First of all, thanks to StarHub Community, I have gotten the chance to try out this interesting tablet.
In this review, I will be talking about the performance of the tablet and at the same time, compare it with iPad Air and Nexus 7 (2013).
Processor: Intel Baytrail-T Quad Core Z3770 (up to 2.4Ghz, 2MB L2)
Chipset: Intel Valleyview-T SOC
Display: 8.3" WUXGA 1920x1200 (16:10) IPS LED Backlight, Asahi Dragontrail glass, supports 10-finger Multi-Touch Screen
Camera: 2MP/8MP w/flash
Graphics: Intel HD GFX with Burst Technology, Full HW acceleration, FHD 1080p@60fps
Memory: 2GB PC3-8500 DDR3
Storage: 64GB eMMC, 48GB usable
Dimensions: 132mm x 224.3mm x 8.8mm
Weight (WWAN): 439g
Battery: 8 hrs (20.5Wh)
Connectivity: 802.11abgn, WiDi Support, 4G LTE, 3G HSPA, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports: Micro-USB 3.0, Micro-HDMI, MicroSD, Micro-SIM
Upon unboxing the device, my first impression of it is that it has a weird form factor. A tat bit too long to my liking. Other than that, the build quality of the device is really amazing. Nothing else to complain about here. I really like the part where the red LED on the ThinkPad logo lighting up the when device is on. I have the habit of leaving devices on when not in use, this really helps in reminding me that it is kept on.
Powering the device brings me to the regular Windows 8.1 initial set up. Everything was buttery smooth! The FHD 1080p resolution coupled with the 8.3 inch screen made the screen really sharp and pleasing to the eyes. With IPS LED, the viewing angle of the device is awesome as well.
With the short 2 weeks I spent with the device, I have tried running the apps and programs that I usually run on my laptop. Modern UI is really a great experience on the device. However when I jump into the desktop mode, everything is not going well anymore. Frame rate drops on videos and high latency are just some of the issues I face when in desktop mode. The small screen made the desktop mode harder to navigate as well. The device heats up drastically when in desktop mode as well. It could not even handle streaming YouTube videos! Basically, the screen size and specifications are not meant for desktop mode.
Lenovo ThinkPad 8 has a micro-USB 3.0 port build in. I hoped they used a full size USB instead of a micro-USB port, although this can be resolved by using a USB hub or converter. Micro-HDMI is there as well for those who love to do multi-screen. I find this especially useful for presentation purposes, just bring a light tablet instead of a heavy laptop!
The battery of the device could easily last me 6-8 hours on regular usage. Desktop mode takes up significantly more power than the Modern UI, most probably due to the higher processing power required. Nevertheless, still great battery life as compared to a laptop.
Comparison with iPad Air and Nexus 7 (2013)
Lenovo ThinkPad 8 is really unlike the other two tablets. It has a full Windows 8.1 OS which basically allows you to do things that you can only do on a PC, basically limitless (well not really, limited by the hardware performance as well). In terms of gaming, all 3 devices have similar performance although more games are available on the Play Store and Apps Store as compared to the windows store. Lenovo ThinkPad 8 is really on par, if not better than the other two tablets.
Lenovo ThinkPad 8 is really awesome if it fits your purpose. Ideal for presentations and some entertainment on the go with superb battery life. The weird form factor with poor performance in desktop mode does not goes well with people who are looking to do work off the tablet. You will most probably be spending time to navigate through the desktop mode rather than actually working. If you intend to use it for gaming or entertainment purpose, you are better off with an iPad or Android tablet. I am sticking to working with my laptop and gaming on my Nexus 7 (2013).
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