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Lenovo Officially Unveils Windows 8 ThinkPad Tablet

By - Source: Engadget | B 23 comments

Lenovo takes the cover off its Windows 8 slate offering.

With Windows 8 just a few months away from its retail launch, hardware manufacturers are preparing to launch a slew of new products running the operating system. Though the OS will run perfectly fine without a touchscreen, Windows 8's touchy-feely Metro UI does work better on the hardware it was intended for. This week, Lenovo took the wraps off of the ThinkPad 2 tablet, which will launch this fall.

The ThinkPad 2 packs a 10-inch 1366 x 768 IPS HD display, an Intel Atom processor, an 8-megapixel camera in the back and a 2-megapixel camera up front for video calling, micro-HDMI, NFC, a fingerprint reader, and a pen. There's also going to be optional 3G/4G, and Engadget reports that AT&T's LTE network will be the ThinkPad 2's home in the United States. Of course, there's also the obligatory dock, which adds a little more functionality and can be purchased along with tablet. In the ThinkPad 2's case, the dock will bring HDMI-out, an Ethernet port, and three USB ports. In addition to this dock, there's also a keyboard peripheral. 

Unfortunately, Lenovo didn't mention pricing for the tablet, the dock, or the keyboard, but we do know it's going to launch in October alongside Microsoft's won Surface tablets. Though Microsoft hasn't released an official spec list for the Surface, we do know it will come in both Intel and ARM flavors with the former packing an Intel Core i5 CPU.

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  • 5 Hide
    daglesj , August 9, 2012 5:46 PM
    If it costs over $500....

    Will be a lot of nice $2-300 tablets this xmas that wont have Windows 8 on them to compete against.
  • -2 Hide
    chumly , August 9, 2012 5:48 PM
    Why are they still using Atom processors? This thing is going to be garbage next to an iPad (not an Apple fan).
  • 9 Hide
    daglesj , August 9, 2012 5:54 PM
    2GHz+ Atoms with dual core and HT are fine for what this thing will do.

    You going to do HD video transcoding on it then?
  • 9 Hide
    sync_nine , August 9, 2012 5:55 PM
    chumlyWhy are they still using Atom processors? This thing is going to be garbage next to an iPad (not an Apple fan).

    But then again it's not about hardware but about optimization of software.
    Doesn't it make you wonder why windows phone 7 is single core and still outperforms most dual core (or better) android based phones?
  • -1 Hide
    jacobdrj , August 9, 2012 5:59 PM
    daglesj2GHz+ Atoms with dual core and HT are fine for what this thing will do.You going to do HD video transcoding on it then?

    No they will not. Don't be me wrong. I love my little 1st generation Atom netbook. But there are VERY real problems with the architecture that would make the experience on Windows 8 unbearable... Unless they are using an Atom that will do out of order instruction processing they should have gone with Brazos as the TDP is fairly close and you would have had a better processor and graphics...


    Optimization only goes so far. Part of the Windows Phone experience is because of the nature of the ARM architecture being ideal for that type of use.
  • 7 Hide
    daglesj , August 9, 2012 6:01 PM
    jacobdrjNo they will not. Don't be me wrong. I love my little 1st generation Atom netbook.


    You are referring to the old first gen which were 1.6Ghz single core. Yes painful.

    I've been installing 7 and 8 on the current dual core 2.1GHz Atoms and it works perfectly.

    Things have moved on since 2008.
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , August 9, 2012 6:04 PM
    daglesjYou are referring to the old first gen which were 1.6Ghz single core. Yes painful.I've been installing 7 and 8 on the current dual core 2.1GHz Atoms and it works perfectly.Things have moved on since 2008.

    My brother has a 2nd gen 2 core 4 thread Atom and I also have a 1.8 Ghz 2nd Gen desktop Atom for my WHS2011 box. They are fine for what they do, but a tablet interface requires absolutely fluid UI to be accepted. AFAIK the out of order issue has not yet been addressed in the current Atom generation.
  • 1 Hide
    daglesj , August 9, 2012 6:06 PM
    So some form of GPU is in order?

    I guess we'll see.

    Cost will be the biggest issue I fear.
  • 0 Hide
    kawininjazx , August 9, 2012 6:16 PM
    I had an Atom in a netbook, even with an SSD and 2GB of memory, video playback was horrible.
  • 4 Hide
    tntom , August 9, 2012 6:18 PM
    daglesj2GHz+ Atoms with dual core and HT are fine for what this thing will do.You going to do HD video transcoding on it then?


    I understand where you are coming from. But the point of Win8 x86 is not to be equal to an iPad. And once we start seeing some great productivity apps taking advantage of Win8 this will seem very outdated fast.

    In my mind nothing with Atom should be priced over $400 especially when it is minus: Keyboard, Mouse, Optical Drive, and highres display.
  • 5 Hide
    bourgeoisdude , August 9, 2012 6:21 PM
    daglesj2GHz+ Atoms with dual core and HT are fine for what this thing will do.You going to do HD video transcoding on it then?


    kawininjazxI had an Atom in a netbook, even with an SSD and 2GB of memory, video playback was horrible.


    First gen Atoms were crap, even for netbooks. Current gen is sufficient for modern tablets, but barring significant price barriers I'll probably stick with my plans to get the i5 Surface Pro myself.
  • 2 Hide
    CaedenV , August 9, 2012 6:36 PM
    chumlyWhy are they still using Atom processors? This thing is going to be garbage next to an iPad (not an Apple fan).

    theres nothing particularly bad about the Atom CPUs, the current ones have decent GPUs, duel core with HT so it can multi-task, and finally a core clock speed that can actuially do something.

