Page 2 of 2
When we first saw that Lenovo had included a digital pen with the tablet (complete with a red cap, to emulate the legendary ThinkPad Trackpoint), our first question was: okay, if it has a digital pen, does it also have a floppy drive?
Frankly, one seemed as obsolescent as the other. But Lenovo has taken the digital pen into the new tablet era, and has done a great job. In particular, the use of the digital pen with a pre-loaded app, MyScript Notes Mobile, is a breakthrough in tablet-based note-taking. The pen and the app, combined, do what we’ve seen other solutions try and fail for the last decade: simulate the traditional pen and notebook. (Notes Mobile, by the way, does a nice – seemingly effortless - job of converting handwriting into digital text.)
The pre-loaded apps, including Notes Mobile, were almost all good choices. From Docs to Go to Citrix Receiver, from McAfee Security to Google Talk, the pre-loaded apps ensure the tablet is ready for work right out of the box. This is an area where even the better tablet makers have been a little hesitant; but Lenovo’s effort shows that a manufacturer can pre-load basic, effective apps (for tasks like word processing, security and communication) without forcing unwanted bloatware into the box.
Additionally, the ThinkPad Tablet is pre-enabled with Absolute Software’s Computrace- to provide a “persistent connection” to the device in case it’s lost or stolen. While other tablets support “find-my-device” and remote wipe and lock apps, the pre-enablement of Computrace is a very nice touch.
And Lenovo has cleaned up the Android 3.1 GUI, and developed a feature called the “Zone,” a butterfly-like navigational device on the home screen that will support pre-loaded buttons for features including watching video, email, e-books and music – as well as launching the device’s browser. Additionally, Lenovo has created a sort of “wonder wheel” to navigate (by touch) screens and apps.
Like competing tablets, the ThinkPad Tablet is built with two cameras – a front-facing camera and a rear-facing camera for both video and still images. (The cameras also support scanning documents to PDF or bar-code scanning.)
And, like competing tablets, the ThinkPad Tablet is built with a GPS antenna. We found its ability to pinpoint location to be accurate within about 10 yards. The built-in Lenovo file navigation system is also one of the best we’ve seen in an Android device to date – making it easier and more intuitive than ever to locate documents, photos, music, video or presentations.
If there is a downside to the ThinkPad Tablet, it’s the on-board speakers; the audio was much softer than we’re used to from tablets and was actually softer than the speakers built into the iPhone 4.
Other vendors have released tablets after falling behind companies like Apple and Samsung, which have launched mega-successful and very successful tablets, respectively. These vendors have had varying levels of success with one, Hewlett-Packard, failing so badly that it wound up getting out of the business after six weeks despite having a unique operating system in WebOS.
What makes Lenovo’s effort a successful one, and worth the wait, is that it is exactly what an enterprise could use in an Android tablet: a secure, QA-tested, differentiated tablet that comes in at a competitive starting price point of $499.
The Lenovo ThinkPad tablet is a great tablet for business, and a device that you can can actually work on and one that would make a smart introduction for enterprises into the tablet world. The CRN Test Center can recommend this device strongly.
<< Previous | 1 | 2