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Lenovo ThinkPad 10 review: A thinner, lighter Windows tablet with a high-res display

Michelle Mastin | July 10, 2014
Lenovo's ThinkPad 2 was a great tablet, but Intel's older Atom platform struggled to run Windows 8 smoothly, the tablet itself was chunky, and its screen had fewer pixels than the smaller, but newer ThinkPad 8. The ThinkPad 10 brings all of those old spots up to spec without sacrificing any of the great quality or productivity perks of the ThinkPad line.

Lenovo's ThinkPad 2 was a great tablet, but Intel's older Atom platform struggled to run Windows 8 smoothly, the tablet itself was chunky, and its screen had fewer pixels than the smaller, but newer ThinkPad 8. The ThinkPad 10 brings all of those old spots up to spec without sacrificing any of the great quality or productivity perks of the ThinkPad line.

Pulling the ThinkPad 10 out of its box, I was struck by how thin and light, yet solid it felt. The ThinkPad 10 is the thinnest of the current crop of larger screened Windows tablets we've seen, just edging out the new Surface Pro 3 (0.35 inches vs 0.36 inches). It's quite a bit slimmer than both the Asus Transformer Book T100 (0.39 inches) and the Dell Venue 11 Pro (0.4 inches). The tablet weighs a scant 1.32 pounds, feeling much more like my iPad Retina (third-generation) than either the Dell or Asus.

The soft, matte plastic back is not quite the grippy, soft-touch texture of older ThinkPads, but it still feels nice in the hand. There's a little flex to the screen because it's not a metal back, but not a worrisome amount.

Speaking of the screen, the 1900x1200 pixel resolution is a joy to work with. I really appreciate the extra space over a 1080p screen and find that, even at only 10.1 inches, I'm comfortable with the scaling turned down some to fit more on the screen. The brightness range is also wide, going from bright enough to compete with window glare to dim enough to read in the dark without burning out my retinas.

Ports are mostly hidden behind little doors, which, while less convenient, leaves the edges cleaner-looking. On the right side is an open micro USB/headphone jack, and behind a door you'll find a SIM card slot (ours didn't have WWAN, but it will be available on certain models) and a microSD slot. Behind door number two on the left is a full-size USB 2.0 port in addition to the port for the power adapter. Yes, a full-size USB port and a real power port. No clogging up the microUSB with either of those.

One odd design decision is the mismatched corners. The bottom two corners are square, more in line with the boxy ThinkPad aesthetic, and they fit well in the various docks. The top corners are more rounded, as if Lenovo just couldn't commit to square corners all around. The square bottom corners do feel awkward to hold after a while, so despite how seamlessly they fit in the dock, it may have been better to round all the corners.

 

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