Lenovo is adding a touch of business class to its small Windows tablet lineup with the launch of the ThinkPad 8. It’s a Windows 8.1 tablet with an 8.3 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel display, a quad-core Intel Atom Bay Trail processor, at least 64GB of storage, and support for some interesting accessories.

With a starting price of $399, it’s a bit pricier than other 8 inch Windows tablets, including Lenovo’s consumer-oriented Miix 8. But the new tablet also offers more than most other tablets in its class.

Lenovo ThinkPad 8

The tablet has an 8.3 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel display, while most of its peers have 8 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel screens. But thanks to relatively thin bezels around the screen, the ThinkPad 8 doesn’t feel much bigger than other 8 inch Windows tablets.

It also has an Atom Z3770 processors instead of the more common Z3740 chip, and the entry level model ships with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Lenovo will also offer up to 128GB of storage.

The tablet has a micro HDMI port and a micro USB 3.0 port, letting you hook up an external display, docking station, and other accessories.

One thing Lenovo doesn’t plan to offer is an official keyboard. As I discovered when trying to use the Dell Venue 8 Pro as a makeshift laptop, tablets with small, high resolution displays and Windows desktop software are just too hard to see when you’re not holding them in your hands. But Lenovo figures you can use a docking station to hook up a monitor, projector, or other external device and use the ThinkPad 8 to give presentations or do basic desktop-style computing.

As for handheld use, Lenovo has an optional $49 cover which attaches to the tablet magnetically, turns off the display automatically when the screen is covered, and has a flap on the back which you can fold down to expose the camera without removing the whole cover. Doing that will also launch the camera app.

The tablet has an 8MP rear camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, optional 3G or 4G, and gets up to 8 hours of battery life. It has stereo speakers, a microSD card slot, measures 8.9″ x 5.2″ x 0.34″ and weighs about 15 ounces.

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23 replies on “Lenovo launches ThinkPad 8 tablet with full HD screen”

  1. Digitizer Ditto, WTF no digitizer even as an addon peripheral?, almost perfect specs (8″, 1080p) ruined by no digitizer support. Boo hoo. Who the hell is on these product committees – I guess dimwit Ipad Owners?

  2. No digitizer? Design of your regular “consumer” device and not one of ThinkPad style? 400$ starting price for 2 gigs of RAM only? Up to 8h of battery life, ThinkPads used to be among leaders when it came to extending battery life with each new iteration, now they are just “me too” in tablet space!
    I will pass on this, this isnt any better than other sub 300$ tablets out there, screen resolution alone doesnt make a big difference unless youre a pixel peeper or fell that “retina” display is a must above everything else.

    1. The USB 3.0 port is not common, most are just 2.0, nor is the choice of the top end Z3770 SoC, and many of the 8″ models suffer from the lack of a HDMI port… So it’s not just the screen resolution, which is useful for better portrait viewing that in turn is good for one handed reading…

      I also don’t agree on the battery criticism as you can’t really squeeze much more into such a small model, and the amount of RAM limit is unfortunately a industry problem as these models use the same LP-DDR3 RAM as ARM based devices use and there presently isn’t a good supply of larger than 2GB of RAM available for them to use…

      The lack of pen is disappointing though, and no one seems to be offering a optical mouse or other alternative as well…

  3. Is this the only 8″ tablet that has a 16:10 aspect ratio? What’s the aspect ratio of the ASUS one with the active digitizer? For portrait use, 16:10 or even 4:3 would be preferrable.

  4. This looks like a pretty nice Windows 8 8″ tablet. I really like Lenovo’s Thinkpad line so I’m looking forward to seeing reviews of this. Too bad there is no mention about a wacom pen like their Helix model.

  5. If this is targeted towards professionals who likely will spend a lot of time in the desktop UI then why no Wacom active digitizer and builtin holder? Some may even be willing to sacrifice the USB 3.0 port for USB 2.0 and 1080p screen for that.

    This is tough for me. The ASUS Vivotab supposedly has a Wacom digitizer and builtin silo but the ThinkPad 8 has USB 3.0 (1080p and video out doesn’t matter to me). I’m leaning towards the ASUS for now since I think I’d use the stylus with desktop UI than USB 3.0.

    Also, what’s the reason to not put in 4 GB of RAM? Is it technical (no existing possible LPDDR3 configuration, weird Windows 8 limitation, Bay Trail issue, etc.), planned obsolescence or something else?

    1. I’m hoping Lenovo will have upgrades when ordering to add a Wacom digitizer with holder and 4 GB of RAM for some extra fee. Hopefully, they’re just showing the base $399 configuration.

