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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2

A slick, expensive jack-of-all-trades

ThinkPad Tablet 2
ThinkPad Tablet 2

The ThinkPad Tablet 2 is a device that's between worlds. As a tablet it's solid if expensive, and in its dock, it does a decent ultrabook impression, but lacks the grunt and portability of similiarly priced computing options.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 review

Still, it's handsome, has great battery life and the keyboard dock is good enough to actually get some typing done with. So can we reccomend the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 in spite of its faults? Let's break it down.

We liked

The tablet's matte black finish is very sharp, and feels nice to grip. With that and it's red on black keyboard, it definitely looks like a ThinkPad.

It also types like a ThinkPad. As far as functionality, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 has one of the best keyboard docks we've used. The keys are just big enough, provide enough press and are laid out well, so we're not making constant errors. It also syncs flawlessly using Bluetooth.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 review

There's also a good selection of ports. Having a full-sized USB 2.0 port is handy, and so is the microSD support.

Thanks to the Intel Atom processor, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 boasts battery life in the 8-10 hour range. That's a real asset for a travel machine.

So is the option of picking up 4G LTE support from AT&T.

Finally, having the full compatibility of Windows 8 brings a lot to the table. A ton of old Windows "legacy" software you already own are compatible with this tablet.

We disliked

We have our complaints, but the only real deal-breaker is price. At $729/£485, the ThinkPad Tablet 2 is an expensive slate. Tack on the extra cash for much-needed accessories like the keyboard dock and carrying case, and you're brushing up against ultrabook pricing.

And ultrabooks/laptops are just so much more functional. They can fold up for fast transportation, and don't need pricey cases and accessories to be packed up or get the job done.

Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 review

The dock leaves something to be desired in the way it holds the slate. The angle is not perfect for use at a desk, and if you shift around with it on your lap there's a good chance it will topple forward.

There are also a lot of mini-ports on on this machine, which means purchasing and packing those annoying little dongles everyone loves so much.

While this tablet may have Windows 8, it can't run everything that OS offers due to processor limitations. The Intel Atom provides great battery life, but does so by sacrificing performance. Don't expect a do-it-all machine here.

Finally, a 64GB SSD is none too big for a slate at this price.

Final Verdict

We like the Lenovo ThinkPad 2, but just barely. It won us over with its good looks, solid keyboard and excellent battery life. Still, we'd never recommend it as your sole computing option. This is a traveler's device, for when you don't have the bag space for a real computer.

This tablet will save your shoulders, and keep you entertained and productive while on the road. It's well built, and Lenovo is offering some very smart, but pricey, accessories. However, we do have to say that you could get a lot more functionality if you spend a bit more and spring for an ultrabook, or spend the same amount of cash and put up with the weight of a laptop.

Despite that, if you're in the love with the tablet and dock set up (we're not), you won't do much better than the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. It's handsome, functional and long lasting. We'd be glad to have it as a travel companion, as long as the trip wasn't too long.