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Lenovo No Longer Producing 8-inch Windows Tablets

By - Source: PCWorld | B 19 comments

Just recently, a spokesperson for Lenovo acknowledged that the company has decided not to sell 8-inch Windows-based tablets here in North America. That includes the 8-inch Miix 2, which launched back in October 2013, and the ThinkPad 8, which was released in January. The representative said that American consumers have a strong interest in the larger 10.1-inch tablets, but less interest in the smaller models.

"In other markets, particularly Brazil, China, and Japan, the demand for ThinkPad 8 has been much stronger, so we are adjusting our ThinkPad 8 inventories to meet increasing demand in those markets. If market demand for ThinkPad 8 changes, we will re-evaluate our strategy," said Lenovo's Raymond Gorman.

PCWorld reports that the ThinkPad 8 is probably the most feature-packed Windows tablet so far, with a USB 3.0 port and a 1080p screen. But the tablet has had its share of problems related to the battery, connectivity, screen and charging. The remaining ThinkPad 8 stock will be shipped off to developing countries that have a large interest in smaller tablets.

As for the Miix 2, the 8-inch version currently lists on Lenovo's website as "sold out," and there's no indication that it will go on sale here in North America again. However, the 10.1-inch Miix 2 can be purchased straight from Lenovo's online store for $499.

Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research, told PCWorld that it's impossible for small Windows-based tablets to compete with Android. He says that it's easier to use Windows 8 on the larger models, that it just doesn't make sense to have a small Windows tablet.

Currently, Acer, Dell, Toshiba and several other companies sell Windows-based tablets under 9 inches. Microsoft was said to be gearing up to launch an 8-inch Surface tablet of its own in May, but pulled out at the very last minute, choosing to debut the Surface Pro 3 on its own instead. Right now, there are supposedly thousands of the Surface Mini units stashed away in one of Microsoft's warehouses, waiting to be shipped.

Is this why Microsoft chose not to launch the Surface Mini? The Office 2013 "Gemini" apps are partially to blame, and may not surface until 2015. Microsoft wanted something to distinguish Surface Mini from a large number of similarly-sized tablets, and the Modern UI Office apps were it. Now with Lenovo pulling out of the 8-inch Windows tablet business in North America, Microsoft may decide to send its Surface Mini tablets overseas first before unleashing them here in the U.S.

Maybe what the 8-inch Windows market needs is the Surface Mini to lead the way. Microsoft introduced Windows 8.1 with Bing back in May, and it is free to hardware manufacturers. Microsoft launched this platform in retaliation against Google's Android, which doesn't require a licensing fee. The only requirements Microsoft is asking for is that devices ship with Bing as the default search engine in Internet Explorer.

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  • 2 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 18, 2014 5:16 PM
    "no one in america is buying our crappy product, so we're going to sell it to people who appreciate our crap"
  • 4 Hide
    jasonelmore , July 18, 2014 6:03 PM
    They can say whatever they want but i now for a fact that Dell has sold a crap load of Dell Venue 8 Pro's. As a freelance tech, it's the best tool purchase i've made in 2 years. I can do all of my paperwork and get all my signatures, plus do all my network testing.

    combine it with a leather keyboard case and you've got a laptop the size of a bible.
  • 3 Hide
    DarkSable , July 18, 2014 6:08 PM
    It doesn't surprise me that 'us' Americans only want bigger flashier things. The rage over 4k monitors is that you can have a gorgeous 30"+ monitor. Are you kidding me? I'd take a 4k 24" monitor ANY day over those hideous things. It would have way higher pixel density, it wouldn't hurt your eyeballs to look at, it would be far easier to have in a small room...
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    Bloob , July 19, 2014 12:58 AM
    "Lenovo No Longer Producing 8-inch Windows Tablets" - "that the company has decided not to sell 8-inch Windows-based tablets here in North America"

