The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet is a 10 inch Android tablet aimed at people looking for a business-class experience. While the $499 tablet it has all the usual Android tablet specs including a 10 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, and Android Honeycomb operating system, Lenovo also offers a digital pen for writing or drawing.
Other distinctive features include an all-black case, which I suppose some may consider to be more professional looking, DataViz Documents To Go software for editing Office docs, and 2GB of free cloud storage space.
Another thing that sets the tablet apart is an optional $100 leather folio keyboard case. I got a chance to check out the tablet and case recently, and it’s an interesting value proposition.
You can use the case to offer some protection for your tablet, but when you open it up you have a ThinkPad-style keyboard with an island-style layout featuring flat keys and a little space between each. There’s not enough room for a traditional Lenovo TrackPoint system, so instead Lenovo uses an optical TrackPoint — it’s a little red button in the center of the keyboard. You can move your finger over the top to move a mouse cursor around the screen.
The case also props up the tablet while you’re typing — and unlike many other tablet cases I’ve seen, this one is adjustable. There are several different slots built into the case allowing you to adjust the position of the display… a little bit. There are magnets which help hold the tablet in place while you’re using it.
Unfortunately the folio case is clearly designed to be used on a table or desk, not your lap. If you try to prop up the tablet using the case on a less steady surface, there’s a decent chance it will fall over.
I was also underwhelmed by the optical TrackPoint performance. I had to drag my finger across the little optical sensor three or four times to drag the cursor from one side of the screen to the other. I’m guessing this gets easier to use with practice.
The ThinkPad tablet also features Bluetooth 2.1 and a USB port, so there’s nothing stopping you from connecting a different keyboard or mouse if you’re not sold on the official folio case.