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IBM Lenovo ThinkPad android Tablet review

Posted on 12 September 2011 by Android

Lenovo is announcing their new Android ThinkPad Tablet as being a great solution for business consumers mad at the BlackBerry Playbook’s lack of capability.

Right now, it seems that the Android mobile operating system is now pretty much 50/50 with the iPhone, that isn’t helping the tablet market much as android tablets are having trouble selling.

So far, the biggest contender has been Samsung with its all their branded Android powered Galaxy tablets. However, some trouble with patents and lawsuits from Apple have put a stall on Samsung and have halted sales of their android tablet in some countries like Europe and perhaps Japan pending what the court over there decide.

Alan Munro, from Lenovo Australia and NZ apparently to a shot the iPad in recent comment that their new device, the IBM Thinkpad Android Tablet “empowers business and does not restrict it. It has integral security, manageability and flexibility. We do not believe in a all-in-one device that fits all needs”. While stating this, Lenovo is without a doubt taking on the iPad’s enormous market share of 70-80% in the tablet world.

“Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” is an old saying immortalized by the IBM marketing team from the 1960s up to today. This same idea seems to affect business android tablet purchasing decisions as currently the Apple iPad seems to be the safe first purchasing choice.

While learning from HP’s mistakes in building its own operating system, Lenovo took the decision of using Google’s Honeycomb Android operating system and implanting customized software features to aim at keeping business customers and especially their IT departments happy.

The Thinkpad tablet security and device management options combine complete device and SD card encryption, disabling and deleting everything from lost tablets, virtual desktop access to your computer via Citrix Receiver and lastly Good Technology for secure emailing.

IBM’s Thinkpad laptop heritage is quite present in the black square frame, enveloped in the back with a dark grey rubberised finish with a sturdy hand grip. Customers who miss the renowned Thinkpad laptop keyboard should definitely purchase the Keyboard Folio accessory, which becomes a case when closed and transforms into a dock with keyboard.

The screen has a 1280×800 pixel display resolution and is protected by Corning’s anti-scratch, anti-smash Gorilla Glass, making it stay very readable. When you watch widescreen video, the content on ABC iView will fit onscreen relatively perfectly because of the 16:10 screen ratio. However, the downside of this is that it is quite reflective under sunlight or bright indoor lighting making it a bit hard to see the screen under these conditions.

The number one reason why the Thinkpad Tablet is 17% heavier than the iPad 2 is to fit a good range of ports to it including fullsize USB, micro USB, mini HDMI, headphone jack, a slot for the Digitiser pen and SD Cards. Note that currently only SDHC cards appear to be compatible as tests with a SDXC card showed that it was not recognized by the tablet.

The battery life specs talks about a 8 hours autonomy which seems quite plausible. The tablet was tested for several hours during which testers watched a video news podcast, checked emails, used twitter and ran LogMeIn remote desktop session. After all this testing, the battery level still showed a good 55% charge. Take note that the battery will charge much faster with the Dock accessory than it will via the standard USB power adaptor.

People who still practice the art of handwriting and are not fully converted to typing on a computer will really like the inclusion of a pressure sensitive digital pen that tucks itself neatly into the side of the android tablet. The included MyScript Notes Mobile application can convert your handwriting into text using OCR. Only thing lacking is that these notes are not searchable.

Included with the tablet is Angry Birds HD and some card games which are bundled for entertainment during waiting periods between business meetings. and trips. Tests has shown that the Video Player application handles DIVX and AVI files quite easyly, which is appreciated for watching video content during those long flights.

The 2 reasons Android phones have conquered a bunch of market shares are characteristics which are not offered by Apple and the huge diversity of models which usually cost a lot less than the iPhone counterpart.

As of right now, Android tablets have tried to challenge the iPad for the interest of consumers on features alone, with pretty low results so far.

Lenovo made a clear statement to Technology Spectator that they do not anticipate to discount the ThinkPad Tablet. Current talks on the price for the ThinkPad Tablet state that the 16GB WiFi will starts from $599 for the, which is about the same as the iPad. The 16/32GB 3G models are also similar to similar iPad at prices around $729/$839 respectively.

The question asked now is, will Lenovos reasoning be adequate to take a solid share of business tablet consumers away from the huge market controlled by Apples iPad? We will surely see the outcome in the upcoming months once the Thinkpad android tablet hits the market.

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