02-26-2013, 10:50 AM #1
- 52 Posts
I wanted to give my impressions of the Lenovo TPT2. First off, the model I have is the 3679-27U, this means that it has the digitizer pen, windows 8 pro, no NFC, no 3G/4G antenna (though there is a slot for a SIM card). Let me also be frank about my biases concerning tablets. I am not a voracious media consumer. If Iím going to watch a movie or TV program I prefer to do so with a large screen TV in the comfort of my living room. As far as checking email, messaging, twitter, and facebook Ė that is why I have a smartphone. Why do I need another piece of electronic equipment that does the exact same thing as my smartphone? In my opinion iPADs and Android tablets are really only good for media consumption, they give you a slightly larger screen to run the same apps that your phone runs. If Iím going to buy a tablet it has to provide some functionality that my phone or laptop cannot, otherwise it is a waste of money. Therefore, a tablet had to be able to run productivity programs: MS Office, Photoshop, Illustrator, GB-Stats, etcÖ That meant a tablet using either the Atom processor or a Core processor (i3, i5). This left out not only Apple and Android but also any tablets running Windows 8 RT. Obviously one the major advantages of a tablet is its size and portability. My laptop is a comfortable size and fairly easy to carry around, so what advantage would a tablet give me. The answer is battery life. In order to be practical I would need a laptop with a significantly longer run time than my laptop can give me, thus I needed an Atom processor (the Surface Pro looks like a great machine but it gives me little advantage over my laptop). The last requirement for a tablet is, to me, a no brainer, it has to have a digitizer. The tablet is a perfect form factor to replace a notebook so you have to be able to write on it and take notes with a pen. Iím a scientist so I go to a lot of lectures and meetings where I take notes. Having a digitizer-equipped tablet was a must. Iíve used convertible laptops in the past and found this incredibly useful; however, the short battery life and bulk of even a 3-lb convertible laptop makes using one all day impractical. With these limitations my choices of tablets were few.
I looked at the HP Envy X2, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC, the ASUS Vivo Tab, and the Lenovo TPT2 and ultimately chose the Lenovo TPT2. I have had the TPT2 for a week and a half and so far it is everything that Iíve wanted in a tablet. The 10.1Ē size is ideal to hold both in the landscape and portrait orientation and it is light enough that you can hold it for a long time without it weighing you down. The other tablets have the larger 11Ē form factor and to me felt a bit too big. They are also heavier than the TPT2 and ultimately I felt they would be more cumbersome to carry around and take notes with at scientific meetings and lectures. The Atom processor runs Windows 8 very well, I havenít noticed any real lag in programs starting or in response to my touch gestures. Iíve loaded the Office 365 suite of applications and they run exceptionally well. Iíve also loaded Photoshop and Illustrator (CS2 versions) and I was surprised how quickly they loaded and ran. Some reviewers have noted that the Atom processor has trouble running these types of programs but it hasnít been my experience to date. That may be because Iím not the type of user who normally keeps a lot of programs running in the background (even on my work computer). The digitizer works quite well. I find it accurate enough and responsive and it really makes using the tablet in desktop mode much easier. The TPT2 uses as Wacom digitizer but a microsoft driver, so it doesn't have quite the same feel or pressure sensitivity as I've experienced with convertible laptops I've used in the past. Evidently Wacum has not released driver software for Windows 8 tablets but I'm sure once they do the digitizer experience will only get better. The aesthetics and build quality of my TPT2 are outstanding. Iíve read some other reviewers whoíve said their TPT2 had some issues with the screen not fitting properly or a separation between the front and back sections. This is not the case with mine, its build is superb. The Samsung I looked at didnít have any apparent build flaws but it didnít feel as well built and seemed cheap. The TPT2 has the same matte black finish that anyone who has ever owned or used a ThinkPad laptop will recognize. It is a very refined look and not flashy; you would never be embarrassed to take this out at a corporate meeting. The Asus on the other hand has a plum-purple type of finish on the back case, which did not appeal to me. The digitizer pen fits securely into a slot on the tablet so you never have to worry about losing it. The Samsungís pen also fits into a slot on the tablet whereas the Asusí pen does not. Actually, the HP doesnít have a digitizer so ultimately I never would have bought it. These other tablets do come with keyboards that attach directly to them and can supply some additional battery power. I felt, this was a small advantage. The TPT2 has battery life enough for about 10 hours, which is more than enough for a full dayís work. The TPT2 does have a BT keyboard that can be purchased separately; Iíve ordered it but it hasnít arrived yet. Anyone who has ever used an IBM/Lenovo keyboard knows they make the best, and a recent Engadget review for the TPT2 confirms that is still the case. One negative of the TPT2 is that the USB drive will not power an external disc drive, so installing CD/DVD software can be troublesome. This is not really a concern for me since I already own a self-powered external DVD drive.
In summary, I would recommend this tablet for anyone who is looking to buy a tablet that they wish to use to perform actual work with. If you're main reason for buying a tablet is to watch videos and surf the internet then there are much better lower priced options available.
- 02-26-2013, 12:01 PM #2
Nice review. I have had my TPT2 for a little over a month now. I have used it extensively as my only device away from the office and have been able to do so without adjusting my computing needs too much. The only drawback that I have had is an under-powered USB port where i am unable to attach my external hard drive. Anything that I knew I was going to need for the day or trip I load onto a USB stick and problem averted.
Edit: I suppose I should mention that my usage is not too intense in terms of productivity. My programs of choice are typically the Microsoft Office package. I do a lot with excel, word, and power point and so far, I haven't run into any issues. I'm in the process of getting a new monitor for home and i'll have a better idea what it's like running a multiple monitor setup from the TPT2 and mini HDMI to HDMI connection. At this point I have a BT keyboard and Mouse which I have been using for the past few days with no issues (except when the battery is close to dying in the keyboard and it behaves as if it is possessed).