      1. hoping they offer a larger version with a Wacom so far this has me leaning more towards the Asus 8in tablet hopefully that is a real wacom digitizer

        1. I think Lenovo is reserving the active digitizer for upper end models as they don’t want an entry level unit to cannibalize sales of the pricier models, which would happen if they offered the digitizer, even as a configurable option. This is a similar strategy in their notebook lines.

          They even stopped offering the digitizer on a follow-on tablet after doing so with their original 10″ ThinkPad tablet. The ThinkPad (Android) Tablet originally went for something like $500, but the price dropped (on refurbs sold at the Lenovo online outlet store) to as low as a bit over $200. Recently, the outlet’s price on the Android ThinkPad was back up to near $500.

          The digitizer on the Android tablet was N-trig, not Wacom. It required a 4A
          battery in the stylus. Why N-trig and not Wacom, I can only wonder. I prefer
          Wacom as the ThinkPad Tablet PCs didn’t need a battery in the stylus.

          1. What would be Lenovo’s product line that’s more high end than their ThinkPad brand?

            Whether they make up a new higher end name or add the ability to configure the ThinkPad 8 with a Wacom digitizer and 4 GB of RAM doesn’t matter to me though. They’ll probably charge the same higher amount which I would pay for.

          2. Among ThinkPads, there is a hierarchy. The lower end is the ThinkPad Edge and L series. The T are mainstream models and the W series are the top of the notebook line. The X and the subbrand X Tablet are the ultraportable segment.

            Introducing a touch screen jumbled things a bit, but Lenovo put in a capacitive touch screen at the low end, and an active digitizer and capacitive touch screen in higher end models.

            Higher end models also have some nice touches, many of which I particularly like: thumbscrews on VGA connectors (most notebooks lack this), ExpressCard slots (so you can add your choice of port), DisplayPort, removable drive bays, screen latches, I could go on.

          3. Real stupid if you ask me is it so bad if I just want a small 1-1.5lb 10in tablet with a wacom digitizer so I don’t have to carry around a 5lb laptop and a pen tablet? I don’t need a big high-end processor to draw pictures lol, but I’d prefer the long battery life that a baytrail processor provides. They do have a lower end model though it is called the Thinkpad Tablet 2… though I am waiting for them to update the damn thing.

          4. I guess the Miix line is like their IdeaPad line.

            Whatever they call it, if Lenovo provides a more expensive ThinkPad 8 inch model that adds a Wacom digitizer and 4 GB of RAM then I’ll buy it over the ASUS Vivotab. They can call it the ThinkPad Zzyzx123 8 Tablet Pro if they want.

            The main reason I want the active digitizer is because I don’t see OEMs releasing OQO slider type devices that provide a buitlin keyboard and mouse. I’d prefer that a whole lot more but it seems the stylus is more “in” right now so it’s more likely to added.

          5. If anything, this should be called the IdeaPad 8. It looks more like it’s for consumers than for business/professional users. They should add a Wacom digitizer BEFORE adding 1080p. 1080p on an 8″ screen is mostly for those pixel snobs or the people to go to Best Buy and ask the salesman what device they should buy. Moar pixels, moar cores, more GHz! Right?

          6. Two reasons for N-Trig… It’s cheaper and uses less power/space…

            WACOM is a active digitizer that generates a EM field that the pen interacts with and is why the pen itself doesn’t need a battery but this adds to the load the tablet has to support even when you’re not using the pen…

            N-Trig can also be integrated with the touch screen layer for a thinner display… but WACOM require two separate digitizers… One for touch and one for the pen…

    2. I agree the Asus if it truly has a wacom digitizer looks like the better deal. Why one needs 1080p on a screen less than say 10 inches baffles me.

    3. The reason for the RAM is because no one is mass producing 4GB of RAM for mobile LP-DDR3 RAM… can’t use what’s not available unfortunately, and custom ordering a supply would raise the cost of the device and risk making it too pricey…

      4GB is suppose to become available this year but we may need to wait a few more months… Though, this only applies to Bay Trail T that has to use the same RAM and storage as ARM devices do but Bay Trail M and D models will be coming out and they can use SATA and regular DDR3 RAM for up to 8GB capacities… though, the trade off is no support for Quicksync as they will be sold under Celeron/Pentium branding and fall under the same self imposed limitations as Intel’s other Celeron/Pentium offerings…

      While the industry is also set to start switching to LP-DDR4 by next year but that should push RAM capacities for mobile devices to the 4-8 range that hopefully the upcoming Cherry Trail update will take advantage of…

  6. This is nice; in the realm of “damn, people are just never satisfied”: I wonder how long it will take before tablets start being offered with removable batteries. Having seen some teardowns it seems with some ingenuity it may be possible…

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