides easily into the dock, which also recharges it.

An optional docking station will stand the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 upright on your desk. It charges the device, too, and can connect to an external monitor.

Meanwhile, the rugged Bluetooth Keyboard and Stand comes with an integrated optical trackball at the center of the keyboard where you usually find the classic TrackPoint pointer. Three buttons along the edge of the keyboard, under the spacebar key, offers laptop-level usability. (Do note that the Bluetooth Keyboard and Stand is not a full-sized keyboard, though keys deliver a tactile experience worthy of its ThinkPad moniker.)


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