I might be one of the lucky ones but haven't had any issues with the wifi signal, sleep issues others have experienced, etc. Outside of the USB and mini HDMI to VGA issues, I'm still completely satisfied. If Wacom could update the drivers to enhance the accuracy of pen input, then I'd be completely satisfied given my particular usage patterns.
Last edited by bpcooper14; 03-01-2013 at 12:58 PM.
- 02-28-2013, 11:53 PM #3
My assessment is a little different. The form factor is great and battery life very adequate. The performance and stability is lacking, particularly when docked running external monitor with many desktop apps running. What I'd call "productivity mode". It gets sluggish and performs on par with a 4 year old notebook. And I've had a lot of issues with the display going blank and requiring a hard reboot (hold power button). Seems to be related to docked/unlocked transition. I'm always in sleep when docking/undocking. Hopefully a future driver or efi update will resolve the blank screen issue. Performance should be where it needs to be with the next gen Atom (baytrail). Also had WiFi issue from get go that required being shipped in for repair. Overall, not bad but definitely plenty of room for improvement.
03-01-2013, 10:12 AM #4
- 52 Posts
03-12-2013, 10:39 AM #5
- 484 Posts
I just bought one and am waiting for it to get here. I am hoping that it can replace my netbook (ASUS eeePC 1000HA), and ipad, and give me a portable solution for light productivity and web browsing. I will also take it with me when I go racing to download video from my cameras (to my external hard drive). I have a self powered hard drive and optical drive, so the USB power isn't an issue for me. I'm not sure yet if I will be able to do the "editing" on it yet, but I could on my netbook, so I'm hopeful. The software that I use that overlays my telemetry with the video is a Windows only app, so getting a device with full Windows 8 was a must for me. I also have a desktop that I can use for some things, but it is approaching 10 years old, so this will probably do most things that I do on my desktop.
If it all works out I will sell my ipad and netbook and basically be breaking even.
I'm anxiously awaiting it's arrival. I also ordered the slim case and it is says the shipping date is 4 weeks from now. Hopefully it is sooner than that. Do any of you have that case? If so how do you like it?
- 04-07-2013, 12:52 PM #6
If you are trying to use a Lenovo Tablet 2 as a desktop replacement of course you are going to experience sluggishness, that's not what its intended to do. I just bought 9 Lenovo Tablet 2's for the office and have been very happy with mine. I use a docking station and 1920x1080 monitor and it works well enough for when I want to take advantage of a larger screen for something. But it is not a desktop or workstation.
Beside my docking station, I also have a Lenovo W520 pushing two monitors, and that is what I use for multi-tasking or serious computing. The Lenovo Tablet 2 is what I take with me so I can leave the heavy W520 on the desk, its great for what it is... a tablet. It works well enough in a docking station to open word or type an email or something, but it is absolutely not a workstation replacement.
One thing that did help me tremendously with the Tablet 2 is adjusting setting to improve the performance. I left peek on, but turned off transparent windows and showing the window while dragging and anything I could and it has made a big difference. I also make sure to be aware of what background processes I'm running. We use Box.com where I work and if the desktop sync client is running in the background it is very very noticeable on the tablet.
As long as you go into the Tablet 2 with the understanding that it is a fanless tablet with a battery that can last you all day, and not a workstation, you should enjoy it. It's great at doing that.
04-24-2013, 11:07 PM #7
- 63 Posts
As a Lenovo Yoga 11 owner (so same company, different product), I have tried the ThinkPad Tablet 2 and that's not what I need. I think that tablet is useful if you need to have a small device that you can hold with one hand while standing, and operate with the pen. That could be great for work, or I don't know maybe drawing. Using it as a notebook replacement seems a bit far-fetched for me. I used the bluetooth keyboard too, and although i feel the good quality, I don't like the fact that the tablet stays in a fixed position on top of it.
I think it is a great device if you use it for work (full Win 8, ports, pen etc) but i still prefer the Yoga 11 as a convertible Win 8 device. I explained the reasons in another post:
04-25-2013, 11:01 AM #8
- 484 Posts
So far it is working great for my needs. Haven't turned on my desktop or notebook in over a month. I even used it with my external hard drive and disc burner to edit and burn race video onto dvd. I'm very happy with the performance. I don't need a high end machine with super fast processing for what I do.
- 04-25-2013, 09:31 PM #9
- 04-30-2013, 01:33 PM #10
that's not what microsoft intends. atoms are low power processors for mobile devices, i series is for desktop replacement. its great that it can replace the desktop for you (it has for some in my office as well), but that's not really what its intended for and if you are running Outlook & Word & Internet Explorer, even a basic user will notice slower performance.
i think its the best tablet currently out, and bought one for everyone at work, but the majority of people will be disappointed by the performance if they try to use it for everything.
- 04-30-2013, 04:58 PM #11
I agree with that last assessment. The T2 was good for mobile use, but once I started using apps on the desktop it really slowed down. What's more, some games from the W8 app store were unplayable due to low frame rate. I'm not talking new PC games, but app store games like Hydro Thunder. It would definitely make a good second device, but for me, it was in no way a desktop replacement.
- 05-01-2013, 08:05 AM #12
- 05-01-2013, 05:34 PM #13
If they intended it to be a complete replacement device, it wouldn't have an Atom processor and be limited to 64 GB storage and 2GB memory. its not a replacement device, 2GB RAM and an atom processor is not enough for the average user.
(this in no way makes it a bad device, its excellent!)
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