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back to article Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet

Reg Hardware Mobile Week Lenovo currently fields three Android tablets. The IdeaPad A1 and K1 are aimed at the general consumer while the third model carries the revered ThinkPad moniker and with it expectations of brick outhouse build quality, business-user friendliness and no-nonsense styling. Lenovo ThinkPad Android …

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Pirate

*choke* $80 keyboard?

Not even Apple go that far - $69 for their BT keyboard.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *choke* $80 keyboard?

True, but there again Apple wouldn;t put a USB2 port on there tablet and let you plug in a bog standard USB keyboard.

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Headmaster

Re: *choke* $80 keyboard?

'their' tablet

but only because the spelling nazis further down woke me up ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *choke* $80 keyboard?

Luckily for you, Nergatron, it seems that the capitalisation Nazis are still asleep...

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WTF?

Re: *choke* $80 keyboard?

@PXG: I can plug my iPad into a Novation X-Station keyboard just fine using Apple's Camera Kit adaptors, one of which includes a standard USB .connection. You can connect any USB keyboard to it this way, but most sane people will just use the Bluetooth option. I've used a Microsoft USB keyboard with mine in the past, but I prefer Apple's Bluetooth keyboard. (I also have an Apple Keyboard Dock, but it's not one of their best designs: I prefer a landscape display orientation.)

iOS includes Apple's audio APIs, including some very good MIDI support. iPads are surprisingly good at music creation for this reason as developers get a lot of audio APIs out of the box.

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Typo

"...inside a quite room" should be "...inside a quiet room "

Seems to be typo day on The Reg this morning :-)

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Re: Typo

Also "If they start to irritate, you the hardware keys can be disabled." should be " If they start to irritate you, the hardware keys can be disabled."

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re: Typo

thanks for the catch - but see "Send corrections"?

Use that please. That way we get to fix typos more quickly.

The alternative is that we go back to pre-modding every submission, or maybe just those of typo spotters.

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Re: Typo

Nice to see that the spelling Nazis are up and vigilant early today

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Re: Typo

Dare I suggest that the desire to see words spelt and used correctly does not make one a Nazi?...

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Re: Typo

While you're there, can you arrange to move that sodding "report abuse" button to the right of the optional picture? It takes up far too much space.

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Re: Typo

"Dare I suggest that the desire to see words spelt and used correctly does not make one a Nazi?..."

No

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Re: Typo

Hi Drew,

I did look for the "Send Corrections" link, but I don't think it is exposed on the mobile version of the site.

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Headmaster

Spelt?

Spelled, Shirley?

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Re: Spelt?

I did wonder when writing my first post and checked the internet before posting it - "spelt" is fine for us UK based people; it's Americans who reserve that for a type of wheat

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Happy

Re: Typo

Quite.

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Anonymous Coward

Speaker...

I didn't think the speaker was all that bad to be honest...

Granted, when tested against the now defunct HP Touchpad, the speaker sounds pretty weak, but on its own I found it plenty loud enough to listen to some background music or conduct a Skype call.

Maybe yours had a problem?

I agree that it's a bit hefty and the battery life isn't best-in-class, but if you think of it as a business device (which is where it's fairly squarely aimed), it does tick a hell of a lot of boxes - if your company is Android friendly of course. AD integration, remote wipe, secure corporate app market etc...

The keyboard folio does make it even bigger and heavier, but is lovely to type on, has an optical track point (think BlackBerry) and looks very smart and business-like.

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Ugly duckling

You only realise how nice the iPad design is when you see something as pig ugly as this .... my Lenovo laptop will not be getting a younger sibling!

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USB 2.0

Is it my imagination, or is this actually the first tablet to offer a full USB 2.0 port?

[I exclude the Transformer as the USB is on the keyboard dock].

Does this mean I can finally load images, from my camera's CF cards (with suatable adapter), in the field?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: USB 2.0

It's your imagination! The Acer A500, Toshiba AT100 and Asus Transformer/Slider all have full-sized USB ports.

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Silver badge

Battery.. what?

My dirt cheap £106 7" tablet has a 3600mAh battery. Not exactly a fantastic or high profile product, so why the hell does this thing have such a weedy set of cells?