    The issues with the netbooks of old that had Atom in them was mostly that the GPU could barely play back SD video, much less run flash games, or HD video, but this has been taken care of now.
    Atom also suffered on the chipsets which could only support 'up to' 2GB of RAM, and typically only had 1GB which is simply not enough. You pair even an older Atom with 2GB and it acts like a completely different machine, the current ones should be able to handle 4GB of memory, which is more than enough (perhaps overkill) for tablet use.
    The only thing Atom still kinda sucks on is battery. It is still their best CPUs on battery life, but they pit it against ARM CPUs... and there is simply no comparing the two as ARM takes 1/2 to 2/3rds of the load of an Atom. But if it means the difference between being able to run x86 with 1/3 less battery time, or being stuck with winRT or Android with a little more battery, I will pick the x86 every time, because there are a ton of handy little utilities that I would be nearly lost without, and I like that most software will run on it (all be it slowly) where on ARM it simply won't until someone makes an app which will cost more money, have less features, and integreate with the rest of the system less elegantly (not really an issue with ARM, and more an issue of the OSs that run on ARM).
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , August 9, 2012 6:58 PM
    jacobdrjNo they will not. Don't be me wrong. I love my little 1st generation Atom netbook. But there are VERY real problems with the architecture that would make the experience on Windows 8 unbearable... Unless they are using an Atom that will do out of order instruction processing they should have gone with Brazos as the TDP is fairly close and you would have had a better processor and graphics...Optimization only goes so far. Part of the Windows Phone experience is because of the nature of the ARM architecture being ideal for that type of use.

    um, are you not aware that Win8 is very similar to WP7 and there is an ARM version of Win8?
  • -1 Hide
    chumly , August 9, 2012 7:11 PM
    An i3-3217U completely decimates ANY offering from the Atom family of processors, nearly tripling the scores on Cinebench and 3dMark06.

    We can all agree that netbooks were a disaster (have you ever tried to use one?). With all the hype, it just seems to me that this tablet is going to fall short of all expectations. However, I may be talking out my ass til we see a pricetag. If these are costing the consumer less than $250, maybe they'll be happy with their new Windows 8 eReader.
  • 0 Hide
    boogalooelectric , August 9, 2012 8:43 PM
    I bought my wife a lenovo A1 and the device has issues, the wifi loses connection every few minutes and the proprietary apps lenovo installs caused the OS to crash. The lenovo forums indicate this is a widespread problem and the only real fix is to reset to factory default settings. Some complain this happens every month or so. Therefore you lose all your files every month or so.

    I know this is slightly different being a Windows device but I felt people should know that lenovo has issues with their tablets. I would think twice before buying one now.
  • 1 Hide
    belardo , August 9, 2012 9:32 PM
    Why didn't they go with an AMD APU? Their E series chip is faster, better GPU and lower wattage, it's one of the few areas that AMD is actually better than intel. Since this is a x86 class tablet, I see it chugging along compared to android and ipad3.
  • 0 Hide
    irh_1974 , August 9, 2012 10:11 PM
    boogalooelectricI bought my wife a lenovo A1 and the device has issues, the wifi loses connection every few minutes and the proprietary apps lenovo installs caused the OS to crash. The lenovo forums indicate this is a widespread problem and the only real fix is to reset to factory default settings. Some complain this happens every month or so. Therefore you lose all your files every month or so.I know this is slightly different being a Windows device but I felt people should know that lenovo has issues with their tablets. I would think twice before buying one now.

    If you look for a forum on the internet dedicated to endless hardware problems associated with any type of equipment, from toaster ovens to lawn mowers, you will find one and they are all pretty damning about their experiences. What you don't hear about in those forums are the 99.9% of people that bought whatever it was saying that they had no issues whatsoever.
  • 0 Hide
    greghome , August 9, 2012 10:16 PM
    daglesjIf it costs over $500....Will be a lot of nice $2-300 tablets this xmas that wont have Windows 8 on them to compete against.


    Fact: the Thinkpad lines have never really needed to compete with consumer products of lower pricing, it's a commercial product meant for those that need a high end, highly durable laptop/tablet in this case.

    500USD doesn't sound that bad, considering the last Thinkpad Tablet cost as much, but sold pretty well too.
  • 0 Hide
    boogalooelectric , August 9, 2012 10:19 PM
    irh_1974If you look for a forum on the internet dedicated to endless hardware problems associated with any type of equipment, from toaster ovens to lawn mowers, you will find one and they are all pretty damning about their experiences. What you don't hear about in those forums are the 99.9% of people that bought whatever it was saying that they had no issues whatsoever.


    Point taken but we had the issue as well so personal testimony applies to this.
  • 0 Hide
    boogalooelectric , August 9, 2012 10:26 PM
    Furthermore the wifi issue was troubling. We exchanged one hoping it was an anomaly but the second unit had the same issue. My wife decided to overlook that once the replacement arrived. Then the OS crashed and my wife was too frustrated with it to continue. That was a deal breaker. Two major issues, one most likely hardware related and the other software related.

    Buy lenovo if you wish but once you get your shiny new tablet and have intermittent wifi connectivity you will most likely remember my posts and ask yourself "Why did I not listen to that stranger on Toms with the name parodied from an 80's movie?"
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