    Am I missing something or are those totally not the same thing?
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , July 19, 2014 6:36 AM
    As with many Windows based tablet devices, the Achilles heels of these things seems to be price. People have shown they're willing to pay a bit of money for a notably hardware flawed Android tablet if the price is low enough, and I'm sure there is a market that would do that for these devices - but not at that price.
  • 0 Hide
    JD88 , July 19, 2014 6:36 AM
    Is the desktop even usable on an 8" tablet? Every time I look at them in the store I look at them again and come to the same conclusion: No it really isn't. If it's not, what you are left with is an 8" tablet running modern apps only. If that's the case, then it would seem like a tablet Android or iOS would be a much better option.
  • 0 Hide
    teh_chem , July 19, 2014 6:41 AM
    I'm not surprised. Windows tablets can be far more useful for productivity than content-consumption. As such, a larger screen is much more preferable. Curious how other OEM 8" tablets are doing, and how this is going to impact MSFT release their Surface Mini.
  • 0 Hide
    Shin-san , July 19, 2014 11:16 AM
    The Thinkpad 8's price wasn't bad, but there are a lot of full-sized laptops you can get for the same price.
  • 2 Hide
    waethorn , July 19, 2014 11:20 AM
    Misleading headline. It's not that they're NOT producing 8" Windows tablets - they're just not selling them into the North American market anymore.
  • 0 Hide
    Billy Gates , July 19, 2014 11:40 AM
    That's what happens when you try to put out PCs in a Post-PC era.
  • 0 Hide
    VegasGuy55 , July 19, 2014 6:22 PM
    Already denied by Lenovo, so this article really is pointless - http://www.winbeta.org/news/lenovo-we-are-not-getting-out-small-screen-windows-81-tablet-business
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , July 19, 2014 8:50 PM
    Quote:
    Is the desktop even usable on an 8" tablet? Every time I look at them in the store I look at them again and come to the same conclusion: No it really isn't. If it's not, what you are left with is an 8" tablet running modern apps only. If that's the case, then it would seem like a tablet Android or iOS would be a much better option.


    Uh... you're really pawning an opinion off as fact here JD. Lots of people are using the desktop on 8 in tables quite well and, frankly, it's nice to have since a lot of things can be done on the desktop that simply can't be done off of it. What's more, you completely ignore that it's especially nice to have when you output to a larger screen, something that a lot of Windows 8 tablets do quite well. You also downplay that. Metro is itself is far from a shabby tablet GUI and its vastly superior multitasking alone makes a strong case for using it ahead of iOS and Android for work if one were to completely ignore the tremendous utility of having a desktop.

    Great for you that you've come to conclusion that some MS product isn't up to snuff - big shocker coming from a guy who has shown the rational detachment and freedom from bias that you have when it comes to MS products. The fact that quite a few people are using the desktop successfully on 8 inch tablets rather undermines your opinion as something we should take seriously on the issue though.
  • 0 Hide
    icemunk , July 20, 2014 5:40 AM
    It might have something to do with the upcoming $100 8" windows 8.1 tablets that will be coming out in the next month or two...
  • 0 Hide
    2Be_or_Not2Be , July 21, 2014 9:18 AM
    Quote:
    They can say whatever they want but i now for a fact that Dell has sold a crap load of Dell Venue 8 Pro's. As a freelance tech, it's the best tool purchase i've made in 2 years. I can do all of my paperwork and get all my signatures, plus do all my network testing.


    I'm curious - besides the price difference, does the slower Atom processor make a difference? Is the performance acceptable because it's just a test tool?

    I have wondered why people would buy a Atom-based Venue Pro over a Surface Pro, besides the obvious one - the price differential.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , July 21, 2014 12:11 PM
    Quote:
    I'm curious - besides the price difference, does the slower Atom processor make a difference? Is the performance acceptable because it's just a test tool?

    I have wondered why people would buy a Atom-based Venue Pro over a Surface Pro, besides the obvious one - the price differential.

    The newer Silvermont architecture is much better than the older Atoms. It takes some key ideas from the Sandy/Ivy/Haswell architecture to make things more efficient. My co-worker runs Sim City 5 and Civ5 on his Dell Venue without much problem.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , July 21, 2014 2:26 PM
    Wait, I thought the Dell Venue was passively cooled? If so, Civ V running on a passively cooled tablet? My Iconia W700 - using an i5 processor - kicks up the fan pretty fast when playing Civ V. Doesn't have trouble running it, but it does get warm even with the fan.
  • 0 Hide
    RedJaron , July 21, 2014 2:49 PM
    Quote:
    Wait, I thought the Dell Venue was passively cooled? If so, Civ V running on a passively cooled tablet? My Iconia W700 - using an i5 processor - kicks up the fan pretty fast when playing Civ V. Doesn't have trouble running it, but it does get warm even with the fan.

    You're comparing a 17W chip running at 1920x1080 to a 2.2W chip running at 1280x800 ( with lower detail settings. ) It can get a little toasty, but no more than say an iPad playing Infinity Blade. Try to put it through some demanding stuff for too long, and yeah, you might see some thermal quirks.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , July 21, 2014 3:10 PM
    Thanks - neat to know anyways. I was running under the assumption even mid level full blown games like Civ V were beyond passively cooled machines at this point - nice to know that is not the case. Definitely increases my interest in an Atom powered Windows 8 tablet...
  • 0 Hide
    w8gaming , July 21, 2014 8:16 PM
    Well when it comes to watching video or reading books, a 8" W8 tablet works just as well as an Android or iPad. In fact, the video playback (desktop app) in Windows is far superior than Android or iPad with zero compatibility issue whatsoever. Unlike other platform you might encounter video format which cannot sync the sound properly or no sound at all. As for using desktop in a small 8" form factor, some of us know how to properly navigate it but I supposed not everyone has good eyesight.