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Old September 22nd, 2011, 09:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ThinkPad Tablet Mini Review

I am on the pilot team for the ThinkPad Tablet with my company. Since no one has posted here yet on it I thought I would start it off with a mini review.

Two weeks ago I was given a 32GB version with the stylus and keyboard folio.

Things I liked....

Build quality

It is tough. I mean this thing is a ThinkPad so what did I expect right? But seriously I have friends with an iPad, Tab, and even a Toshiba and the TPT feels much more stout. The rubberized feel to the back means it doesn't slide around in my car as much. Adding Gorilla Glass is just an added benefit.

A word on the display. Rich. I come from the LCD world and the IPS glass Lenovo uses is good, just shy of great. The blacks are deep and rich and the brightness turned on full is completely readable in direct sunlight. I use mine as an ebook reader in between appointments and more than once I found myself sitting outside of a building reading a book in the middle of the day.

Peripherals

We all know the money in these devices are in the software and peripherals. I am hesitant to buy the name brand peripherals, but since mine came with a few I'll speak to them.

The keyboard folio is just flat out sick. I could almost use this as a notebook replacement with that thing...almost. They keys feel like a ThinkPad and the optical stick is probably better than the stick in my actual ThinkPad. They really hit the nail on the head with the keyboard folio. If I had one complaint it would be that the TPT and folio combo is a bit bulky and heavy, but considering you can just tear the slate out of the folio and use it as a tablet I'll take they extra heft.

The stylus comes with most of the TPT's but I will still classify it as a peripheral. The stylus is one of the things that absolutely makes the TPT better than anything else that is out there. I have used an iPad with an aftermarket stylus and the TPT just flat out blows it out of the water. I will touch some of that when I talk about software, but let me just say this. If you want to go paperless the TPT might be able to accomplish that for you. There is a learning curve, but I've had mine for 2 weeks and I haven't written a thing on paper for work in that time.

Included Software

This will be in likes and dislikes, but here are my likes.

Notes...

Not Lotus Notes, but Notes. It is part of the package with the stylus. If you were to consider getting the TPT for a single reason this is it. Yes it is that good. I was shocked at how good it translates my chicken scratch into actual text. Almost no lag and the palm rejection is just outstanding. I cannot say enough good about this program. And as good as it is I suspect it will just get better. Now that the developer has a partner in Lenovo that can show off it's capabilities.

Task switcher. Lenovo did an excellent job with the task switcher/Killer. Just a quick tap on the bottom bar and there are all of your apps running. You can switch to them or close them out right there.

Features.

There area few features that are specific to the end user that I really liked and there are some that are specific to the IT staff that while they don't pertain directly to me as the end user they make the management of the device better and I understand how/why they are important.

Full sized USB port. The full sized USB port is good for what it is right out of the box, but I suspect that drivers will be written for it that will bring some cool things like LTE. Right now I use it for transferring files from co-workers/friends/whatever. The TPT sees the drive and sets it up as an additional SD card according to the TPT and transferring files is a breeze. Plus it allows the use of the keyboard folio that I spoke to earlier.

Full sized SD card slot. Two words "Cheaper Memory". When I get some time I am going to experiment with my eye-fi in my camera. It would be pretty cool to have it set up to just move my pictures to my media server or some aggregator like flicker on the fly.

Cameras. Both are pretty good, better than the iPad in fact. If I had more time I'd put some samples up. I may still in this thread later on, but suffice it to say the camera is more than sufficient. The front facing camera works well with Skype and Google Video. I use my tablet to talk to my kids when I travel.

Hard buttons. Just having soft buttons or a single button drives me insane and one of the main reasons I don't like apple products. Give me some hard buttons especially ones I can customize and I'm in.

IT based features I think are cool. Remote locate and wipe, management features (Can be managed on our companies Windows network), encrypted memory (Both main and SD card)

Things I didn't like.

Klunky customizations. Lenovo tried valiantly to tweak Honeycomb to make a difference and some work, like the task switcher/killer, but most just seem klunky and slow the TPT down a bit. The main widget on main page is cool at first with 4 big buttons for your main programs that are customizable and a center button for the browser, but in the end it takes up too much space and already being an Android user with my DINC I found it better to delete it and just arrange the main screen to my liking with my commonly used programs and widgets that I actually use.

Sound is too soft. I am getting hard of hearing in my later years and I need it to be quite a bit louder. The out put on the included headphone jack is pretty good, but could also be a but louder.

Glossy screen is a fingerprint magnet. They should include an anti glare cover with the device that you can decide if you want to use it or not. I hate glossy screens. They are just meant to sell at the store, but they don't add any benefit in actual use. (Remember I came from the LCD world and speak from actual experience).

This is more a complaint for all tablet devices, but there is no real way to output analog video. The TPT comes with a mini-HDMI which works well, but it would be great if there was some way to output analog. Most projectors I deal with when I am onsite with a customer are analog only the newest projectors are HDMI or Display Port. Something that would solve this is to work with Intel and find a way to incorporate WiDi, Intel's Wireless Display protocol, but since Oak Trail is around the corner I suspect Intel will release that feature with their own chipset.

Conclusion...