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Ugly

So very very ugly. Yikes.

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Joke

Re: Ugly

Dugong!

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Thick

So, if this table. Obtains pretty much bog standard Tegra based internals, and what appears to be a fairly small battery, can anyone explain why it's half as thick again as an iPad or Galaxy Tab?

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Re: Thick

I'm guessing increased build quality?

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win 8

stick win 8 on it and i'm sold

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Joke

Re: win 8

with only 1ghz dual core and 1gb ram? It'd choke...

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Re: win 8

That's the first thing that went through my mind when I saw "ThinkPad" and tablet in the same sentence. I can't see how Android is a proper business machine. Put Windows on there and we might be talking.

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Faint speaker?

"Even in a quiet room it’s difficult to follow the dialogue in films."

At least inconsiderate jerks won't be able to annoy others quite as much.

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Unhappy

Think I will wait....

Until the price drop to £120 in the next of the yard sales.

Don't any of theses companies learn? or are they just as stupid as HP?

let's have a look at the specifications.....

Heavy..................... Yes

Thick....................... Yes

Overpriced............. Yes

Doggy software..... Yes

Useless Pen.......... Yes

Attractive................. Yes???

Well gentlemen I think congratulations are in order, as we have a Apple Killer here.

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Bronze badge

I actually own one of these and I am based in the UK.

As tablets go, this is the workhorse. Tough, sturdy and reliable.

It is a bit heavy and the battery isnt great, but if you need a tablet for work, then this is the one to get.

The pen (which doenst come as standard with all versions) is pretty good, especially if you like taking handwritten notes.

There is a folio case for it that adds a keyboard and optical mouse, it works very well.

The only annoying thing I have found with mine is that there are some apps on the appstore that do not work for this device, but thats a minor quibble - not the fault of Lenovo.

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Alien

470 fecking quid for a 16GB Android?

Is it studded with diamonds mined on the Moon?

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LPF
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I wonder...

..what the correlation between being a "Spelling and Grammar Nazi" and being a "Massive Virgin" is .

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Coat

Re: I wonder...

The more massive you become, the more likely virginity is to be conserved?

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Re: I wonder...

Because poor punctuation, spelling and use of incorrect words really makes one attractive to others?

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Paris Hilton

I bought one and....

...wish to marginally justify the decision.

I got the 32gb/ 3G version (pen included) for £450from the usual online store suspect. The motivation was to have a repository for lots of pdfs, be able to annotate them avec le pen and not shrink in horror every time my 2 year old bashed the screen playing Monkey Preschool Lunchbox. So large+plastic = durable was over simplistic but worth a punt.

- Having had it for a few weeks, there are a variety of apps that work with the pen (pdf annotations, note takers and drawing packages) which still gets used.

- Battery life is OK with airport mode on & wifi enabled

- The Lenovo 'hack' for quitting applications on the fly is useful because android seems a leeetle flakey with lots of open applications.

- Screen good, lonely wimpy audio speaker rather bad. Microphone is fine.

So I'm happy enough on the whole.

Paris, for the ultimate orifice.

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Call this a Thinkpad?

Come back when you've glued a strawberry fruit pastille to the middle of the on-screen keyboard. Then we'll talk.

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Coat

Re: Call this a Thinkpad?

At least it's some excuse when I'm found screen-licking.....

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So, crap battery, old CPU (Tegra 3 is the new desire), dodgy Ntrig hardware (doesn't compare to Wacom), crap speaker, some apps that don't work (supposedly not Lenova's fault), heavy, ugly and 70 quid more than the basic iPad - I smell win! (well, for Apple at least).

And the apostrophe s is there purely for aesthetic reasons.

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Megaphone

This review missed most of the problems actual ownders have reported.

I have one. Me as well as many, many other owners of the WiFi-only version haven't had a functioning GPS yet -- six months after product launch. The online "support" staff just admitted in the last few days that it may be a hardware issue, but users have been saying for a while that adding a WWAN card and a SIM with an account instantly gives you a functional GPS. Lenovo seems clueless asd to what the problem actually is.

