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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.

By using the energy-efficient Atom chip, Lenovo says the Tablet 2 offers up to 10 hours of battery life when video streaming. While actual mileage will vary depending on what you do, there's no reason you shouldn't get at least eight to 10 hours of use with less processor-intensive tasks.

...But Also Leave Much Room for Improvement
Despite its strengths, there is definitely room for improvement with the Tablet 2. Surprisingly, the majority of these revolve around relatively minor but important shortcomings with the official accessories. We highlight them as some of they are what metamorphoses the Tablet 2 from an ordinary stylus-equipped tablet into a veritable corporate workstation.

For one, the Tablet 2 must be removed from the official Slim Case before it can be inserted into the Docking Station. The magnetic on-off toggle built into the Slim Case was nice, but slipping it into a bag sometimes misaligns it and switches the Tablet 2 on. This wastes the battery.

In addition, you use the Bluetooth Keyboard and Stand by first lifting a flap along the top edge to hold the Tablet 2 in place. Despite the use of integrated magnets to hold the tablet in place, the tablet falls easily when you're typing on an unstable surface such as your lap. As such, the Tablet 2 is really only suitable for use with the keyboard when at a desk.

Also, Lenovo should have used a simple on-off toggle instead of the ambiguous slider on the keyboard. This can wake the Tablet 2 from sleep mode when keys are inadvertently pressed.

You can get a nice cover/keyboard combination for the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, but it only really works well on a hard surface.

Finally, though the USB port protector on the Tablet 2 is a nice touch, you can forget about keeping a small USB flash drive or a micro-sized USB transceiver for a wireless mouse plugged in-the port protector sticks out like a sore thumb when a USB device is plugged in.

Slim ThinkPad Tablet 2 Good For Power Users-But Look at Ultrabooks, Too
It's clear that Lenovo put a significant amount of effort into making the Tablet 2 a must-have business tablet. There are things to like about the Windows 8 tablet over competitors such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, including its slim form factor, integrated stylus holder and business-centric accessories.

On the other hand, the ThinkPad Tablet 2's Atom processor limits its capability to run intensive tasks or apps. More importantly, properly accessorizing the tablet with a dock ($99.99), case ($39.99) and portable keyboard ($119.99) to make it "desktop ready" adds substantially to its cost and makes you wonder if it's more economical to get a Windows 8 ultrabook instead.


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