I'm in, all in actually. I use mine ever single day. I stopped using paper and don't take my actual ThinkPad with me when I am out on calls unless I know I am doing a presentation. Despite its obvious limitations it is a fabulous device that gives me hope that the next version of the TPT from Lenovo will be better and continue to get better.

Mine was the WiFi only version so I couldn't really speak to the WWAN capabilities, but it would be nice if Lenovo had an LTE version.

A quick note on rooting and custom ROMs. I know that Lenovo is offering custom ROMs for its customers, which is pretty cool, but the device at the end user level seems pretty locked down. My DINC is rooted so I can get rid of the bloatware among other things, but that doesn't seem to be a problem with the TPT. It works well out of the box for what I want it to do. I think of it this way. If I my company is going to give me one of these I really don't care if it is rooted. It does what I want right out of the box and I haven't seen any limitations so far that would make me feel like I have to root the device. So I will sit here quietly and take my bone stock TPT that my company gave me and love every single minute of it.

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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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thanks for the review.
I would hope that others who have bought the TP Tablet would also add their reviews.

Don't be shy.
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Old October 5th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the review.

I test the same model but with WWAN. For now a have a big trouble with switching from Wi-Fi to WWAN. Once i connect to WWAN i canīt switch back to Wi-Fi.
All Wi-Fi networks are in status "Not in range."
Anyone has the same trouble ? Is there any way to update or smth like that ?

Thanks
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Old October 7th, 2011, 02:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, got this tablet. Overall nice piece of hardware. But software gives a lot of errors... Lenovo should make updates quickly. Otherwise there will be a lot of not happy customers... Can not help with WiFi-WWAN switching. Still do not have spare sim to put in.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 03:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello few members,
I'm going to give a mini review of my purchase. I placed the order on oct 2 and got it thursday oct 6 last week. I have a thinkpad laptop, so when I opened the box I was happy to have a familiar feel and look. The hardware is awesome. All the features are pretty sweet, but I haven't been able to use everything like the HDMI port. The stylus is an awesome feature, and one reason I wanted this tablet. Problems I am having are software issues, but I am waiting for the update. rotating takes a little long. unlocking the screen from sleep seems to have a lag issue or response problem. Sometimes I have to double tap it to get it to register. Pen does have some problems on SketchBookPro, but I am sure its all software. Tablet does take a bit to load when turning on. charging is a little slow. Note taking is great and will probably never have to use paper again. I do think its sad that a lot of people are dismissing this device. I do think this product has a lot of potential, and once the software/bugs are solved it will be on top. I have used the Samsung galaxy, but felt I was just using a huge phone. I like mine so far and plan to keep it. I do recommend this device. Sorry for any grammatical errors.
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Old November 3rd, 2011, 03:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi members,

I just bought the TPT (62GB) and tried few things. with the existing Video player, I can not play video with WMV and MOV format. I have tried to install ARCMedia (the one that can run under Android 2.2.1 and I have used it with my another tablet), however with this one the file can not be run.

I read from other article that honeycomb is not compatible for WMV file. Then, how can I play my previous movie (in WMV format) or tutorial video (in MOV Format) for learning purposes?

Hope somebody can share how to solve this issue?

Thanks.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 09:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi guys. thanks for the reviews. I really loved the tablet and thinking about buying one, it is seams much better than any of existing tablets. so please, as i want it to be instead of my X200 i have couple of questions:
1. can you import files from Notes (that you can write with stylus) software to MS Office?
2. is it possible to connect HDD of 500G or 1T via usb?
3. can u use stylus in office-to-go to mark or sign documents? or to make any notes on it?
4. is it possible to hand-write an emails?

tnx in advance!
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Old November 21st, 2011, 02:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Looking forward to getting my 64GB model in the AM. I need something to allow me to take notes at jobsites and a few images of progress for owners of properties my company works for. If it had 3G I would really be in great shape, will get a 3G model the day I can.

If this works as good as what the OP says for Notes, I will be very happy.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 10:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Can anyone with a Lenovo tablet find out/tell me if one can put on a different Home launcher like ADW, or Launcher Pro.

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Old November 29th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twospirits View Post
Can anyone with a Lenovo tablet find out/tell me if one can put on a different Home launcher like ADW, or Launcher Pro.
TS
Yes you can!

I'll try to add an image in a second post (I'm not allowed in my first post)
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Old November 29th, 2011, 02:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's my ADW-setup:
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Old November 29th, 2011, 11:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Problem with downloading apps

This is (perhaps) a strange one. I had no problems downloading apps from any website. Now, I cannot download any. Sometimes it just says "downloading in progress" or sometimes I get all the usual screens - OK for permissions, Open or Done when complete, etc..

Regardless, no apps have been added. Has a setting changed?
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Old November 29th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks for the image and the response.

man, this tablet is looking nicer by the minute. Its either between the Toshiba Thrive, Lenovo Thinkpad and the Asus Prime.
All things considered...
Thrive wins on full size hdmi, and price
Thinkpad wins on that pen, keyboard/trackpad
and the Prime wins on past reviews (can't tell about the new one yet) and dock.

So far the Thinkpad is wining me over. Knowing that ICS will be on it as per Lenovo website, is even better.



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