Also, the micro-USB port was not properly soldered to the board in some units, ditto for the power button. Lenovo has thus far refused to tell TPT owners which production runs had the faulty hardware. We just wait and hope ours doesn't break too.

The camera also doesn't focus properly. You can neither get Q-code scans nor landscape photos.

The bootloader is locked and the only bug Lenovo has been speedy in fixing was a vulnerability that gave us root.

Just google any of these problems and you'll see for yourself. Lenovo paid a lot for the ThinkPad brand, and there running it into the ground with this tablet and the lack of after-sales service.

Oh, yeah, one more that comes to mind. When I launch an app, fully half the time I get a force close. This is also a commonly reported problem that seems to have not been addressed by the OTA 2 and 2.5 updates rolling out in February and March.

On a positive note, the stylus does work well and is just about the only reason to have the TPT.

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Re: This review missed most of the problems actual ownders have reported.

I see the same 'reduced/poor quality' issues with our recent Lenovo laptops. Keys falling off, random reboots, creaky cases, rubber pointer failures etc.

Come back IBM, all is forgiven!

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Alert

Re: This review missed most of the problems actual ownders have reported.

I didn't miss them, they just didn't manifest themselves on my review unit.

The GPS worked perfectly, ditto the camera (capturing a QR code is one of my standard tests). No problems to report with the micro USB port or power button either. In ten days of use I didn't suffer a single random reboot.

Maybe I was lucky with my sample, but I can't comment on things that are not there, no matter what the internet scuttlebutt.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF is with manufacturers building devices with shoddy GPS functionality these days? Both my Transformer Prime and my PlayBook have naff GPS, in fact the best GPS device I have is my ancient Nokia N95 that I use as a bicycle computer, it gets strong GPS reception INDOORS and fixes almost immediately, come to think of it, so did my N96 and N900.

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Unhappy

Missed opportunity

My first thought when I saw this was "Ooh, Windows 8", but sadly the screen resolution is too low (as the Consumer Preview so unhelpfully kept reminded me on my Asus netbook).

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Ok but overpriced

I've had my 16GB 3G version with the folio keyboard since UK launch day (pre-ordered from Lenovo)

We trialled it with users and now it lives with me because nobody else wants to use it.

All I get is cries of how they'd prefer an ipad or a smaller laptop. For me it works quite well...but only quite well. It should be better for the money. The USB host thing would be nice but the USB copy utility is cumbersome so plugging in a USB stick and opening a document is not as easy as it should be. The folio keyboard is nice but the bulk it adds just makes you wonder why you didn't pick up your laptop. The stylus is intermittent in operation and not as useful as it sounds...that said the handwriting recognition on the bundled notes app is pretty good.

Docs to Go is only just good enough for a quick edit of something...just...pretty much the same functionality as wordpad and only intermittent compatibility with MS office documents. Please someone port Libre Office to Android !

I want to love it...I have never regretted buying something with the Thinkpad logo on before...I use and love Android on my phone...but this isn't quite there and not truly deserving of the Thinkpad brand.

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Happy

Am I the only person that thinks it looks really good?

/me goes to stroke his x201

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Anonymous Coward

No you are not. It looks like a business machine rather than a toy, I like it.

I also like that is has my two top foldleslab wishlist features - charging over micro USB (one less cable to carry) and full size SD slot (so it'll take the card straight out of an SLR).

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Anonymous Coward

pat on the back for... McAfee?!

A pat on the back and 5 days later, we get TheReg review of av-test.org's software tests on Android antivirus/antimalware software:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/07/android_anti_malware_tests/

"Packages that detected more than 90 per cent of the Android malware thrown at them included Droid security software from Avast, Dr Web, F-Secure, Ikarus, Kaspersky, Zoner and Lookout."

Which go on to show that McAfee is currently bottom of the class... not that the software companies are happy with av-test.org's test methods, but they never are.

A pat on the back should arise, not simply for doing something, but for doing something really well - with integrity, and showing technical wisdom or insight.

I guess that McAfee paid them decent money per unit - McAfee want $30 per year for their app - and this is more important to Lenovo than customer security, satisfaction and repeat business.

As so often, free Avast product would seem to have been a better choice for the customer.

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