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Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet Unboxing and First Impressions



The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet has finally landed. After many weeks of merely consoling myself with hands-on videos and product shots, I finally have the tablet in my hands. I’ll be putting the ThinkPad through its paces this weekend and have a review for you all as soon as possible. In the meantime, here are some unboxing shots for you.

I’ve been trying it out for a few hours and so far it’s just like the demo units I’ve seen in the past — speedy, beautiful and responsive screen, and lighter than it would seem from the thickness. And, honestly, it’s not that thick. Yes, the iPad is thicker, but the iPad is also a toy compared to this.

Thinkpad Tablet physical buttons

I’m very much a fan of the physical buttons along the side. Though Google thinks that buttons are necessary, I heartily disagree. Plus, I was a fan of the button on Lenovo’s consumer tablet, the IdeaPad K1. These buttons aren’t quite as minimal and elegant as the K1’s. That’s to be expected from a ThinkPad — utility before beauty.

I haven’t received the folio keyboard yet, but the stylus did come with the review unit. So I fired up the notes application and wrote “Hello tablet, how are you today?” The result was, well…

Handwriting recognized?

Obviously the tablet decided it needed a name. From now on, I will refer to it as L-dog.

Just like the IdeaPad, the ThinkPad comes with a long list of pre-installed apps. This is not a bad thing, as many of them are extremely useful, including the Notes app pictured above.

As I test the ThinkPad Tablet, what tasks and apps should I use to test it? Anything you want to know about its features?



  1. Anonymous

    09/23/2011 at 10:51 pm

    is there a way to totally disable touch from the settings and use stylus only input?  i heard there was this feature (or great palm rejection) in the native notes app, but I’m wondering if i can do this in other apps (such as drawing/art apps)  where i don’t want touch to interfere with the stylus

    • K. T. Bradford

      09/27/2011 at 8:42 pm

      I don’t think so, but I will delve into the settings to find out. There is palm rejection in the Notes app, but it’s not 100% reliable.

  2. Dennisvjames

    09/24/2011 at 12:59 am

    I also could care less about converting my scribbles to text. I like having a few descriptive word then I just want to take notes. Can you turn off transcription?

  3. Dennisvjames

    09/24/2011 at 1:00 am

    Also you can’t stop here. Please give us some meat!!! Keep going…


  4. Sifranci

    09/24/2011 at 1:19 am

    Can you goto a PDF file and use the stylus, and do Zoom in and out and use the sylus and do everything with a PDF. I dont need lenovo to transcribe what I am writting, I just wanna see how good it is taking notes on PDF files plus zooming in and out and seeing the clarity of the image. thanks

    • Tuur

      09/26/2011 at 9:23 am

      that’s my big question too! PDF annotating is all I care about with a tablet.
      And… battery duration

  5. Steve N

    09/24/2011 at 1:47 am

    Will the stylus work with any application or just the notes program and PDF annotation? For example, can I mark up a document in Docs to Go? 

  6. aarick

    09/24/2011 at 3:19 am

    Mainly want to know how good the pen is and the hand writing recognition. Also, would be good to see how good it handles different HD video format? Thanks.

  7. Jonathan Alligood

    09/24/2011 at 5:07 am

    @cheenbean:disqus  cheen Not that I can tell, you can’t turn touch off. but their is palm rejection in the bundled apps

     @bb192585dcc6dd6d49c8f63145a2c551:disqus  you can turn off transcription in the bundled app yes.

    @34a1cee947e81a0c2621a31ce73b2ae4:disqus  it should work with any app, it can manuver the android home screen and it’s seen as a point of touch in all apps, works great in Sketch book.

    I wish EverNote had writing in their android app =/.

    the recognition is ok, not as good as Window’s but decent. i have terrible hand writing though,  so i fool a lot of these things. lol

    • Rohithcms

      09/25/2011 at 8:13 am

      how is the thinkpad tablet 

  8. LV

    09/24/2011 at 7:23 am

    How does it take notes on a pdf document?  That would be the main reason why I’d jump on this tablet.

  9. Willem Evenhuis

    09/24/2011 at 9:41 am

    Hello Mr. Bradford,Thanks for the teaser. A couple of questions of the Lenovo tablet.1. What is the battery life like on a normal day, with the system on power save mode and maximum use?2. What is the experience of the screen in outdoor light?3. Are all apps supported in both portrait and landscape mode?4. Is GPS supported in this tablet?5. What is the inking experience like?6. Is there adequate inking support in android 3.x?7. Do the inking apps have a learning function in the handwriting recogntion, e.g. like in the windows TIP?8. Can the inked page be saved to a file for later use, e.g. to send as a file to someone?9. Do the ink note taking apps have functionality like the live syncronised sound recording, like in the HTC flyer?10. How many levels of pressure sensitivity can you make up when writing?11. What is the quality of the camera like?12. Does android already have other supported inking apps, and what are the like?13. Is there an inking widget for android 3.x?14. Does the screen support palm rejection?15. Does android have a snipping app?Thanks. 

