Lenovo has always been known for its innovative products. It has recently come up with the all new ThinkPad 8. Windows 8 systems are in the midst of an identity crisis of sorts. This operating system was supposed to be a window to the future of global computing. However, it has now been installed and incorporated onto desktops and laptops where it is not quite the right fit. Microsoft has been tweaking and changing the system with newer additions to catch the fancy of users. However, nothing seems to be working in this regard. However, Microsoft has been quite firm about the fact that Windows 8 is an operating system meant for almost every kind of device and is meant to fulfill every possible need.
While that is a tall order, the Surface was created to prove this very point and there are various devices that have come out with the Windows operating installed onto the same. The all new Lenovo ThinkPad 8 is a slate priced at around $399 in global markets and it will be taking on laptops and tablets in tandem. This represents what Windows attempted to signify to the new generation of customers, namely, fulfillment of every possible need for every type of user. Lenovo has churned out decent devices based on the Windows 8 platform and the laptops made by this company have always been known for versatility and reliability. However, this time, the company has gone for a fabulous machine brain enclosed in a normal tablet chassis. Will it be a hit? Let’s find out!
The iPad mini must have served as the original inspiration for the design and overall look of the ThinkPad 8. There is a magnetized flip cover named the Quick shot cover which turns the tablet on once you open it up and this has also been taken from the Smart Cover available on the iPad’s that launch the camera application and reveal the lens. The iPad formula has been tweaked to perfection by Lenovo almost everywhere on this device and it surprisingly feels competent both to use and to look at as well. The device comes with corners that have gentle tapering and are well rounded, making it great to hold and the tablet is a wee bit heavier as compared to the iPad mini which is not a deterrent for effective usage. In fact, the ThinkPad 8 deserves special mention for its razor sharp display of 8.3 inches, with resolution standing at 1920 x 1200 and visibility is top notch even under direct sunlight. Touch mechanisms elicit prompt responses but there is no support for a stylus.
This is noticeable as the user interface and applications present on Windows 8 are ideal for a stylus. This is something that can be a sore point for users with regard to fast and smooth selection of on-screen options. The ThinkPad 8 performs brilliantly when it comes to reading e-books, watching television and movies and also surfing the internet. The battery life on the ThinkPad 8 is decent enough, with close to seven hours of uninterrupted usage for customers.
This does not quite match up to a full blown PC and delivers well if you are looking to get access to basic applications on the same. The Intel Bay Trail processor powers this device and it is compatible with almost every kind of Windows based application. Windows 8.1 Pro is used by the device but gamers will be a tad disappointed. Desktop mode is a little hard to use without a stylus and you are better off using a Bluetooth enabled mouse and keyboard to get all your work done. A MicroUSB 3.0 port is also available and you can also plug in another monitor via the HDMI port embedded into the ThinkPad 8 in case of serious computing needs. While this device is billed as a device for just about any customer need, this is not entirely the case as mentioned earlier.
This is a tablet that can turn into something more only if you use the right computing accessories or add-ons. The Think Pad 8 can be turned into a usable desktop if you want but by and large it is a decent enough tablet and cannot be taken as a full blown computer. Where this device scores is its feel-good design even though it is clearly inspired by the Apple iPad mini. Alongside, the features are decent enough and the Windows store offers quite a lot for those who are interested. Yet, the stylus will be sorely missed by serious tablet users with regard to getting work done on time. This is something that Lenovo might think of correcting if and when the next upgrade comes along. Otherwise, this device deserves brownie points for its design, form, features and overall competence.
Google services have considerably improved these days and the increasing adoption of Google Drive and services like Dropbox have made work a lot easier from various locations. Hardware does not occupy pride of place now; software and services are all that matters. As long as we possess Office Online, Gmail and Outlook, work can be done courtesy any device, be it an old desktop, a top notch tablet like the ThinkPad 8 or even a MacBook Air. In this context, will users consider it viable to choose a device that does almost everything decently, but nothing very perfectly? That is the big question in this case. Battery life is not all that great and it is not like Windows offers you more apps than you can possibly expect. These are factors that might just cut into the overall appeal of the Lenovo ThinkPad 8.
Yet, clearly, this is not the sudden, radical future of computing as it is made out to be. The ThinkPad 8 can only be a basic, functional and handy all-in one device for its users and this is why it should be drawing a large majority of customers instead of reaching out to the high tech crowd.