Lenovo No Longer Producing 8-inch Windows Tablets

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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  • eklipz330
    "no one in america is buying our crappy product, so we're going to sell it to people who appreciate our crap"
  • jasonelmore
    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.
  • DarkSable
    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...
  • Bloob
    "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?
  • stevejnb
    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.
  • JD88
    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.
  • teh_chem
    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.
  • Shin-san
    The Thinkpad 8's price wasn't bad, but there are a lot of full-sized laptops you can get for the same price.
  • waethorn
    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.
  • VegasGuy55
    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