  10. Kevin

    09/24/2011 at 11:00 am


    1. Is there one master notebook, or can you have different notebooks
    2. In the Notes app, can you change the paper, can you change the paper to landscape
    3. Can you incorporate audio, video and pictures into a note
    4. Can you sync a note to meeting on your calendar
    5. Is text searchable across notes
    6. What programs / apps sync with the Notes feature such as Dropbox, Evernote, etc
    7. Can you open a PDF from the web and annotate
    8. Can you convert a web page into a PDF to annotate

    • Mjktechgeek

      09/24/2011 at 12:57 pm

      1. Yes. You can create your own notebooks.
      2. No. No paper options and you can only use in portrait mode.
      3. No. No audio. You can add images, but is not like OneNote in Windows 7. Not very robust, just simple.
      4. No. You can’t use these notes outside of the app.
      5. No searchable text anywhere on this tablet.
      6. No syncing. There is a custom lenovo app called arcsync that is similar to dropbox but that is it. Only other options are to email as an image file or to print them. Very limited capability.
      7. No. Thereis no pdf annotation software with this device. You must purchase one of two third party apps available in the market. Both are limited and very cumbersome to annotate PDF’s. Adobe makes a pdf converter program that is $10 which allows you to convert mostdocuments intoo pdf format. Still very poor implementation for pdf annotation and no ink options for color or size.
      8. No. Can’t convert a web page to pdf. No screen shot inking like with the htc flyer.
      9. Inking becomes erradic after 5 or 6 pages of notes. I regularly take 10 to 11 pages of notes in every college class and the inking always acts up after 5 or 6. Vectoring, skipping, no recognition. Very annoying. There is a third party app in the market called Writepad that actually hasmore options than the My Notes program that is built in. There are still inking problems after several pages of notes.
      10. SD cards larger than 32GB will not work.
      11. Battery life is terrible. About 4 hours max with screen at 50% and WiFi on. Nice screen, but really needs to be used at maximum brightness which sucks the battery.
      12. Very slow to recharge. About 6-8 hours and the tablet must be turned off to charge. The ac adapter only offers a trickle charge. Lenovo recommends you purchase the desktop dock if you want to charge quickly. Don’t expect to take this tablet to school or business and expect to use it for 8 to 10 hours as Lenovo markets it.
      13. Speaker volume is super low.
      14. This screen attracts hand oilsand fingerprints worse than any other tablet screen I have tried. I clean my screen regularly too.
      15. You can use the stylus to interact with any screen, unlike te htc flyer, but you can’t write on any screen in any program like the flyer. No included program for inking on photos and there are only a few available in the market. They don’t work very well.

      This tablet could have been so much better, but once again a manufacterer falls short. This is a very limited tablet. Sure, it provides more options than your average Android tablet, but doesn’t come close to touching a Windows tablet. I would wait for the Samsung 7 Windows tablet on October 2nd.

      • Kevin

        09/24/2011 at 3:11 pm

        Thanks …. Looks like I wait for Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet #2 …. really appreciate your reply … saves me time, money and frustration …

      • Kevin

        09/24/2011 at 3:18 pm

        Are you referring to the Samsung Series 7 Slate? Sounds intriguing, thanks again!

        • Mjktechgeek

          09/25/2011 at 4:34 pm

          Yes. Core i5, 4GB RAM, 11.6″ 400 nit display, wacom digitizer, 7 hour battery life. Should be compatible with Windows 8 too.

      • Gaston Huot

        10/10/2011 at 3:12 am

        Good review. Thanks

  11. Paul StJohn Mackintosh

    09/24/2011 at 1:56 pm

    How can you export converted text into other apps?

    • Mjktechgeek

      09/25/2011 at 4:36 pm

      Only as an image file through email, print or arcsync. No other options.

    • K. T. Bradford

      09/27/2011 at 8:45 pm

      You can export as an image file or as text depending on whether the app has transcribed the text from your handwriting or not.

  12. Paul StJohn Mackintosh

    09/25/2011 at 5:06 pm

    So once you’ve handwritten something in the notes app, and the HWR has converted that to regular text, is there no way, for instance, to sync it to Evernote and get that regular text into the other application? Because if not, whatever use is there in the HWR?

    If you can try the ThinkPad out with Writepad and one or two of the other HWR apps available on the Android Market, I’d welcome it. 

  13. research paper

    09/28/2011 at 4:32 pm

    I don’t like this. It’s hard in use for me.

  14. David Campion

    10/02/2011 at 12:00 am

    While the iPad now has the ability to print to, for example, one of the new Internet-enabled HP Enviro 100 printers, the Lenovo Android Tablet appears to be lacking such a facility. The only solution for E-mails appears to be to forward them to a PC for printing. Nevertheless, first impressions, after a week of use, are good and this could be an iPad beater because of its greater connectivity; having and using both it is interesting to compare them on a day by day basis.

  15. Gaston Huot

    10/10/2011 at 3:11 am

    “Yes, the iPad is thicker, but the iPad is also a toy compared to this.”

    You probably mean “thinner” ?

  16. Putridcoffeecake

    10/15/2011 at 1:15 am

    It’s a good tablet – however bad luck that one of the pixels continuously lights up. But this could happen with any brand.

  17. Nricks

    01/11/2012 at 8:32 pm

    What kind of anti-glare would be best to use with the tablet if you do a lot of stylus writing?

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